Training Shoes Vs Running Shoes – Whats The Difference?

Always aim at keeping your feet protected when engaging in physical activities such as running and weight/strength training. The two options for shoes you have when indulging in such activities include training and running shoes. When you choose the wrong one, you risk suffering from injuries or experiencing unnecessary discomfort.

You need to understand the differences between training and running shoes to understand why you should choose one over the other. The reason for these differences is that each type of shoe targets different body weight circuits. Cross training shoes won’t allow you to perform optimally in a marathon the same way running shoes won’t work well in a gym.

What are the Main Differences Between Training and Running Shoes?

Training shoes feature a lower lateral support while running shoes come with a stiffer sole and a higher heel. Both shoes support different types of movements. Training shoes support the side to side movements associated with exercises such as weight lifting and aerobics. Running shoes, on the other hand, accommodate the heel-to-toe movements associated with running or jogging. 

Both shoes can help you achieve flexibility in different areas when indulging in their intended exercises. Training shoes allow you to easily lift off in your preferred direction since they make the sole more flexible. When worn, running shoes help increase flexibility in the midsole since their sole is firmer.

What Features Do Training Shoes Have?

Training shoes come with a wider and flatter sole for additional side support, more traction and heavy weight support. Their wide and flat soles give the feet more stable platform needed for lateral movements associated with gym exercises. The shoes also boast of a small heel drop that can easily help you transition from standing to squatting. Besides being heavier than running shoes, they offer more traction that gives you a better grip when you suddenly lunge to the side or shift your weight.


When Should You Wear Training Shoes?

Training shoes work well during cross-training activities, which may involve aerobics, weight lifting, CrossFit and cardio programs. Also known as gym shoes, they can help you achieve flexibility in gym sports. Though you can’t use them for continuous running, you can wear them while jogging or engaging in short sprints. Your may experience pain in your arches if you use them for long-distance running.

What Features do Running Shoes Have?

Running shoes come with a bigger hell drop, additional cushioning and a lightweight design to offer less traction. They can give your feet extra protection (shock absorption and cushioning) needed when engaging in high-impact exercises for a long time. Their heels are thicker than those on training shoes to offer less traction and less grip when exercising on a straight path. With a lightweight design featuring breathable material, these shoes help prevent the feet from sweating.

When Should You Wear Running Shoes?

The main strengths of running shoes is support and comfort thanks to their flexible midsole and cushioning. You can use them to keep your feet protected and comfortable when engaging in long-distance races. The shoes can also substitute other athletic shoes. You can even wear them as part of your fashion to compliment your outer looks.

How to Choose the Right Training and Running Shoes

Always pay attention to the material, stitching, sizing/fit and shoelaces/velcro of the running or training shoes you want to buy. Shoes that don’t feature breathable material (with an upper mesh design) are likely to make your feet hot or sweaty when cross-training or running. The type of stitching on the footwear will determine whether they’ll last long or not. It’s easy to put on or take off velcro shoes (which offer less room for adjustment) unlike those with shoelaces that require you to adjust the tightness.


The main differences between training and running shoes are the heel design, flexibility and cushioning. Knowing these differences can help you choose the right shoe for your running/jogging or cross-training exercises. Factors such as stitching, sizing/fit, material and design are crucial when buying one of these shoes.


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