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When you go to the gym, you may already have that go-to pair of athletic shoes to exercise in. But are they the right type of shoes? Do they fit you the way they should? Are your feet in pain during/after a workout? Is your balance and posture how it should be?

These are all important things to consider, as well as what type of exercising you’ll be doing in your local or home gym. Newcomers to gyms or people just starting new memberships should keep in mind that the shoes they wear is an essential element to trying to attain their physical goals.

Group of young woman exercisingShoes for the Right Occasion

Always have a game plan, even when choosing a pair of shoes for the gym. You should have a formed idea of what activities and exercises you’ll be doing. You may have your own personal favorite exercises that are important to plan for.

People may prefer lifting moderately heavy weights, or running/jogging on the treadmill for extended amounts of time, agility drills, cycling and/or yoga classes for the bulk of their gym time, or a combination of them.

If you specifically plan on doing a lot of running or jogging, consider a durable, reliable pair of running shoes that brands like Reebok and Nike offer. If you just simply have a lot of variety to your workouts, then a cross trainer shoe may be what you’re looking for.

There are also specialized shoes for those who do indoor cycling classes that you might want to take a look at as well.

Types of Shoes

As mentioned before, cross trainer shoes are excellent choices for those who plan on a full body workout covering many different kinds of exercising. Their soles will provide exceptional traction and support during both side-to-side and lateral movements.

Cross trainer shoes also have a thick durable makeup that will support you on a variety of surfaces, including asphalt, basketball/tennis courts, and of course gym floors. Their dense cushioning will give you the great feeling of stability throughout your workout. You’ll find cross trainers made up of leather or synthetic uppers and others with more of a breathable mesh material.

There are specially designed “court shoes” which are made to provide lateral and mid foot support when hitting the basketball courts and tennis courts, among others.

Running shoes are designed for relatively straight running, like what you would do on a treadmill, and not necessarily for lateral movements. Make sure to check whether you’re about to buy running or “walking” shoes.

Walking shoes are designed for more of a smooth heel-to-toe motion and may not support the quicker, harder impact that running puts on your feet.

Other Notes and Fit Tips

  • If you go running or jogging in or out of the gym about twice a week on average, then you’ll want to replace your running shoes once a year.
  • If you run more frequently, like 5 or more days a week, look to replace your running shoes every 3 to 4 months.
  • Generally, you want your knees to be tracking over your toes when cycling, running, or squatting. Having proper balance is crucial to avoiding knee and foot pain, so make sure your shoes are giving you enough support.
  • To prevent blisters, foot pain and discomfort, make absolute certain that your shoes fit properly.
  • When you shop for a new pair, try shopping right after a workout or on the back half of the day. You’ll want to try shoes on when your feet are at their largest, which would be after you’ve done a lot of walking over the course of the day.
  • Remember: don’t just go for the ‘best looking pair’, lace up in the pair that will benefit your feet the most.

Take your first step towards a successful active lifestyle in and out of the gym with the right new shoes for you!