Best Shoes For Different Workouts: Don't Let The Wrong Shoes Hold You Back

Man sitting outside in sun, lacing up vibrant colored running shoes
Written by Lyndsey Fielding
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3 minutes

Feet can be one giant pain in the neck. The phrase "if the shoe fits" does not apply when your feet are killing you. You would not wear tap shoes for ballet or house slippers for a horseback ride. Although these examples are self-explanatory, that is not true when finding that glass slipper of exercise shoes. The brands and styles of tennis shoes can be pretty daunting, and if you purchase the wrong pair, you might find yourself nursing your tootsies back to health.

There is no shortage of ways to move your body, so let's get you strapped in and laced up with the perfect shoe for your activity.

Best Shoes For Walking/Running

There are times that you will take a neighborhood stroll and times you will vacation in a place where you need to walk around an entire city. You may even be signed up for a marathon and need to start putting in some crazy miles. Both are great to include in your weekly routine. Many sneaker features are necessary for these two activities when finding the perfect fit for your feet. Stability, comfort, and flexibility are a must.

Get Moving: Your 4 Week Gentle Walking Plan

Walking shoes should include a cushioned sole that flexes and feels comfortable for the continuous heel-to-toe motion, as well as a nice secure fit. Running shoes should be lightweight, constructed with breathable material, and have a stable heel that hugs your foot.

Dr. Howard E. Friedman, a board-certified podiatrist with Suffern Podiatry, recommends the following walking and running shoes:

Best Shoes For Cross-Training & Body Weight Movements

When needing a variety of exercises and movements to stay on course is the key to your success, cross-training is a great option. It is a combination of cardiovascular exercises, weightlifting, gymnastics (body weight movements), and plyometrics. Although you may never get bored, cross-training could cause havoc for your feet if they are not protected with great footwear. Men's Health Magazine reports that a superior cross-training shoe will “have a midsole that is responsive enough for activities like box jumps, but stable enough for lifting various loads.” CrossFit, the most popular cross-training sport worldwide, and its athletes tend to gravitate to shoes like:

Start with Body Weight: Try this 30 Minute At Home Workout

Best Shoes For Aerobics

Up, down, turn, squat, up, down, turn. Step aerobics is a combination of movements generally performed while stepping up and down on a platform choreographed to music. Fun is an understatement. More recently, step instructors intertwine body weight and body sculpting moves, jump rope, and dance into their routines. With all this activity, your shoes need excellent heel and ankle support, flexibility in the toe, and traction to protect you from slips. suggests the ultimate step aerobics shoes are:

Want a Gentler Aerobics Session? Try water aerobics!

Want a Gentler Aerobics Session? Try water aerobics! When you ride a bike, you wear a helmet to protect yourself from falls. When you drive a car, you put on a seatbelt to protect yourself from accidents. When you exercise, it should be no different. It is crucial to wear the right shoes to protect not only your feet but your entire body from injury. Happy feet, happy life. Pretty sure that is the saying.

Written by:

Lyndsey Fielding

Certified Trainer

Lyndsey Fielding is a certified trainer, gym owner, and community fitness leader. She is CrossFit Level 1 certified and is head trainer for her 3,500 ft2 athletic facility.

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