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this picture is our featured image of our new article the best gym bags with shoe compartment

Have you ever packed your bag for the gym and cringed at the thought of putting your filthy gym shoes in with your nice clean workout clothes? I know I have, but what other choice do you have? Well, there is such a thing as a gym bag with shoe compartment that allows you to keep your shoes separate from the rest of your gear—genius, right? We think so.

We rounded up the top 10 best bags with a separate shoe compartment based on our personal experiences and by reading tons of reviews and product descriptions.

It’s time to stop putting your dirty, germ-infested shoes in with your activewear! Any one of the bags on our list are great options, we hope you find one that suits you and your style.

Top 10 Best Gym Bags with Shoe Compartments

This bag is adorable! There are three different color/pattern options to choose from and we kind of want one of each. There’s a side ventilated shoe compartment that can hold shoes up to a size 13 in men’s.

We love that the shoe pocket is ventilated because who wants to unzip a pocket and be hit with the smell of sweaty shoes and feet? This benefit alone makes it our #1 choice and the best overall gym bag with a shoe compartment.

The ventilation helps keep them fresh. Aside from the shoe compartment, this really is the perfect gym bag. It’s not too big or too small—there’s room for everything you need for your workout. And it features tons of pockets so you can neatly tuck things into their own spaces, if that’s your thing.

We found this bag to be extremely durable as it’s made out of Nylon and the base is water resistant which comes in handy more often than you’d think.


  • Perfect size
  • Ventilated shoe pocket
  • Fits shoes up to size 13 in men’s
  • Lots of pockets
  • Adorable colors and designs
  • Waterproof bottom


  • It’s a tad on the smaller side

The manufacturer of this bag really knew what they were doing when they designed this gym bag. There’s a large shoe compartment that can accommodate shoes sizes up to a 13 in men’s.

There’s also a separate wet pocket that’s designed to hold your wet, sweaty gym clothes which we think is brilliant.

It’s spacious without being bulky and it’s made from a lightweight, water-resistant Nylon. There are two colors to choose from, both of which are fun pink shades.


  • Side shoe compartment
  • Separate wet bag compartment
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Two color options
  • Travel handle


  • Some reviewers claimed that the seams wore out rather quickly

With well over 800 positive reviews for this bag, it was a must-have on our list. This is a larger duffel that’s great not only for taking to the gym, but also for traveling. This is the perfect weekender bag.

There’s a large side pocket for your shoes, an easy-access front pocket for quick storage of important items, and an internal zippered pocket to keep your personal items secure.

This is the perfect gym duffel for those who tend to bring a lot with them—whether that be because you have sports equipment or just like to be prepared, you should be able to fit it all in here. And we love the three color options, they’re unique and certainly eye-catching.


  • Doubles as a travel bag
  • Large side shoe compartment
  • Several convenient zippered pockets
  • Large size can fit everything you need and more
  • Beautiful pattern options
  • Very affordable price
  • Adjustable shoulder straps


  • The interior is a dark color and some reviewers complained that they had trouble locating small items that fell to the bottom

We’ll preface this bag by saying that it’s a bit pricier than some of the other options on our list, but as you know, you get what you pay for and this bag is well worth its ticket price.

This is a very versilte and heavy-duty gym bag. It’s constructed from high-quality, ballistic Nylon. The shoe compartment is located on the exterior of the bag and is perfect for sweaty shoes, clothes, or other gear.

We love that this bag also has not one but two water bottle pockets and a padded laptop compartment—you probably don’t bring your laptop to the gym, but this bag can be used anytime and is also perfect for traveling and your daily commute. The design and color options are very simple, making it the perfect choice for men and women.


  • Not gender specific—can work for men or women
  • Separate shoe compartment located on the outside of the bag
  • Two water bottle holders
  • Separate laptop compartment with padding
  • High-quality, heavy-duty material


  • On the pricier end

The Undeniable Duffle from Under Armour is undeniably great for the gym! We love this bag and so do the nearly 8,000 Amazon reviewers who have left reviews. The Duffle 3.0 is the quintessential gym duffle bag.

This brand is synonymous with sports and quality, so you know that’s it’s going to be engineered for athletes. The shoe compartment is large and vented, holding just about any size shoe, men’s or women’s. It’s constructed from water-resistant material and made to withstand plenty of use and abuse.

There are 21 different color options to choose from, so you can choose the one that best fits your style.


  • Large, ventilated shoe compartment
  • Several zippered organizational pockets
  • Water-resistant, durable material
  • 21 different color options
  • Large enough to hold sports equipment


  • Some complained that the main compartment is too deep

This bag from Everest not only has a convenient pocket for your shoes, but it has a ton of other pockets. We love that there are several outside pockets that are perfect for stashing water bottles and anything else you need to store.

While there are plenty of pockets, it still manages to be small enough to easily fit inside a gym locker, which is clutch for many of us who bring our bags to the gym.


  • Plenty of pockets
  • Separate pocket for shoes
  • Small size perfect for gym lockers


  • Some complained that the metal clasps broke

This bag from MIER is an excellent option. It’s the perfect size for taking to the gym and features a classic, timeless look and feel. The shoe pocket is separate and ventilated which is the preferred way to store you smelly, dirty shoes.

There are tons of pockets so that you can organize your gear, we especially love that there’s a designated water bottle holder. It’s made from high-grade tear and water resistant fabric for sustainable use. You can easily use this bag as a carry on for traveling, too.


  • Great for those who want pockets (plenty)
  • Designated watter bottle holder
  • MIER is a great brand


  • Could be too small, depending on how much room you need

This bag made our list because it’s a backpack as opposed to a duffle bag. This is a great option for those who prefer wearing backpacks to carrying their bag over the shoulder or who walk or bike to the gym and need a convenient way to wear their bag.

There’s a drawstring closure for easy access to your gear. Its made from thickened oxford cloth and reinforced at the bottom so you can count on it holding up for you.

There’s a special wet/dry compartment with a waterproof interior that’s perfect for your keeping your wet and/or dirty clothes and gear separate. Additionally, there’s a large shoe compartment on the bottom where you can easily zip in your shoes and keep them separate.


  • Convenient drawstring closure
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Special wet compartment
  • Shoe compartment located on the bottom
  • One year no rip guarantee from the manufacturer


  • The colors in person are a bit off from their depiction online

This next bag is a great choice if you love pockets and organization because this bag has tons of them—10 in total! There are two large drink holder containers so you can easily stash your water bottle and your protein shaker at the same time.

Two wet pockets can be found inside this bag, allowing you to store your smelly gym shoes and wet gym clothes separately. The mouth is large, making it easy to access all your stuff and there are 3 great color options to choose from and two convenient sizes.


  • 10 pockets total
  • 2 wet pockets
  • Small, sleek design
  • 3 color options
  • Wide opening for easy access


  • Some complained that the mesh on the outside pockets ripped easily

Last, but certainly not least on our list is this gym bag from Boost Sports. This adorable bag is both functional and stylish, allowing you to look as good as you feel as you hit the gym.

It’s made from high-quality Oxford fabric and is super breathable. There are a number of pockets including a designated shoe compartment, wet pocket, and mesh pocket for essentials.

This bag manages to be small and compact without being bulky and obtrusive and the color options are beautiful.


  • Small and compact design
  • Beautiful color options
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Large main compartment
  • Breathable fabric
  • Over 1,500 5-star reviews


  • No water bottle holder

Gym / Duffle Bag FAQs 

Over the years, we purchased many gym bags, and we found that there are a lot of questions out there unanswered. So, we decided to put together some frequently asked questions that will hopefully help you make a better buying decision. Use the quick navigation below to jump to a question.

What’s a gym bag with an extra compartment for sneakers?

It's a bag that has a designated space for your shoes. A bag that just has a bunch of room in it for shoes is not the same thing. With that being said, make sure you know what you're buying before you add it to your cart.

Why Is a Separate Compartment Beneficial?

It's beneficial for many reasons. For starters, you can separate your "stinky" shoes from your fresh smelling clothes. Imagine that you just got done with a sweaty workout, and you go to change your shoes, only to find out you don't have a designated space for those smelly sneakers. Yea... not good!

Second, it's good to get in a habit of changing your shoes before and after a workout. If you do plyometric workouts for women, lift weights on platforms or any type of aerobic exercises, then you should have a set of women's workout shoes to boost your performance.

What's the difference between a Backpack vs. a Duffle bag?

You can go two routes when choosing a specific type of gym bag. The backpack or the duffle bag. This all depends your preference and how much stuff you need to pack in.

For example, if you only had a pair of shoes and a few small items, then you could get away with a backpack. On the flip side, if you have a bunch of fitness gear, you should think about getting a duffle bag because there is more room. Furthermore, if you want the traditional style of having two straps (like when you went to class) then a backpack is your style. If you only want one strap, then the duffle is a great choice.

How Big Should My Gym Bag Be?

Great question! The gym bag you choose should fit what you have to store while riding from home to the gym. You should be able to carry all of your items and it should also have a little extra space just in case you need to add something in it, such as buying a tub of protein at your local gym.

Which gym bag should you choose?

Well, there you have it - our top ten picks. If you are still on the fence about which bag to choose, we highly recommend the Vooray Burner Gym Bag with shoe compartment. You get so much value for the price.

Remember, you want to be efficient going to the gym, and having the right bag can help you do that.

About the author 

Tami Smith

A fitness enthusiast, Tami Smith is an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life!

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