It’s a part of our workout uniform – even having shiny new kicks can motivate us to get THROUGH a workout!
I remember when I first started working out I had ONE pair of sneakers. They were the sneakers I ran in, did the elliptical in, did group fitness class in. I would have aches and pains in my foot but didn’t think too much of it.
As the years have gone by and I’ve not only run some races and taught some classes, I’ve learned a thing or two about footwear and how it can have an impact on your workout – how finding the right shoe can help you perform in those workouts also.
Let’s take a peak at RUNNING SHOES first and their function, primarily in the sole of the shoe:
Traits to keep in mind when it comes to Running Shoes: Tread on the sole that leads the body to go forward in a frontal plane of motion primarily, Stability and support in the insole of the shoe or all along the bottom, and a higher heel raise to take pressure off of the heel of the foot when running. My favorite running shoes are the Brooks Womens PureCadence 2 Running Shoes (on the right. On the Left are the Reebok Women’s One Cushion Running Shoe.)
Now let’s look at some CROSS-TRAINING SHOES and their differences from Running Shoes:
Traits to keep in mind when it comes to Cross-training Shoes: Tread goes in all directions to allow for diagonal movement, a Lower heel thickness to give even support for jumping movements and flat landing for weight lifting, No stability as the heel doesn’t take much impact in most cross-training workouts (at least not the brunt of it.) My favorite cross trainers are these shoes – on the left are the Reebok Women’s Studio Choice Mid Dance Shoe and on the right are my Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 4.0 Training Shoes.
What can happen if you wear a shoe that isn’t ‘suited’ for the exercise you’re doing?
Many times when I chat about shoes with others they tell me about pain in their calves or the inside of their foot when then use running shoes for group fitness classes or other workouts. On the opposite end, when using cross-trainers to run there’s pressure on the heel and no ankle support when going longer distances. Remember to use the shoe for what it’s intended to be used for. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the workout is ‘hurting’ you, just that the foot or legs aren’t getting the desired support for that activity.
There is even more to lifting shoes versus cross training shoes and crossfit shoes versus non-crossfit shoes – the moral of the story is to be sure to use the right shoe for the workout you plan on doing.