Orange Theory, one of the latest, greatest workouts that are designed to help you get fit. It’s extreme and it burns a lot of calories, placing a lot of demands upon your body. One area that it puts the most tension under is your feet, meaning you have absolutely got to have an adequate pair of shoes to wear while doing it. Using the wrong pair of shoes can cause you to fall, not be able to do as much as you could with a good pair, or can cause you to either get hurt or pick up a serious injury. Because of the various requirements of this hard, fast-paced workout, we’re going to be taking a look at what you need to keep yourself protected and get the most from your workout today in our buying guide, as well as looking at the most popular shoes in this genre in our reviews.
Top Shoes for Orange Theory Comparison Chart
|Name||Construction||Sole Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Asics Men’s Gel Venture 5 Running Shoes||Synthetic||Rubber||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 19||Synthetic||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 195 Cross-Training Shoe||Synthetic||Rubber||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Saucony Women’s Triumph ISO Running Shoes||Synthetic||Rubber||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer||Man Made||Rubber||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nike Women’s Free TR 6 Training Shoes||Mesh||Rubber||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Shoes for Orange Theory Buying Guide
What is Orange Theory?
Orange Theory is special because it’s a leader in the world of fitness. Fitness used to be all about weights. You’d do one set and then sit around for five minutes, smoke a cigarette, and then go again. Or you’d get on a treadmill and run endlessly at the same pace. Orange Theory seeks to blend the two by concentrating on the larger muscle groups and combining weights with cardio. Instead of ordinary cardio, though, this turns into HIIT. HIIT, standing for High Intensity Interval Training, is regular intervals of hard work. Instead of running at a pace of seven minutes per mile, you go 100% for a set amount of time and then rest. You then do this repeatedly, allowing you to burn a ton of calories in the process. Through this trauma, you need to have a good pair of shoes not only for traction but also for support.
Not All Shoes Are Created Equal
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a pair of tennis (or running) shoes are just automatically going to be great for literally anything they do. The belief is that they will give you everything you need to have a good workout, and while sometimes it is true, it’s just not the case in so many areas. Unlike a lot of sports and activities, Orange Theory is yet to have an established market for shoes that are specifically for it and it alone. Because of that, it can lead to some confusion among fitness fanatics that want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start. At the crux of it, a good Orange Theory shoes needs to have a few things: cushion, flexibility, comfort, durability, and stability.
This is a term that is going to confuse a lot of people, so it’s worth talking about. Many would assume that cushion is equal to comfort, but that’s just not the truth of the matter at all. Cushion, instead, is referring to the features that the shoe has to help you get through your workout. If you have ever worn a pair of shoes of any kind for an extended period of exercise, even if it’s just walking or simply standing, and you end up having aching feet, it’s most likely due to a lack of cushioning. It could be contributed to doing a new movement for a very long time, sure, but it’s probably down to this. Cushioning is the give in your shoes. If the shoes are too hard, or too soft, they will not protect you when you land. Since Orange Theory features both weights and cardio exercises together, you need something with a lot of cushion to it. Some will need more cushion than others, too, so it’s really just determined by you and your needs. The best shoes today are working on new ways to push the envelop with cushioning. They have midsoles and insoles (stuff you can’t see with the naked eye) that are lighter than ever but also more supportive. Also, you can look for the outsoles to have some thickness to them. If they protrude well outside of your feet, then they have a lot of cushioning. It’s not just for decoration!
One of the things that can happen if you have too much cushion built in is to lose flexibility. This would not be a good thing, since you need to have a little bit of wiggle room will you are working out. Hardly anyone likes to feel like they are binded together while working out, so make sure you find a shoe that isn’t going to lock you into one single place. A shoe that has high tops, for example, might be to your liking, but most people will hate them because they are so constricting for this particular workout. The biggest tops of the shoes shouldn’t be left out. This area needs to be able to move so you can move your toes a little. Certain exercises will work best when you can splay your toes. Lots of movements are needed in Orange Theory and range of motion is your friend, thus flexibility is essential.
Size and Comfort
We have already looked at flexibility and cushioning, so comfort is next on our list. Each of the above sections certainly are going to be a bit of the mix when it comes to overall comfort. If you can’t move your toes at all, or you have no cushioning and your feet hurt at the end of the day, your level of ‘comfort’ is going to be affected. But before any of that happens, you have to have the right size. This is paramount. It’s the most important part of the entire process. Without the right fitting shoe, you can forget it. It will not work well for you, and you will be left to suffer. With shoes, for any kind of exercise, you should never look to be too big or too small. Sure, it’s best to yield and lean toward the bigger side if you are unable to get a perfect fit, but you still need to make sure and have a shoe that fits you well enough. If you don’t have a shoe that’s big enough, you will find yourself developing blisters. This alone will make you want to skip a workout, and it can ruin your whole fitness journey. Shoes that are too big, like boats, are going to be sliding up and down your feet. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause you to slip and fall and to start to walk differently. Even if you just wear them for your workout, this is a problem. Width is another factor. Some people have wider feet than others. If this is you, then you need to pay careful attention to reviews for shoes. Certain brands, i.e. Nike, tend to run narrow. They might look really cool, but trust me, they might not be the best of friends to you. If you find that your feet are too wide, going up a size isn’t always the answer, either. So many people do this and never get the proper balance right. They end up with either length or width being off. That’s why you should try on shoes in store, even when trying to buy online. You get a better feel for all of this. After you have your sizing down, you can work on comfort. Comfort is, of course, going to be important since you will be wearing them during the toughest stretches of your day in the gym. If you put a shoe on and it doesn’t feel good, it’s probably not going to suddenly feel better after you ‘break it in.’ Sometimes breaking in a new shoe is necessary, but this is not always the case and won’t just fix your problem over night. Comfort and size play off of each other, so you can’t have one without the other.
If you are a frequenter of the gym, you will have to know that durability is vital to the cause. Without a durable shoe, you’ll end up rips and tears. On top of that, you will start to see a loss of traction on the soles of the shoes, leading to a possible case of falling. This is definitely not what you want to see. Another problem that can start to form over time is the cushioning degrading. Since it’s mostly on the inside of the shoe, you can’t see it. But you can feel it. Some shoes are better for durability, and some are better for pure performance. Some out there crossover well, while others don’t. Just keep an eye on our reviews and do research to pinpoint if they are or not. You, too, play a role in the durability of your shoes. The best way to make them last a very long time is to only wear them during your workout. If you use them at other times, even sparingly and leisurely, it can and will erode them quicker.
The other big thing that needs to be mentioned is stability. If you are going to be lifting any kind of weights, you will have to have something that keeps you in place. A lot of this is about how well the soles grip to the floor. If the soles are moving around on the floor, then you can forget it. You’re probably best served to find something else. Stability is also about the shoes being rigid enough to handle a hard workout. While you do need see some flexibility exhibited, too, you also need to have stability. This will also enhance the durability of the shoes, helping this entire cycle.
There are other factors to look at as well. Breathability is a nice one to have. Ventilation is needed when you are burning so many calories in a short time, and this is achieved best by tiny holes in the shoes that allow air in. If a shoe doesn’t have any and you are a super sweaty person, you might want to pass. Style is another factor, whether you want it to be or not. Some shoes just don’t look as good as others do, and that is always going to play a role in your enjoyment. It might be silly, but if you look good, you will feel good, leading to a much better, more efficient workout. Price is also a factor. It should go without saying that the more you pay, the better you will be getting in most cases. You also are likely to see more durability from your shoes, too, so that is worth pointing out. Of course, how and where you use them also determines this, so be mindful of that fact.
Reviewing the Best Shoes for Orange Theory
* Most of these can cross from men’s to women’s, so if you like the sounds and looks of them, you can find them in the other gender in most cases.
Asics Men’s Gel Venture 5 Running Shoes
Most running shoes are NOT up for the job of working out indoors, but Asics is one of those special brands, and this shoe is specifically one that gets it done. They are incredibly comfortable thanks to the Gel technology they incorporate into the shoe. On top of that, they are great for any exercise because of the prevalence of mesh, allowing the foot to breathe. They are very stable and have supreme traction to them, making them ideal on a number of surfaces that you might encounter, including the gym. The outsole is reinforced with additional rubber to make sure that those areas that usually wear out don’t become worn out too quickly. The biggest thing you’ll like is the cushioning they offer when you hit the ground after jumping, which is not something most running shoes are going to bring to the table. They also allow you to bring over your own insert, making it easy to fit you and your own special needs. They are also pretty affordable as well!
- Comfy and offers cushioning
- Great traction
- Durability is great
Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 19
Brooks is another brand that specializes mostly in running, but don’t let that fool you. They also can do one heck of a job with Orange Theory, too, thanks to the streamlined version of their famous Adrenaline shoes. These shoes not only look nice but they performed quite admirably in the gym as well. Featuring a very responsive feel along with cushioning, you are able to stay protected while being able to move around freely. Not all shoes allow you to do that, especially in the midst of a workout, and it’s worth going after those that let you do that. In fact, many feel as if they aren’t wearing any shoes at all, meaning they are among the most flexible shoes you can find that still have a top over them! They are also great for flat footed people. They do sacrifice a little bit as far as mesh goes, but it is still present and won’t be holding you back totally. The other obstacle is the price that they come in at, which is pretty hefty for some to pay.
- Explosive responsiveness
- Great cushioning
- Awesome for flat feet
- Price is high
- Not as much mesh as others
Inov-8 Men’s F-Lite 195 Cross-Training Shoe
If you’re looking for a shoe that had cross training in mind from the start, this is the one for you. The 195 model is in the middle range of the price spectrum and offers a very grounded feel thanks to the heel to toe drop. This takes pressure off some of the joints in the foot and allows for better performance. The traction is very sticky, which is actually a good thing when it comes to working out in the gym. And despite their relative newcomer status, these shoes look phenomenal and will have you being the envy of others without the big brand name. Another aspect that’s sure to excite you is the abundance of mesh that it has used, taking it to the extreme to give you a ton of breathability. They do run a bit narrow and also don’t have much support for flat feet or high arches.
- Excellent traction
- Looks are brilliant
- Tons of mesh
- Sizing is tough
- Not much support
Saucony Women’s Triumph ISO Running Shoes
This pair of shoes is another that breaks the traditional rule because of all the features it brings that go beyond the usual running shoe. These shoes are very catchy to the eye, but they will also work wonders on your feet. They have a lot of thickness in the heels, the outsoles, and also in the toe area. This is not always the case when it comes to running shoes, and because of all the extra padding, this shoe ends up working well in this sort of setting contrary to what conventional thinking would suggest. The shoe fits much like a sock would on you, and it conforms to you, while the cushioning system is just superb, plenty to get you through the hardest hour of your day. The tongue and collar as padded to increase your comfort level, too, while the use of mesh is massive and will be well appreciated for those that just can’t get enough air into their bodies during a vigorous bit of exercise. They’re also quite flexible, too, as you’d hope from a running shoe. The issue to look out for this that they do run a bit narrow and that they are good for a neutral foot. Anyone that has gait problems will want to steer clear of them.
- Awesome looks
- Very cushy all over
- Lots of mesh built in
- Runs narrow
- Not for pronation or the like
Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer
These all synthetic shoes are some of the most sought after workout shoes in the world because of the extreme attention to detail that has been paid to them. These cross trainers are intended to be used for a number of activities, including running, cardio, plyometrics, and weights, so they can hold up to any challenge in Orange Theory. Despite how they might sound, however, they still offer supreme amounts of flexibility, just as the Flexweave name would imply they would bring to the table. They are also very stable and durable due to the outsole not ‘dropping’ down any. One of the biggest calling cards for them is that they are very wide, great news for people that keep on running into shoes that far too narrow for them! They do run a little pricey and take some time to break in, so be patient with them.
- Flexible yet stable
- Very versatile
- Wide toe box
- Patience needed to break them in
Nike Women’s Free TR 6 Training Shoes
Rounding out our list is this offering from Nike, which is another cross trainer. These shoes come in an array of flashy colors that would make any lady, or man, extremely happy. Another thing that differentiates them from a lot of trainers is that they have a higher heel in the back, leading you to have more ankle support than most are going to be able to offer. The well-known flywire cables from Nike lock in the middle of the foot and help you feel secure, while the mesh they use ‘sandwiches’ the foot in and makes sure it supplies air to you all over. The tongue and collar are padded and lightweight, making them comfortable on you so that you are able to enjoy wearing them instead of loathing your time in them. Watch out if you don’t have a neutral foot, and also be careful because they do tend to run a little small.
- Plethora of colors
- Locks down your foot with support
- Quite comfortable
- Lack of arch support
- Runs a little small
Conclusion And Final Shoes for Orange Theory Recommendations
Orange Theory is laying the groundwork for many people all around the globe to get an awesome workout and forge their path to fitness. With its rise, it has left a fair amount of questions with it in regards to shoes. The kind of shoes you wear for this highly intense workout can’t be just any old pair of shoes. They have to be up to the job of protecting your foot, keeping you locked in, and making sure you are comfy throughout. After today’s guide and our reviews, you’ll be ready to tackle the hardest of workouts with your new, trusty pair of shoes.