Rowing machine workouts are the best for full-body cardio. Rowing machines are fast-paced machines; thus, to cope with such machines, you need reliable footwear. Sometimes your leg speed and the rowing machine's speed might not sync, which can cause muscle strain, injury, and cramps in your leg. Therefore, I would always recommend using rowing shoes for your rowing machine sessions at the gym.
You cannot just buy ordinary shoes for rowing. You need something lighter and thinner and flexible to wear. Hence, here I bring you some recommendations for the best shoes for rowing machines that you can buy under an affordable price range.
LIST OF THE BEST SHOES FOR ROWING MACHINE
10 BEST SHOES FOR ROWING MACHINE
1. JOOMRA - BEST BAREFOOT SHOES FOR ROWING
If you are looking for rowers footwear, you can opt for this Joomla barefoot shoe. These shoes are ideal for gym workouts and weight lifts that demand strong and durable footwear. The soles in these shoes provide the excellent grip required during lateral movement or while walking on uneven terrain.
These are significantly lighter than those traditional trainers you wear in the gym. The shoes are designed in such a way that it blends or fit in the exact shape of your foot, making you feel like you are wearing just socks. The rubber outsole provides good traction when you work around the rowing machine; it can also provide an impressive feel while walking or running in tricky terrain.
The intention of producing these minimalist shoes is to give the wearer the freedom to move their legs in every direction with the minimal weight of the shoes. The shoes are so light in weight that it feels that you are walking barefoot! The Joomla Shoes have removable insoles and a thicker topline around the feet so that you don't feel any pressure on your leg.
2. WHITIN - BEST MINIMALIST SHOE FOR ROWING
If you are not certain which trainers to buy for your gym hours, then here's a brand you can rely on. WITHIN offers some great budget-friendly and minimalist shoes for all categories.
These cross-trainers from Within give you the freedom to run carelessly as it is backed by some great safety features that will save you from any injury in the foot. I believe these shoes are best for muddy terrains as they have excellent outsole grip that does not let you slip or fall while also providing the stability you need in mud-filled terrain.
In these shoes, you get a wider anatomic toe box that allows your toe to move freely inside and not feel squeezed like narrow-toe fit shoes. The outsoles have sticky-grip traction that is also durable for all types of trails. In addition, the outer sole is thin in the firm, unlike other shoes that feel heavier and do not deliver positive feedback on the ground. The flat zero-drop feature of the sole allows your feet to drop in the same position so that you put less pressure on the knee joints.
3. ADIDAS MAT WIZARD 4 - BEST INDOOR ROWING SHOES
As we all know, Adidas is a reliable brand when it comes to combat sports. The Wizard series from Adidas is great for all sports or activities, including wrestling, gym workouts, etc.
As per my research, these shoes from Adidas are great for the overall comfort and stability you need during lateral or pivotal movement on the rowing machine. This pair of shoes have a breathable mesh upper that comes with TPU stripes on the side panel, giving you a feeling like you are wearing socks. The outer rubber soles are designed to give you excellent traction and maximum flexibility, allowing you to move your feet on any surface, including mat and sand. The soles are lightweight enough to let you lift your leg with full flexibility without feeling any burden on the leg.
Moreover, the EVA midsole wedge cushions are there to give the wearer the necessary attack stance to sync with the moving rowing machine. For added protection, you get an anatomically shaped tongue that fits any size/shape of feet inside the toe area and heel tapes that prevent blisters and other injuries in the heel region.
4. ADIDAS ADI-KICK - BEST TRAINING SHOES FOR ROWING
Adidas is a popular brand for athletic equipment meant for the gym, Olympics, etc. If you are looking for good indoor rowing shoes then consider yourself lucky as Adidas has brought us another wonderful Adi-Kick shoe. I understand Adidas shoes are more expensive, but you can blindly invest in the Adi-Kick 2 low-top shoes designed for athletes.
The PU material keeps this shoe light and more durable than traditional sports shoes. The synthetic leather on the other hand feels easy on the foot and stronger for s, jumps, and runs. For a rowing machine, you probably would seek something lighter and slip-resistant. The good thing is you get that on these shoes' outsoles.
In addition, the manufacturers decided to include pivot points on the outsole to make it more flexible for quicker moves. About the laces, as compared to its predecessor, the laces are intentionally made shorter in this model for easy and better tightening of the shoes. Overall, this is a good choice for all the gymnasts wanting shoes for indoor rowing.
5. XERO HFS - BEST ZERO DROP SHOES FOR ROWING MACHINE
Minimalist shoes are the best to be worn while working on rowing machines. Xero HFS is a lightweight, contoured shoe for gym enthusiasts that is one of the shoes you can wear on the rowing machine. The toe box in these shoes lets you spread, splay, and relax your toes most comfortably without having a feeling of toes being squeezed out.
The Xero HFS is built for delivering perfect posture for your feet. It has -inclined heels and makes low feedback on the ground making balance and posture aligned. Their patented 5.5mm FeelTrue sole gives a balance between safety and feedback right from heel to toe, letting your feet bend and flex in any direction you want.
Surprisingly, the shoes are backed by a 5000 miles warranty that allows you to travel far and with much more comfort than you would expect in ordinary shoes. Due to its flexible and lightweight construction, you can bend and pack them in your backpack and travel.
6. ADIDAS TECH FALL 2.0 - BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SHOES FOR ROWING
These are the best sports shoes you can buy for your everyday gym sessions. The good thing is you get plenty of color options in this shoe series. The Adidas Tech Fall 2.0 shoes are designed in the pursuit of providing the highest comfort while wearing them and not worrying about anything else thereafter.
The outer body is a soft, breathable synthetic fabric that lets your feet breathe efficiently even if you wear them for an entire day. The rubber outsoles deliver excellent traction and all-trail performance for fast runners. To properly secure your shoes you get nice lace closures that let you tighten your shoes as per your choice.
The Tech Fall 2.0 shoes are not water resistant, hence you cannot use them for outdoor sports. Overall, this is a reliable, lightweight, and easy-to-carry travel, gym shoe that also can be used on rowing machines.
7. TSLA - BEST AFFORDABLE ROWING SHOES
Minimalist shoes are always expected to be lightweight. But, that is not all you need if you are going to use the shoes for intense sports that involve jumping, running, etc. You need shoes that have a strong and durable build and deliver excellent performance even for outdoor trails.
These running shoes come with flexible groovy soles and thick cushioning that gives better balance and stability to walking. For instep balance, the TSLA shoes are reinforced with a dura nylon band with ergonomic shoe laces to keep you balanced and relieve pressure.
The upper of this shoe is dirt proof and breathable so that you don't need to wash it anytime just a quick cloth wipe works. The outsoles in these minimalist shoes are non-slip, making walking on muddy trails easy and light. Overall, this would be a good pick for you if durability and comfort are your priority.
8. CRANKBROTHERS - BEST FLAT SHOES FOR ROWING MACHINE
These are sleek-looking shoes for men. The Crankbrothers Stamp Speedlace range is recently released for all gym enthusiasts in the world. These shoes feature a pull-tab system that lets you tighten your laces and a sliding clasp that gathers all the laces.
The synthetic upper has a good reinforced toe box, and silicone gripper dots on the inner padding to prevent heel lift. With these Stamp Speedlace Cycling shoes, you can work with any flat pedal shoes and provide excellent traction on any ground or surface. So, whether you are going for a quick run or rowing in the gym, these shoes are the best to opt for.
9. NIKE ROMALEOS 3 XD - BEST SHOES FOR ERGING
This is one of the best weightlifting shoes Nike has come up with. However, weightlifting shoes are not meant for comfort, they are more for stability and friction. They are usually heavier than your regular trainers. The Nike Romaleos 3 XD weighs approx 400 g and your usual shoes weigh 200 g or so.
Thus, you can see these shoes have got power and support that you will need lifts and pull. For this reason, I think these shoes are amazing for rowing machines too. The upper mesh has huge pores which enable breathability at its peak. Overall, you get amazing stability, breathability, and protection from these rowing shoes Nike Romaleos.
10. PUMA CAPITANO II IT - BEST ROWING MACHINE SHOES
The Capitano II Shoes are the best soccer shoes you can find on the market. They have a modern design and non-marking outsoles, meaning you won't be leaving your footprints on the ground and getting the shoes dirty. The shoes feature a soft leather upper construction and light Pebax outsoles that ensure excellent grip on the grounds.
They are designed for outdoor games, gym, and wrestling too due to their extreme comfort and feel on the ball making these shoes suitable for all. The blend of the leather vamp and soleplate ensures maximum performance on any kind of grounds.
BUYER’S GUIDE - BEST SHOES FOR ROWING MACHINE
To have optimum performance on a rowing machine, you need to have the best shoes for indoor rowing. Several parameters make a shoe the best of all. You have to find that shoes and it must be hard to hunt for them alone. Thus, I am helping you with a buying guide to which you can refer and take your pick for the best rowing shoes.
Heel arch and support
Heel arch and support are important to have in shoes meant for rowing so that they can sync with the mechanical movements of the rowing machine. If the heels are not properly supported, there's a high chance you will have arch cramps or injury due to the fast and continuous movement of the rowing machine.
To drive the row upwards, you need the highest strength and stability. You will get that from soles that are flexible and provide stability.
This is again an important parameter to consider because more than anything you would want your shoes to be ultra soft and comfortable. Your shoe size must be perfect. If your shoes are too loose, your feet might slip off in the middle of your workout session. If the shoes are too tight, even then you cannot work out properly due to feet squeezing. Thus, make sure your rowing shoes have a comfortable fit.
While working on a rowing machine, you don't want anything that slows you down, especially the shoes. The shoes could slow you down if they are heavier and full of leather. Thus, ensure the shoes you buy are lightweight and flexible to bend in any way.
If your shoes are not breathable, your feet will feel compressed and suffocated which causes over-sweating, blisters, and a bad odor. Thus, your rowing machine shoes must be breathable.
Rowing trainers come at a higher price than regular sports shoes. So, it's up to you what you opt for. If you buy premium trainers, the price will be higher.
1. What kind of shoes should I wear on a rowing machine?
Best indoor rowing shoes are lightweight. Thus, you should look for something that has a thin sole, little padding, and heel and toe protection.
2. Are weightlifting shoes good for rowing?
When it comes to rowing machine shoes I believe less is more. Usually, weightlifting shoes have heavy outsoles. So, might not be suitable for rowing.
3. Should you use shoes on a rowing machine?
Wearing or not wearing shoes on a rowing machine is a difference of opinion. But if you think you are better off without shoes then you can row barefoot. But in my opinion, wearing shoes is a much better option as it saves your feet from injuries and slippage.
If you want to get the best out of your rowing workouts, you cannot just do that with your regular shoes, you need barefoot, minimalist shoes that can keep you at a good pace while rowing. Above you can find some trendy and best shoes for rowing which you can also consider for a longer run.
Jeffrey has a Master of Science degree in sports science and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Jeffrey has worked in sports medicine clinics, corporate wellness facilities and rehabilitation clinics. He/She is an exercise physiologist and fitness consultant who has been writing about sports equipment and training techniques for athletes and fitness enthusiasts for over a decade.