Top 6 Athletic Shoes for Men

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Athletic shoes mean many things to different people. Rating athletic shoes is a highly subjective process and one that does not always take into consideration the variety of athletic shoes available on the market. When buyers consider making an athletic shoe purchase, they generally are searching for a specific type of shoe that matches the activity or sport in which they enjoy participating. Exercise enthusiasts want a shoe that performs well in the gym, while hoopsters want a sneaker that responds to the conditions of the court. Athletic shoes can be purchased at specialty stores featuring sporting equipment, athletic shoe stores, department stores, and sporting goods stores. Athletic shoe buyers can also find a large selection of different athletic shoe styles by shopping on eBay.

Styles of Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes fall into a number of different categories depending on the sport or activity they are designed for. Using the wrong athletic shoe can result in the athlete not performing up to expectations or the shoe not providing the life expectancy one would expect. For example, basketball shoes are made for sturdy support and good traction on the court. If a marathon runner used a basketball shoe to run 26-plus miles, the weight of the shoe would tire the runner sooner than running in a lightweight shoe built specifically for distance running. Likewise, a basketball player making sharp cuts, abrupt stops, and frequent jump shots would destroy a pair of lightweight running shoes in very little time.

The following chart lists the most common types of athletic shoes, their typical construction, and how the shoe is generally used. Many athletic shoes are worn as everyday casual footwear and never see the inside of a gym; these shoes are usually selected more for their appearance than specific sport features.

Shoe Type

Shoe Construction

Athletic Uses

 Gym shoes

Good arch support, lightweight, tacky sole for the best grip characteristics

Treadmills , weight training, aerobics, exercise machines, stair stepping, and floor workouts

Running shoes

Lightweight, good heel support, cushioned sole, proper flex points for running, good traction, and nighttime reflectability

Pavement, track, unpaved terrain, and treadmill running

Sport-specific shoes

Designed for the sport with spikes, cleats, or aggressive treads, built with supportive uppers generally using leather as the preferred material

Baseball , football,soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, and other outdoor sports

Cross trainers

Generally a basketball or tennis tread design with lighter weight uppers

Basketball, tennis, gym routines, treadmills, and walking

Athletic walking shoes

Lightweight, comfortable upper, good support, and well padded sole

Exercise walking, track, or mild terrain walking

Hiking shoes , sandals, and aqua socks are sometimes lumped into the category of athletic shoes. Running shoes are occasionally sub-divided into track shoes and all terrain shoes with significant differences in tread design as well as the stability of shoe construction.

The Top Athletic Shoes by Type

Listed below are reviews on the top athletic shoes for each shoe type. Ratings for all shoe categories allow consumers to select shoes for the athletic specialty they most often participate in. Honorable mentions are included where the shoe ratings were close in comparison features.

1 Top Athletic Shoe for Gym Use: New Balance Minimus

If the shoe doctor were to write a prescription for a gym shoe, it would be to purchase the New Balance Minimus, and that is just what The RX Review did when it called the Minimus a comfortable, lightweight shoe that is perfect for a majority of CrossFit activities. The New Balance is very light, weighing in at approximately 6 ounces depending on size. The Vibram sole has excellent grip, while the synthetic mesh upper is airy and keeps feet from overheating. A minimal arch provides a barefoot feel and the roomy toe allows plenty of wiggle room.
Honorable mention goes to the Asics Gel Lyte with its extremely comfortable and lightweight design matching up closely with the Minimus. A second honorable mention goes to the Reebok CrossFit Lifter as a stable well grounded shoe designed specifically for weight training. Men's Health magazine describes the feel of the CrossFit Lifter as being glued to the ground when doing squats and deadlifts.

2 Top Running Shoe: Adidas Energy Boost

Adidas has brought a new level of technology to the running shoe with a new design of midsole foam. Working with the engineers at BASF to come up with the new polyurethane compound that is formed by fusing the compound capsules together under high-pressure steam. The bounce-back quality of the Adidas Energy Boost is spectacular and the compound is unaffected by temperature extremes. The Running Shoe Guru loved the ride and feel the foam produced regardless of the road surface material on which they were used. If not for the innovative foam in the Adidas, the Saucony Kinvara 4 might have received the top running shoe spot.

3 Top Basketball Shoe: The Nike Kobe 8 System

Kicks on Court describes the Nike Kobe 8 System as light done right. Traction was rated as awesome and by far the best among competitors. Cushioning was superior and that was only topped by the materials, which Kicks on Court called innovative beyond belief. They also reported the fit to be perfect. Nike knows basketball, and the Kobe 8 System is proof. The Jordan Fly Wade 2 EV came in second place; however, Kobe wins with more points than the Jordan Wade combination could muster.

4 Top Tennis Shoe: Babolat Propulse 4

Tennis players require an athletic shoe with superior stability and support to stand up to the rigors of the game. Babolat's new lateral stability system provides that level of performance. Tennis Magazine agrees the arch support and gripping outsole are the highlight of the Babolat Propulse 4 design. The Adidas AdiZero Feather 2 is a close second choice for buyers looking for a more familiar brand name.

5 The Top Cross Trainer: Avia A1433

Built to provide optimum support, the Avia A1433 does just that. Fitness Magazine top rating goes to the A1433, a shoe they describe as being built to handle any cardio class. The Avia A1433 has extra cushioning and does not sacrifice comfort for the stability that is provided in the heel and upper construction. Side-to-side stability is another feature that users notice when they slip the A1433 on their feet. Avia Cross Trainers are a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts; additionally, New Balance is recognized for excellent quality cross trainers with the New Balance 1010 a solid second choice.

6 The Top Athletic Walker: Brooks Addiction Walker

Brooks has a reputation for making high-quality shoes and their Addiction Walker is well named. The Fitness Walking Guide says the Brooks Addiction Walker is one of the most comfortable walking shoes available. This shoe can double as an everyday shoe for someone constantly on his or her feet. Highlights include superior shock absorption, and the patented diagonal rollbar provides solid stability. While the Ecco BIOM is a close second, the lower price earned the Brooks points in the value category.

How to Buy Athletic Shoes for Men on eBay

Shopping for athletic shoes on eBay is convenient and easy. Browse through listings from eBay sellers eager for your business, select the shoe you want, and make the purchase with the click of a mouse; the shoes are delivered directly to your door. Finding the right shoe is easy: use the shoe brand and model as keywords that you can enter into any eBay search bar to display a listing of all shoes that match the keywords.
To see the satisfaction level of previous buyers doing business with a particular seller, review the seller's feedback rating; use the provided link on the seller's listing page if you have questions regarding the product or any of the seller's policies. Complete your purchase by using credit cards or PayPal to fund the transaction. PayPal provides the safest and most secure method of transferring money for both the buyer and the seller.


Athletic shoes are valuable pieces of equipment for many different types of athlete, including serious runners, exercise enthusiasts, and sports participants. Athletic shoes can also be a fashion accessory, comfortable footwear, or a light and airy alternative to regular shoes for someone who spends a lot of time on his or her feet.
Different shoe characteristic appeal to different buyers, depending on how they intend to use the shoe. Selecting a top-quality shoe can help improve athletic performance in some sports; additionally, the correct shoe protects the feet of the wearer from the shock or damage of repetitive pounding on pavement or a treadmill. While the best brands and models of athletic shoes generally cost more than lesser known brands and models, the quality of the shoe makes a great difference. A high-quality shoe, carefully selected for the sport in which they are used, feels better on the athlete's feet and increases how long the shoes last.
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