Growing up, your parents throw you into any kind of sneaker that fits and holds up to the demands of a kid on the go. If you’re an athlete, you’re probably used to cleats or track and field shoes, but not all athletic shoes are created equally. Once you cross the threshold into adulthood, it can be difficult to know where to start with getting the best athletic shoes for what you want to accomplish at the gym.
Determine the Area of Fitness You Want to Focus On
The first step to deciding on the best gym shoe for you is to zero in on the activity you intend to do for physical activity. The three kinds of sneakers best for gym exercises include:
- Cross-training shoes
- Lifting shoes
- Running Shoes
Each type of shoe provides a different support structure and breathability that compliments your chosen activity. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to think about the activities you plan to engage in at the gym and decide the best shoe from there.
Cross Training Sneaker
Cross-training sneakers are used for lifting weights and all types of cardio besides trail running and long-distance running. Cross-training shoes have mostly flat soles, but they’re cushioned for extra support where you need them most.
This type of sneaker allows your foot to evenly grip the ground and cushioned enough to support your joints during high-impact training. Cross-training shoes are great for strength training, CrossFit classes, HIIT classes, elliptical training, and more.
Lifting sneakers can be categorized by their flat soles and minimal cushioning. As their name suggests, lifting sneakers are ideal for weightlifting and strength training. During weightlifting exercises, it’s important that your feet are able to grip the ground with a lot of traction, especially if you’re lifting heavyweights.
If you’re only lifting weights at the gym, any correctly fitted shoe with a flat sole can work double as a lifting sneaker. If only part of your workout or some of your gym sessions includes weightlifting, it’s a good idea to bring a change of shoes. It’s not a good idea to run or do cardio in lifting sneakers nor is it a good idea to wear high-arch running shoes for your weight training session.
If your primary focus at the gym is cardio or distance running, it’s a good idea to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Running shoes are light with minimal heel height, a wide toe area, and they have some gentle cushioning. Running shoes are designed to support your natural gait and support your foot’s natural movement.