So, you go into a shoe store and aside from the same shoe coming in 7 different colours, there are different categories, different styles and they claim they are for different purposes?
BUT…does it really make a difference or is it just a selling point?
Lets start with running shoes…typically – a higher level of support, higher offset and more cushioning. Running shoes along with the above characteristics are designed for a forward motion, made to mimic the natural gait of walking and running. A running shoe can be an all rounder, however, if you do get indoors for your workout it depends how you choose to workout at the gym.
Cue training shoes! These bad boys are closer to the ground, have less cushioning, multidirectional traction and more ‘wrap around’ support for your medial and lateral foot (the outsides). Why? They’re made for lateral movements, quick direction changes and the closeness to the ground makes them perfect for weight lifting. The downside – you cant run in them. I mean…you can, but only the kind that you would typically do in a circuit or that quick 10 minute cardio session before you start the ‘gym’ stuff.
So what’s the verdict? A neutral running shoe pretty much can easily be an all rounder if you don’t want to fork out more dollars than needed on your shoes. Not too much arch support and offset that it will be easy to roll your ankle when jumping around in a circuit or doing box jumps, and not too much ankle support and lockdown that you cant get a full range of motion when weight lifting.
My choice? I was a swimmer, which pretty much means I run like a duck (i’ll take a hike over a marathon any day) so running is never really a thought for my shoes. I LOVE a good training shoe for gym hands down (NIKE Free TR for general gym and NIKE Metcon for weights are my picks)! But, will still grab out a neutral shoe from my coset if I’m going to be doing an outdoor bootcamp or anything more versatile – and just kick of my sneakers and do weights in socks! A point to keep in mind however – If you have foot issues or get knee / hip pain caused from your gait, I’d definitely say go for a supportive and cushioned running shoe, your joints will love you and they’re more comfortable to get around in day-to-day.
BOTTOM LINE – there is benefits to both types of kicks, you just have to decide what you’re going to be doing more of!