I tend to go after a shoe that I can wear for all the different types of exercising I like to do. One can look for a general shoe to use when working out at the gym but it really depends on what type of workouts you mostly do.
In general the shoe should have a closed toe, be comfortable, provide good support for the whole foot, and have a solid heel. It should also be breathable, with the proper curve on the sole for the activity. If your workout consists mostly of aerobics, workout machines or light weightlifting, a cross training shoe is the best choice because it has a low arch to provide good balance, a sole with little to no curve so it grips the floor better and lets a person raise to their toes when they are conditioning or using weights.
In addition, cross trainers are firmer than running shoes, act as better shock absorbers than weightlifting shoes, and offer good lateral support. Its advantage is that these shoes can be worn for a variety of exercises so they are not as specialized as others. If you don't want a cross trainer, look at a minimalist exercise shoe which are quite light and flexible with a little bit of cushioning but again, these shoes can be used for a variety of workouts.
If the workout consists mostly of heavy weightlifting, you might want to invest in a weightlifting shoe because it has sturdy soles with a lift in the heal so you have a larger range of motion in your ankle or calf. This allows you to perform lower squats, while allowing better stability in the larger lifts such as a front squat, or a squat snatch.
On the other hand, if you go to the gym to run, walk, or use treadmills, you might think about using a running shoe. A running shoe is designed to keep you from being injured, improve your comfort, and improve your performance. It provides both support and the cushioning needed when you are running around the track or outside while allowing you to do mat exercises to stretch out after warming up or at the end. When selecting a running shoe, choose it based on your gait, not the name or brand.
When you go to buy a new pair of shoes, you need to make sure they fit snugly so you are ready to go. Your feet want to feel locked in. Furthermore, you need to make sure to wear the type of socks you will be wearing when you work out. This is so the shoes fit properly with the socks you use.
No matter what shoes you choose, you need to monitor them. It is important to check them regularly to see what shape they are in. You are looking to see if the shoe is wearing out by looking at the amount of wear at the heel or if the inside cushioning is showing signs of wear, it might be time to replace them. Once source recommends replacing shoes every 300 to 400 miles of use. In addition, if you experience pain while you wear them or after you wear them, that is another sign they need to be replaced.
Personally, I go with the cross trainers because I do a variety of workouts but I don't run and I'm not into heavy weightlifting, so these are perfect for me. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.