One of the best things you can invest in when it comes to your fitness routines are a good pair of workout shoes. Workout shoes play an important part to virtually any kind of exercise program – running, aerobics, tennis, weight lifting, basketball, hiking – they all require a good pair of shoes.
Not only can the right pair of running shoes reduce your changes of any discomfort, blisters, swelling, and risk of injury; but they can actually make or break your workout. There is nothing worse than trying to complete an exercise while experiencing foot and/or ankle pain. Instead you want to look for shoes that are going to improve your workouts, rather than deplete them.
Depending on what type of sport or activity you normally do is going to depend on the type of shoe you’re going to want to go with. While it is a good idea to switch up your workouts, you still want to choose the exercise you mainly focus on when choosing a good workout shoe.
Here are the types of shoes you should look for depending on your type of workout according to Find the Perfect Workout Shoe for You from Spark People:
- Running shoes should have additional cushioning compared to your regular tennis shoes to help absorb the shock of your foot hitting the ground. The cushioning also helps to reduce blisters. They should be light and flexible. Running shoes are more specifically designed for that forward motion so they do not work well for supporting you when moving in other directions in activities such as basketball or zumba. These are most likely the type of shoes you should use when running on a treadmill or elliptical trainer.
- Trail shoes should “have added traction for running and walking in grass, mud, or trails.”
- Walking shoes should be stiff and heavy compared to running shoes as they are intended to support you as your “foot rolls from heel to toe more slowly than when you run.” If you are beginner treadmill or elliptical trainer user these may be a better option than running shoes for you.
- Cross-training shoes are going to be your best bet if you play different sports or incorporate a lot of different varied workouts into your routine. Crosstrainers give more support for “changes in direction and impact, making them an economical choice. They’re heavier and less cushioned than running shoes and not recommended if running is your main mode of training.”
- Specialty shoes “exist for weight lifting, cycling, hiking, tennis, basketball, soccer, and more.” If your main goal is strength training and you engage in strength workouts most days of the week, you may want to consider buying sport-specific shoes. If exercise bikes are you preferred cardio exercise machine, these are the types of shoes you’re going to want to look at.
- Lifestyle shoes “are not made for athletic activities, even though they are made by the same manufacturers who make running and workout shoes. These shoes have flat soles and a sporty look, but not enough support for workout. They’re fine for running errands or casual wear, but don’t make them part of your exercise gear.”
Now that you know what type of workout shoes to look for, check out LiveStrong’s step by step guide on How to Find the Right Workout Shoes. Then once you find those perfect workouts shoes be sure to read some tips on Cleaning Your Shoes from Altra Zero Drop Footwear to keep your new kicks in the best shape.