10 Best Shoes for Cross Country 2021

If you’re hunting for a new pair of cross country shoes, you’ve arrived at the right place!

If you’re a cross country runner, your shoe is the most important thing to take into consideration. A great shoe, however, can often be difficult to find. The best shoes for cross country won’t be found hastily!

There are many different things to take into consideration such as the usage, support, and the age of the person buying the shoe.

Let’s take a further look at some of the important things to look for when you’re hunting for your next cross-country footwear!

Things to Consider

Let’s consider a few things to take into account before you ultimately decide which shoes are the best cross country shoes for you to purchase.

  • Comfort. It’s important to get a shoe that feels great on your foot. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to try the shoe on! This can ultimately make or break your buying decision. Running shoes often run small, and feet swell after running. Shop a half size larger than the size you would normally buy!
  • Use. You’re going to want to consider the type of running you’ll be doing, with respect to the terrain, the environment, and the competition. Some shoes are designed specifically for competing. Some are designed specifically for competition and training. Some are designed well, but wouldn’t make great competition shoes.
  • Bend Test. A shoe should be flexible and breathable, but it shouldn’t bend very much. Test your desired running shoe by taking it by the heel and forcing it down on its toe. The toe portion should bend, but the middle section should remain rigid.

Top 10 Shoes for Cross Country Comparison Table

PictureNameTraining or Competition?PriceRating (1-5)
Training or Competition?
Rating (1-5)
81aKCsSnlzL. SP1101. Brooks Men's Glycerin 14Both$$$$4.6
71WzEUPYMYL. SP1102. ASICS Men's GEL-Contend 3 Running ShoeTraining$4.5
91PKo9Pta%2BL. SP1103. Brooks Men's Adrenaline Gts 16 Running ShoeBoth$$$4.5
4. Brooks Women's Ghost 9Both$$$$4.5
81t3pngY4uL. SP1105. adidas Outdoor Men's Tracerocker Trail RunnerTraining$$4.5
819ASRtd SL. SP1106. Brooks Women's Launch 3 Running SneakerBoth$$$4.4
81JkhBFBuEL. SP1107. Saucony Men's Kilkenny XC5 Spike Cross Country Spike ShoeCompetition$$4.4
81OPzeM3ukL. SP1108. Saucony Men's Kilkenny XC5 Cross-Country ShoeCompetition$4.1
81IX1U1UvPL. SP1109. adidas Performance Women's CC Cross Country Fresh 2 W Running ShoeBoth$$4.2
10. Saucony Women's Kilkenny XC5 Cross-Country ShoeCompetition$3.5

If you aren’t convinced that you have what it takes to find your best shoes for cross country, here are a few more points to consider that may help you in your search.

  • Just the Right Amount of Support. Cross country runners don’t need shoes that are rigid, but at the same time, they don’t need shoes that provide limited support. You’ll want a shoe that’s built somewhere in the middle. You’ll want a shoe that supports your foot and also responds well to the change of running environment that cross country athletes often experience.
  • Pronation. No two feet are created equal. When you’re looking for the best cross country shoes for your feet, you’ll want to consider the amount you pronate or don’t pronate. Pronation is a natural movement in the human foot which can drive it inward. Shoes often cater to runners who over pronate or under pronate.

Top 3 Best Shoes for Cross Country Reviews

1. Brooks Men’s Glycerin 14

81aKCsSnlzL. SP500

If you’re looking for the best cross country shoes, look no further! The Brooks Glycerin 14 Running Sneaker Shoe is an amazing shoe that offers versatility, comfort, speed, flexibility, and style.

When we say versatile, we’re talking about the ability of the Brooks Glycerin 14 Running Sneaker Shoe to be worn in both a competitive and a training environment. It’s light weight for speed, but sturdy enough for off-road shock absorption and foot stability.

When it comes to breathability, the mesh construction of the Brooks Glycerin 14 Running Sneaker Shoe makes them the best shoes for cross country. They’re lightweight, cool, and flexible!

In addition to being greatly versatile and comfortable, they also come in a wide range of stylish and unique colors!

The Brooks Glycerin 14 Running Sneaker Shoe are phenomenal, to say the least! If you purchase a pair of these shoes, neither you nor your feet will be disappointed!

2. ASICS Men’s GEL-Contend 3


Simple and affordable, the ASICS GEL-Contend 3 Running Shoe is a great purchasing option for cross country runners who are looking for a shoe for training. The ASICS GEL-Contend 3 Running Shoe comes complete with a number of handy features. In addition to ASICS patented gel layer, you’ll also find great support, durability, and many style options.

Forget painful running! ASICS patented gel layer makes running off course easy by absorbing shock. Whether you’re running on the road or on the trail, you won’t feel a thing!

They are firm but flexible. The material that your foot lies in is extremely breathable and non-rigid. You’ll certainly be cool when you’re running, but you won’t want to wear them in the cold!

You might not want to race in them, but they’re a great option if you’re looking for a training shoe for cross country races!

These ASICS are simple and effective!

3. Brooks Men’s Adrenaline Gts 16

91PKo9Pta%2BL. SP500

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Shoe is a great choice for runners who are looking to train with a breathable, stylish, and shock-absorbing shoe. It’s a great shoe for cross-country training. Don’t overlook it!

While the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 Running shoe isn’t the flashiest of the running shoes, it’s still a great choice. It’s made with a shock-absorbing crash pad that will soak up the toughest of running terrain like a 10-year old drinking a milkshake.

The mesh that the shoe is composed of is sturdy and moisture wicking. Your feet will stay dry and cool! Don’t worry about your shoes becoming sweaty from not airing out!

They’re also quite affordable. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a great training option for runners that are looking for a quality and comfortable training shoe. If you’re a cross country runner looking for your next pair of kicks, keep these in mind!

An experienced runner and an active mom, Kelly is the research expert behind runninggearlab.com When you don't find Kelly training for her next 10k or 5k race you'll find her reading reviews and testing the latest running watch.

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