10 Best Indoor Rowing Shoes 2024 – Maximize Your Performance

Rowing, whether done indoors or outdoors, is an excellent full-body workout. But, like any other sport, using the correct gear is paramount for the best performance and injury prevention. Among the essential gear is the often-overlooked rowing shoe. But fret not! This comprehensive guide will delve into everything you need to know about the best indoor rowing shoes.

In this article, we focus on footwear, particularly shoes meant for indoor rowing. Before we get to that though, there is some general information worth going over.


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1. Reebok Nano X2

Reebok Nano X2

Can you really go wrong with a brand like Reebok? Not really. However, this shoe really has it all when it comes to the gym, fitness, and anything sporty. A great shoe for frequent gym-goers, it is perfect for indoor rowing on an ergometer. It is available in numerous colors and styles for both men and women.

It has a soft and durable knit body, meaning lightweight and breathability. The footbed is flexible, the insole cushioned, and the foam ankle collar is very supportive and highly dense. It can be said that this is the best overall model for any fitness enthusiast who wants a great workout shoe.

  • The heel clip adds stability
  • High-traction sole prevents slips
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • The back could rub on the ankle a bit
  • Not the most affordable
  • Runs large


2. Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Mizuno Wave Rider 25

You may have never heard of this brand if you usually focus on the big and easily recognizable names. However, this is a great shoe that many fitness fans enjoy wearing. It is good for everything from treadmill running to rowing, even as a lifestyle model. Stable, lightweight, and with a good grip, it checks all the boxes.

The fact that it is the 25th iteration means a lot. It builds on the already great glory of the ones that came before and makes use of the popular featherlight body. The heel-toe drop is 12 mm, well-cushioned, and there is a responsive midsole.

The shoe hugs the foot nicely and it does not restrict motion even the slightest. It is available in many colors, for women and men alike.

  • Light, supportive, flexible
  • A wide range of sizes and colors
  • Exceptional breathability
  • A bit expensive
  • Runs somewhat narrow


3. Brooks Launch 8

Brooks Launch 8

Here we have another brand that is not as well known and famous as some of the others on the list but do not let that prevent you from giving it a chance. This is an amazing fitness shoe aimed at runners first and then everyone else later. As such, you can rest assured that it is light, breathable, flexible, and very comfy.

It features 10 mm of heel-toe drop, there is a mesh upper, and the rubber sole is quite springy in the forefoot. Many bright color patterns are available to enhance your style. Running shoes are always favorites and find their way to customers who not only want something great to work out in but also as everyday shoes.

  • Extra breathable and comfortable
  • Cushioned midsole
  • Bouncy rubber sole
  • Overall support and snugness could be better
  • Can be too light for some rowers


4. Ryke Myriad

Ryke Myriad

How about a very affordable take on a classic sports shoe design that can be used anywhere, from walking to home workouts? This is a women’s shoe with a roomy and comfy toe box and a narrow heel. The fit is secure and the feet will never roam freely.

Its midsole is cushioned with increased absorption and impact protection. The body is knit, making this a light pair that is easy to wear. As a budget-friendly option, it will certainly find a palace in most female rowers’ closets. It is available in many fashionable styles, patterns, and colors.

  • Great fit, specially designed for women’s feet
  • Very affordable
  • Great as an everyday and workout shoe
  • Wide options are too wide
  • Only basic women’s sizes are available


5. Adidas Powerlift 5

Adidas Powerlift 5

Bear with us here. These are essentially shoes for weightlifters, but as we mentioned in the beginning, there are no shoes specifically designed only for indoor rowers. With a narrow fit, a midsole wedge, and very flexible and mobile, it has everything you need to comfortably row.

The rubber sole will keep the feet tightly planted on the footrests as you row. The shoe is made of recyclable materials and it is among the more affordable choices by the iconic brand. The three classic Adidas black stripes across the white shoe are obviously possible with any silhouette and any shoe type.

  • Always a great brand choice
  • Plenty of stability and comfort
  • Non-slip, great grip
  • Recycled materials
  • Limited color choices, a classic Adidas con
  • Tricky to find the best fit, runs weird
  • On the expensive end


6. Nike Free Metcon

Nike Free Metcon

Did you honestly think that a list like this would be complete without a Nike shoe? Please. Nike is always the gold standard for sports footwear regardless of what your physical activity of choice may be. This model is very attractive and it is available in a variety of colors for men and women. Since it is advertised as a cross-training shoe, it is obviously great for indoor rowing. Where it truly shines are HIIT workouts.

It is a firm and flexible shoe made of breathable mesh and a strong get soft and supportive sole. The sole is also quite dominant and thick and it draws a lot of attention when you look at the shoe. On the whole, it has a wide platform that gives extra stability and support. You can never go wrong with Nike and this one proves it yet again.

  • Great brand choice
  • Versatile gym shoe, ideal for HIIT workouts that rowing can be
  • Very breathable, flexible, and supportive
  • Expensive
  • Runs smaller


The Materials

Arguably the most important thing to consider when choosing the right gym and fitness apparel for yourself is the material it is made of. There is always a lot of debate about this with different people preferring different materials as dominant in their clothing.

Basically, you want something that is breathable and wicks away sweat so that you never get too hot or uncomfortable during the workout. Look for materials like cotton, polyester, or better yet, a blend of the two. These materials are lightweight and breathable and they can help keep you cool and dry even during the heaviest of workouts.

The Fit

Whatever you get, it needs to fit right. Fit is an important factor when it comes to gym and fitness apparel simply because you do not want things to be too tight or too loose. Either of the two can be uncomfortable and restrict your movement or even cause unplanned movies and accidents. Look for apparel that is snug but not tight and that allows a full range of motion. Also, make sure your clothing and footwear are not too long or too short.

The Functionality

Gym and fitness apparel is designed to be functional, but not all workouts and exercises call for the same type of functionality. Depending on what you do, you should pick and choose the best and most optimal clothes and shoes.

For example, many gym shorts and leggings have pockets for your phone or keys so you can keep them on your person. Some gym shirts have built-in ventilation and/or mesh panels that help keep you cool and dry. Look for apparel with these types of features because it makes your workout more comfortable and convenient.

The Style

While functionality is important, personal style is also a consideration when it comes to exercise clothing. You want to feel good in what you are wearing as well as confident and motivated during the entire workout. It should represent you and make you happy.

Look for pieces that fit your personal style, whether that is bright and bold or understated and classic. There are many different styles of footwear and clothes made for fitness to choose from and you will surely find something that suits your taste.

The Brands

Of course, in the end, it usually comes down to the brand. There are many different brands of sports apparel, for clothing and footwear alike. Each has its own style and focus, the lineup of items, and even the specific sport. Some brands focus on high-performance apparel that incorporates advanced materials and features for serious athletes, while others focus on fashion with stylish designs and trendy colors.

Some brands cater to specific types of workouts like yoga or running. When choosing gym and fitness apparel for a very specific exercise though, it can be tough because it could be one that does not require a unique model of the item. As long as it aligns with your goals and preferences, it should be fine.

Buyer’s Guide: What Should Indoor Rowing Shoes Have?

What Should Indoor Rowing Shoes Have

We now switch the focus of the article solely to shoes that are commonly used for the fan-favorite activity of rowing. When it comes to indoor rowing, the type of shoes you wear can have a considerable impact on performance, comfort, and safety.

Indoor rowers should wear shoes that provide good support, stability, and traction, but they should also be visually pleasing and follow your personal style choices. The factors to consider when choosing shoes for indoor rowing include the following:


Indoor rowing requires a lot of leg and foot strength. Despite being a full-body exercise, the legs and the back do most of the heavy lifting. Therefore, it is important to wear shoes that provide good support for your feet and ankles while they are locked at the footrest.

Look for shoes with a sturdy sole that provides good arch support and cushioning, as well as a snug fit that will keep the feet stable and prevent them from sliding around inside the shoes.


Indoor rowing requires a lot of balance and stability, that is if you want to achieve the proper form. You need to maintain a strong and steady position on the rower for maximum effects.

Shoes with a low and flat heel can help you maintain a stable base and prevent the feet from rocking back and forth. Look for a pair with a wide base and a non-slip sole that offers good traction on the footrests.


All sports shoes need to be breathable. Rowing is a low-impact but high-intensity and sweaty workout. This makes it important to wear shoes that are breathable and allow the feet to stay cool and dry for the entire workout.

Most of the upper region of the pair you get should be made of mesh that allows air to circulate. Moisture-wicking materials are great too, as they prevent your feet from becoming damp and uncomfortable.


Indoor rowing is a sport that requires a lot of quick and explosive movements. Do not underestimate the sitting position. The feet still need comfort and something light to wrap them. It is a good idea to wear a pair that is lightweight and that will not weigh you down.

Lightweight materials like synthetic fabrics or mesh are great and should be your focus. Avoid heavy and bulky shoes that can slow you down.


Last but certainly not least, there is the question of flexibility. Indoor rowing requires flexibility and a wide range of motion to be effective and optimal. Wearing sports footwear that allows the feet to move freely and naturally is key so look for a model with a flexible sole and a low profile and a design that does not limit or restrict movement.

The modern understanding of working out and being fitness oriented implies one thing that was never as big as today, fashion. While people are thinking of joining a gym or a fitness center or even exercising on their own at home, they also evaluate what sports apparel to get. Working out and looking good have never gone hand in hand more than they do right now.

However, it is not only about looking good. When it comes to working out, having the right gear can make a big difference in your performance and comfort as well.

If you feel comfortable and more confident, the results will also be better in the long run.  Gym and fitness apparel is specifically designed to be comfortable, breathable, and functional so that the user can focus on their workout without any distractions. It is basically a whole science and there are certain things that you need to know about this clothing.

In this article, we focus on footwear, particularly shoes meant for indoor rowing. Before we get to that though, there is some general information worth going over.


pair of indoor rowing shoes

The right pair of indoor rowing shoes can make a significant difference in your performance, comfort, and safety. They provide the crucial connection between you and the rowing machine, facilitating efficient power transfer and ensuring you maintain the correct form.

Remember, the best indoor rowing shoe will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Factors such as fit, sole rigidity, breathability, and flexibility all come into play. Consider your foot shape, rowing style, and personal comfort preferences when making your choice.

The shoes we’ve listed here are some of the top options in the market, but it’s essential to try on different shoes and see what works best for you. When it comes to rowing shoes, one size does not fit all.

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