Top 5 Best Shoes For Calisthenics in 2019 [Ultimate Guide]

Are you confused or frustrated with the huge amount of options? 

If you are looking for the best shoes for calisthenics you are at the right place. 

Below you will learn all the necessary basics and check out the top 5 best models in today’s market. 

In a hurry?

My personal favorite winner for calisthenics is the Adidas Duramo 9.

This model is affordable, lightweight, breathable, flexible and offers great comfort and stability. It’s also ideal for running and many other physical activities.

Click Here to check out the latest price on Amazon

It’s time to get informed.

Before we go here’s a quick preview of my favourite calisthenics workout shoes.

1Adidas Duramo 9Winner
2Nike Metcon 2Best Colors
3Brooks Revel 2Universal
4New Balance Running ShoesGreat for Wide Feet
5ASICS Gel-Craze TR 4Hard Sole

Let’s find out what you should really look for before you buy calisthenics shoes…

10 Features you Should Look for when Buying Workout Calisthenics Shoes

If you believe that you can simply dig out some old running shoes and use them for calisthenics you are somehow wrong. 

Yes, if there isn’t any other choice you can still use them but please have in mind that the overall design of many shoes out there is not specifically made for calisthenics or other types of training. 

It’s always a great choice for you to have one pair for running and one pair for training shoes. That way you could get the best out of every single workout you do. The good news is that there are models that can provide you with both options at the same time. 

But before we get into the specific models I would like to inform you about important characteristics you should take under consideration before you order your first pair.

1. Are they flexible?

When you are going after any workout shoes despite what your specific goal is it’s really important to check out the material they are made from. Preferably they should be made of lightweight flexible material that makes them perfect for doing any sport including calisthenics. 

When you are wearing them you want to have complete freedom of movement in any possible direction.

If a pair of shoes is too stiff or thick that may lead to an uncomfortable overall experience while doing some movements and patterns. Additionally wearing non-flexible shoes can cause extra stress and pressure on your lower joints, muscles or tendons. 

That on its own if untreated can cause some bad feet injuries you certainly want to avoid. The good news is that all models reviewed below are made out of thin and flexible materials so you would not have any problems with them about flexibility.

2. What about the thickness of cushion?

Is there an exact answer to this question? I highly doubt it. 

Everyone has a pretty different feeling for comfort and stability when it comes to thickness but there are some great guidelines you can easily follow. Obviously, you first want to try the shoes and wear them a little so you can check out how they feel. 

The good news is that almost every single shoe you buy online can be tested and returned for free in a certain period of time so it wouldn’t cost you a thing just to try it on. Your goal should be the cushions of your favorite shoes to be right on the spot after you wear them a little. 

If they are too thin you will feel every little roughness of every step you make. If they are too thick you may lose some of the flexibility so your goal should be to pick a shoe that has a great combination of cushion – not too much and not too little.

I know it’s not as easy as it seems but in most cases you can see the thickness of a cushion just by looking at a few pictures on the web.

3. Is the material of high-quality?

I know this is probably something you already know but I can’t really emphasize how important it really could be for you. 

If you don’t want to spend a fortune and buy other models again and again in only a few weeks of use because they ripped off please don’t ignore what I’m going to tell you below.

You want the material used in the upper body of the shoe to be lightweight, breathable, flexible and most importantly – comfortable to wear. 

A quality shoe will most likely have some sort of runout protection.

The bottom part of the shoe must be made out of still flexible but at the same time very durable material with good gripping that will help you keep yourself in one place and not worry about slipping and falling down.

All 5 models listed later on this article do use quite good materials.

4. Is it worth the current price?

When it comes to shoes if you need to pay a little extra to get better materials and built-in quality please do so. 

Sometimes the cheaper option today may cost you a lot in the near future.

Usually, the materials used in the cheaply made shoes are not so breathable, durable or connected properly to one another. 

That will result in very fast wear and tear. I would suggest you invested in a higher-quality model if you can afford it.

If you are on a tighter budget don’t worry, all models picked below have very reasonable prices with decent quality.

5. How wide is the toebox?

It doesn’t really matter if you are doing calisthenic movements or other types of training. If those movements require a lot of balance, a solid stance or explosiveness having some extra space in the toebox might be really handy. 

Naturally, your toes will try to spread in order to increase stability and it will always be a good thing to have that extra space available in your shoes, especially when working out. 

Some models do offer a normal or wider option so if you are having a tough time you can always pick a model with these great options.

6. Is style important?

After your comfort and functionality needs have been met, this should be the next thing you should consider. 

I don’t have much to say about style, colors and such because every person on this planet has his own opinion about looks.

I have tried to provide you with some models that are liked by the majority of people.

As you will see some brands offer a huge variety of size and color options and some don’t. 

My suggestion is this – don’t worry too much about this because it’s not really so important but if you have the options please go and pick a model which style and color you enjoy the most.

7. Should you care about brands?

I personally don’t have a favorite one but all 5 models reviewed below are designed and produced by reputable brands that offer quality products. 

I know some of you already have in mind which brand you should go for but my personal recommendation would be to be more open-minded and see what other options you are provided with. 

From my own personal experience, I have tried to wear some very generic unbranded shoes and they actually fell apart quite quicker than anticipated.

I don’t say it’s always that case but having that unfortunate luck when it comes to shoes I now buy only from a brand I like and trust. 

In my opinion, you should aim for quality but certainly don’t want to overpay twice or even more just for some logo. If a certain brand offers very good quality products go for them!

8. Does weight really matter?

I know that this doesn’t seem something that important but trust me when you are doing any type of physical activity you always want the shoes to be light as possible. 

When you are wearing workout shoes your goal should be not to feel them on your legs. 

Have in mind that you should certainly not compromise on quality when it comes to weight. There should be a good balance between the weight of a shoe and its overall built quality.

All shoes below are extremely lightweight – we are talking under 300 grams!

9. What’s like inside the shoe?

I know some people have problems with their feet. As a matter of fact, even if you don’t have any issues you still want a shoe that has a removable insole because you can clean it easily or replace it if a new one if needed.

Don’t forget that you will wear it constantly and for long periods of time in some cases so you really want something comfortable.

You want to have some padding on the inside because without proper padding on the right spots you will easily get bad blisters caused by unnecessary rubbing from inside the shoe. 

I want to mention this but there are rare cases in which the tongue of a shoe is way too thin and if you tie them up little too tight causing unwanted blisters and wounds. It won’t hurt you to take an extra sec to check the tongue from a few pictures.

10. The Outsole – Something you should care about

When it comes to working and outsoles you have 2 options to pick from – a very soft and thick or a more stiff and hard one. 

If you are looking for the best shoes for calisthenics my recommendation should be to go after something in the middle.

You want to get a shoe with a somehow thick and hard outsole which is still in some way flexible and can absorb rough terrain easily.

You surely want the outer part of the outsole to be made from good non-slipping material with a combination of good gripping design. That will help you stay in one place during your calisthenics or other types of workouts.

Some outsoles have specific designs that absorb the energy spreading it equally across the whole surface. One final tip I can give you is to go for shoes that have a not too big of a rise because too high rises can have a negative impact on your stability or weight distribution.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what outsole you pick if you are not feeling comfortable wearing the footwear. Go for shoes that make you feel stable and secure during your intensive workouts.

Top 5 Best Shoes for Calisthenics for 2019

Now I will show you 5 great choices for calisthenics shoes. 

All models below are made from well known and promising brands so you will get the best quality.

Another thing to know is that all shoes have a fairly good pricing meaning they are quite affordable. 

Some of them can be used for far more different activities and I highly recommend you pick a model that is like that. Finally, pick a model that fits your personal criteria and needs.

Let’s get going…

1. Adidas Duramo 9 Shoes – The Winner

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

In this short but informative review of the Adidas Duramo 9, you will learn why this is probably the best option you can get for that price. 

This final model has a pretty reasonable price and usually fits as expected. That is something you can rarely find in the online shoe industry.

The duramo 9 are extremely lightweight and flexible. They come in 19 different colors and sizes starting from 6.5 up to 14. I want to mention that this is the only shoe I have seen to start at 6.5 because all the other models start from 9. 

Another great thing that can be really handy for people who have genetically wider feet is the option Adidas gives you. With each size, there is a special option to choose a wider variant if you want to. What I like about this model is that is can be really comfortable to wear without it being too squishy every step you make. 

That is something you have to consider when you are talking about sports in general. I think the overall shoe design is quite unique and stylish and a cool thing to mention is that as you can see from the pictures it’s made so you could easily put them on and off. 

You also get pretty good heel support combined with a solid rubber sole for improved stability and comfort. 

Finally, I want to mention that this shoe is quite universal. You can use it for jogging, cross-fit, gym training, calisthenics and much more. 

For me personally, this is the best shoe you can find for calisthenics and it could easily satisfy all your needs and preferences.

  • Great pricing for the quality
  • Great fit for most people
  • You have a huge variety from 19 different colors and many sizes (normal or wide)
  • Unique and stylish design
  • They are multifunctional
  • This model uses a rubber sole for great stability
  • Reliable heel support
  • The tongue can be too thin
  • Not good for wet surfaces

2. Nike Men’s Metcon 2 Workout Shoes – Best Colors

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The first model we are going to look at is made by one of the best brands. That’s why there shouldn’t be any questions about the durability or whether the materials are high-quality. That being said you now understand why this model is going to stand together for a very long time if properly taken care of. 

The Metcon 2 is designed for all kinds of workout activities including calisthenics. I like the fact that they are quite affordable and lightweight at the same time. What I like about Nike and this specific model is that they provide you with a huge number of colors you can choose from. 

To be more specific – 34 color options. With that, you also get a pretty decent size option too. With the lightweight material used on the upper part of the shoe comes a lot of great ventilation. They have specially added many breathable little holes mainly on the front. You can also find some of those on the left and right side of the shoe. 

You wouldn’t have any issues when it comes to flexibility. The sole contains enough stiffness so it can provide your workouts with a good amount of stability and comfort.

  • Huge variety of sizes and colors
  • Lightweight and Breathable
  • Great flexibility
  • Affordable
  • Made with good quality
  • Solid sole providing stability
  • Can be slippery over some surfaces
  • Not so good for jogging or running

3. Brooks Men’s Revel 2 – Universal

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

What I pretty much like about the Revel 2 model made by Brooks is the fact that they are quite universal. 

That’s something to consider if you are going to compare them with the first option. Except for calisthenics they are also great for running, jumping and other physical activities.

Brooks provides you with pretty decent options when it comes to personalization. This model is offered in 5 different colors and 11 sizes starting from 8 going up to 14. As you can see the options are not as big as Nike’s but will be enough for anybody who is serious enough. 

Because of the lightweight mesh they are made of, you are given a very good ventilation option when wearing them. That would result in dry and cooler legs during your workouts.

As far as it comes to the weight they are pretty light giving you the illusion you are not wearing any shoes at all. 

It’s a nice thing to mention that users have said that the Revel 2 provides you with pretty good arch support. Another great thing I like about this model is the length of the tongue. It is long enough so you can easily pull the shoes on.

They come with a pretty comfortable heel cushioning system that adapts to your legs making the energy transfer easily over the whole bottom part. People say the inside is pretty comfortable and soft when you are wearing them. Another cool thing is the inner bootie that protects your feet from calluses. 

Finally, I want to mention that I find this specific design pretty slick and cool.

  • Good for many other sports except calisthenics
  • Great color and size options
  • Lightweight and breathable design
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Special cushioning heep technology
  • Provides with good arch support
  • Not so great traction on very wet or flat surfaces
  • It may take little longer for them to “break-in”

4. New Balance Running Shoe – Great for Wide Feet 

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The third option we will review are shoes made by New Balance. What I like about them is the fact that they took only a few hours to break-in. 

Another great thing about this model is that online sizing is true meaning you won’t have any issues with them fitting properly. If you don’t like narrow toe boxes you would really like this model because the toe box on this model is wide enough making them a great choice for calisthenics.

I like the fact that they also give you good arch support and come with the option of removing and replacing the factory insert at any time you want. 

They are pretty decent when it comes to breathability, weight or flexibility because of the way they are built and the materials that are used. They are also quite multifunctional making them great for other sports activities such as jogging, jumping, etc. New Balance offers this model in 7 different colors.

One thing I have noticed is that for every size out there you can choose the width you want. They provide you with 3 options to pick from – narrow, wide or extra wide. That is great news for people who have wider feet or have fitting issues caused by shoe width in general. They also have a pretty decent tongue length for easier put on and off process. 

Owners share that they provide great cushioning on pavement, and other smooth trail surfaces. Finally, I want to mention that the outsole is designed in a way so it can absorb the extra energy.

Overall these shoes are a comfortable and affordable option you could pick for your calisthenics training.

  • Flexible, very lightweight and breathable
  • Good support for the arch
  • Have the option to replace factory insert
  • It’s multifunctional – can be used for running, calisthenics and other activities
  • You can choose the width of the shoe using 3 different types
  • Long tongue for easy put on and off
  • Nice and wide toe box
  • Not so good grip on wet surfaces
  • Not the cheapest price

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Craze TR 4 Trainer – Hard Sole

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The next model I will review is another great option you should not skip. 

Asics has made this model quite affordable and you are really getting great shoes for that price. You can get it in one of the 9 unique color combinations and many different sizes.

The TR 4 model uses special sole made from thick rubber which could really help you with stability and balance. 

A cool thing to know about this model is the fact that it uses a special Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System which helps you transition the shock from the heel to the middle of the shoe and distribute it evenly. 

Asics had included high abrasion rubber on some of the most used places on the midsole which really helps you with cushioning when walking.

What I like about this design is that is flexible, breathable and lightweight at the same time. That makes this model specifically good for a lot of outdoor physical activities such as calisthenics. 

Users report that this shoe has a pretty nice snug fit which is good because it could prevent unwanted blisters because of unnecessary feet movement inside the shoe. The removable inserts make cleaning the whole thing a lot easier process to do. 

It also can be helpful if you want to replace them for any reason whatsoever. If you like this design and you believe it has everything you are looking for go for it!

  • Stable rubber sole for balance and support
  • Good amount of color and size variety
  • They use removable inserts
  • Breathable, lightweight and flexible
  • Snug fit
  • They use a special gel cushioning system
  • Some users question the quality
  • Not so good for running

Final Thoughts (And Our Winner)

Well, I really believe all that information was useful and now you have everything in order to pick a great pair of shoes for your calisthenics workouts.

Please don’t forget to consider your daily lifestyle and other types of training too because as you have seen some models aren’t that great for running etc. 

Once you know the basics it’s not that hard for you to pick a great pair. If you have a hard time or you are not sure which one to pick out from 2 or more models I can help you by giving you my personal pick.

From our own experience and needs our pick for the best shoes for calisthenics is the adidas Duramo 9.

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

I believe it is the best out of all of them because of a few things. Firstly this model is very affordable and cheap meaning you can save a lot of money and use them for other calisthenics equipment. For that price, you are getting amazing quality and the product surely fits all the previously mentioned criteria from the first part of this article. 

The duramo 9 are lightweight, flexible and breathable. They use a solid rubber sole providing you with great support. This model is specifically designed for faster put on and off experience. I really like the great options adidas provides you with when it comes to color and size choices. 

If you are looking for some affordable workout shoes that have got all you really need for calisthenics this is something you would not regret having.

Are you interested in Duramo 9? 

Click Here if you want to check out the latest price and reviews on Amazon

Well, now you know what the best shoes for calisthenics are and what to look for. If you are really into calisthenics I highly recommend you to check my other articles on weighted vests and calisthenics gloves – I think they can help you learn a thing or two.

I know I have probably missed something so please feel free to comment your thoughts below.

If you had found some great value in this article don’t forget to give it a quick share.

I’ll see you soon!

– Bozhidar

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Bozhidar Karailiev
Bozhidar Karailiev
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I have created this site to share with you my experiences and knowledge from over 7 years of training using my home gym, public gym and calisthenics. I have some experience into gymnastics too. Hope my articles are useful to you!

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