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6 Best Rowing Machine Shoes Reviewed – Buyer’s Guide

best rowing machine shoes

Rowing shoes are one of the best gifts you can give yourself or someone who eagerly uses a rowing machine.

Rowers need a pair of high-quality shoes for every practice. A good pair of rowing shoes may cost more than regular sports shoes but they will last longer and pay off their value in the end.

Rowing shoes are reliable and provide ample padding and support to your feet. They make the rigorous strain of rowing exercise comfortable on your feet.

Shortlisted top indoor rowing shoes (for men and women)

Shoes ModelEditor's ChoicePrices on Amazon

Reebok CrossFit
Top Pick
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Nike Air Max Motion
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WHITIN Cross Trainer
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Troadlop Quick Drying
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Merrell Trail Glove 5
Best Value
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Brooks PureCadence
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By the way, just like shoes, gloves are equally important for strenuous rowing sessions. And recently, I reviewed some of the best gloves for rowing as well.

How to choose the best shoes for indoor rowing?

Getting the perfect pair of rowing shoes goes beyond choosing the preferred style. Unlike other shoes, rowing shoes require you to consider some key factors that will work best for you.

While choosing the rowing shoes, these are a few key points that will help you make the right choice:

Size: The most important thing to consider is the size so that you will stay comfortable and be able to give your best to the exercise session. You’ll never want to find yourself in loose fits while pulling strokes on your machine.

Design: Don’t underrate the design of rowing shoes. A professionally designed shoe will absorb the sweat without giving off a foul smell. Go for the shoe that has a rounded front that offers enough space for your toes so that it doesn’t get cramped and pressured. And leather is not the material to go with while choosing a shoe for rowing, always prefer the mesh design over hard or leather material.

Sole thickness: Since rowing puts a very little impact on feet and knees, so thicker soles are not required here. Instead, flat soles with less padding are preferred for rowing. Because we need to keep our shoes breathable, comfortable, and lighter at the same time. But the sole should be able to withstand wear and tear.

Weight: It is better to choose shoes that are lighter in weight. Lightweight shoes mean less impact, less fatigue, and fast recovery.

Quality: The quality of the shoe is defined by the material used in making it. For instance, in making a rowing shoe with mesh membrane, the shoe withstands at par characteristics like allowing your feet to breathe, eliminate odour, and regulate moisture. The rowing shoes are specially designed for rigorous exercises; the sole must be of high quality to protect your feet from any kind of injury. So, the right pair of shoes will be comfortable to wear and provides excellent support on the ground.

🔗 Side Note: Thin or Thick Sole: What’s the Best Type of Shoe for Running?

Reviews of best rowing shoes (In my preferential order)

Generally speaking, you can use any exercise shoes or sports shoes on a rowing machine. But as we have discussed above the rowing does not put much impact on your feet, that’s why those thicker outsole shoes won’t do them justice with rowing.

There are various qualities of rowing shoes available in the market, but if you can, I would advise you to try the pair of shoes before buying them, so that you can assess the comfort level and fit before making the purchase.

Here I have compiled a list of top rowing shoes with my quick review to make the purchase decision easier for you:

#1 Reebok CrossFit Flexweave Cross Trainer

Reebok CROSSFIT Nano 7.0 Trainer review
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This is a man-made pair of the shoe as opposed to mass production of machine-made shoes, so each pair is weaved to perfection ensuring ultimate quality and comfort.

The padded sole makes it extra comfortable for training on the rowing machine and other similar machines. It is available in a range of different prices in the market.


  • The sole is made of rubber and is well-padded
  • The material is lightweight and breathable
  • The shoe offers you flexibility for training


  • Heavier than some other brands
  • Gets out of shape with rigorous use
  • Watch out for size chart mess ups

#2 Nike Air Max Motion Low Cross Trainer

Nike Air Max Motion Low Cross Trainer review
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This rubber sole pair of shoes can take your rowing exercise to the next level. The lightweight meshed upper body will give you ultimate comfort so that you can solely focus on strength training. This is super flexible and designed really well with keeping rowers in mind (I guess). 😉


  • The breathable mesh material makes it suitable for rigorous exercise
  • Dynamic fit is best for rowing training
  • Easy movement in all directions


  • Not suitable for everyday wearing or prolonged use
  • More expensive than other options

#3 WHITIN Cross-Trainer Shoes

WHITIN Cross-Trainer shoes
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If you want a more connected feeling of real rowing on your machine. Then these barefoot-inspired shoes by WHITIN are one of the best bets to go with.

The wider toe box with breathable material has made it a suitable choice as training shoes for rowing exercises. Because the wider toe box does offer that extra area that we need during the drive and recovery phase.


  • Wide range of design variations to choose from
  • Cross-training shoes
  • Made of adaptive material for natural comfort and fit
  • Comes with removable sock-liner
  • Air mesh top
  • Affordable pair of shoes


  • Does not seem to be long lasting
  • Not suitable for prolonged usage

#4 Troadlop Quick Drying Running Shoes

Troadlop Mens Hiking shoes reviews
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These running shoes are also suitable for a workout on a rowing machine. Outsoles offer a good grip for the shoes when you are rowing. The fabric used on the top makes it comfortable and quick-drying.


  • Comfortable for running and rowing
  • Price is reasonable
  • Well-built
  • Shoe sizing is accurate
  • Quite fashionable design overall


  • Not very lightweight
  • Increased drag on the feet
  • Not a renowned brand

#5 Merrell Trail Glove 5

Merrell Trail Glove 5
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These shoes are available separately for men and women, so you just need to look for size and dimensions before you settle on the one you want. The rubber sole makes it good for running and training on exercise machines. It provides a lot of traction too.


  • Good for running and everyday use
  • A minimalist shoe with good design
  • Has a wider toe box
  • Lightweight and breathable


  • There can be size troubles
  • Sides can get a hole with regular use
  • Narrow and uncomfortable fit on wider parts of the foot
  • Wears down considerably quicker

#6 Brooks PureCadence

Brooks PureCadence shoes review
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There are size chart differences in male and female sizes, so please take a good look at sizes before buying one. It has a synthetic mesh that offers a seamless transition. Good for running and training.


  • Lightweight pair of shoes
  • Breathable synthetic mesh


  • The toe box is small and a bit uncomfortable
  • Could give blisters to feet

Concluding words

Above are the filtered best rowing shoes which combine excellent features of comfort, price, and usage.

The best thing that makes these shoes a good investment is that these shoes can be used for multiple other activities too. This is a great option for active people who mostly prefer multipurpose equipment for doing plenty of things.

From the above list, you can decide for yourself which is the best choice for you and according to your needs and taste. The list of pros and cons will help you decide what you should get. So what are you waiting for? Go get your pair of top rowing shoes and get started on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Happy rowing! See you on the erg.

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