Why You Need More Workout Shoes

As a long-time runner, I spent most of my days using the same New Balance running shoes for all of my athletic activities. From limited time in the weight room, to walks, to spinning classes, they served their purpose; but just as you can work out in a thick cotton t-shirt from college but you prefer to wear a breathable tank from lululemon, shoes designed for your specific workout can take it to the next level. Even more importantly, wearing the right type of shoe could lower your risk of injury. You’re welcome (or sorry) in advance, because I’m here to advocate for why you need more gym shoes.

workout shoes



Even if you aren’t going to join the Olympics for one rep weight lifting any time soon, if you are squatting any amount of weight it is to your overall benefit to have shoes that support that force. Generally weightlifting shoes have a raised heel that help you maintain better form for squatting. They also have more support all around the foot to keep your foot stable. The small difference in support really makes a difference – I recently started squatting more weight, and I realized my hips and lower back were tightening up. A friend that knows what’s up in the world of training let me know that my back was probably curving because my shoes that are awesome for running aren’t so awesome for helping me stay in good form.

These Nike weightlifting shoes are practical, but also so cool that you can wear them around town when they get too worn to wear at the gym.



Similar to weightlifting, stability is key if you’re participating in a HIIT class. With quick movements integrated with weights, your legs need to be supported so the impact doesn’t cause any injuries to creep up to your knees or hips. You’ll also want to grab a pair that has the right amount of traction to allow you to jump through small hoops and land your box jumps confidently.

This pair from Nike hits the mark with good traction, support and light weight mesh to keep your feet cool. This style of No Bull training shoes is specifically designed for CrossFit-type workouts when you need the support and the flexibility to move.



If you run at all you’ve heard time and time again how important your shoes are for your success. After many years of pounding the pavement I finally went to my local Fleet Feet store and was sized properly for my shoes. They advised going a size up to account for the swelling that generally takes place during longs runs, and I’m optimistic this will keep me from losing any toe nails the next time I train for a long race.

A longtime favorite amount runners, Asics hits it out of the park again with seamless constructions that reduces the likelihood of irritation:



When walking it is important to have shoes that can handle a repetitive heel-to-toe rolling motion with a lot of weight. Walking shoes should be comfy and supportive, but loose enough to wiggle your toes. Though walking to the train for your commute may not seem like that big of a deal, if you wear the right shoes it could make an overall difference for your body and better prepare you to kick butt in your workouts.

No longer only associated with nerdy dads, New Balance has been stepping up their game recently with stylish and supportive sneaks.


Just like you invest in you gym membership, your breathable leggings or your diet, your shoes need the same amount of love. Make sure to get new workout shoes when the support starts to wear down so you can give your joints a break and be as prepared as possible in all of your workouts. Happy shopping!

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About Catherine Toupin

Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Catherine is a proud graduate of two great Midwestern schools: the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Notre Dame. After receiving a degree in English and Communication, Catherine chose to take a risk and teach teenagers in Florabama for two years. Living in a location with warm weather year-round rekindled Catherine’s love of long outdoor runs (and of relaxing on a beach). Catherine has since taken a Meeting Planning job in Chicago, and though the views are slightly different, she still enjoys runs along the lake shore path and being outdoors as much as possible.

3 thoughts on “Why You Need More Workout Shoes

  1. Yes!! I need all the shoes. And all these differences are great points for why I do. Thanks

  2. Cool picture! Really like the choice of patterned pavers in grey against the lighter grey shoes and those popping orange strings…

  3. Great article – I’ve been looking for new HIIT Trainers. I’m bought a pair of the “NO Bull”, right after I read the article. Thanks for the point in the right direction!

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