The 8 Best Workout Shoes for Every Type of Exercise

Photo by Rob Wilson on Unsplash

The standard protocol is to replace your running shoes every 500 miles, but many runners struggle to let go of their favorite trainers and wear them for far longer. It can feel like your old shoes are comfortable and familiar, but once their shock-absorbing capabilities are worn out your shoes will be holding you back. Worn-out shoes put you at risk of fatigue, foot pain, and serious injury.

This is the reason behind the 500-mile guideline. Replacing your shoes regularly keeps your whole body running smoothly. And it’s not just runners – every sport can benefit from swapping any shoes that are worn out for new ones.

No matter what sport you do, your footwear is the foundation of your practice. We know it can be hard to let go of your favorite pair, so we put together this guide to the best shoes for every sport. In it, you’re sure to find your next favorite pair of trainers, so read on!

1. All-Around Trainers: Adidas Ultraboost 21

If you are a jack of all trades at the gym, these are your pair. They have the right amount of cushioning for running, and the perfect level of responsiveness for strength training, and everything in between.

If you’re focused on running performance, you’ll find them a little heavy. But, they’ll keep your feet comfortable for everyday running and training, so you can still rack up both the miles and the weights.

2. Stability Running: Asics Gel Kayano 27

The next time you participate in your local fun run or marathon, take a moment to look at the shoes next to you. We guarantee you’ll see several pairs of the Kayanos. They are some of the most popular running shoes on the market and feature all-around great performance.

The main feature of these shoes is their stability. If you have a tendency to overpronate, these shoes will keep your arches high and your feet in the proper position. In addition, they’re pretty lightweight while still having a lot of cushion for everyday miles.

3. CrossFit: Nike Metcons

These shoes are some of the coolest shoes that Nike has produced in recent years, and you’ll find that they work as hard as you do. They are designed for CrossFit-style movements like jumping, sprinting, lifting, climbing, and just about anything else. They have tons of cushioning and lateral support for high impact and all side-to-side movement.

If you’re not a CrossFitter, they’ll also work well for HIIT workouts and any gym session that involves multiple kinds of movements.

4. Street to Court: Nike Air Max 270 React

It’s often been said that you either have to choose performance shoes or stylish shoes, but Nike has consistently shown us you can have both in the same pair. If you’re looking for a pair of epic shoes that transitions from the street to the court, look no further than the Air Max 270 React sneaker.

These shoes are eyecatching, which has made them a favorite of sneakerheads everywhere. But, they also feature great cushioning and support which means they’ll put in work at the gym. You will find that these shoes are uncomfortable and clunky for running, but they are great for HIIT classes, basketball, and similar exercises.

5. Hiking: York Athletics All-Terrain

At first glance, these shoes look like street-style sneakers. However, there are a lot of performance features packed into these shoes! These shoes are incredibly durable and extremely grippy.

Their sole is designed for off-road wandering and is incredibly sturdy. In addition, the shoes have extreme traction so you don’t have to worry about losing your footing on the trail.

6. Trail Running: Nike Wildhorse 7

It can be difficult to find shoes for trail running. You have to have the right combination of traction and durability, in addition to responsiveness, support, and flexibility. The Wildhorse is designed with all these features in mind.

The soles are grippy, the support offers great feedback, and you’ll find a lot of ankle support so you won’t end up rolling your ankle! In addition, the exterior is welded closed, which prevents dirt, debris, and rocks from getting in.

7. Heavy Cushioning: Hoka One One Clifton Edge

Hoka has a reputation for big shoes and thick soles. They can be somewhat polarizing, many runners either love or hate them! But, if you need tons of support and cushioning, the Hoka One One is the shoe for you.

If you deal with back or knee pain but still want to do cardio, these Hoka shoes can help keep you active while alleviating painful impact stress. If try these out and they’re your first pair of Hokas, be sure to take time to get used to them, as the cushioning can make them feel strange at first.

8. Weightlifting: Under Armour Project Rock

If anyone knows what a weightlifter is looking for, it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s spent more time in the gym than he has sleeping! So it’s no surprise that in his collaboration with Under Armour, he created the perfect weightlifting shoe.

The Project Rock shoes are incredibly cool-looking, and they have the perfect amount of traction to prevent slipping. In addition, they keep your feet and ankles stable while still remaining responsive so you can stay connected with your feet during your exercises.

Not Just Any Shoes Will Do

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that any shoes will work for you, and don’t make the mistake of using your shoes past their natural lifespan. There are many new and specialized types of shoes on the market, so why not try a pair out for yourself? You’re sure to notice an improvement in your performance.

If you enjoyed learning about our picks for the best workout shoes, we have lots more sports and lifestyle content on our blog. Check it out today!

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