running shoes vs training shoes

What is the Difference Between Running and Training Shoes?

Running and training shoes may look similar, but the key differences are in sole flexibility and heel drop.

pink asics running shoes

WHAT ARE RUNNING SHOES BEST FOR?

This one is more obvious – running shoes are for running. But how do running shoes help with running? Running shoes protect your feet when pounding the pavement over and over again. Where a training shoe helps with side-to-side movement, running shoes help with forward movement. Running shoes also provide more cushioning and support, which often translates into a higher heel drop. This makes for more comfort during long distance runs when you need lots of shock absorption.

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purple training shoes

What Are Training Shoes?

Training shoes support a range of movement, including: cutting, stopping, breaking, jumping, and changing direction quickly.

This makes a training shoe versatile and good for many different types of workouts. You can think of training shoes as your all-in-one gym shoe.

You can usually tell a shoe is a training shoe by how much flatter the shoe is. The technical term here is the “heel drop,” which refers to the distance from the heel height to the toe height.

what are training shoes good for:

You can even do short distances on a treadmill. Anything longer than a 5K is usually better with running shoes for shock absorption.

How should Training Shoes Fit?

Training shoes have a comfortable upper and flexible midsole for multi-directional movement. A lower heel drop puts you closer to the ground to push off and pivot. Training shoes are lightweight for easy and efficient movement.

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RISKS OF USING THE WRONG SHOES FOR YOUR WORKOUT

Wearing the wrong shoes may lead to problems such as:

DISCOMFORT

The wrong type of shoes can cause discomfort in many different ways. You may experience blisters, aches and pains, or soreness. It may be the reason your shoe doesn't feel quite right. The best shoes don’t get in your way at all – letting you do your workout without hardly noticing them.

LOWERED PERFORMANCE

Wearing the wrong type of shoe can keep you from performing your best. When you’re putting in the hard work to get better, the last thing you need is your shoe to be holding you back. Running shoes during plyometrics can keep you from pivoting quickly. You won't have the grip, traction, and flexibility of the sole a training shoe provides. Without running shoe cushioning and support, it may be harder to up mileage or get faster.

INJURIES

Running and training shoes provide specific types of support to prevent injury. Here are some of the ways a mismatch of shoe to workout may increase your chances of injury:

Don’t forget shoe size. Too small of shoes can cause your toenails to turn black from bruising and fall off. You should be sizing up at least a half size to account for the natural movement and swelling of your feet during workouts. You may also need to find the right shoe width for your comfort.

If you’re still unsure about what shoe is best for you, find an ASICS retail store for expert guidance or your local specialty sports store.