We all seek a good workout at the gym. The kind of clothes that you put on and the shoes you wear give you the confidence to give your best. Every gym-goer is very considerate about the outfit. But we barely pay attention to the kind of shoes that we wear. Your gym shoes play a very great role in your training,
Now, choosing the right kind of shoes can be complicated. If you visit a shoe store, you’ll find different shoes for the kind of training you undergo. For example, if your training involves long minutes of running on a treadmill, you need shoes that provide you with better cushioning and support for running.
So, if you want to add more shoes to your gym shoe collection, let’s help you explore how to find ones that match your training standards.
Table of Contents
A] What To Consider When Looking For New Workout Shoes?
When you start training in the gym, there’s not much need to pick any particular kind of workout shoes. However, as you go deeper into your training regime, you might develop some preferences. When you start with an intense training regime, you’ll need to focus on the type of workouts that you’re doing.
When you are on the run to shop for your gym shoes, there are two questions that you should ask yourself:
Question 1: How Are You Going To Spend Your Weeklong Training Sessions?
The first thing you need to assess is your workout regime for the week. You must consider the kind of exercises that you’ll perform over the week. If you can figure it out, you can easily pick a shoe type for yourself. Answering this question will be helpful for you especially if you plan to use the pair of shoes throughout the week.
Usually, there are three types of athletes or lifters at the gym. Every type of lifter undergoes an altogether different kind of training.
Type 1 Athlete
If you belong to this category, you mostly plan on doing your workouts in your shoes. There’s a blend of hypertrophy and strength in your workouts. Your lifting goals aren’t very specific since you are not competing in any strength competitions or sports.
People belonging to this category have a more versatile training schedule. The best kind of gym shoes for type 1 lifters and athletes are cross-training shoes.
Cross-training shoes are the most suitable pair for such people because they allow you to do light lifting easily. You can also put them on for short runs now and then.
Type 2 Athlete
The second type of athletes and lifters at the gym try to do some sessions of light-weight training. They occasionally add short runs before and after their workouts. Lifters belonging to this category have a lot of HIIT cardio sessions every week.
The training regime for such people is somewhat similar to the lifters belonging to category 1. So, cross-training shoes can be an ideal fit for them. But since there’s a lot of moving and cardio involved, it will be wiser to choose shoes that come with thicker midsoles.
Type 3 Athlete
These lifters change their workout plans every once in a while. Their training goals are different and they regularly rotate their exercises. Such people indulge in cross-training workouts and heavy lifting sessions. Sometimes, these people also like to run.
For such people, only a single pair of gym shoes wouldn’t suffice. They need different types of shoes based on their training needs.
With that said, there’s another question that you’ll need to answer while deciding which shoe to buy to hit the gym.
Question 2: What Is Your Foot Type?
Apart from understanding your training regime, you should also pay attention to your foot type.
Knowing the anatomy of your foot will help you choose the shoes with just the right fitting. It’s one of the steps to boost your confidence at the gym. You should know if you have a wide or a narrow foot. It’s also important to know if you require shoes with high arches and ankle support.
Most of us can understand the anatomy of our feet and pick a shoe pair that fits our foot type. However, understanding what kind of shoe will provide the right support is often very complicated. It’s only with time, trial, and error that we understand what kind of shoe type is worthwhile.
There are mainly 4 things that you should ask yourself when you’re choosing a shoe.
- What’s the width of your foot?
- What kind of arch do you have?
- What’s the thickness of your feet?
- What intensity of ankle support do you need?
Based on the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to pick shoes that will be comfortable to wear at the gym.
B] Choosing The Right Shoe For The Gym
If you go with the workout-specific shoes, let’s assure you that you’re going to have a great session at the gym! After assessing the type of feet you have, you’ll be able to build a good collection of training shoes. But what’s even more important to consider is to choose workout-specific shoes.
Let’s take a look at different types of gym activities and the preferable gym shoes for these activities.
1. Running Shoes For Cardio
For your cardio workouts, running shoes are the best choice. They are designed to provide you with optimal support and cushioning to help you perform your workouts smoothly.
Running shoes are the best for cardiovascular exercises like running or brisk walking. They have shock absorption capabilities that help in reducing the impact of your movements on your joints.
Running shoes come with a breathable upper portion. Your feet will stay cool throughout your cardio or running session. Wearing running shoes for cardio workouts will help you deliver the best performance.
2. Cross-Training Shoes For Versatile Workouts
As mentioned, cross-training shoes are highly versatile. They are the best gym shoes for a variety of activities. Cross-training shoes are ideal for aerobic exercises, strength training, or agility drills.
These shoes are supportive, stable, and flexible. Cross-training shoes can easily handle lateral movement in your dynamic workouts. With these shoes, you can indulge in different kinds of exercises without any issues.
3. Weightlifting Shoes For Strength Training
When it comes to strength, training, or weightlifting, you should buy specialized weightlifting shoes. Weightlifting shoes have flat soles and provide you with a stable base. Wearing running shoes for your weightlifting sessions is not a good option as they do not have a flat sole.
Weightlifting shoes, on the other hand, enhance your connection to the ground. They provide you with stability that helps maintain proper form when you lift weights. Wearing weightlifting shoes can also help you maximize the power generated during your lifts.
Sometimes, weightlifting shoes often have a raised heel that helps you in attaining a proper depth, especially when you squat.
4. Barefoot Shoes For Flexibility Exercises
If your gym schedule involves a lot of flexibility exercises, you might want to switch to barefoot shoes or minimalist shoes. These shoes help you mimic the sensation of being barefoot.
However, you are not barefoot. Barefoot shoes provide you with some protection that is suitable for flexibility, exercises, yoga, or Pilates. For exercises that involve a natural range of motion, these shoes are the best fit. Barefoot shoes come with a low-profile design that allows your feet to move freely.
These shoes help engage the muscles and improve balance. The best thing about barefoot shoes is that they are completely lightweight. They provide a more natural foot strike during your mobility exercises.
C] Characteristics Of Good Gym Shoes
How do you know that a certain type of shoe is the best for the gym? Well, some characteristics are present in all good gym shoes. These characteristics help ensure your comfort during workouts and enhance your performance. They also help in preventing any potential injuries at the gym.
Here’s what you need to look for when buying gym shoes.
1. Arch Support
Adequate arch support is one of the most important characteristics of a good gym shoe. You need better arch support if you regularly engage in activities that involve repetitive impact on your feet.
The arch of the foot provides you with a natural shock absorber and the proper support helps in distributing the pressure evenly. So, you do not feel any discomfort, fatigue, or long-term issues if you indulge in various exercises for a long-term
The gym shoes should also have the right amount of cushioning. This feature is especially important if you indulge in a lot of high-impact exercises. Proper cushioning will help in the absorption of shock that comes with running or jumping.
An adequate amount of cushioning also helps in minimizing the strain on your ankles, knees, and hips. If your gym shoes lack this feature, you are prone to more injuries at the gym.
Grippy soles are important for gym shoes. Shoes that lack proper grip are often slippery. You cannot rely on these shoes if you enjoy more dynamic movements at the gym.
That’s why gym shoes should come with proper traction. Traction helps in maintaining stability and preventing accidents during your agility drills or lateral movements.
Shoes with good grip also help you have great weightlifting sessions. When you wear these shoes, your feet stay firmly planted on the ground. You have more confidence in your movement and you can easily perform various exercises without any stress.
Gym shoes should be well-ventilated. Shoes that have proper breathability provide your feet with the best comfort during your workouts. It helps in keeping your feet cool and dry by allowing proper air circulation.
Well-ventilated shoes prevent the accumulation of moisture. They help in reducing the risk of conditions like athletes’ feet which often arise because of long exposure to damp conditions. You must wear well-ventilated shoes to the gym, especially if you’re going to have long workout sessions.
The same holds if you exercise in warmer environments. Breathable shoes will help in enhancing overall comfort and hygiene.
D] Regular Shoe Check
Regularly inspecting your gym shoes might be a simple task. But it’s very significant for your comfort and safety during your workouts. Over time, even the best of the best gym shoes can undergo wear and tear. If you inspect them regularly, you can identify signs of deterioration.
Usually, the most common issue that arises from gym shoes is frayed stitching or worn-out soles. If you address these issues on time and get yourself new shoes, you can avoid any discomfort and the risk of injuries.
Most of you might also want to invest in trendy shoes instead of what you need. It’s not a bad thing to follow the current gym shoe trends. But you must put your comfort and functionality above the aesthetics. Check the gym shoes to see if they strike a balance between style and functionality so that you can feel confident while performing your workouts.
In the world of fitness, people today rely on their outfits to provide them the motivation and confidence to perform their workouts. However, most people go for aesthetics instead of choosing shoes that offer them comfort and safety. But if you do not choose the right type of shoes, it could significantly impact your performance.
Every type of activity that you perform at the gym requires a different type of shoes. There is a distinct shoe requirement for running, cross-training, weightlifting, or flexibility exercises. You must understand the kind of exercise that you are performing at the gym and choose a shoe that enhances your performance.
Wearing the wrong shoe can often lead to injuries. Therefore, you must ask yourself the two important questions that we discussed here and understand the difference between different gym activities and the shoe requirement for these activities.