7 Best Shoes for Rowing Machine & Buyer’s Guide [2023]

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A rowing machine has become a highly intense workout sport on its own which offers a full-body workout without going to the gym or spending too much time and is a wonderful piece for an efficient and enjoyable gym workout.

If you are interested in practicing this amazing sport, it’s a good idea to choose the right equipment. Doing so, even on a low budget, can take your experience to a next level, providing you with more comfort, time and convenience during the practice.

Moreover, anyone with prevailing knee, heels, calf or feet problems, or those with underweight or overweight problems.

The elevated powerful exercise routine might be next to impossible. Rowing machines are a superb way to get fit and offer a practical exercise technique for those who find it difficult to tackle weight-bearing exercises like jogging, swimming or even walking.

That’s why choosing the best shoes for a rowing machine is a daunting but enthusiastic task most athletes do. To achieve the best performance one has to be equipped with the best material possible.

why shoes for rowing machine is important?

While you may assume that the same shoes you wear for other activities would work just as fine for a rowing machine, that’s not actually the case because normal basic shoes put a great amount of strain on your legs and the joints while rowing puts a very low impact on the legs. Running, jogging or walking requires a certain level of shock absorption to cushion the feet when they come in contact with the ground.

Rowing does not require a lot of cushioning, having cushioned soles can actually hinder your rowing exercise by changing the angle of your feet about the machine and reducing the power of your stroke.

In the following article, we will talk about some of our favorite best shoes for the rowing machine, why they are so durable, further adding a few weak points which might be important for you. After addressing these points,  we will also talk about the chief criteria when it comes to choosing this kind of shoes.

7 Best Shoes for Rowing Machine [2021]

1.Reebok CrossFit Nano

Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer, Crushed Cobalt/Collegiate Navy/Black, 6.5 M US

These shoes are specifically designed for Athletes and Sportsperson.

This shoe has been designed, examined, certified and updated continuously by Reebok in association with CrossFit and each pair is weaved to perfection ensuring ultimate quality and comfort. The heels are constructed from a solid base material and synthetic materials and have a high abrasion rubber outsole which allows flexibility and comfortability while working on a rowing machine, doing cardio or weight lifting etc.

It doesn’t possess cushiony features as it doesn’t allow extra force on the machine and makes the exercise a bit stuffy, painful and heavy. a person exercising on a rowing machine would want to have the lowest amount of cushion between their body and the object they are applying force to. This increases the efficiency of the power transition and gives the athlete a better feel for their form.

Also, Reebok CrossFit creates a good comfortable fit for all shapes and sizes of the foot. With the wider toebox, this shoe is comfortable. It’s definitely a purpose-driven shoe that is most comfortable in the gym.

Things we like

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Flexible
  • Thin soled, and Flat
  • Added ankle support

Things we don’t like

  • Not suitable for everyday wearing or prolonged use
  • More expensive than other options
Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer, Crushed Cobalt/Collegiate Navy/Black, 6.5 M US
4,065 Reviews
Reebok Men's CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer, Crushed Cobalt/Collegiate Navy/Black, 6.5 M US
  • Flexweave dynamic upper construction with targeted support for...
  • Designed for: Varied CrossFit WODs; Created with input from the...
  • New heel bootie construction provides ultimate performance...
  • Toe Tection provides durability in the toe area for high...
  • Low-cut design for added mobility; Weight: 10oz; 4mm Drop

Last update on 2023-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2.Voovix Women & Men’s Barefoot Athletic Trail Shoes

Voovix Mens Womens Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoes Athletic Walking Shoes for Hiking Cross Training(Blue/Green,37)

The usual design consists of a breathable mesh at the top made with fabric while the remaining part of the shoe is made with high-quality rubber. The material of the shoe is lightweight to improve your speed while running.

These shoes have a zero heel-to-toe drop feature which allows the feet to be in a neutral position which supports a healthy posture and puts less stress on the joints. Ideal for any activities, such as hiking, gymming, walking, and rowing workout etc.

They are much lighter than some other rowing exercise shoes. However, the Voovix women and men’s Hiking Barefoot Athletic Shoes are flat-zero-drop gaining them further favor as rowing machine shoes.

The insoles are removable as per you feel comfort and can easily ne considered as the best shoes for rowing machine.

The outsole of the shoe is made with a lightweight yet strong rubber. It has a pattern on its surface to provide maximum traction while running or hiking. Being very thin, the rubber sole is also soft and flexible. This makes the shoe ideal for uneven surfaces.

They also provide cushioning and doesn’t cause too much pressure.

Things we like

  • Flexible & Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Non-slip
  • Soft
  • Durable

Things we don’t like

  • Average durability
  • Not for challenging terrain
Voovix Mens Womens Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoes Athletic Walking Shoes for Hiking Cross Training(Blue/Green,37)
976 Reviews
Voovix Mens Womens Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoes Athletic Walking Shoes for Hiking Cross Training(Blue/Green,37)
  • Professional comfort design: Our barefoot shoes are designed to...
  • Wide toe box: The minimalist trail running shoes have enough room...
  • Upgraded materials: The stretchy upper is very ventilated and...
  • Flat zero-drop sole: A zero-drop sole places your forefoot and...
  • Multi-functional shoes for various activities: These minimalist...

Last update on 2023-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also Read: Best shoes for tight calves in 2020

3.Vibram Five-finger’s

Vibram Men's Five Fingers, V-Alpha Trail Shoe

The Vibram KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe is an unconventional, zero-drop shoe with a thin rubber sole. Lightly padded, the KSO EVO helps wearers feel more of the terrain. The lack of padding and air pockets guarantees you to have maximum balance and stability, it’s made from polyester fabric, this shoe offers separate segments for each toe, making it feel more natural and minimalist than any other footwear.

Therefore in rowing machine terms, you can be assured that all of your force is being transferred into the footbed.

on the other hand, running shoes have an uneven sole which is made for compressing at various points during a running stride. This may cause the user to push off the footboard unevenly and have a less efficient stroke.

These thin, flexible shoes dry quickly when wet, meaning you’ll never feel uncomfortably sweaty therefore buying the best shoes for rowing machine can be a hectic task.

 This is why Vibram five fingers with less padding and more parallel connection to the footboard allow for a stronger, more efficient drive.

Things we like

  • Strong grip
  • Natural feel
  • Flexibility
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Breathability

Things we don’t like

  • Average durability
  • Smelly after few months of use
  • Not for extensive use
Vibram Men's Five Fingers, V-Alpha Trail Shoe
1,439 Reviews
Vibram Men's Five Fingers, V-Alpha Trail Shoe
  • 50/50 wool and synthetic upper material
  • Slip on style with adjustable bungee stretch laces
  • A protective shoe that also allows for ground sensory perception
  • 2 mm EVA foam insole for added comfort
  • 3.7 mm Megagrip Outsole

Last update on 2023-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also Read:- Best shoes for Asphalt paving in 2020

4.Nike Men’s Air Monarch

No products found.

The Nike range is designed to have an easier level of flex in the sole. it is the only shoes here that have a leather upper. The leather is perforated with the lightweight midsole and the encapsulant full-length air sole unit too

It has a dynamic fit texture that will give you ultimate comfort so that you can solely focus on strength training.

The cushion is designed for comfort and breathability and is wide enough to accommodate a range of feet widths and sizes, while still fitting snugly.

Specifically, for Rowing machine shoes, it should also allow the user to feel the footrests so they can better comprehend what area of the foot they are driving from. Shoes with thick soles are bad for feeling the footrests and should be avoided.

These shoes are designed specifically for cross trainer use, yet are widely worn as daily general footwear and have a reputation of being very comfortable.

Things we like

  • Dynamic fit
  • Easy movements
  • Tough built
  • Ultra light

Things we don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Average breathability

No products found.

Also Read:- Best shoes for Tough Mudder in 2020

5.Converse, Chuck Taylor, All-Star

No products found.

It is universally appreciated as the best flat-soled shoe for rowing, running, cardio  and any other activity you want to perform where a flat sole is required.

Constructed from canvas, these shoe cum sneakers offer quality soles that are perfect for optimal foot position and energy efficiency on a rowing machine. it has a rubber sidewall and a toe cap. The converse is well-known for its comfortable and stylish shoe choices which might be the best shots for rowing machine for you.

These affordable options run true to size. You may be able to find a cheaper knock-off pair at Wal-Mart or Amazon moreover, these shoe mold to the natural shape of the feet and are minimally cushioned but still comfortable, making them perfect for day-to-day wear or rowing.

Things we like

  • Easily affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Thin flat soles
  • Easy on and off
  • Unisex

Things we don’t like

  • Average durability
  • Not a sportswear
  • Low on quality

No products found.

6.Troadlop Men’s Hiking Quick Drying Trail Shoes

Troadlop Mens Hiking Quick Drying Trail Running Shoes


This shoe is designed to be more flexible for any form of exercise either weightlifting or extensive indoor exercise.

It is lightweight and breathable which is knitted with a superior quality fabric which is highly flexible as is the rubber sole, which is also non-slip. The outsoles offer a good grip for the shoes when you are rowing. The fabric used on the top makes it comfortable and quick-drying.

Troadlop also issues a size chart so that you can measure your feet for the perfect size before ordering.

These shoes also feature drainage holes for runners, which are mostly breathable and washable.

Extra cushion on your shoes can lead to a less efficient rowing stroke and also affect the angle of your feet, which can change your biomechanics.

Rowing is also very strenuous so having heavy, thick clothed rowing shoes can cause your feet to sweat excessively therefore, these shoes contribute to making this pair one of the best shoes for a rowing machine workout. also, the toe box is carefully designed to give toes enough room for adjusting or moving.

Things we like

  • Flexible
  • Easy to wash
  • Zero drop
  • Accurate shoe sizing
  • Well built


Things we don’t like

  • Heavy
Troadlop Mens Hiking Quick Drying Trail Running Shoes
717 Reviews
Troadlop Mens Hiking Quick Drying Trail Running Shoes
  • DURABLE SOLE: Anti slip rubber outsole with a unique pattern,...
  • COMFORTABLE: The rubber sole has a very comfortable and thick...
  • FASHION Design: A stylish toe with a toe look gives you more...
  • ELASTICITY AND CONVENIENT: Breathable and smooth fabrics with...
  • AMPHIBIOUS: Shoes are amphibious shoes that ensure you can enjoy...

Last update on 2023-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Merrell Trail Glove

Merrell mens Glove 5 trail runners, Dragonfly, 6.5 US

With a profile that’s low to the ground, the men’s Merrell Trail Glove trail-running shoes imitate the feeling of running barefoot while still providing precise protection on light trails.

To create reliable traction, this shoe features a sturdy Vibram outsole with small, sticky lugs. Finished off with a minimal upper with seamless overlays, the Trail Glove maintains a lightweight design and a snug, comfortable wrap.

Many people rave about the original trail glove running shoe and the reason that they do is because of the minimalist style and the actual fit like a glove, but by the time of this third-generation, the shoe has a much more mixed reception from runners.

For comfort, they have a breathable mesh lining.

The Merrell shoes for indoor rowing machine exercise are ultra-flexible and feature the Omni-fit lacing system which has fit table characteristics of glove type fit.

Though some people have a complaint regarding the new feature which is a rigid metal arch support making them uncomfortable as compared to the original one having better grip, there is a mixed review but overall the requirements for rowing are slightly different though and there are many reasons why these are one of the best rowing shoes not least the zero drop. furthermore, they are great shoes for Concept 2 rower and any other indoor rowing machine model.

Things we like

  • Wide toe box
  • Flexible
  • No elevated heel
  • Thin sole
  • Breathable upper

Things we don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Arch rigidity
Merrell mens Glove 5 trail runners, Dragonfly, 6.5 US
2,811 Reviews
Merrell mens Glove 5 trail runners, Dragonfly, 6.5 US
  • Traditional lace closure
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Integrated insole
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and...
  • Rock plate for protection

Last update on 2023-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quick Buyers Guide to Buy Best Shoes for Rowing Machine

Lightweight – Lightweight shoes reduces fatigue and energy further facilitating the force transfer to leg muscles.

Thin Soled – 0 to 4 mm of heel drop depending on your foot arch and Achilles tendon but make sure it’s not low quality or none flexible sole.

Verification – We know shoes are the most counterfeited products in the world, and considering the quality of a sports shoe is even more essential make sure that before buying it should be certified by GOAT etc.

Flat base-  Ensure that your feet feel like touching the ground, this will help you in transferring your energy in an optimum amount around your body.

Breathable – You definitely won’t like sweating excessively while rowing. Check the material of your shoes and try not to wear polyester, woolen or nylon socks. Wear cotton socks instead.

Durability– Though not the most necessary element for a rowing machine workout but if the quality is better then better will be the experience of working out.


The best shoes for a rowing machine will always be difficult to find. even If you browse online websites about the shoes, everyone will have all kinds of opinions some would like some won’t but You should go through various reading material from time to time before coming to any decision While this might be a valid thought most people do not want to do this, simply because they don’t like the idea of ruining a pair of shoes.

But the above-mentioned list of shoes aims to provide the best models which are available in the market All these can be used in different activities, besides rowing machine depending on what type of shoes you need and for what purpose.

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