Which shoes are right for your workout?

January 13, 2020
5 min read
Holly Janiszewski

HERE’s a quick breakdown of key differences between training, weight lifting and running shoes

I. LOVE. SHOES. And probably have way too many pairs. But HEY - I say it’s okay because I wear sneakers every day. It’s in my job description. :)

Here’s my two-cents on different sneaker types and what to look for when buying a pair. 

Training shoes (for HIIT workouts, aerobic/kickboxing classes, plyometric training, etc.):

  • Made for a variety of movements, including side-to-side, quick stops/starts, jumping… think speed, agility, quickness, and plyometric movements
  • Typically a more snug fit around foot
  • Smaller heel drop (distance from the heel height to the toe height)
  • Pro tip: Different types of training shoes will have different features like different outsole patterns, heel support, and cushioning. Pick a style that fits with the types of workouts you’ll need them for.

Weight lifting shoes (for Olympic lifts, powerlifting or more weight focused workouts):

  • Made for weight focused workouts and provide a lot of support and balance
  • Some styles have lifted heels and/or a solid/hard base, and allow for more ROM (Range Of Motion) in movements
  • Some styles have a flat, solid/hard base and allow for less ROM in movements
  • Most styles are typically made of sturdy and less flexible material
  • Pro tip: Pick a style that fits with the types of lifting you’ll need them for.

Running shoes (for running, duh):

  • Made for forward movement
  • Keeps your feet comfortable during longer distances and provides shock absorption
  • Have a higher heel drop (distance from the heel height to the toe height)
  • Pro tip: I would highly recommend going to a running store and have your gait and foot analyzed for the perfect fit. There are several awesome running stores in the Twin Cities area, including a couple of my favs Mill City Running and Gear Running.

Brands and styles I like:


Weight lifting


Overall advice, go try a bunch of shoes on! There are brands that I love and feel great on my feet, and other people can’t stand them. Yes… it might take some trial and error. However! Once you find brands and styles you like, you’ll probably stick with them because your workouts and runs will greatly benefit!

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