How To Choose The Best Workout Shoes
How often do you evaluate whether your sneakers are right for you? Sometimes, just making time for fitness can be a struggle, let alone worrying about the state of your workout shoes.
Often we tend to choose a pair based on style or price, without much thought on how it will benefit our body whilst working out.
Over time, you may find that shoes become worn and lose their advantages like their traction, support and cushioning.
Choosing the right workout shoes doesn’t have to be difficult — but it does pay to know what you are looking for in a training shoe to get the most longevity out of them and help benefit your workouts.
What to look for in workout shoes
With a huge range of workout shoes on the market, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when selecting the right pair.
For each different style of exercise, there's a type of shoe that gives the best stability.
There are some key factors to consider for any workout shoe to ensure you get the right fit every time.
Knowing the right style
While it may seem like the same pair of workout shoes can be used for cardio and weight training, this may not always be the case.
Not only can owning a pair of gym training shoes extend the life of your running or walking shoes, you will find that shoes designed for weight training often have a raised heel, which can assist with body positioning at the bottom of a squat.
A pair of shoes designed for gym-based training can provide you with more support for your joints and muscles, as well as greater stability.
Gym training shoes are often flatter than a pair of running shoes. This allows your feet to be closer to the ground and covering more surface area which assists with better balance.
When selecting a running shoe, you will find these sneakers provide more arch and ankle support due to the high impact movements of a long-distance run or a HIIT workout.
Choosing the perfect fit
Selecting your shoe size might seem straightforward and something you wouldn’t normally consider evaluating. However, when selecting a workout shoe it can be vital.
When considering a running shoe you should ensure there is some ‘wiggle room’ when the shoe is on and that your feet have enough room to move back and forth — this is known as ‘toe splay’.
If you don’t allow for extra room you may find discomfort in your feet when running — especially for longer distances.
When selecting a gym training shoe, you should try and find a pair that fits as well as possible, with little ‘wiggle room’. As weight training requires as much support in your base as possible, the need for a tightly supportive shoe is necessary.
If you can’t find a perfectly fitting sneaker, ensure your laces are tight and your foot doesn’t feel like it is unstable.
Get to know the specifics
While style and fit are really important when selecting the right workout shoes, there are other factors that are important to consider.
These specifics are different with every shoe and will vary in importance depending on your feet and the type of training.
It is important to know what these terms mean when selecting a shoe:
Traction - This feature allows for grip in a workout shoe, which is great for sports that are stop/start and require you to come to a stop quickly and without injury.
Traction is essential for running shoes, especially when running in the weather. This is not as essential for weight training shoes, as many exercises are stationary.
- Cushioning - An essential feature of a running shoe, cushioning ensures the feet are comfortable while performing high-impact exercise. Having this support while training can assist with muscle recovery, ensuring less injury throughout the workout.
- Stability - This feature is an all-round essential in a workout shoe. With greater stability comes a lowered risk for injury. When running, stability is required to prevent injury while moving at pace. For weight training, this stability ensures more security when performing movements like deadlifts and squats.
- Shock absorbency - This feature is designed to dissipate the high volume of kinetic energy that enters your body with every step. Dissipating this energy reduces the impact felt in our muscles and joints — this is particularly important for running shoes.
Knowing more about these features will ensure you’re an educated shopper when you select your new pair of workout shoes.
Try before you buy
Taking the time in-store to try on sneakers and discuss their features with shop assistants will allow you to decide whether the shoe is right for you. Be sure to pick a pair that suits your SWEAT program’s style!
Don’t be afraid to do your research and ask around before you make the commitment to a new pair!
What are your tips for picking the right workout shoe? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.