Runners And Trainers: Understanding The Difference



Whenever I need a new pair of sports shoes I find it mind boggling the diverse variety of options that athletic stores carry. I understand that drastically different sports require different footwear, but what of us normal people that just want to go to the gym? Do I need a different pair for the treadmill and another for the rest of my workout? Here’s what you need to know. 

Heel To Toe Movement

Running shoes are obviously designed for running – and the motions that a typical runner goes through. In order for a person to run, they are moving in a heel-to-toe direction which takes them forward. Thus, runners are made with extra padding in those areas which get a lot of impact. Other considerations might be to make them more suitable for outdoor terrain. 

Running shoes that are branded tend to be on the pricey side. People are always asking “why is no bull so expensive?” – and the truth is, they must be made of high quality materials in order to withstand the repeated impact of running, especially if someone joins marathons. 

Many running shoes are also  waterproof. This is generally the case with high quality running shoes, because manufacturers realize that many people use their runners outdoors – not necessarily in a gym setting. Some people claim that waterproof shoes slow them down because they are slightly heavier, but there is little research to back that claim. Nonetheless, the option is available. 

Flexibility, Traction, And Multi-Directional Movement

Besides running, a lot of the movement that athletes and gym-goers perform isn’t limited to one direction. Training shoes are designed to allow for movement in all directions – especially side-by-side. They also have padding, but trainers are generally more flexible to allow for freedom of movement. They also provide added traction to enable the wearer to perform many more exercises that require added agility and grip. This can include weight lifting, strength training and even high intensity classes. You can certainly run with these shoes, but it is generally recommended to get a different pair if you plan on running marathons. Use these for cross training, light running, or just for going to the gym.

How To Tell Whether A Shoe Is For Running Or Training?

Although these two types of sports shoes look similar from afar, they are very different if you pay close attention. Training shoes are generally on the flatter side, which allows for the multi-directional movement we mentioned earlier. 

What Happens If I Choose The Wrong Shoe?

If your workouts are very intense, the risks are low. However, you may feel increased discomfort, and perform less than optimally. Additionally, wearing the wrong type of athletic footwear increases your risk of being injured, especially with any type of intense workouts. Choosing the right type of shoe for your workouts is extremely important, even if you aren’t training or running on a professional level. If you are unsure which type of shoe you need, you can always consult with your fitness coach or the salesperson at an athletics footwear store. 

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