Selecting a Proper Pair of Gym Shoes

This article describes the process of picking the right gym shoes for your choices of activities.

Selecting the right shoes for your workout can be a somewhat daunting task. Most gyms will require you to bring a pair of clean shoes with you, so wearing outdoor shoes usually isn’t an option. The type of shoes you should by depends on what sorts of exercises you will be doing, and what your main reason for attending the gym is. The following workout plans demand different types of shoes:


For these types of exercises, it is best to purchase a pair of well-padded running shoes. They don’t need to be as high in quality as outdoor running shoes because treadmills are less prone to giving shin splints or joint damage from sub-optimal running surface conditions. Another alternative for runners is the toe shoe. These shoes are tight, close fitting and unpadded, fitting over the toes like gloves and offering a small rubber pad at the bottom of the foot that mirrors the callouses on feet. These shoes have no heel padding so running heel-toe is not an option in them, but they can be very effective for running on the balls of your feet, something best trained on a treadmill.

Heavy Lifting

For anyone looking to lift heavy weights from a standing position, footwear is a very important factor in the effects of the lifting on your joints and back. Wearing heavily padded shoes transfers the shock of the lift upwards, and can cause mild joint damage and a decreased ability to lift. For anyone serious about lifting weights from a standing position, any shoe with a flat, hard bottom is optimal. For those wishing to lift without purchasing flat-soled shoes, it is best to remove any padded footwear before beginning to lift.

Seated/Inclined Lifting or Otherwise

With exercises that don’t put strain on the feet, it is best to purchase affordable running shoes that allow the feet to breathe. Running shoes are usually made with fabric that allows air to pass through the shoe with relative ease, making them a perfect choice for comfort, when there aren’t any other issues to consider.

Things to Avoid

Don’t wear sandals, dress shoes or street shoes to a gym. Sandals leave the toes open, which make the damage from stubbing your toe on a bench or free weight or even having something dropped on it much worse. Sandals also tend to bother other members of your gym, so even if there isn’t an explicit rule against wearing them, keep sandals out of the weight room. Street shoes can track dirt, salt or water on to an otherwise clean gym floor, which is something to be avoided.


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