When it comes to choosing workout shoes, you have two main choices – cross training shoes and running shoes.
Both look similar, but knowing the difference between running and cross training shoes is important.
The shoes you wear can have a big impact on your workout. Not only will the right shoes be more comfortable, they’ll help you train harder, perform better, and even have fewer injuries.
Cross training vs. running shoes – what’s the difference?
In this article, you are going to find out! We’ll also reveal some of the best shoes for running and cross training.
- Running Shoes
- Cross Training Shoes
- Cross Training shoes vs. Running Shoes – What’s the Difference?
- But I Run AND Cross Train – What Should I do?
- How to find a perfect pair of Nike training shoes
- Popular Nike trainers for men and women
- History of the brand
- Frequently asked questions
- 15 best Nike training shoes
- Footwear – Training Shoes
- Training With Cross Trainer Shoes Vs. Running Shoes: What is the Difference?
- Clever Training recommends👇
- More on CrossFit
- Cross Training Shoes vs Running Shoes – Which Do I Need?
- Differences Between Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes
- FAQs About Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes
The easiest way to decide which type of shoes is right for you is by examining the difference between running and cross training shoes.
Let’s start with running shoes…
As their name suggests, running shoes are designed for running. You can use them for other types of exercise, and they look good paired with jeans for that casual look, but running shoes are made for runners and running.
Running is a high impact activity. When you run, your feet hit the floor with three-times your bodyweight. This means that running shoes are designed to be very shock absorbent.
Without this sponginess, all that impact could result in injury. That’s one of the main reasons that running shoes have a built-up heel.
They are also supportive and you can choose running shoes according to your running style. For example, if your feet roll inwards, called pronation, there are shoes that can help correct this.
There are also shoes specifically for people whose feet roll outward, who have flat arches, or who run with a pronounced heel strike. In short, running shoes can help fix any foot fall issues that might otherwise cause you injury.
Running shoes are also very light. After all, who wants to carry extra weight when they are running?
Any extra weight would soon make you tired, and running is hard enough already!
If you are a regular runner, and especially if you run outdoors, your best shoe choice is running shoes. They offer everything you need for comfortable training, and may even prevent you from suffering running related injuries.
Running shoe feature summary
- Designed for heel-toe action
- Can correct footfall issues
Can you use running shoes for cross training?
Because they are light, comfortable, supportive, and cushioned, running shoes look like they might be perfect for cross training too.
But, before you lace up your runners and hit the gym, stop and reconsider!
Cross training involves a wide variety of training activities – from jumping to lifting weights to riding a bike to circuit training.
While you could use running shoes for all these activities, they might not be your best choice.
For starters, all that cushioning can mean that your running shoes will compress when you are lifting weights. This can make you unstable – not a good thing when you are under heavy iron.
Running shoes are also designed for forward movement, and not side to side movement. If your workouts involve a lot of side to side movements, such as agility exercises or group exercise classes, your running shoes may not be up to the task.
Finally, consider that running shoes are only really good for about 500 miles of running. After that, they start to lose some of their cushioning and support.
Cross training in your running shoes will make them wear out faster.
So, can you wear running shoes for cross training? Yes, you can, but they aren’t your best choice.
Not sure which running shoes are right for you?
I won’t give you 4 specific models that I would subjectively think as the best running shoes, rather I’ll give you a list of already existing content on GGP about running shoes.
Check out which article best suits your feet (e.g., you’re an underpronator) and go to that specific article which will give you loads of options to pick from as well as more information on those shoes for your feet.
Cross Training Shoes
Cross training shoes are designed to cope with a wide range of activities. They have some of the characteristics of running shoes, but they also offer a whole lot more.
If running shoes are track racing cars, cross trainers are off-road SUVs!
Cross trainers tend to be a bit more rugged, provide less shock absorption, and offer more lateral support so that, when you do side to side movements, your feet secure.
Where running shoes are built for landing on your heels, cross trainers are more cushioned in the forefoot. This means they protect your feet when you land more on your toes, jumping rope and sprinting for example.
Because they are firmer, cross trainers are perfect for weight training.
Where a running shoe would compress and collapse under heavy weight, cross trainers will not. That’s good news if you like to do exercises like squats and deadlifts where a squishy shoe would make an already hard exercise even harder!
The material used for cross trainers is also different and is usually stronger than the material used for running shoes.
This makes them more hardwearing. That’s good news because cross training can be tough on your shoes.
Jumping, cycling, lifting weights, and playing sports means your shoes can take a real hammering, and running shoes can’t cope with all that wear and tear. Because they are made from tougher material, and cushioning is not such a big feature, cross trainers tend to be longer lasting. That’s good news if you are on a tighter budget.
On the downside, this increase in toughness comes at a price – extra weight.
That’s not a big issue during a cross training workout, but that extra weight is another reason that running shoes are your best choice if running is more your thing.
Cross training shoe feature summary
Check out our TOP 24 CrossFit shoes for men and TOP 25 CrossFit shoes for women.
- Sturdy and hardwearing
- Designed for forefoot landings
- Stable and supportive
- Made for side to side activities
Can you use cross trainers for running?
While you can run in cross trainers, they are only really suitable for short, occasional runs, or for use during a warm up or cool down.
They do not have the cushioning you need for longer or more frequent runs. They are fine for walking, but running long distances in cross trainers is not recommended.
If your training involves lots of different activities such are cardio, strength training, group exercise classes, and maybe sports like basketball or tennis, cross trainers are the right shoe for you.
Cross Training shoes vs. Running Shoes – What’s the Difference?
Running shoes and cross trainers might look similar, but they are actually totally different. If you are serious about your workouts, you should be serious about your choice of shoes too, and buy the right shoes for the job.
After all, you want the best shoes for running and cross training, right?
If you run regularly, run long distances, or tend to run outdoors rather than on a treadmill, it’s running shoes you need.
Light, supportive, corrective, and cushioned, running shoes will cradle your feet for a comfortable, safe workout.
However, if your workout is usually gym-based, and involves things like lifting weights, jumping rope, cycling, and just a small amount of running, cross training shoes are your best choice.
They’ll provide you with the cushioning and support you need, but will be able to cope with the demands of your workout much more easily.
But I Run AND Cross Train – What Should I do?
If you do a lot of different types of training, and you can afford it, the best option is to buy running shoes and cross trainers, wearing different shoes for each type of workout.
This might seem like an unnecessary expense but might actually end up saving you money because your running shoes will last longer, and you’ll get fewer running-related injuries so less money on doctor’s bills!
Cross training shoes vs. Running shoes – what’s the difference? Now you know, and you should have no problem choosing the right shoes for your workouts.
Remember, if you are a regular runner, then running shoes are best for you. But, if your training involves lots of different types of workout, cross trainers are what you need.
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The Nike brand name and the Swoosh logo are well-known the world over. It is on the list of the Top 20 Most Valuable Brands in the world with a revenue of about $30 billion per annum. It is also the parent company of other popular shoe and apparel brands such as Jordan, Hurley, and Converse.
Nike got its start selling running shoes but has since broadened its scope. It sells different types of footwear ranging from casual or lifestyle sneakers, to sports, gym and training footgear, sandals and flip-flops, as well as athletic and workout apparel for men, women, and kids.
The brand prides itself on creating merchandise that delivers what the wearer needs to be on top of their game. Just like in its other footgear, Nike training shoes are designed specifically for the type of activity the user wants to focus on.
How to find a perfect pair of Nike training shoes
Best Nike training shoes – December 2019
For people to perform their best or achieve a new personal record, they must wear shoes that won’t cause any discomfort or injuries during workouts. Choosing a pair seems a pretty easy task, but there are so many options that it begs the question, which pair of Nike training shoes should you get? Here are a few factors to help you figure that out.
Are you going to be weight training? Doing CrossFit? Or are you just starting out with your fitness regimen and want to try different things to see what sticks?
- Daily workouts
If you don’t require a shoe that’s too specific about a certain type of activity or if you’re an entry-level gym-goer, then you can opt for Nike workout shoes. These models are reasonably priced and work efficiently for most types of exercises.
For more demanding training regimens, you may turn to Nike CrossFit shoes. These trainers are designed to be more durable than standard workout shoes and also have special reinforcements that help during rope climbing, sled pushes, and handstand pushups. In their core, Nike CrossFit shoes are constructed to bridge the gap between high-impact workouts and weightlifting. As a result, they tend to be pricier than regular workout shoes.
If your sole focus is building muscle by lifting weights, then your best investment is a dedicated weightlifting shoe from Nike. Though the trainer is marketed for people who cross-train, it is designed primarily for weight training. Users could sport it for cardio, but because of insufficient cushioning, they might experience foot fatigue quickly. Weightlifting shoes are usually made of stiffer materials and are not meant to be used for running or walking for extended periods.
Aside from the brand name, the quality of the footwear, and user reviews, another driving factor that influences a person’s choice is the price. The cost of Nike training shoes ranges from $65 to $200. During a sale, rates can be reduced by as much as $50.
- Low- to average- priced training shoes (Below $100)
- Most Nike training shoes in this bracket do not have special features. The upper is made of mesh, leather, textile, or synthetic materials that are durable and lightweight but may not be as attractive looking as the more expensive models.
- Reasonably-priced to slightly expensive training shoes ($100 – $150)
- Nike training shoes that fall into this category sport a more stylish flair. These models tend to employ Flyknit, Flywire, and other proprietary technologies for enhanced performance. Nike Metcon shoes for CrossFit typically can be found in this category. Consumers can even customize some trainers in this price range.
- Premium ($150 and above)
- Nike training shoes in this price group are made with top of the line materials. Weightlifting shoes also fall into this category. Limited release models also tend to be more expensive.
Fit and sizing
Nike training shoes cater to both men and women. The size availability depends on the model of the trainer, but generally, men’s footwear ranges from US size 6 to 18 while the women’s versions are available from US size 5 to 15. Half sizes are also available for both genders. As for the width, Nike training shoes are generally offered in a medium profile, which is D for men and B for ladies.
Popular Nike trainers for men and women
Nike Metcon 4
The Metcon 4 is designed for high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit and Les Mills. It uses mesh for the upper while the high-wear areas are reinforced with 3D printing. The outsole on this pair of Nike training shoes is made of sticky rubber that provides excellent traction, especially on gym floors. The textured rubber extends upward at the medial and lateral midfoot to enhance lateral support. It uses a drop-in midsole to provide a comfortable footbed that protects the foot from impact.
Nike Free x Metcon
In the Free x Metcon model, Nike combines two of its renowned footwear lines in an attempt to create a universal shoe in which one could run, jump, and lift. In a nutshell, it uses flexibility and cushioning of a Free shoe and mixes it with stability of a Metcon. The forefoot section of the trainer is made with freedom of movement in mind and is ready to accommodate exercises like sprints, box, jumps, high-impact cardio, etc. The back portion of the shoe aims to deliver optimum stability for multi-directional transitions and lifting. The heel is wrapped by the raised midsole and the TPU cage to keep it locked in place. In addition, the bootie collar renders ankle support while the Flywire cables prevent the foot from sliding around inside the shoe.
Nike Romaleos 3
The Nike Romaleos 3 caters to those who incorporate a lot of weightlifting into their training routine. The upper is made from a combination of mesh and synthetic leather to deliver a breathable yet supportive construction. It has a single midfoot strap that locks the foot down. Durable rubber is used for the outsole on this pair of Nike training shoes. It sports a virtually flat profile to keep the foot planted to the ground. The shoe also features an elevated heel that allows wearers to squat deeper or perform better deadlifts. It comes with two interchangeable insoles, a soft and a firm option, to suit the wearer’s needs.
History of the brand
The starting line
The Nike brand name did not make an appearance until 1971, but the company has been around since 1964.
Philip Knight was a middle-distance runner at the University of Oregon. He was coached by Bill Bowerman, who was one of the top running coaches in the U.S. at the time. Bowerman was also known for tinkering with running shoes to make them lighter and absorb shock better.
After getting his Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford University, Knight went to Japan and reached out to Onitsuka Tiger Co. Ltd, one of the most popular running shoemakers back then, and convinced them that there was a massive market for their running shoes back in the U.S.
In 1963, Knight received the first shipment of the Onitsuka Tiger trainers. A year later, Bowerman and Knight invested $500 each in building the Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) company.
Their partnership with Onitsuka Tiger ended when the Japanese company was accused of breach of contract by looking for other U.S. distributors in the U.S. Another case was filed for trademark infringement because they were allegedly selling eight models that BRS registered in the U.S.
The birth of Nike
Knight wanted to reinvent BRS, so he commissioned Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at the Portland State University where he was teaching an accounting class. She presented him with four options, one of which was the now-famous Swoosh logo. Because of production deadlines, Knight had to choose from the four designs and settled on the Swoosh. Davidson recalled Knight stating that he was not fond of the logo but felt that maybe it would grow on him.
The next step was changing the company’s name. Knight wanted to rename BRS as Dimension Six, but he was the only fan of the name. So, Bob Woodell, the company’s first president, made a call to Jeff Johnson, BRS’ first employee, telling him that Knight wanted to change the company name and they needed to come up with one by 9 a.m. the following day.
By happenstance, Johnson had previously come across an article in an in-flight magazine that focused on what makes brand names iconic. There were two critical elements that he remembered:
- most popular company names only have two syllables;
- they sound exotic or have the letter Z, X or K in the title.
Johnson woke up with a name in mind, Nike. It was the name of the winged Greek goddess of victory.
Knight was presented with the names Peregrine, Bengal, and Nike. Just like with the logo, Knight was not a fan, but because of manufacturing deadlines, he picked Nike stating that it was the best of the bunch.
Changing the game
In the 1960s, running led the physical fitness revolution. But in the 1980s, fitness enthusiasts realized that aside from running, there were other workout options. They could engage in casual sports or go to the gym for some cardio or weight training.
Nike designer Tinker Hatfield dabbled with different types of gym activities at that time too. But the problem he encountered was that he needed to bring multiple pairs of shoes for each training activity. This inconvenience inspired him to design the brand’s first cross-training shoe called Air Trainer 1. What made this Nike training shoe different from other workout footwear was that it could be used for cardio workouts, weight training, and even basketball. The ultimate training shoe.
The Nike Air Trainer 1 featured a high-cut design that aims to support the ankle. The outsole formed outriggers at the lateral and medial sides of the midfoot section which added stability to the sole unit. Aside from the lace-up closure, it was also outfitted with a single strap at the midfoot for a more locked down feel.
The most notable difference the Nike training shoes had compared to basketball and running footwear was the heel. Running trainers have higher heel height to cushion the footstrike while basketball sneakers have a relatively low heel. The Nike training shoes’ heels fall in between. They are high enough to absorb the shock effectively when used for running but are also adequately low to provide stability during gym workouts or even playing basketball.
Shot to fame
John McEnroe, one of the most iconic tennis players in the world, was coming back after a 6-month hiatus. He contacted Nike about his return and wanted a shoe that would suit his unique playing style. Nike sent a bunch of prototypes to McEnroe, which, unbeknownst to Hatfield, included the Air Trainer 1.
Just like Nike’s name and logo, the least likely contender was the one that clicked. According to McEnroe, the moment he tried the pair of Nike training shoes on, he knew it was the perfect fit. The high-cut design provided support for his ankles while the cushioning platform delivered the necessary bounce to keep him moving on the court. He was instructed to only use the Nike training shoes prototype during the practice. But McEnroe was not one to do as he was told. He wore the Nike training shoes during his comeback, won that game and the next two tournaments. McEnroe is an exceptional player, to begin with. However, the footgear might have helped him concentrate on his game more because he didn’t have to think about his feet.
He refused to return the Nike training shoes and demanded more, which Nike obliged to. The brand provided McEnroe with two more versions that were fitted with court-specific outsoles.
The Nike Air Trainer 1 was officially released to the public in 1987. It is one of Nike’s most iconic training shoes. Since then, it has been refreshed numerous times and sported different combinations of materials, colors, and prints. Its most recent incarnation can be observed in the Nike Air Max Trainer 1 workout shoe.
Frequently asked questions
What are Nike training shoes used for?
Nike trainers can be used for different types of workouts such as cross-training, weightlifting, and high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit and Les Mills. Though Nike training shoes are made to be versatile, the brand also offers dedicated training shoes for weight training and CrossFit that assist users in reaching their personal best.
Can I use Nike training shoes for running?
Yes, you can do some running in these trainers, but they won’t have the same amount of cushioning as running shoes. Some workout and CrossFit shoes from Nike are good for short runs and sprints, but wearers may feel pain or discomfort when using them for longer runs. Besides, people who are used to heel striking will also notice lack of padding and shock absorption in the heel area.
How do I know if my Nikes are original?
- Bend them – The sole unit of Nike training shoes does not easily lose its form. If in doubt about the authenticity, simply bending it can give consumers an idea if the trainer is legit or not. The footwear should quickly return to its original state after being bent or twisted.
- Tag – Inside the tongue of a Nike training shoe is a label that indicates the size, stock keeping unit (SKU), where it was made, when it was made, and some of the details that could tell you more about the shoe. In some Nike training shoes, the label is stitched on the tongue; others appear as overlays. If the tag looks like a sticker that can easily be removed, then it’s a fake. The tags should not be quickly peeled off from the shoe.
- Stitches, seams, and overlays – Nike training shoes differ in construction. Some use stitched overlays, others employ fused ones; some models feature a one-piece construction while others have seams because different parts are connected. No matter how the façade is made, seams should not have any gaps, the fabric should not be frayed, and stitches should not be unraveling especially when it hasn’t even been used yet. Also, fused overlays should not be peeling off of the upper.
- Check the SKU – The SKU on the shoe tag and the one on the box should match. It is often seen as a barcode and is used to keep track of the inventory.
- Symmetry – Each pair of Nike training shoes are mirror images of each other. They should have the same length and width. The design and style should also be symmetrical.
How do I clean my Nike trainers?
Nike training shoes can get dirty fast, especially when used outdoors. Nike recommends cleaning the dirt off immediately to prevent staining or caking in as that could deteriorate the material of the trainer. To clean Nike training shoes, first, you must remove the dried dirt using a soft brush or toothbrush. Then, prepare a small amount of soap or mild detergent and warm water to make a cleaning solution. Dip a clean cloth, sponge or brush in the solution and gently scrub the dirt off. Use another clean cloth, sponge or toothbrush and warm water to remove the soapy solution off of the shoe. Dry the Nike training shoes at room temperature. Nike does not recommend machine washing or drying any of its footgear to prevent degradation.
Can training shoes from Nike be customized?
Yes, some Nike training shoes can be customized. On the Nike website, hover above the Customize tab and choose the NikeiD from the dropdown menu. There, you will be presented with blank canvases of the different models that allow customization. Choose which pair of Nike training shoes you want to personalize, then start creating your one-of-a-kind footgear. You can select the type of material used in the upper, the color, and the technologies you want to be used on it.
When should I replace my Nike training shoes?
As a general rule, Nike training shoes should be replaced every six months. But how often it is used, what it is used for, and where it is used are also important factors to consider when replacing shoes. If you use your pair of Nike training shoe on a daily basis, on the pavement, during high-intensity workouts, then it might not even last a full six months. If it is only used a couple of times a week, in the gym, doing moderate exercises, then the trainer might last longer than six months. The thing to remember is if the midsole no longer absorbs shock, the outsole is peeling off or doesn’t provide any traction, the upper has holes in it or no longer supports the foot, then it’s time to replace the shoe, regardless of how long it has been used.
15 best Nike training shoes
- Nike Metcon Repper DSX
- Nike Metcon 4
- Nike Free TR V8
- Nike Free x Metcon
- Nike Reax 8 TR
- Nike Metcon 3
- Nike Air Max Alpha Trainer
- Nike Free TR 8
- Nike Zoom Domination TR 2
- Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit 2
- Nike Air Monarch IV
- Nike Lunar Fingertrap TR
- Nike Metcon 5
- Nike Flex Control 3
- Nike Free x Metcon 2
Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.
Footwear – Training Shoes
Fitness footwear has evolved. No longer called “cross trainers” or “aerobics shoes,” training shoes are a category of footwear designed to provide protection for a variety of fitness activities. This class of footwear is suitable for weightlifting, a variety fitness classes, some racquet sports and overall use at the health club. Training shoes provide cushioning as well as varying levels of stability devices to protect the feet and ankles. Training shoes are the jack-of-all-trades so they work well in a variety of activities but if you participate in one particular sport such as running or basketball, more than 2 times per week then you should have a sport-specific shoe for that as well.
As with any shoe, a comfortable fit is the first priority when selecting a shoe. Other considerations include:
- Leather uppers are more durable than synthetics but mesh uppers allow better air flow and breathability.
- Non-marking outsoles are important for those who play court sports
- Many models have removable footbeds (also called sock liners) which allow for addition of a more supportive insole or custom orthotics
- Some brands offer wider sizes
What is the difference between running shoes and cross trainers? Is there not a very simple answer to this question…running shoes are meant to be worn when we are running and cross trainers are meant for when we are cross training (“whatever that means?”). Technically this is true but if the answer was so simple there would not be so many people wondering what the difference is.
If you have ever tried on a running shoe and a cross trainer you would have noticed some definite differences. For starters runners are very flexible and they seem as if they are tight around your toes. While cross trainers are more firm which makes them more supportive with a wider base and they are still flexible but not as flexible as running shoes.
The main difference between a running shoe and a cross trainer shoe is the fact that they each serve a completely different purpose. The purpose of a running shoe is that it is designed for forward motion (heel to toe strike) with an emphasis on thicker heels and soles and to help people who are running/jogging by propelling them forward. Cross trainers on the other hand are meant to be multi-task orientated as they offer more lateral support through the use of a wider front foot base and they assist you by giving you additional weight bearing stability.
Cross trainers are designed to provide you with some support while you run and they are also meant to allow you to be able to participate in other sports and physical activities. In order to do this they contain certain characteristics/features such as flexibility in the forefront of the shoe which is necessary for running. They serve their dual purpose by also containing elements which allow for the lateral movement needed for certain activities such as racquet sports and aerobics. They are often considered a general athletic shoe and are used by many people who take part in multiple physical activities. However, if you plan on taking part in a specific sport 3 times a week or more such as tennis, for example, it is a good idea to get this sports specific type of shoe. It will help you with your performance and with preventing injury. Cross trainers are also often used by people when they work out at the gym. I use them and have not had any problems. The good support and flexibility they provide allow one to easily perform heavy lifting exercises like squats along with more flexible movements such as lunges. The soles of cross trainers usually have a very supportive heel and some slight treads on them but these treads are not as prominent as they would be on the bottom of a running shoe.
Running shoes, on the other hand, are meant for what they say. For wearing when we are running. These shoes are mostly designed for runners or joggers. Sprinters and walkers will find that there are more specific shoes for their activities. However, runners can be worn for these activities as well. Running shoes are designed to be very flexible in the toe area and they have a very thick overall cushioning that allows for shock absorption during impact. This helps with preventing injuries and helps to transfer energy from your legs to your feet and into the ground as you move along. Running shoes also have great heel support due to the fact that you are slamming your feet/heels into the ground as you run. The soles of the shoe will be curved in a way that has the front tip of the shoe coming off the ground when the shoes are stationary on the floor. This helps with the running movement and this design along with the treads that accompany a running shoe’s sole also assist in propelling a runner forward as they are moving along.
Now you should realize that there is a clear difference between running shoes and cross training shoes and there is also different needs that each can perform. When deciding on which to buy always remember that the truth is there is no such thing as a one shoe fits all, including cross trainers. Different types of shoes are designed differently for a reason, to serve different purposes. With all equipment involving physical activity, in the same way picking the wrong shoe for your sport or exercise can result in poor performance or injury. Try to decide what activities you will be mostly involved in when buying a running or cross trainer shoe. And do not be afraid to ask for the help of a sales person at the shoe store. They often have more knowledge about the shoes than anyone or they can at least point you to the person who does.
Training With Cross Trainer Shoes Vs. Running Shoes: What is the Difference?
Any athlete will tell you that proper footwear is crucial in both competition and workouts. Choosing the right pair of shoes before a workout or race can make the difference between setting a personal record and sustaining an injury.
Such rule applies for CrossFit workouts and running. While running shoes and cross training shoes may look very similar, figuring out which pair of shoes to take with you can go a long way.
“Cross training shoes provide the versatility that CrossFit WODs demand,” said Reebok senior product manager Tal Short. “Cross training shoes provide the durability that is required to survive the beating that CrossFit puts on shoes.”
On the other hand, running shoes like the Reebok Floatride Run feature a soft cushion, the toe parts are flat but the shoes rise toward the heel part. Its Floatride Foam technology gives a soft and lightweight cushioning for a responsive feel, something most cross training shoes don’t carry.
Clever Training got a chance to chat with Short and Jessie Petersen, product manager with Reebok, as they shared kicks-related advice like when to grab which pair of shoes, why the differences between running shoes and cross training shoes matter and some of the Reebok shoes we have on the shelf.
Clever Training Spotlight:
- Reebok CrossFit Grace TR (Women)
- Reebok Floatride Run Fast (Men and Women)
- Reebok Harmony Road (Women)
- Reebok Nano 8 (Men and Women)
What is the importance of wearing cross training shoes during CrossFit workouts?
TS: Cross training shoes provide the versatility that CrossFit WODs demand. Also, cross training shoes provide the durability that is required to survive the beating that CrossFit puts on shoes.
What are some of the major difference between working out in Reebok cross training shoes and in normal running shoes?
TS: Stability and a lower drop are the biggest differences when working out in a cross training shoes vs normal running shoes. The stability is vital for keeping the foot locked in during lifting and other dynamic movements. A lower drop is needed for all of the squatting that is programmed within CrossFit
Which shoes are best fit for certain CrossFit workouts?
TS: A CrossFit-specific shoe, like the Nano, is the best fit for all CrossFit workouts. Occasionally, there is a running-only WOD that would allow a person to wear their Harmony Road 2s.
Have you noticed any trends when it comes to CrossFitters picking out their shoes?
TS: One trend that we have seen recently is the importance of comfort. It might sound obvious but years ago, CrossFitters only cared about performance. They wanted shoes that could hold up to the performance standards they commanded even if that meant sacrificing comfort. Now, CrossFitters still want a shoe that can perform in but also want something they can wear all day, in and out of the box.
Typically running shoes wear out around 3 months or 300 to 500 miles. What is the typical lifespan of CrossFit shoes – how often should you replace, what signs to look for, etc.?
TS: There is no perfect science around the lifespan of a typical CrossFit shoe because of so many different variables. If your shoe is showing signs of excessive midsole abrasion/compression or the rubber on the bottom is really worn out, I would suggest looking into a new pair.
Can you speak on the Reebok Nano 8 and what makes them a great fit for CrossFit workouts?
TS: The Reebok Nano 8 is the ideal shoe for CrossFit. Similar to the elite CrossFitters, the Nano 8 is really, really good at everything, not just great at one thing.
How about the Reebok CrossFit Grace TR?
TS: The Reebok CrossFit Grace TR is the first ever CrossFit shoe built specifically for women. The design is built around insights obtained by scanning thousands of women CrossFit athletes.
We also sell the Floatride Run Fast, what are some of the things Clever Training athletes should look forward to when they test them out?
JP: The award-winning Floatride Run Fast is the perfect balance of cushion and responsiveness while maintaining a super lightweight feel. This shoe is Ideal for Faster running, tempo runs, and everyday mileage.
If you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, pro triathlete and Clever Training ambassador Brad Williams put together a guide on how to find the best running shoes for every foot type. Whether your foot is a “natural arch” or a “low arch,” we’ve got you covered on picking out your kicks.
Clever Training recommends👇
Reebok Harmony Road
For running shoes, the women’s Reebok Harmony Road features both comfort and power with its performance-driven design and long-lasting cushioning. The TriZone midsole delivers shock absorption in the heel, in addition to responsive propulsion in the front of the foot, allowing for a fast transition and a smooth ride.
Those interested in joining CrossFit can check out Cigar City CrossFit, located on North 24th Street in Tampa. They offer group classes, personal training and nutrition counseling. Those interested in joining or learning more about their programs can
More on CrossFit
- What is CrossFit Aerobic Capacity?
- “You Cannot Out Train a Bad Diet” CrossFit Nutrition Guide
All sports footwear might look the same but in fact, each pair is designed to serve a certain purpose and to provide a certain support and stability for many activities. Running shoes and cross-trainers are often mistaken because few people know the differences between the two types of shoes. If you want to protect your feet and make sure your running and training sessions are performed properly, you need to know which shoe to pick. For the best pairs of sports shoes, check the ratings to see what each pair is designed for and to find the one you need whether you want to run or train.
With running shoes, it’s simple: they are designed for running, whether it is on pavement or on a treadmill. Cross-trainers, on the other side, can be used for many other activities like playing sports, practicing Zumba, or going to the gym to use the bike or to lift weights. This makes them more versatile so you can buy one pair of shoes and use it for multiple workouts. However, try not to go miles wearing them because your feet will start to ache due to the increased pressure and you will feel tired.
So, the question that arouses is whether or not you can use cross-trainers for running or you can go to the gym in your running shoes. To find the answer, you must know what each of them provides to your feet. Cross-training shoes are great for cushioning and supporting your feet while runners protect your joints and bones from impact. The later are not recommended for other types of workout because they don’t offer the cushioning your feet need during multiple movements. When you run, the only movement is from the ankle and the entire pressure is on your toes while jumping, dancing, or using gym equipment address to the entire foot.
How comfortable they feel
As for comfort, running shoes feel lighter so that you will be able to run and achieve high speeds without experience fatigue no matter for how long you run. Cross-trainers are more rigid and provide more support in lateral movements and they don’t feel as comfy for running.
How they look
Their design also differs so you can easily spot a running shoe when you look for one. Their sole is narrower and they boast a smooth design that makes them very soft and easy top wear. The other type of shoes is wider, with a bulkier sole that provides extended support during many activities. They are made of a non-slip rubber that provides traction because you will need that when you jump and dance.
Which one fit your feet
Know that you know which shoe you should use, it will be easier for you to pick the right pair. No matter the one you go for, try them on and make sure you feel comfortable and that your feet are supported in a natural position. Never buy a pair that is too tight thinking that this means they are supportive and try to avoid running in cross-trainers.
Cross Training Shoes vs Running Shoes – Which Do I Need?
If you’re just getting into running (or perhaps working out in general), you might be wondering what type of shoes will be best for you. The options are endless! Should you get cross training shoes? Running shoes? Both?
Not to worry. In this short article, we’ll explain the differences between cross trainers and running shoes, and describe when each type of shoe should be used. Then, you can take that information and purchase the best shoe (or shoes!) for you!
Differences Between Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes
For the TL;DR crowd: the main differences between running shoes and cross training shoes are heel drop and sole flexibility. Even though they look similar, each shoe is designed to do something substantially different.
The full answer requires a little more detail and explanation:
What are running shoes?
Designed for heel-to-toe movement, running shoes normally have a higher heel drop, giving them added cushioning and support in the heel and midfoot. Because running is a high impact activity—you are hitting the ground with three times your bodyweight—running shoes are built to be shock absorbent.
In addition, running shoes tend to be very light, because nobody wants to be lifting extra weight, even if just an ounce, over and over again while running. Those extra ounces very quickly add up to extra pounds, and over the course of a run, where you might take 7,000 or 8,000 steps or more, extra weight translates to fatigue. Running shoes also have smooth tread because traction really isn’t an issue for runners; they almost always are moving straight ahead.
Running shoes are made with a greater amount of mesh than cross-trainers, because the heat generated from running is greater than from a gym workout, and you want to make sure that your feet stay cool and dry during your run.
Proper fit is incredibly important with running shoes. Since shoes are specifically designed for various stride patterns, width of foot, and more, you’ll want to make sure that a running shoe fits your foot before pounding the pavement for hundreds of miles. This is especially important if you’re a long distance runner like I am. Have an expert at your local running store help you find the right fit. There’s no sense in investing in a pair of shoes if you aren’t sure whether they’re right for you.
What are cross training shoes?
Designed for multi-directional movement and a wider range of motion, cross-training shoes have a flatter sole than running shoes, which makes them more flexible.
Cross training shoes are meant to be a decent all-purpose fitness shoe for use in a number of activities, from basketball to Zumba to lifting weights.
Whereas running shoes are designed to absorb shock on your heels, cross training shoes have more cushioning in the forefoot, protecting you when you land on your toes. They are firmer, making them better for weight training, and making exercises like squats easier.
Compared to running shoes, the soles of cross trainers are wider and tend to expand beyond the width of the upper part of the shoe. This extra support is needed for increased lateral movement such as the sharp cuts that you’d make on a basketball court.
Finally, cross trainers are made of different material that is usually stronger than that used for running shoes, which makes cross training shoes more able to withstand the tough workouts that often come with cross training.
FAQs About Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes
All right. Now that we’ve discussed the differences between cross training shoes and running shoes, you might still be wondering when to use which. When (if ever) is it acceptable to mix and match? We’ll answer those questions below.
To make a long story short, the answer is “never,” really. If you want to have the best gear for the specific activity at hand, use running shoes for running and cross trainers for the gym. Even activities mentioned above, such as basketball, have their own specifically-designed footwear you could consider, if you don’t mind having a closetful of shoes. Activity-specific shoes greatly reduce discomfort, lowered performance, and injuries.
As Dr. Samuel Malloy noted, “Wearing the wrong type of shoes can lead to injuries, especially if you have any other foot problems, such as being flat-footed. It’s important that your foot is supported in the right way for the exercise you do.”
In other words, even if you’re thinking of being stingy and just buying one pair of shoes even though you both run and cross train, don’t do it. The money that you could spend on medical expenses will far outweigh any cost you’d have for an extra pair of shoes.
Theoretically, yes, you can use running shoes for cross training, but it might be at risk to yourself. For example, your running shoes will compress when you lift weights, which could make you unstable. Obviously, you don’t want to find yourself in that position.
Similarly, running shoes are designed for heel-to-toe movement, not lateral movement. So if you’re in a gym class where you’re expected to move side-to-side frequently (and quickly!), you might find your running shoes to be a little sluggish.
Finally, if you use your running shoes for cross training, they will wear out faster, and you won’t get the full use of 500 miles of running.
Can you use cross trainers for runners?
Again, the answer is a theoretical yes. But this theory requires you to keep the runs short and infrequent. First, they are heavier, so cross trainers come with unnecessary weight during your run. Second, they don’t have the cushioning you need, so you may end up injuring yourself. As your miles start adding up, it’s time to invest in running shoes.
If you use cross trainers for runners, you are most susceptible to foot, knee, and back injuries because you don’t have enough support. And this includes running on a treadmill!
If I run and do cross training, should I own two different types of shoes?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes, which is probably not what you want to hear, especially if you’re on a tight budget. My mom always used to say that it’s important to use items how they were intended. Then people won’t get hurt.
That advice rings true here. If you want to be a fast runner, you’ll need a pair of good running shoes. If you want to be a boss at cross training, you’ll need heavier shoes designed for side-to-side movement that you won’t find in a running shoe.
So, while your budget might not thank you, your body will. You’ll be using the proper tools for each respective activity. And if it’s your birthday soon, or if you’ve had family and friends ask how they can support you, consider asking for whatever type of shoes that you’re missing. You may not even have to buy them yourself!