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Train smart: The best training shoes for your next workout

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Whether you’re planning a low impact workout or a demanding strength training session, it’s essential you wear the right pair of shoes to support your workout.

Training shoes have come a long way over the last few decades.

Gone are the days when you’d use a single shoe for every type of workout.

More and more people are realising the benefits of wearing the right shoes for their workouts.

So what exactly are training shoes and when should they be worn? More importantly, what are the best training shoes?

In this guide we’ll look at:

  • What are training shoes?
  • When should training shoes be worn?
  • When should training shoes not be worn?
  • Training shoes vs running shoes
  • Training shoes vs weightlifting shoes
  • The best training shoes for your next workout

Ready?

Let’s get started!

Before we begin, thanks to adidas for sponsoring this post!

best training shoes

What are training shoes?

Training shoes are designed to support different types of workouts.

It is for this reason that they are often referred to as cross training shoes.

Cross training is a combination of different types of training and activities like walking, indoor cycling and yoga that complement your running. 

You can think of training shoes as your ‘all in one’ shoe because they are functional and versatile.

They also provide the necessary comfort and stability for a range of activities and exercises.

I know when I have worn the wrong type of shoes for my gym workout, I really feel it as I’m not able to do certain exercises like squats and lunges properly.

A good training shoe will provide much needed stability and balance through the range of movement, which is crucial when trying to do some exercises properly.

Related: Can you put shoes in the dryer? 7 running shoe cleaning do’s and don’ts

When should training shoes be worn?

Training shoes can be worn if you’re planning on doing any of the following activities:

Many people find that training shoes provide the right amount of protection and stability for these activities. 

Related: How to find the right running shoes: A complete guide

best training shoes 1

When should training shoes not be worn?

Whilst training shoes have a lot of benefits, there are some activities which are not suited for training shoes. 

If you’re planning a run – either on a treadmill or outdoors – then it’s recommended you wear a pair of proper running shoes.

Running shoes are better designed to support your feet on a run. 

They help with shock absorption and have the right amount of cushioning and support to protect your feet.

Related: What to bring to the gym: 15 workout essentials

What are the risks of wearing the wrong shoe?

Wearing the wrong shoes could mean an uncomfortable workout, taking your focus away from your workout and on what you’re wearing on your feet.

No one wants to deal with discomfort, aches, blisters and pains during a workout.

Therefore it’s best you wear shoes that are designed for the workout you’re planning. 

Wrong shoes can also affect the stability of your foot, which can have a whole host of issues for your form.

Poor form equals muscle imbalances and injury later down the line, which will ultimately affect your performance. 

Related: 5 best home gym equipment for runners

best training shoes

Training shoes vs running shoes

Here are the key differences between training shoes and running shoes.

Training shoes:

  • Flatter and more flexible sole.
  • Built for multi-directional movement (e.g. forward and sideways movement).
  • Designed to be worn to the gym. 

Running shoes:

  • Higher cushioning and support, especially in the heel.
  • Built for heel to toe movement to help with forward motion.
  • Designed to be worn on indoor and outdoor runs. 

Related: Heel pain after running: Causes + 8 ways to prevent it

Training shoes vs weightlifting shoes

Should you wear training shoes for weight training and weightlifting?

This really comes down to your experience with weights and what you feel most comfortable wearing.

Training shoes have greater heel support compared with traditional weightlifting shoes which have a flat, sturdy sole.

Heel support is good if you’re new to weight training and require heel support when doing exercises like squats and overhead presses. 

Some would argue that weightlifting is best performed wearing shoes with little or no cushioning.

If you’re unsure what might be best for you, you may benefit from a period of trial and error to find the best shoe for you.

Related: Weightlifting for runners: 5 reasons to take up weightlifting as a runner

best training shoes

The best training shoes for women for your next workout

Now you know more about training shoes, here are the best training shoes for women for your next workout. 

Best training shoes overall: adidas Trainer V Shoes (£80)

These shoes from adidas provide the right amount of comfort and stability. 

They’re very lightweight – it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything on your feet.

They also feature a cushioned sole, and even better they’re made from 50% recycled materials. 

I like the black and tan version of the shoe as they look great with any gym outfit. 

Slip them on and hit your workout with ease!

Average rating: 4.6 out of 5

Rave review: “They look fantastic and have a very well made feel about them. Also very comfortable trainers that support your feet well.”

Best training shoes for strength training: adidas Dropset Trainer Shoe (£110)

The Dropset Trainer Shoes from adidas are great for strength training and gym workouts. 

They feature a stiff heel which helps to stabilise your feet when you lift, but also have enough flexibility so you can perform multi-range movements.

So if you’re a runner that spends a lot of time in the gym, these shoes may just be for you.

As with other shoes from the adidas range, they are made from 50% recycled materials to help end plastic waste. 

Average rating: 4.7 out of 5

Rave review: “I was looking for an all-round training shoe to match my workout and these fit the bill perfectly.”

Best training shoes for light cardio: adidas Boston 11 Shoes (£140)

These training shoes are great for light cardio activities and low impact HIIT workouts. 

They feature light midsoles meaning they feel as light as a feather on your feet.

A flexible, lightweight design also means you’re not weighed down during your workout. 

Average rating: 4.2 out of 5

Rave review: “Great pair of trainers. Value for money and it is a good classic design that you can wear both casual or at the gym.”

Best training shoes for everyday wear: adidas Astir Shoes (£85)

Inspired by running shoes from the early 2000s, the Astir trainer shoes from adidas go with any casual outfit.

They feature an EVA midsole so are great for shock absorption and make everyday wear so comfy, which is needed for recovery days. 

Even better, they come in a range of colours and patterns to suit your unique style. 

I love the cloud white and dark green version of these shoes (I own a pair myself) – they look great with a pair of white socks and blue jeans. 

Average rating: 4.7 out of 5

Rave review: “Comfortable, good looking and fashionable for all occasions.”

Best training shoes for everyday style: adidas Gazelle Shoes (£80)

The adidas Gazelle shoes are a classic – starting life as an indoor football trainer before going on to be an iconic wardrobe staple.

These shoes come in a variety of colours and are sleek and functional, with a low-profile design. 

I personally own two pairs of these shoes and they are my trusty go to shoes for everyday style.

I love the black and white version of the shoe and I can attest that they look good with almost any outfit!

Average rating: 4.8 out of 5

Rave review: “Fantastic version of an already classic trainer. Comfortable, sleek and pays respect to the past which is important.”

Best training shoes for weightlifting: adidas PowerLift 5 Weightlifting Shoe (£110)

These weightlifting shoes from adidas provide all the necessary comfort and grip to support your lifts.

Whether you’re planning low to medium or heavy loads, these shoes will provide rock-solid support and stability.

Average rating: 4.7 out of 5

Rave review: “I went from weightlifting in my trainers to this pair of lifting shoes. From my first lift session I noticed a difference in how stable I felt.” 

Best training shoes for hitting the trails: adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 Hiking Shoes (£180)

If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a long weekend walk to blow the cobwebs away.

Some hiking shoes can feel really heavy on your feet, so I was delighted to find these hiking shoes as they are much more comfortable and lightweight – much more like trail running shoes.

I even wrote a review of them as I was so pleased with them!

The Terrex Free Hiker hiking shoes provide lots of features like a Continental rubber grip sole for traction and a Boost midsole to propel you forward with every step.

Like many adidas shoes, they are made from at least 50% recycled materials. 

Average rating: 4.7 out of 5

Rave review: “Comfortable, stylish and great for hiking. These are my second pair.”

Related: Proper running foot strike and 3 actionable ways to improve it

Caroline Geoghegan
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