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12 best gym trainers for women 2024 UK; tried and tested by PTs



12 best gym trainers for women 2024 UK; tried and tested by PTs

CHOOSING which trainers are best for your gym workout can depend on a few different factors.

Are you mostly using the cardio machines? Are you there for the HIIT classes, or purely for the strength training?

Or do you like a bit of everything? The different disciplines require a slightly different sort of gym trainer.

For treadmill lovers, a lightweight running-specific shoe is probably best, whereas, for strength training, particularly leg day, you want something with a flatter sole to provide stability.

It can seem a bit confusing choosing the right gym trainers for women, but worry not, whether you prefer running, weight training or HIIT, there’s something for every type of workout here.

Read our review of the best gym trainers for women available in 2024.

How we tested:

The different gym trainers for women were tested over four weeks by two testers, in a variety of gyms.

Both testers are qualified personal trainers, and they tested the trainers doing a variety of gym-based exercises including treadmill running, free weight training with dumbbells and barbells, machine-based resistance training, bodyweight exercises and HIIT.

They assessed the comfort, stability, quality and flexibility of each pair of trainers in different movements.

Best gym trainers for women at a glance;

Most read in Product Reviews

Salomon Aero Blaze 2


Salomon Aero Blaze 2, £140 £98

Pros: Lightweight, great colours, comfy, all-rounder, good price

Cons: Not much

Rating: 5/5

This was one of our favourite gym trainers for women to test.

The shoes are very lightweight, and there’s a good amount of cushioning on the sole to reduce the high impact of treadmill running and dynamic exercises like burpees and star jumps, but they’re still flat enough for a decent weight training workout with squats and lunges.

We tested the gym trainer during a 10K treadmill run, and although, it’s usually advisable to start with a shorter run when it’s a brand new pair of trainers on their first outing, they felt so good that we kept going.

They also performed well in a full-body weights workout that included arms, shoulders and leg exercises, and in a bodyweight HIIT class.

Sizes: UK 3.5 – 9.5 Drop: 8mm Weight: 196g



Asics GEL-CUMULUS 26, £140

Pros: Great all-rounders

Cons: Not much really

Rating: 5/5

This is the more ‘budget’ of the two Asics trainers for women we reviewed for this piece, but we found they actually suited all disciplines in the gym really well.

They have a soft gel sole which gives bounce but not quite as much as the Gel Nimbus, which worked quite well for heavier weight training such as deadlifts and weighted squats, as it took away some of the fear of not being as stable.

They have slightly less flexibility in the upper of the shoe but this didn’t cause any problems during the Zumba class we took and they performed really well on the treadmill in both sprints and a 5K.

Although they are for shorter, everyday runs than their more expensive sister shoe, they might be better suited to the gym than the others as they’re really good all-rounders.

They were comparable, looked good and performed well all round – and cheaper!

Sizes: UK 3 – 10 Drop: 8mm Weight: 220g


Under Armour Dynamic IntelliKnit Training Shoes


Under Armour Dynamic IntelliKnit Training Shoes, £120 £59.97

Pros: Nice design, good all-rounder,

Cons: Best for shorter runs 

Rating: 5/5

These are another pair of trainers that look just as good in the gym as they do out and about!

They are lightweight and very breathable due to the fly-knit style fabric and aerated sections all along the shoe, making them perfect for sweaty workouts. T

hey also have a solid, flat outsole which makes them ideal for weight training.

We tested these gym trainers for women during a bodyweight circuits session, where the spongey sole soaked up a lot of the impact, while the solid outer sole helped with balance.

The flat sole meant they performed well throughout a leg session too.

The narrow front of the shoe meant they were a good fit in the foot straps of both the indoor bike and rower too.

We tested the trainers on the treadmill and they are fine for shorter runs up to 5K but probably require more cushioning for sprints and longer runs.

A good all-rounder for the gym!

Size: UK 2.5 – 9.5 Drop: 8mm Weight: 210g

Adidas Supernova Prima


Adidas Supernova Prima, £150

Pros: Versatile, lightweight

Cons: Expensive

Rating: 4.5/5

These were some of the best all-rounders of all the gym trainers for women that we tested.

They have their tech to help with cushioning and ventilation but the smaller size of the outer sole means they are a lot less bulky than many of the other trainers we tested.

This also makes them more versatile in the disciplines around the gym – suited to pretty much every workout we tried.

They’re designed as running shoes so the treadmill workouts proved no issue and they did a great job of keeping the feet dry of sweat.

The flat sole means they worked well in both upper body and leg exercises and were lightweight enough to give our feet some extra spring during a Zumba class.

We don’t think they would struggle with any exercise – making them excellent all-rounders, but you will have to pay the price for them.

Sizes: UK 3.5 – 10.5 Drop: 7mm Weight: 242g

Nike Free Metcon 5 Women’s Training Shoe


Nike Free Metcon 5 Women’s Training Shoes, £119.99 from SportsShoes

Pros: Really cool looking, stable for weight training

Cons: Not ideal for longer runs, can feel a bit clunky 

Rating: 4/5

These gym trainers for women are well cushioned, made with breathable materials and are good-looking enough to wear out and about as a social shoe – so you get a double whammy for the price!

The wider design on the heel, the flatter sole and the cushioning in the middle of the shoe make them a good option for weight training, in particular lunges where the weight of the body needs to be stable throughout the movement.

They performed well when tested on a legs day training session – remaining solid during squats, lunges and deadlifts.

They also performed well during a Zumba class, which involved lots of movements in all directions – although they did feel a little chunky during more nimble movements.

The trainers were very comfortable on the treadmill during a hill walk but are probably less suited for longer runs as they don’t have the full amount of cushioning across the sole.

Sizes: UK 5 – 8 Weight: 298g

HOKA Bondi 8 Women’s Running Shoes


HOKA Bondi 8 Women’s Running Shoes, £149.99 from SportsShoes

Pros: Very comfortable, good ankle support, great cushioning

Cons: Expensive, a bit bulky

Rating: 4/5

These were some of the comfiest gym trainers for women we tried, although they are quite snug, so we’d advise going for the extra wide versions if you do have wider feet at the front.

Like some of the other trainers we tested, they do have a larger outer sole due to the mammoth amount of cushioning that the shoes offer, which in turn can take a little getting used to if you’re not used to this sort of tech, although we took to them pretty quickly.

They are ideal for treadmill usage; perfect for sprints and any length of run, and were very comfortable on the stepper machine too. They offer a lot more stability during weight training than you would imagine for such a bulky sole, and we eased through a full body strength session.

We did struggle a little during a HIIT session as they are quite clunky for high-impact bodyweight exercises such as toe touches and burpees but the rest of the session was fine.

Although generally associated with running, we would recommend these for the gym.

Sizes: UK 4 – 9 Drop: 4mm Weight: 252g

lululemon chargefeel 2 Mid Women’s Workout Shoe


lululemon chargefeel 2 Mid Women’s Workout Shoe, £99

Pros: Really comfortable, performed well, in the sale

Cons: Ankles are covered which takes getting used to

Rating: 4/5

Lululemon might be a brand that has always been known for yoga but they have ventured into gym wear and these gym trainers for women are designed to cover all exercises – in fact, they describe them as “run-first train-second” to mirror the order people usually train in the gym.

There is a cushioned sole and ventilated upper to help with hot sweaty runs and a structured heel and back to add more support during weight training. The trainers extend over the ankles with a type of inner sock, to add further support there – which helps with all workouts including weight training and HIIT.

We tested the trainers during a 5K run and they were very comfortable, although having them cover the ankle did feel a bit unusual for running.

We also tested them during a heavy weights session and the flat sole and extra support around the back and ankle was helpful as was the grip underneath the shoe.

Finally, we tested them in a HIIT class where they felt very secure but again the covered ankles did feel a little weird.

Size: UK 5 – 12 Drop: 9mm Weight: 264g



Asics GEL-NIMBUS 26, £180

Pros: Generally good for everything

Cons: Bit bouncy for heavy weights, expensive

Rating: 4/5

This is the more advanced of the two Asics trainers we tested when it comes to running, providing extra cushioning, some tweaks to the material of the shoe, and a stretchier upper to give even more flexibility.

It will come as no surprise that the trainers performed well on the treadmill, both in a long 10K run and hill sprints, feeling comfortable and providing great cushioning, adding a spring to the step.

What really surprised us was how good they felt in a HIIT class, adding so much bounce to star jumps and burpees but still keeping the foot very stable – despite the huge sole.

The trainers were also fine for strength training even though they’re not designed for that, they felt solid during body weight squats and upper body strength training too.

If we’re looking to be critical, they might not be ideal for those who lift very heavy due to the uneven, bouncy sole and they are on the expensive side too.

Size: UK 3 – 11 Drop: 8mm Weight: 262g

Vionic Fortune Lace Up Trainer

Vionic Lace Up Trainer


Vionic Lace Up TrainerCredit: Mark Field Photography

Vionic Fortune Lace Up Trainer, £139

Pros: Orthotic support, very solid sole

Cons: Take a bit of getting used to, quite stiff

Rating: 4/5

For something a little different we tested these trainers from balance and support shoe experts Vionic.

They come complete with orthotic inners that provide extra cushioning and support but can be taken out if needed or swapped with other orthotics that the brand offers – which can help with injuries, in particular plantar fasciitis, which is the swelling of foot tissue that can come from overtraining.

The Vionic trainers do take a little bit of getting used to as they feel quite stiff because of the level of support provided, and they do advise short walks for a week or so to break into them.

We tested them in a full body weights session and they provided solid support, they have a nice flat and wide sole which helps, and a double lace system that builds around the back of the shoe too. Increased wear also made them more flexible on the whole, which helped in a HIIT class.

Although they still felt a little stiff during a treadmill run, they should ease with time.

However, walking in them on the treadmill and stepper was very comfortable.

Size: UK 4 – 9  

Under Armour Velociti Elite 2


Under Armour Velociti Elite 2, £225 £112.97

Pros: Brilliant for treadmill, looks great, in the sale

Cons: Can feel unstable at first, not for all weight training

Rating: 4/5

These gym trainers for women, are brilliantly ventilated, and come in a variety of great colours, but can take a little getting used to if you haven’t worn heavily-cushioned shoes, such as those produced by On and HOKA before.

If it’s your first time trying this type of shoe, opt for a hill walk or short hill run to get used to what feels like an uneven shoe. You’ll quickly get used to them and can begin to reap the benefits of the treadmill.

We tested them on hill runs and sprints and they were incredibly impressive as they give you a little extra push with every footstep.

For beginners, we wouldn’t advise using them for HIIT classes, we found them a little wobbly because much of the front half of the foot is off the ground, the same goes for weight training for legs as they just aren’t flat enough.

They were fine for the upper body session, with a little wobble on just the heavy barbell shoulder press.

The good news is they are half-price, and if you are predominantly using the treadmill – they are worth a try.

Sizes: UK 3.5 – 15 Drop: 8mm Weight: 232g

On Cloudmonster


On Cloudmonster, £160

Pros: Great at absorbing shock and impact, ideal for running

Cons: Takes some getting used to, not for leg day

Rating: 4/5

The brand On has become famous for its ‘Cloudtec’ science which gives its trainers a bouncy feel that also protects the joints by absorbing shock from high-impact exercising.

The Cloudmonster is one of their most absorbent shoes with one of the biggest soles – so they can take a little getting used to.

Designed for running, they performed brilliantly during a sprint session, adding lift to each step to push you along. They were also very supportive and comfortable during a hill run.

The sole is a bit flatter than the Under Armour Velociti Elite 2, which means it provided enough stability to take part in a bodyweight circuits session too.

Whereas these trainers were fine for a medium-weight arms and legs session, we didn’t feel stable enough to try them on a heavy legs day.

Size: UK 6.5 – 12.5 Drop: 6mm Weight: 230g

Adidas Everset Shoes


Adidas Everset Shoes, £80

Pros: Good for weight training, good price

Cons: Not designed for high-impact

Rating: 4/5

These Adidas training shoes are a good price, and the nice design and off-white colour means they can be worn socially as well as in the gym.

The flat sole and wide shape of the shoes make them better suited for weight training than treadmill running, but they did perform well on a steep hill walk, staying well-ventilated and providing enough ankle support and cushioning.

We also tested them in a full-body kettlebell workout where they were really good, the flat sole keeps you grounded throughout the movements.

We also found them them one of the best during a leg training session, they feel solid when lifting large weights and provide excellent grip so there’s no movement whatsoever.

If you’re someone who is largely doing heavy weight-based exercises rather than high-impact workouts – these are for you.

Size: UK 3.5 – 17 Drop: 6mm

How much do gym trainers for women cost?

The prices can vary depending on the brand and style.

Expect to pay anywhere between £80 – £250, but could be lower in the sales.

Where to buy gym trainers for women in the UK

Gym trainers for women are available from most sports brands and retailers. If you’re keen to buy now, we’d recommend the following places:

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