Choosing the right shoe for training?

 What shoe is right for you?

You’ve rocked up to your first functional fitness class and you’re instantly told those swanky new running trainers are useless. This happens time and time again but why are they so bad and what makes a good training shoe? 

Firstly you need to figure out what your goals are? So let’s simplify this into 3 main categories –

  • Weightlifting
  • Metcon (fitness training or circuit training)
  • Running

 Let’s start with weightlifting. This requires a very stiff sole to provide you with a stable platform required for lifting. This stable platform means there’s less chance of rolling your ankle and leaves your foot in the optimum position to perform the lift.

You will also notice they have quite a large heel. This added height in the heel allows you to drop into a much better squat position as no one likes getting no-repped!

Metcon is a difficult category as it covers the most exercises. You need to be able to lift weights, run, jump, crawl and of course burpee in this shoe, so where do you begin?

Minimalist shoes such as the Inov8 F-Lites and the Reebok Nano’s are ideal and as close to an all rounder as you’ll find. F-Lites are slightly lighter and more flexible but the Nano’s have a slightly more stable platform so it’s best to try some on and get a feel for the shoes.

The reason why those new running shoes with the latest gel heel won’t be any good here is that when you need to lift they will provide you with a soft, unstable platform which could result in an injury such as rolling your ankle.

Choosing a running shoe depends on a few different factors –

  • How far will you be running?
  • How often?
  • What terrain will you be running on?

Generally if you’re running longer distances or logging lots of miles every week having a bit of cushioning isn’t such a bad thing. Running is taxing on your body so if you are chewing up the miles get some shoes designed for that. If you’re doing sprints, or track work a minimalist shoe is great because it will promote the use of a forefoot style – essential for a faster sprint time.

Do you run on trails? If so those nice new road shoes are going to have you slipping and sliding all over the place, which while it might be hilarious for your running partner to watch it’s not cool when you get injured. If you’re running on trails, get a trail shoe with a more aggressive tread. On the opposite end of the scale, if you’re logging loads of road miles then get a road shoe. It will last longer and there’s nothing worse than getting a new pair of trainers and wearing them out in a couple of weeks! 

How do I know if they’re the right ones?

 When you try them on make sure it’s at the end of the day if possible as you’re feet are generally slightly bigger then due to all the walking around. Do some squats in them, jump up, have a little run around and of course do a burpee or 10. By doing these movement you’ll get a much better feel for the shoes and have a much better idea which one is going to work for you.

You might find the perfect shoe straight away but try some others on just to make sure, you never know there might be an EVEN better pair out there for you!

If you’re in store, talk to us and don’t be afraid to ask any question! We run, we lift and we love a good metcon. If we stock it, we’ve tried it and we pride ourselves on being able to offer genuine advice from first hand experience.


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