I love variety in my athletic, athleisure shoes, if you will (check out a fun shoe post here), but there was a time when I used running shoes FOR EVERYTHING. Circuit work? Running shoes. Running? Running shoes. Painting the apartment? Running shoes.
Now that I’m better versed in the world of fitness shoes, I thought it’d be a good idea to give you a basic overview of the shoes you need for specific fitness activities.
Type of Shoe: Running Shoe
This might seem like a major “duh”, but I’ve seen more than my fair share of exercisers running in non-running shoes. This is a pretty big no-no, especially if you’re running long distances.
Running shoes were made specifically for forward movement and also to support and cushion the foot (and consequently, the entire kinetic chain) from the constant pounding our bodies take when running. Did you know?: Running exerts a force of three to four times your body weight! (source). Running shoes come in four main categories: neutral, stability, performance and minimalist/barefoot.
For more information on picking the right running shoes for you, check out this Runner’s World shoe finder.
Workout: Trail Running
Type of Shoe: Trail Running Shoe
These are a subcategory of running shoes, but deserve a little blurb of their own. Trail running shoes are similar to running shoes (they support the arch of the foot and forward movement), but they have a thicker, grippier sole and added stability to cushion feet and prevent slipping on off-road terrain.
Workout: Cross training (weightlifting/cross fit/circuit work/plyometrics)
Type of Shoe: Cross training Shoe
Whereas running shoes support forward movement, cross training shoes support movement in all directions. They have a wider toe box to provide more support and less of a drop (difference in height from the heel to the front of the shoe) for a more stable platform for jumping, shuffling and all of the fun fitness moves that come with cross training.