Guide to Training Shoes

As the human race evolves and develops newer tastes every day, fitness footwear receives revamps from time to time. The days when they were limited to “cross trainers” or “aerobics shoes” are officially over; training shoes are a variant of fitness footwear created to deliver comfort for all-round protection and motion so you are free to perform a wide range of fitness activities. So, here’s a guide to training shoes.

Bring a pair to the gym as they’re perfect for weightlifting, a bunch of requested sports, as well as many fitness activities. Training shoes were designed with cushioning and stability in mind so your ankles wouldn’t feel the pressure even if you were doing some demanding physical activity.

So, once and for all, let’s dissipate the cloud of confusion shrouding training shoes and their “similarities” to running shoes, and also discuss what are training shoes in depth.

Difference Between Training Shoes and Running Shoes

Photo By: Sam Moqaddam

There’s a common misconception that training shoes are the same as running shoes since they bear some visual resemblance, but the reality is they’re rather different in usage.

Training Shoes: Like mentioned before, training shoes were created for multi-directional motion, especially lateral (side-to-side) motion. Soles on training shoes are flatter, adding to the overall flexibility to support a variety of movements. However, they’re definitely much heavier in comparison to their running counterpart, but this is due to the fact that they need to be more durable and provide more foot support. They come with extra ruggedness on the side, ideal for the gym.

Running Shoes: These shoes were designed to support heel-to-toe motion. The extra padding bestows it with the higher heel drop. Additionally, running shoes are typically much lighter so runners aren’t carrying unnecessary weight, making them lighter and more agile on their feet. Best for tracks and runs.

So, there’s literally no way you could alternate training shoes for running shoes. The change is in the flexibility and heel drop.

What Are Training Shoes Best For?

Training shoes enable the wearer to perform a wide range of movements, including breaking, cutting, jumping, stopping, and changing direction fast. This is why they’re so versatile and great for so many workouts. 

To recognize a training shoe amidst a crowd of other models, observe the flatness of the feel. The technical term here is “heel drop,” which is used to refer to the distance from heel height to toe height. 

Now let’s answer the most important question: what are training shoes best for?

  • Strength training – Training shoes feature extra space near the forefoot region, ideal for strength training.
  • Weight-lifting – The heel support in training shoes accommodates your body during squats and immediate rises following that.
  • Agility workouts – Outsole grooves and patterns create improved traction while performing the plyometric and multi-directional motion.
  • High-intensity gym session – The extra cushioning inside training shoes was added to provide comfort during high-impact training.

Feel free to take a brief run on a treadmill. But, running shoes should be your go-to for anything over a 5k, since there’s that major factor of shock absorption.

The Fit of Training Shoes

Comfort should always be the primary concern while buying shoes, for practical purposes that is. This is especially crucial while shoe shopping for workouts and exercise plans.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Non-marking outsoles are an important thing to consider if you play court sports.
  • Leather uppers are more durable than synthetics. On the other hand, mess uppers are better in the departments of air circulation and breathability.
  • Some models feature convenient removable sock liners, called footbeds by many, which allow the wearer to include a layer of supportive insoles or custom orthotics. 
  • Not all brands come in wider sizes.

Why Training Shoes Aren’t the Substitutes for Running Shoes and Vice Versa

Photo By: Malik Skydsgaard

In one word, acknowledging the difference between training and running shoes will determine how safe the wearer is from injuries. Mismatched shoes aren’t worth it, and here’s why:

  • Lateral movement: Higher heel drops distinguish training shoes and running ones, as they increase the chances of ankle sprains when performing a lateral movement.
  • Plyometric workouts: Remember the extra cushioning and support features in running shoes? This is where it will prove to be harmful and stop you from striking the perfect landing, eventually causing more knee or ankle injuries.
  • Injuries: You can surely run in training shoes, but keep in mind that they don’t come with the cushioning you’ll get in running shoes, and this raises the probability of plantar fasciitis. Plus, you can super vulnerable to stress fractures. 

Why You Need to Choose the Correct Kind of Shoes

Photo By: Victor Freitas

If we haven’t made it crystal clear by now, wearing the wrong shoes in these cases can lead to quite a few severe injuries. If the wearer has some other problems on the foot, like flat-footedness, this can be a huge issue. Your feet have to be supported in a way that shields them from injuries while boosting performance. For instance, plantar fasciitis is a physical condition where the connective tissues in the sole swell up. If you keep wearing the wrong kind of shoes for a prolonged time, this may happen, thus leaving the delicate parts of your feet weaker to stress. Recovering from this can take up to a year, so it’s best to be extra safe.

In addition, the wrong shoes are more than enough to mess up your whole body’s coordination, and you automatically are lesser immune to injuries in ankles, shins, and legs. Turning an ankle, twisting your knee, getting painful blisters, and what not. Not only that but your reps, sets, and training wont’ be as effective either.

Bottom Line

Now that you know what are training shoes, you should definitely know if you have a need for them in your life. If yes, definitely consider investing in a pair and you’re guaranteed to see better workout results.

You can also read: Best Wrestling Shoes for Boys

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