The most stylish and practical men’s and women's trainers, for any occasion
The best men’s and women’s trainers aren’t just for running or going to the gym. With the vast range of brands and styles available, there’s a trainer for every occasion, whether that’s a night on the town with friends, walking the dog, or getting to and from work in something more comfortable than your brogues, or heels.
On this page, we’ve aimed to strike the perfect balance between style and substance, picking out not only the latest and best-looking trainers for men and women on the market, but also shoes that do a particular job very well. That could be keeping your feet warm and dry in the cold winter months, or providing the stiff sole you need for transferring power to your bike’s pedals.
Our pick of the best men’s trainers available right now are below and what we consider to be the best women’s trainers are at the end of this article.
READ NEXT: Best running shoes
The best trainers: At a glance
- The best gym shoes for men: Inov8 F-lite Alpha G 300 | £145
- The best men’s trainers for the winter months: Es Accel Explorer | £112
- The best practical trainers for men: Merrel Moab 2 | £130
- The best women’s trainers for hiking: Keen Terradora Wintershell | £110
- The best women’s trainers for running: Adidas Solar Glide ST | £120
The best men’s trainers you can buy in 2023
1. Inov8 F-lite Alpha G 300 Training Shoes: Best gym shoes
Price: £145 | Buy now from Sports Shoes
They’re not cheap, but these training shoes from Inov8 are designed to cope with anything you throw at them, from running and jumping to weightlifting, making them the perfect gym companion. We found them really stable for squats and deadlifts, in particular, and their extra-wide toe box means there’s plenty of room for your feet to splay as they swell during your workout. The breathable mesh upper helps to ensure your feet stay cool and dry, too, and at 300g they’re fairly lightweight for a lifting shoe. If the high price tag puts you off, then Inov8’s older F-Lite 235V3 shoes are available for just £75.
2. Hoka One One Speedgoat 4: Best trainers for wide feet
Price: £140 | Buy now from Sports Shoes
The Speedgoat 4 is a serious trail running shoe, equipped to take on the toughest of outdoor races owing to its 5mm lugs, which provide excellent grip on all manner of surfaces. But thanks to their large stack of cushioning, lightweight design and eye-catching design, we’re also rather partial to donning them as an everyday pair of trainers when we’re not taking them on the trails. They’re supremely comfortable and look great, so who wouldn’t be?
The good news for those with broader feet is that the Speedgoat 4 is also available in a wide fit, making them a solid choice for those who find trainers often fit too snug. On that note, we found the Speedgoat 4 fit fairly true to size in terms of length, giving us the right amount of toe box space in the size we’d normally pick for running shoes.
3. Es Accel Explorer: Best trainers for the winter months
Price: £112 | Buy now from Es Skateboarding
Skate brand Es’ new Accel Explorer trainers are a practical and stylish choice for the colder months. With a nubuck leather outer and rubber beltline, warm neoprene inner bootie and gusseted tongue, they should be capable of keeping even the harshest of winter breezes at bay.
Available in UK sizes 4-13 and two colourways – brown and black – we found the Accel Explorer very comfortable, if noticeably heavier than your usual pair of skate shoes. They have a fairly generous and wide fit, so it may be wise to wear them with thick socks, or to order half a size down on your usual trainer size.
4. Merrell Moab 2: Most practical trainers
Price: £130 | Buy now from Sport Shoes
They may have more in common with hiking boots than tennis shoes, but these “casual sports shoes” from Merrell are just as well suited to walking the dog as they are trekking in the countryside. Along with their excellent arch support, the Moab’s key selling point is their Gore-Tex membrane, which keep your feet dry even in the wettest of conditions. The subtle, low-key design and colour scheme means you could also get away with donning them for your walk to and from work.
The best women’s trainers you can buy
1. Keen Terradora Wintershell: Best women’s trainers for hiking
Price: £110 | Buy now from Cotswold Outdoor
Designed to offer ultimate comfort whatever the weather, Keen’s Terradora Wintershell boots are our go-to boots for long walks. And thanks to their black and grey design, they can be worn as everyday boots as well as on treks. Indeed, we are just as likely to slip them on to walk into town as we are to go on an 18km hike through the New Forest.
Despite their slightly bulky design, designed to completely encase your foot and protect it from the elements, they’re incredibly lightweight. Surprisingly so. The upper is made from leather and the outsole is made from Keen’s proprietary Freeze rubber specifically designed for cold-weather conditions. Meanwhile, the midsoles are made from EVA foam – the type used in body armour – which, combined with its soft microfibre lining helps to keep your feet cushioned and protected against sharp, rocky terrain.
Arch support is good and the shoes’ breathable waterproof membrane kept our feet dry and warm. Even the collar, which can often feel stiff and uncomfortable on new hiking boots, is moulded and padded. Aside from their chunky design, we have struggled to find fault with these boots for both active and leisurewear.
2. Adidas Solar Glide ST: Best women’s trainers for running
Price: £120 | Buy now from Adidas
With an understated design, fantastic grip and a comfortable, cushioned support, the Adidas Solar Glide ST ticks all the boxes when looking for the best women’s trainers for running. The spring you get from the sole meant we felt very little pressure or jarring as our feet hit the ground. This is perfect for people suffering with shin splints or similar. It’s no surprise that the grip on these shoes is so great, it’s been designed by tyre-maker Continental. This meant we could run safely and securely on slippery surfaces in the rain. They’re also incredibly breathable. One negative is that the cushioned support can feel a little snug on wider feet.
3. Merrell Rubato: Best lightweight trail running trainers for women
Price: £125 | Buy now from Sports Shoes
Every little detail of the Merrell Rubato shoe has been meticulously considered to provide optimum comfort when running or walking on rocky terrain. Indeed, the mesh upper makes the shoes both flexible and breathable, while TPU overlays ensure there’s support and protection where it’s needed most.
Meanwhile, a FloatPro foam midsole delivers lightweight flexibility, making the shoes comfortable for prolonged wear. There’s also an inner liner and ample cushioning around the heel, which helped to ensure we didn’t experience any rubbing even when walking up hills for hours on end. Underneath, Merrell’s ‘Vibram Megagrip’ outer sole provides the bulk of the stability, with plenty of rubber to keep you on solid ground. Even when the weather makes exercising appear less than appealing, these shoes deliver impressive grip on all manner of terrain.
The only downside to the Rubato is their width. These shoes are designed to fit snugly around the foot to prevent blisters and slippage, but it means those with wider feet may find them a little too snug. All in all, though, these are an incredibly well-built pair of trainers.