What’s the Difference Between Running and Training Shoes 2?

Many people assume one pair of workout shoes can cover all their bases – from running around the block to weight training at boot camp. Unfortunately, wearing the incorrect shoe type may increase risk of injury, discomfort and reduce performance.

Running and training shoes are tailored for different forms of movement, and have distinct sole structures. In this Kickstart Workout tip from Holly, she details some key distinctions between them.

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Running and training shoes have an immense effect on the results of your workouts, since footwear plays an essential role in lifting, running speed and making lateral movements like side-to-side jumps easier. Furthermore, training and running shoes differ significantly in terms of cushioning levels, heel drops and stability features compared to one another.

Running shoes tend to feature increased cushioning and thicker platforms in their midsole than training shoes, as runners frequently hit the ground at three times their bodyweight, necessitating additional protection to prevent injury. Furthermore, running shoes generally have higher heel-to-toe drops to support movement mechanics for running movement.

Training shoes offer more stability and forward movement support, making them ideal for workouts such as plyometrics, sprinting drills and HIIT classes that involve jumping quickly or changing directions rapidly. Furthermore, their firmer foam cushioning helps resist compression from barbells, dumbbells or your own body weight when lifting.

Training shoes typically feature lower stack heights and less cushioning than running shoes, making them better suited to low-impact activities such as walking, jogging, and short distance running. On the other hand, this makes them less suitable for high-impact activities like weight lifting and CrossFit workouts that involve repeated overhead movements.

One of the biggest misconceptions about running and training shoes is that one pair will do for both types of exercise – however this is not always possible and your choice of shoe for each activity will directly affect its effectiveness. For example, when planning on long distance running, lightweight racing flats would likely provide optimal cushioning without reducing running time significantly.


Running long distances requires special shoes designed to withstand the wear and tear that your feet endure during each stride, from road surfaces or treadmills, and cushioned to support foot strikes while providing sufficient cushioning to prevent painful injuries such as shin splints or stress fractures. These types of footwear are known as running shoes; serious runners often own multiple pairs for different activities.

Training shoes, on the other hand, are tailored for more versatile forms of physical activity or sport than running shoes are. Also referred to as gym shoes and used by CrossFit athletes or training programs alike, training shoes differ significantly in terms of durability compared to running shoes; designed to withstand hours of intense physical activity with your weight on them and made from materials capable of withstanding high friction levels on soles that wick away sweat effectively; typically boasting firmer midsoles than their running counterparts while having low heel drops to provide stability during lateral movements and movements respectively.

Another key distinction between training shoes and running shoes lies in their flexibility. Running shoes are designed to flex in front-to-back directions of movement to facilitate heel strike to push off. An ideal shoe would feature low heel-to-toe drop, plenty of forefoot flexibility and responsive push off ability. Conversely, training shoes tend to be stiffer and heavier than their counterparts in order to support sideways movements such as side squats.

Training shoes tend to cost more than running shoes due to their increased durability; although some manufacturers use less outsole rubber and lighter foam in order to lower costs. Furthermore, training shoes tend to weigh more; their thicker soles add incremental pounds that could hinder short distance or sprint runs. Therefore many runners opt for racing flats which are lighter in order to set personal bests during big races.


Running and training shoes may appear similar at first glance, but each is designed for specific forms of movement. Running shoes are designed for heel-to-toe movements with a higher heel drop that offers cushioning and support while training shoes have flexible soles to support multidirectional or lateral movements. Misusing either type can increase risk of injuries such as ankle sprains, stress fractures and knee injuries.

No marathon should be run wearing training shoes; however, training shoes are designed to provide stability and support for various exercises such as plyometrics, squats, lunges and explosive lifts. Furthermore, they typically provide extra gripping traction that prevents slipperiness when climbing ropes or doing body weight circuits.

Running shoes tend to be lighter than training shoes due to not needing as much durability or structure in their uppers for a comfortable fit on your feet. Running shoe manufacturers have become quite creative in finding ways to cut weight while providing comfort on long runs or races.

As an example, many running shoes now utilize TPU foam that is lighter than EVA, yet still provides bounce and durability to runners looking for new PRs. Furthermore, many companies now incorporate lightweight mesh materials in the uppers that reduce overall weight while simultaneously improving breathability.

Though more cushioning may be beneficial when performing high impact exercises, too much cushioning may impede proper running form – something especially applicable to beginners starting out running or attending HIIT classes.

Running and training shoes vary in price based on the level of cushioning, stability, and traction they provide. Running shoes with more cushioning may cost more than training shoes because they require greater durability and support; however, most beginner runners do not require high-end running shoes until after several months of training or entering longer races.


The sole of a shoe is an essential factor when it comes to any workout. Long distance runners require shoes with sufficient cushioning, while cross trainers and those participating in high intensity interval training classes will want shoes which allow their feet to move naturally while providing stability during explosive movements.

Running shoes feature thicker midsoles and higher heel drops to support your foot while running, helping prevent injuries such as shin splints. Their higher heel drop helps maintain proper foot strike while you run, while cushioned soles absorb shock absorption and provide support for your feet.

Training shoes, on the other hand, are specifically tailored to support multidirectional movement and lateral (side-to-side) exercises. Their soles tend to be flatter and more flexible to allow for wider range of motion; additionally they often feature wider toe boxes to provide flexibility required by exercises like squats.

Traction is another key consideration for any training shoe. It must be durable enough to withstand repeated use on various surfaces while offering secure grip without becoming rigid or bulky over time.

If you plan on using your shoes for both running and training, it may be beneficial to purchase one pair which serves both functions. This will ensure they last as long as possible while staying in great condition.

Serious runners tend to own multiple pairs of shoes tailored to their specific needs. For instance, lightweight racing shoes may be worn during short sprints and warm-up jogging, whereas more durable training shoes might be employed during HIIT workouts or strength-training exercises. This way, they’re always using shoes designed specifically for each activity to avoid injury and maximize performance; additionally it keeps their feet fresh between workouts, keeping blisters at bay as well as helping avoid overuse injuries like blistered or sore feet from occurring due to overuse or overexposure injuries caused by using too many shoes in one session!