Are you committing to be more active again?
Your first step is to choose a few activities you like; these could be running, aerobics, volleyball, or basketball.
If it’s been a while, don’t over-exert yourself; start with mild to moderate sports activities before advancing.
The next step is to find the right sports gear. You may need gym shorts, training shoes, sweatbands, and more.
This part is a bit harder than it looks.
For example, the wrong shoes cause blisters, foot cramps, and pain. That’s why you should know the difference between training shoes vs. running shoes. This also highlights the importance of choosing an activity before buying your shoes; running shoes are much different in build than basketball sneakers, for instance.
Whether you’re hitting the gym or running a mile, start with this complete guide to training shoes vs. running shoes.
What Are Running Shoes?
It’s easy to get thrown off by training shoes if you’re looking for running shoes. There are similarities, especially in size. However, running shoes are designed specifically for running; this includes running outdoors in rugged terrain.
First, ask yourself what type of running activity you want to pursue.
Here are a few ideas to start:
- Light neighborhood jogging
- Sprinting activities
- Short-distance running
- Mile running
- Long-distance running (cross-country)
Let’s start with the mildest activity which is light jogging. Basic running shoes work perfectly for this activity.
Here are a few basic benefits to know:
- A shoe that fits great (so important!)
- Durable, secure shoelaces
- Well balanced
- Made from a lightweight material
- Comfortable removable insoles
You should be able to optimize your shoes with additional insoles if necessary. A great-fitting shoe is so critical for preventing long-term foot pain problems. This can lead to back issues and other types of chronic pain.
Running shoes are specially designed to support your feet, working as shock absorbers as your feet hit the pavement. They also provide buoyancy, improving running performance and speed.
Breathability also matters.
That’s why you shouldn’t substitute running shoes with walking shoes. Running shoes are made with breathable mesh material to ventilate your feet during long, hot outdoor runs. Walking shoes are designed for light walking around neighborhoods and parks.
Good running shoe design also prioritizes safety. That’s why most running shoes have some type of reflective material. This feature is a must for evening runs in the neighborhood; you can optimize your safety with additional reflective gear, like fluorescent vests, reflective shirts, and bright-colored pants.
Are you planning to run on rugged nature trails?
You’re going to need running shoes with tough outsoles. Touch outsoles protect your feet from pointy shards, glass, rocks, and other hazards.
Despite tough outsoles, your running shoe’s body should be ultra-flexible. Good shoes improve pronation. They have stability features that control supination and pronation.
Again, everything comes back to fit. Running shoes are designed for versatile lacing, allowing you to customize your shoe to the perfect fit. They also have counter heels for added stabilization.
Midsoles improve shock absorption; this is necessary for preventing injury and muscle spasms. They also make the shoe feel lighter. Many running shoes also have additional support features and bridges for added motion control.
If you look at the outsoles on the bottom of the shoe, you’ll notice a recessed pattern; it may be waffle-like or have another geometric pattern. Patterned outsoles improve running traction while durable rubber improves tread.
How to Buy Running Shoes
Shoes are one of those accessories you have to try on in person before making a decision. If you buy running shoes consistently, you can purchase them online. However, if you’re new to running, it’s best to get help in person first.
There are plenty of places to find good running shoes. There are many retailers and department stores. You also have sporting goods stores and boutique stores devoted to sports shoes.
Try plenty of shoes in person before settling on your first pair. Ask a knowledgeable sales associate for their opinion; what’s their favorite running shoe?
Once you’re comfortable with your size, fit, and favorite brands, you can start shopping online for shoes. However, set your clock early. Many popular brands like Yeezy 350 shoes sell out quickly after launch.
Blogs are another good way to find running shoes. Plus, a lot of running influencers test out brands, providing detailed reviews.
Buying Training Shoes: Training Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Follow the same steps when buying training shoes in person and online.
Perfect fit, shock absorption, and range of motion are also critical for the gym. A personal trainer could also recommend a really good training shoe.
What is a training shoe exactly?
While it may look similar to a running shoe, there are notable differences.
For example, running shoes are designed for natural running movements, which are heel-to-toe. Training shoes are built for the type of movements seen in a gym, which are multidirectional in nature. Multidirectional movements are quicker and move side-to-side.
Therefore, when you compare a running shoe to a training shoe, two differences you’ll immediately spot are the outsoles and heel. Running shoes have a higher heel drop design with more cushioning. Training shoes have a noticeably flatter outsole for multidirectional flexibility.
Training shoes are designed to improve the following multidirectional movements:
- Quick stopping
- Changing directions quickly
- Jumping (for aerobics and jump rope)
You also need a reliable shoe that helps promote good posture and balance.
It’s important to note that training shoes are not designed for outdoor use. You’ll also notice the difference between jogging in training shoes vs. running shoes. Plus, outdoor terrain can damage the outsoles of your training shoes.
You would use training shoes for the following gym activities:
- Strength and agility training
- Indoor obstacle courses
- High-intensity cardio workouts
- Weight lifting
Many gymgoers use training shoes on treadmills, but only for short distances. If you wanted to sustain a long run, you’ll need running shoes.
Find the Right Shoe for You!
Kickstart your new physical activity with the perfect sports shoe!
Keep this guide handy as you choose between training shoes vs. running shoes. The blog is also full of ideas to inspire more healthy changes.