By HYLETE Content Team

Cross-training shoes are a popular type of athletic shoe designed to handle multiple activities and exercises. While this versatile functionality remains the core feature of the footwear, it has undergone an evolution since its first days on the market in the late 1980s. Here is a brief history of the cross-trainer, and how HYLETE has helped advance the technology even further, by introducing an innovative cross-training shoe with three unique insoles, changing the way we think about versatility.

The Early Years

The first cross-training shoe was released in 1987. It was a three-quarters top shoe that stressed lateral stability while remaining flexible. This allowed it to be used for sports such as basketball and tennis, while still being suitable for general training and running. This revolutionized the market and led competitors to respond with cross-training options of their own.

Issues with Traditional Cross-Trainers

While styles fluctuated between the original batch of cross-trainers and the models available today, the underlying functionality did not. The purpose of cross-trainers was to offer usability across a variety of activities, but the fact remained that for overall performance, shoes designed for specific uses were still superior. Why is this?

  • Shoes that are best for workouts such as weightlifting, need to be fundamentally different from shoes designed for running or aerobics. While traditional cross-trainers might be acceptable for multiple activities, they won't be optimal. Many sports and training activities require different levels of arch support and cushioning.

The HYLETE Evolution

This is where HYLETE has introduced the next evolution in cross-training footwear technology. Including three distinct insoles with every pair, each insole is designed for specific workouts, meaning you can turn three pairs of shoes in your closet into just a single pair. Simply replace the insole each time you do a different activity. These activities include:

  • Lifting. This insole is flat, featuring a 0mm drop, and the main function is stabilizing the foot to the ground at all times. This is great for lifting, where stability is absolutely necessary. You don't want to feel as if you're rocking back and forth when you're squatting 350 pounds.
  • Training. This is the most adaptable insole, perfect for aerobic workouts or speed drills. They have a 4mm drop, medium arch support and a layer of internal foam that provides a good amount of cushioning. If you do a significant calisthenics routine before lifting to warm up the muscles, you could start out with these insoles and move to the lifting insoles right before you throw some weight on the bar. Keep them in your gym bag and switch them out in the time it takes to say, "Can I get a spot?"
  • Running. This option has a 6mm drop, medium arch support and high-rebound internal foam. It's best for high-impact activities such as running. You may want a shoe that provides proper support and can absorb the energy from each and every foot strike against the pavement, dirt or whatever surface you're running on. This cushioning and absorption will prevent damage to the feet, ankles, knees and hips, no matter what kind of runner you are. This includes:
    • Over-pronator: Also called "flat foot" runners, typified by low arches and an inward roll of the ankle during heel strikes. Shoes for over-pronators should have a good amount of medial (inside) support to prevent injuries.
    • Neutral pronator: This is when the foot hits the ground in a uniform manner, without arch collapse. Shoes for these runners have cushioning throughout.
    • Supinator: Supination is basically the opposite of over-pronation. Supinators will have high arches, and their heels will roll outward during heel strikes. So, a good amount of cushioning is required for them.
    • Test your feet. There is a simple test to figure out what kind of runner you are. Grab a piece of printing paper and dampen your foot with water. With the wet foot, step onto the paper and examine the footprint that has been left. Compare the print with those seen on this chart to see exactly what kind of feet you have.

So, while cross-training shoes have been around for decades, they haven't truly been suitable for multiple kinds of training. Until now. HYLETE Cross-Training Shoes fully replace the functionality of three distinct kinds of shoes. Rather than going through a multidisciplinary workout with suboptimal footwear or packing your gym bag with three pairs of shoes, you can just pack the insoles you need and switch them out easily at your leisure. With this kind of game-changing technology, we believe this is truly the next step in the evolution of cross-training footwear.