Gear Up to Fit - new Logo (272 × 40 px)

The 6 Best Shoes for Rowing Machines in 2023

The 6 Best Shoes for Rowing Machines in 2023 - Photo of a diverse group of athletes in a gym setting, trying out rowing machines. Each athlete is wearing a distinct pair of rowing shoes, showcasing the variety of best shoes available in 2023. The focus is on the footwork and the grip of the shoes on the machine pedals.

Table of Contents

Are you ready to take your rowing machine workouts to the next level? One important factor that can greatly enhance your performance and comfort is the right pair of shoes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rower, having the best shoes for rowing machines can make a significant difference in your overall experience.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some top shoe options that can provide you with the perfect combination of support, stability, and grip to help you maximize your rowing sessions. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect footwear to propel you towards your fitness goals!

Rowing is an excellent full-body cardio and strength workout. Using a rowing machine engages muscles in your legs, back, arms, shoulders, and core. To get the most out of your rowing workout, having the right footwear is important. The best shoes for rowing machines provide stability and comfort and allow you to generate power from your leg drive.

Criteria for Choosing Rowing Shoes

Criteria for Choosing Rowing Shoes - Photo of a sleek and modern rowing machine set against a pristine gym background. Next to the machine, there's a display stand showcasing a pair of top-rated shoes specifically designed for rowing machines in 2023. The shoes have a futuristic design with breathable mesh and non-slip soles.

When selecting shoes for rowing, there are a few key factors to consider:


You need shoes that will keep your feet securely in place as you drive back with each stroke. Shoes that are too compressible or have excess cushioning can cause your feet to slide around in the straps. This wastes energy and decreases power. Look for shoes with a firm, supportive sole.

Close Fit

Shoes should fit snugly so your feet don’t slip around inside them. But they can’t be uncomfortably tight either. As your foot flexes during the drive phase, you don’t want the upper digging into your foot.


Rowing shoes need to be well-ventilated to keep your feet cool and dry during long workouts. Sweaty feet can cause blisters and make your shoes wear out faster. Mesh uppers or ventilation holes help airflow.

Low Profile

Thick, bulky shoes raise your feet higher off the footpads, altering your rowing mechanics. A low-profile shoe puts you closer to the footpads for optimal leg drive.


Some flexion in the sole allows your foot to bend as you move through the rowing stroke naturally. But too much flexibility reduces power transmission. Look for moderate sole stiffness.


The sole should provide traction on the footpads, even when damp with sweat. Avoid super slick materials like plastic or leather. Rubber outsoles with tread work best.

Best Shoe Types for Rowing

With the criteria above in mind, here are the top shoe types for rowing machines:

Cross-Training Shoes

Cross-trainers provide the ideal blend of support, breathability, and flexibility for rowing. Models like the Nike Metcon, Reebok Nano, and Under Armour TriBase Reign are great options with flat, grippy soles and lightweight uppers. They strike the right balance between foot control and natural movement.

Minimal Running Shoes

Many minimalist running shoes work well for rowing too. They have a close fit, moderate flexibility, and low profile. Popular choices include the Merrell Vapor Glove, Vivobarefoot Primus Lite, and New Balance Minimus. Just be aware that the thinnest, most flexible soles may reduce power transmission.

Wrestling/Weightlifting Shoes

With their stiff soles and ankle support, wrestling/weightlifting shoes provide a super stable platform for driving leg power. Just be sure to remove any metal hooks or straps that could scratch or catch on the rower. Some options to try are the Adidas HVC Wrestling shoe or the Reebok Legacy Lifter.

The 6 Best Shoes for Rowing Machines in 2023

Reebok Men’s Nano X2 Cross Trainer

Reebok Men's Nano X2 Cross Trainer

Best cross-training shoes

Reebok Training Footwear

The Reebok Men’s Nano X2 Cross Trainer is a versatile and reliable piece of cross-training equipment. It is versatile enough to be used for various training activities and durable and affordable. The Nano X2 Cross Trainer is a great choice for a versatile and reliable cross-trainer.


  • Flexible and durable construction
  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Flexible and soft foam
  • Flexible, durable construction


  • Firm cushioning
  • No heel height adjustments

Gender: Mens
Color: Grey
Feature: Flexweave knit
Brand: Reebok
Size: 12.71 x 7.87 x 4.61 inches
Sole: Rubber
Surface: All-Surface

WHITIN Men’s Cross-Trainer | Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe | Zero Drop Sole | Wide Toe Box

WHITIN Men's Cross-Trainer | Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe | Zero Drop Sole | Wide Toe Box

The best cheap cross-trainer

WHITIN Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe

Would you believe there’s a shoe out there that can improve your Cross-Training performance AND make you feel more connected to the ground below you? It sounds like a paradox, but it’s true! The Zero Drop Sole on the WHITIN Men’s Cross-Trainer Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe provides unmatched comfort and connection.

See also
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Review: Sleek, Affordable Life Tracker

Plus, the wide toe box gives your toes plenty of room to move and spread out, promoting a more natural form and helping to prevent blisters. Whether running on the track, working out on the CrossFit floor, or doing agility drills, the WHITIN Cross-Trainer will help you feel light on your feet and perform at your best.


  • Minimalist design
  • Uses a zero-drop design
  • Minimalist and barefoot shoe
  • Calls for a zero-drop running platform


  • Comfy and cozy, but don’t expect blister-free runs
  • No cushion for a heel strike

Size and weight: 1.21 Pounds
Department: mens
Package size: 10.55 x 8.31 x 3.23 inch
Color: Black

Nike Men’s Metcon 8 Training Shoes (Armory Navy/Arctic Orange, us_Footwear_Size_System, Adult, Men, Numeric, Medium, Numeric_8_Point_5) 8.5

Nike Men's Metcon 8 Training Shoes (Armory Navy/Arctic Orange, us_Footwear_Size_System, Adult, Men, Numeric, Medium, Numeric_8_Point_5) 8.5

Best lightweight running shoes

Nike Men’s Training Shoes

Nike’s Metcon 8 Training Shoes are the latest and greatest in the company’s cross-training shoes. These shoes are designed for fitness enthusiasts who want a shoe that can handle any kind of workout. The Metcon 8 is built with a durable yet comfortable rubber sole that can take any abuse you throw at it. The upper is made of a breathable mesh that will keep your feet cool and dry even when the workouts get intense. The Nike Metcon 8 Training Shoes are available in various colors and sizes to fit any lifestyle.


  • Good cushioning for heel
  • Good cushioning
  • Relatively unlined for warmth
  • Well-padded heel
  • Good protection forfoot


  • Made for landings and pushing off
  • Made for men only, didn’t work for me

Size: Medium
Weight: 1.91 Pounds
Batteries included: No
Gummi profile: Creates traction
Shoes type: Metcon

Body Glove Mens Water Shoes | 3T Cinch Mens Barefoot Water Shoes – Quick-Dry Durable Mens Beach Shoes Swim Shoes Aqua Shoes Slip-On

Body Glove Mens Water Shoes | 3T Cinch Mens Barefoot Water Shoes - Quick-Dry Durable Mens Beach Shoes Swim Shoes Aqua Shoes Slip-On

Best men’s water shoes

Body Glove Mens Barefoot Water Shoes

If you’re looking for a good pair of water shoes, you can’t go wrong with Body Glove’s Mens Water Shoes. They’re quick-drying and very durable, making them perfect for swimming, beach volleyball, or any other water activity you might want to do. They also have a nice slip-on design, which makes them easy to get on and off.


  • Well-built heel support
  • Works with or without water
  • Good traction
  • Excellent in water
  • Flexible, lightweight construction


  • Sizes are limited to certain widths
  • No heel cushion

Water shoe: Flexible, breathable and lightweight
Material: Rubber sole
Feature: Integrated Drainage System
Package weight: 1.2 pounds

Nike Womens Free Rn Flyknit 2018 Running Shoes

Nike Womens Free Rn Flyknit 2018 Running Shoes

The best running shoe for those who don’t like to run

Nike Womens Free Rn Running Shoes

Nike’s Women’s Free RN Flyknit 2018 Running Shoes are designed for the runner who wants a light, fast shoe with a sock-like feel. The Flyknit upper hugs the foot for a comfortable, secure fit and the Nike Free sole provides natural movement and flexibility. These shoes are ideal for road running and will help you fly down the pavement.


  • Great for short jogs
  • Contracts and expands with your feet
  • Available in different colors
  • Comes in sizes for women as well as men
  • Improved toe flexibility


  • Transition from running to walking difficult
  • Looser fit

Breathability: Inspired by the Flyknit Racer
Weight: 14.08 ounces
Design: Womens Free Rn
Sole: Improved construction
Department: Womens
Size: 9.06 x 12.99 x 0.79 inches

WHITIN Women’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe | Zero Drop Sole | Trail Runner

WHITIN Women's Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe | Zero Drop Sole | Trail Runner

The best lightweight hiking boot

WHITIN Women’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe

The WHITIN Women’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe is a great trail running shoe for those who want a zero-drop sole. The shoe is very versatile and can be used for various activities. The brand has a great reputation for making quality products; this shoe is no exception. The shoe is very comfortable and has a great fit. The sole is very comfortable and provides a great deal of cushioning. The shoe also has great traction and is very stable on various surfaces. Overall, the WHITIN Women’s Barefoot & Minimalist Shoe is a great trail running shoe that is versatile, comfortable and fits.

See also
Huawei Watch GT Review


  • Flexible sole
  • Minimalist design
  • Made with 3D custom molding technology


  • No arch support
  • Thick midsole cushioning

Department: womens
Size: 9.8 x 7.72 x 3.58 inch
Type: Barefoot & minimalist shoe
Package weight: 1.01 Pounds

Should I buy a pair of rowing shoes?

​There’s a lot to consider when trying to figure out whether or not you should buy a pair of rowing shoes. On one hand, they can help improve your rowing machine’s performance. On the other hand, they can be quite expensive and may not be worth the investment for everyone. So, how do you know if you should buy rowing shoes?

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Are you a competitive rower? If you’re serious about rowing and competing in races, then a good pair of rowing shoes can certainly help you shave off some time. They’re designed to be lightweight and provide good traction on the rowing machine, which can help you row more efficiently.

2. Do you have any problems with your feet or ankles? If you tend to pronate (roll your feet inward) when you walk or run, you may benefit from the extra support that rowing shoes provide. This can help prevent injuries and also make your rowing workouts more comfortable.

3. How much are you willing to spend? Rowing shoes can range in price from around $100 to $200, a significant investment. If you’re just starting rowing, you may want to try using a regular pair of sneakers first to see if you like them before investing in a more expensive pair of shoes.

So, should you buy a pair of rowing shoes? Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and your budget. If you’re a competitive rower or have problems with your feet or ankles, a good pair of rowing shoes can certainly help improve your performance and comfort. However, if you’re just starting or on a tight budget, you may want to stick with a regular pair of sneakers.

How do I select the right size for my shoes?

​When finding the best shoes for a rowing machine, size is everything. You want to make sure that you select a size that is comfortable for you and will not slip while using the machine. Here are a few tips to help you select the right size for your shoes:

1. Make sure to measure your foot before selecting a size. This will ensure that you get the right size shoe for your foot.

2. Consider the width of your foot when selecting a size. If you have a wide foot, you may need to select a size up to get the right fit.

3. Try on the shoes before you buy them. This will help you determine if they are comfortable and will stay on your feet while using the rowing machine.

4. Ask a sales associate for help if you are unsure what size to select. They will be able to help you find the right size shoe for your foot.

5. Remember that you can always return shoes that don’t fit. If you are unsure about the size, buying a pair that is slightly too big is better than buying one that is too small.

Size is important when finding the best shoes for a rowing machine. Make sure to measure your foot, try on the shoes, and ask for help if you are unsure what size to select. With a little bit of effort, you will be able to find the perfect pair of shoes for your feet.

Which are the best materials for rowing shoes?

When it comes to rowing shoes, the best materials to consider are:

  • Leather: Durable, breathable, and offers good support. However, it can be pricey.
  • Synthetic materials: Cheaper than leather, lightweight, and still provide durability and comfort. May be less breathable than leather.
  • Natural materials (e.g., wool, cotton): Breathable and comfortable, but not as durable as synthetic or leather materials. A more budget-friendly option.
See also
Amazfit Smart Sports Watch 3 Review: An Awesome 2-In-1 Running Tracker for Your

Ultimately, the best material depends on your personal preferences and needs. Leather is a great choice for durability and breathability. Synthetics offer a lighter weight and lower cost. Natural materials may be preferred if you’re looking for affordability and breathability.

So, which material is the best for rowing shoes? Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you are looking for a durable and breathable material, leather is a great choice. If you are looking for a lighter weight and cheaper option, synthetics may be the way to go. And if you are looking for a natural material that is breathable and comfortable, wool or cotton may be the best option.

What kind of shoes should I wear for rowing?

Illustration of a futuristic rowing machine with neon lights, surrounded by digital holograms showing various shoe designs labeled '2023'. In the center, the most prominent shoe design is highlighted, emphasizing its special features for rowing.

Rowing is a great workout for your whole body, but it’s important to ensure you have the right shoes to protect your feet and keep you comfortable. This blog post will give tips on choosing the best shoes for a rowing machine.

First, choosing a shoe with good support and cushioning is important. This will help protect your feet from the impact of the rowing machine. You’ll also want a shoe that is comfortable and breathable so your feet don’t get too sweaty during your workout.

A few different types of shoes are good for rowing machines, including cross-training, running, and even walking shoes. If you’re not sure which type of shoe is right for you, ask a salesperson at your local sporting goods store for help.

Once you’ve selected the right type of shoe, it’s important to ensure it fits properly. The shoe should be snug but not too tight, allowing you to move your foot freely. You should also make sure the shoe is the right size – too big and it will be difficult to row, too small and it will be uncomfortable.

When you’re ready to buy your shoes, try them on and walk around to ensure they’re comfortable. Once you’ve found the perfect pair of shoes, you’ll be ready to row your way to fitness!

What is proper technique, and how do I achieve it?

Rowing machines are a great way to get a workout in, but it’s important to use proper technique so you don’t injure yourself. Here are some tips for proper rowing machine technique:

  • Sit up straight with your feet in the stirrups. Don’t slouch or round your back.
  • Keep your knees bent at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Lean forward slightly from your hips, not your waist.
  • Use your legs to drive the stroke, not your arms.
  • Keep your arms relatively straight, and keep your hands close to your body.
  • Finish the stroke by pushing with your legs and pulling with your arms.
  • Don’t jerk the handle or machine, or you could injure your back.

By following these tips, you can ensure you’re using proper technique on the rowing machine and avoid any injuries.

How can I prevent injury while rowing?

Maintaining good form and using proper rowing techniques is the best way to prevent injury while rowing. Additionally, it is important to use the proper type and size of rowing shoe.

Maintaining good form means keeping your back straight, shoulders down, and legs parallel to the ground. It is also important to keep your hands close to your body and move your legs in a smooth, fluid motion.

Using proper rowing technique means using a rowing machine that is properly adjusted to your height and weight. Additionally, it is important to keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and to drive your legs back while keeping your upper body still.

The best type of rowing shoe for preventing injury is a lightweight, breathable shoe with a flat sole. Additionally, it is important to ensure the shoe fits snugly and does not rub or chafe against your skin.