Choosing the Right Athletic Shoes: A Comprehensive 2023 Guide for Training and Workouts

Are you determined to start working out but not sure what shoes to wear? Indoor gyms offer a wide variety of sports, from spinning to strength training, cardio boxing, and specific body parts such as biceps and kettlebells…not to mention outdoor ball games and aerobics. In addition to wearing the right clothes for the sport, the shoes you step into are also crucial! There are hundreds of athletic brands and shoes on the market, but it can be confusing to know what to choose.

What is the difference between fitness shoes, jogging shoes, and sneakers?

When doing heavy weight training in the gym, such as squats and hard lifts, the most important thing is to maintain core stability. Fitness shoes usually have better support and stability than jogging shoes and sneakers, and their soles are harder to help you complete high-intensity training. Jogging shoes are designed for running outdoors and are made as light as possible. They aim to improve stability during running, and their soles are made of more flexible materials to reduce the shock of rebound when the foot touches the ground.

Why do I need to wear specific training shoes for fitness?

Each sport requires different equipment depending on its characteristics, just like when you go swimming, a swimsuit that fits snugly can significantly reduce the resistance of moving forward in the water. Similarly, wearing the right pair of shoes can provide the safety and functionality you need for your sport, which can reduce the risk of spraining your ankle and significantly improve the quality of your workout.

Can I wear jogging shoes to class or for strength training?

If you are a beginner who is preparing to step into the gym, it is not a bad idea to wear the shoes you currently have on hand to go to class. The weight of training for beginners is usually not too heavy, so you do not have to spend a lot of money on functional shoes right away.

How to choose the right athletic footwear?

Training shoes must be selected according to the type and intensity of the sport.

  • Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise can be treadmill, wheelbarrow, skateboard, or aerobic dance, and the characteristics of this type of exercise are low intensity and high repetition. The easier and less strenuous each step is, the better. Usually, it also involves a lot of lateral movement. You can choose a pair of shoes with a higher mouth and better coverage, which can protect the ankle, reduce the chance of sprain, and significantly reduce the fatigue of the feet. If the training menu is still based on running or walking, you can directly choose running shoes designed for vertical movement, which have better cushioning and lightness, and can effectively reduce the impact on the knee. For beginners with less muscle strength, thick-soled shoes can also provide good protection.

  • Anaerobic exercise (weight training)

During weight training, we use the sole of the foot to transfer the force to the ground, and the ground will give us the reaction force so that we can resist the weight (e.g., hard lift). Therefore, the most important thing to pay attention to is the stability and grip of the shoe. Usually, the sole of the shoe will be harder and thinner to provide the center of gravity and balance required during training. That is why we sometimes see people doing hard lifts barefoot.

  • Integrated Training, Crossfit

If your training is more athletic, Crossfit, then choosing a pair of shoes with integrated training features will be good for you. A pair of multifunctional shoes can give your feet good mobility and provide stability for basic weight training. If you are new to fitness, it is highly recommended that you go directly to a sporting goods store and purchase a pair of multifunctional shoes.


It’s important to note that while sneakers may work for many sports and activities, they may not be the best choice for every type of workout. For example, if you are a serious runner, you may benefit from wearing specialized running shoes with features such as added cushioning and support designed specifically for running. Similarly, if you are participating in a sport that requires a lot of lateral movement, such as tennis or basketball, you may need shoes with additional support and stability in the sides to prevent injuries. So while sneakers can work for many activities, it’s always a good idea to consider the specific needs of your sport or workout when selecting athletic footwear.

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