Does the Shoe Really Fit? Here Are the Best Functional Shoes for Every Type of Workout
Functional shoes can improve your workouts and reduce the chances of injury. Here’s everything you need to know.
Functional shoes that suit your body are essential to getting the most out of your workouts.
The right shoes can help you take the right steps (pun intended) toward better performance and physique.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Put your best foot forward.” Are you following this advice in your workouts? It’s time to throw away your shabby sneakers and step up to functional shoes! Using functional footwear that matches the activity can help you avoid injury and perform your best. Here’s what you need to know!
The importance of good shoes
We’ve all worn shoes that are a bit too tight or loose. Maybe you purchased a pair of shoes one size too big and opted for doubling up on socks to make them fit, or maybe your once-a-year dress shoes leave your toes begging for relief.
Either way, insufficient shoes can place additional stress on your feet, ankles, lower legs, and joints. Continuous pressure may add to pain and injuries. If you wear ill-fitting gym shoes for too long, you might experience shin splints, tendon pain, ingrown nails, or even lower back pain.
It’s essential to wear well-fitting shoes meant for the activity of choice to avoid harmful consequences. Just as you wouldn’t wear heels to the beach, you shouldn’t wear running shoes for lifting weights at the gym.
How to select gym shoes
There’s a lot to consider when deciding which shoes to wear to the gym or during your workout. You’ll need to consider how you plan to use the shoes before you can think about midsoles, lightweight materials, and colorways.
Identifying what activities you plan to do the most will help you select a shoe that matches your needs. For example, you might not want a heavy-duty, stable pair of sneakers for casual runs and group classes; but you would definitely want something with a bit more stability for an activity such as powerlifting.
- Multipurpose: You’ll want to pick up a pair of multipurpose gym shoes if your workouts vary or you like to bounce around between activities. Multipurpose shoes are designed for a wide range of movements and daily wear, but they aren’t specialized for particular actions. They typically have thicker midsoles and a more standard upper construction. They offer ample cushion and comfort but will show their flaws in niche training settings. You can check out the Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3 or the New Balance 623 V3 for a pair of shoes that you can use inside the gym or out.
- Running: There are a lot of ways to run, including on a track, treadmill, off-road, etc. — that’s why you’ll find several running shoe options with various construction methods and features. You’ll want something more light and flexible for treadmills, sidewalks, and tracks. Stiffer shoes with more grip and protection are best-suited for trail running. You’ll also want to factor in how much cushioning and padding you want. Starting with a pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 will give you an excellent all-around shoe for treadmills and tracks. On the flip side, you might want something more dense and durable like the Salomon Sense Ride 4 for off-roading.
- Weightlifting: Weightlifting shoes are specially designed for lifting heavy weights. This type of gym shoe has a more stable construction with a flat bottom, providing you with a level surface to push off from. You’ll definitely want to invest in a pair of weightlifting shoes if you’re powerlifting or doing heavy movements. Try the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes if you perform Olympic movements like the power clean. You can try a pair of Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II Shoes for something more versatile. Alternatively, you can opt for an essential pair of Chuck Taylors if you’re in a pinch and need a level surface.
Starting off on the right foot starts with the right shoes. It’s essential to select functional shoes that match your workout to avoid injury and perform your best. This list is meant to get you started, but you can find the perfect shoe with some research and experience.
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