The 10 best gym bags with shoe compartments
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Whether you’re carrying sneakers or dress shoes, having a dedicated spot for footwear in your gym bag can prevent odor and dirt from intermingling with your clothing and other gear. Besides a roomy pocket for footwear, the best gym bags with shoe compartments offer plenty of storage space for any other items you need when working out or getting ready. From backpacks to duffels, they come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit your needs.
What to consider when shopping for the best gym bags with shoe compartments
To vent or not to vent
If you want your footwear to breathe, opt for a bag with a mesh or vented door so odor and moisture can escape. Conversely, if you’d rather block unpleasant scents, or if you only keep shoes in your gym bag for short stretches of time, a fully sealed compartment will do. Whichever style you choose, the shoe compartment should be wiped out and allowed to dry regularly to keep your bag smelling fresh.
Duffel versus backpack
Duffels generally have more capacity than backpacks and can fit a lot of gear, with some sporty options available in multiple sizes to accommodate gym equipment and other bulky items. They also generally have the advantage of quick access to the main compartment. Look for a duffel with both short and long carrying straps, so you can tote it by hand or sling it over your shoulder.
While you should expect slightly less storage from a backpack compared to a duffel, the compact design makes them a great everyday option, whether a workout is on the schedule or not, and the low-profile design frees up your hands to carry other items. The best gym backpacks with shoe compartments will also include protective storage for laptops, so you can go from work to working out while keeping your device safe.
If you don’t want to have to choose between a duffel or a backpack, some bags have a convertible design for extra versatility.
Chances are, you’ll want to use your gym bag for more than workout clothes and shoes, and the ultimate gym bag will help you keep everything organized and tidy. Some bags have waterproof pouches that are handy for storing sweaty apparel or wet bathing suits, while others have spacious mesh pockets for stashing water bottles, or small zippered compartments where you can store your wallet and other valuables.
Whether you want something simple and straightforward or an option that’s packed with upgraded design features, these are the best gym bags with shoe compartments.
Shop the best gym bags with shoe compartments
In a hurry? These are the best gym bags with shoe compartments:
- The one that’s basic: MIER Large Duffel
- The one that’s water-resistant: Under Armour Hustle 5.0 Backpack
- The one with a wide-opening main compartment: FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag 2.0
- The one that comes in 5 sizes: Under Armour Undeniable Duffel 4.0
- The one with rugged style: WolfWarriorX Gym Bag
- The one that doesn’t look like a gym bag: Herschel Novel Duffel
- The one that goes from work to the gym: Targus Commuter Gym Bag
- The one with a sporty vibe: adidas Team Issue 2 Duffel
- The one that’s convertible: G4Free 3-Way Duffel Backpack
- The one with a cooler pocket for snacks: adidas Utility Backpack
1. The one that’s basic
Why it’s great: no-nonsense design that provides just enough organization
This duffel from MIER is a great choice if you’re looking for a basic duffel, with its vented shoe compartment, roomy interior compartment, and several zipping and mesh pockets. The sturdy base has four “feet” for added durability, and in addition to two short handles and a crossbody strap, there are two loops at the base of the bag that are helpful for hanging the duffel in a locker or pulling it from overhead storage when traveling.
One reviewer wrote: “Just what I needed. Effective, well-sized gym bag. Love the separate shoe compartment, especially if shoes are dusty or a little muddy. This bag won't hold lots of bulky items, but if you just need a change of clothes or an extra layer it does the job.”
Dimensions: 24 x 12.5 x 12 inches | Available colors and styles: 5 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes
2. The one that’s water-resistant
Why it’s great: water-repellent, near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon, wide range of color options
If you’ll be commuting in the rain, spending time poolside, or are just concerned about wet locker room floors, this water-resistant Under Armour backpack is your best bet. The highly resistant finish repels water, and the abrasion-resistant bottom panel stands up to wear and tear. The front shoe pocket is non-ventilated to lock in odors, but the back panel is made from mesh for breathability.
There are two interior compartments with multiple organizing pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, and stretchy exterior pockets for water bottles and umbrellas. Padded and contoured shoulder straps help upgrade the comfort factor.
One reviewer wrote: “It's extremely sturdy, which was one of the main things I was looking for in a backpack. Being water resistant, I haven't had to worry about the rain. It's also very aesthetic, as Under Armour usually is. I would definitely recommend this to those who want a sporty and daily backpack.”
Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.3 x 20 inches | Available colors and styles: 50+ | Ventilated shoe compartment? No
3. The one with a wide-opening main compartment
Why it’s great: 2 wet bags for swimsuits & sweaty clothes, main compartment zips down completely for both top and side access, 10 pockets and compartments for detailed organization
The design for FocusGear’s gym bag was based on crowdsourced reviewer feedback and features 10 unique pockets to help you organize and find your gym gear on the go. The main compartment has a zippered flap that folds out completely, making it easy to pack and access items. There are several internal pockets, including two wet bags and a phone pocket, as well as external mesh pockets designed for water bottles.
The non-ventilated, accordion-style shoe compartment collapses when not in use, which means you get valuable storage space back in the bag. You can choose to carry the bag using the short padded handles or the adjustable shoulder strap.
One reviewer wrote: “This gym bag is awesome. I was looking for something that could hold my new squat shoes as well as my barbell pad and boxing gloves (plus other things), and this bag seemed to have great reviews. [...] Easy to carry, not too bulky, and super spacious. The shoe pocket is great and even though your shoes technically take up some room on the inside of the bag, there is plenty of room left inside.”
Dimensions: 11 x 20 x 10.5 inches | Available colors and styles: 6 | Ventilated shoe compartment? No
4. The one that comes in 5 sizes
Why it’s great: wide range of colors and sizes, near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating
Boasting a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating after 26,000 reviews, Under Armour’s Undeniable duffel is one of the best workout bags with shoe compartments on Amazon. Available in five sizes, the extra-small gym option measures a mere 9.8 by 10.2 by 19.7 inches, while the extra-large is a whopping 15.8 by 17 by 33.9 inches.
The ventilated shoe compartment doubles as a laundry bag for storing worn gear after your workout, and the main compartment and two large zippered pockets provide plenty of capacity for clothing and accessories. The sturdy padded handles and removable shoulder strap provide added versatility.
One reviewer wrote: “I'm a competitive powerlifter and as such I often carry two pair of shoes (standard workout shoes + squat shoes) as well as a 10mm lifting belt, resistance bands, wraps, straps and personal hygiene products. This bag fits all of it with room to spare. Pretty much any other bag with this kind of capacity will cost quite a bit more, and that's saying a lot for an Under Armor product. If you need the space, look no further.”
Dimensions: 5 options ranging from 9.8 x 10.2 x 19.7 inches to 15.8 by 17 by 33.9 inches | Available colors and styles: 60 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes
5. The one with rugged style
Why it’s great: rugged design has an outdoorsy feel, 4.7-star overall rating
WolfWarrior’s duffel bag comes in several neutral shades that would look right at home on a campsite, as well as several camo patterns — ideal if you’re in the market for something with a more rugged aesthetic. Highly rated on Amazon, it has a variety of unique compartments for storing gym gear, including a shoe bag that can be accessed via one of two zipping end pockets, a fold-down exterior compartment with a mesh pocket for accessories, and a large interior compartment for apparel and bulky items.
Details like self-healing zippers (i.e., zippers that can be repaired by zipping and unzipping if they come apart) and reinforced handles make it a good choice if you want a durable gym bag with tactical flair. Last, the shoulder strap is padded for comfort.
One reviewer wrote: “Very sturdy bag. Holds 2 pairs of shoes, lifting belt, knee sleeves, wraps, and anything else you could possibly need for the gym.”
Dimensions: 21 x 10 x 13 inches | Available colors and styles: 13 | Ventilated shoe compartment? No
6. The one that doesn’t look like a gym bag
Why it’s great: low-key style means it doubles as a weekender bag, near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating
If you’re looking for an understated bag for the gym or travel, this sleek duffel from Herschel is basic in the very best way. The bag features one large compartment with an internal mesh pocket, as well as a shoe bag that can be accessed via a discreet opening on one end. The duffel’s short handles are made of faux leather for a slightly elevated look, and a removable crossbody strap is included if you prefer to carry the duffel on your shoulder.
This bag is on the pricier side, but the quality and sleek design are worth the cost — and it’s earned a 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon after 3,900 reviews. On top of that, it’s available in 33- and 42.5-liter sizes.
One reviewer wrote: “Amazing bag for weekend trips or going to the gym. Shoe compartment when filled takes up a lot of space but no more than it would in any other bag. I absolutely love it.”
Dimensions: 10.5 x 20.5 x 11.5 inches or 9.5 x 20.5 x 11 inches | Available colors and styles: 13 | Ventilated shoe compartment? No
7. The one that goes from work to the gym
Why it’s great: hands-free carrying, padded sleeve for your laptop, included laundry bag
Targus is known for their tech gear, and this gym bag with laptop compartment is a great option if you’re looking for something that looks equally at home in the office as it does in the locker room. It unzips completely for easy access to your gear and has a ventilated shoe compartment and a padded laptop sleeve that rests securely against your back. The backpack has a ton of storage, such as a detachable laundry bag and two roomy mesh pockets for water bottles and accessories. Contoured, padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel make it comfortable to wear when fully loaded.
One reviewer wrote: “I’ve been searching for a backpack style gym bag with shoe compartment for awhile now. I came across this Targus and said why not. Best investment ever! The shoe compartment holds my gym & other shoes perfectly. Extra room for gym clothes. Added bonus, laptop compartment and other spaces for work items. Highly recommend and would buy again!”
Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.2 x 9.4 inches | Available colors and styles: 2 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes
8. The one with a sporty vibe
Why it’s great: classic design, 4.7-star overall rating
This duffel from adidas has a classic gym bag look that’s perfect for tapping into your sporty side. Along with a vented shoe compartment, it has three exterior pockets and a small zippered pouch on the inside of the main compartment that’s ideal for storing small valuables and devices. Plus, a large ventilated side pocket lets sweaty clothes breathe without intermingling with the rest of your gear. Both the removable strap and two handles are padded at the top, so your hand and shoulders will be comfortable when lugging a heavy load.
One reviewer wrote: “It fits my two soccer balls, a change of clothes, my half gallon water bottle, and even has a separate area for my shoes which comes in handy when they’re dirty/ muddy. Also has a front zipped off area for my phone and wallet and other stuff like hair ties and keys!”
Dimensions: 24 x 11.5 x 12.5 inches | Available colors and styles: 13 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes
9. The one that’s convertible
Why it’s great: converts from a backpack into a duffel
If you can't decide between a duffel or a backpack, this bag from G4Free offers the convenience of both. Two adjustable padded shoulder straps tuck into the base of the bag when using it as a duffel, and they clip onto two loops for secure carrying as a backpack.
The bag has one large main compartment with a zippered mesh pouch, as well as a ventilated shoe compartment that can be accessed via a zipper at the end. Another zippered pocket at the other end of the bag can be used to store toiletries, a water bottle, or other small items. When not in use, the bag folds up for compact storage in the included pouch.
One reviewer wrote: “I've used this as my regular gym bag for the past couple months and it has been awesome. I shower at the gym and this allows me to fit work clothes and everything I need. The separate compartment for shoes is super useful. Also used this on a weekend trip and had no issue fitting what I needed for the weekend or taking it on the flight as a carry on.”
Dimensions: 23 x 10 x 12 inches | Available colors and styles: 9 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes
10. The one with a cooler pocket for snacks
Why it’s great: thermal-lined cooler pocket for snacks, laptop sleeve, water-resistant base
If you like to refuel right after your workout, this adidas backpack has a thermal-lined cooler pocket for snacks built right in. The non-ventilated zippered shoe compartment at the base of the backpack is water-resistant — so you can set it anywhere, including wet grass and poolside concrete — without fear of your kicks getting wet.
The main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve, and the exterior features a zippered pocket and a clip-lock storage strap for helmets, bats, or sticks, making this a great pick for anyone hitting up the batting cages or lacrosse field.
One reviewer wrote: “Love the bigger cleat area and the cooler pouch for snacks.”
Dimensions: 22 x 18 x 5 inches | Available colors and styles: 9 | Ventilated shoe compartment? Yes