Figuring what type of runners to wear can be a big concern to many fitness enthusiasts. But the answer’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Running shoes are for running and cross trainers are for training. Right?
Not necessarily….consumers are often confused and overwhelmed by all the different shoes that are on the market. In a simpler time, one pair of all-around running shoes would suffice. But nowadays shoes can be highly specialized and made differently in order to cater to a variety of activities.
So to help you in your pursuit of the ‘perfect’ type of shoe, here are the most common types of workout shoes you’ll find on the market that will actual benefit you.
Because running is linear, meaning you move forward in the same manner stride after stride–running shoes are typically designed to be light and breathable with a cushioned underfoot. Steady state running is much different than cycling or your run of the mill gym training. As such, you need shoes that promote good ankle stability, motion control and shock absorption. My favourite running shoes are Asics for functionality and Nike for functionality and aesthetics. I’ve also had great runs with New Balance runners as well.
Cross Training/Gym Workout
Cross trainers are designed to provide stability for multidirectional movement since unlike running, training is not always linear. If you’re mainly interested in class-based fitness or cardio machines, standard cross trainers will suffice. When it comes to heavier weight lifting, cross trainers that emphasize ankle stability to account for lifting heavy loads or ones with flat and stiff soles are definitely the way to go.
Cycling shoes are very sports-specific and typically very stiff. The stiffness offers support from cramping and the underfoot is designed to clip into the pedals on road or spin bikes. Cycling shoes are designed in a way that give the user increased control and constant contact with the pedals to allow for an efficient transfer of power or energy.
Since cycling shoes can be quite pricey, I would suggest only purchasing them if you think that it’s an activity that you’ll be participating in regularly.
Though it’s not completely terrible to wear your road runners on the trails, I would still advise against it. Trail runners have thicker soles to protect your feet from rocky surfaces, jagged debris and protruding tree roots. They also include a gripped sole for traction and are usually made with water-resistant material.
So there you have it. Just a few tips to keep your feet both happy and healthy on your search for the right training shoe!
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