How to Chose Workout Shoes

How to Chose Workout Shoes

How to Chose Workout Shoes

This post is to answer Kawal’s question: “As I do aerobics at home by watching youtube videos. I have running shoes of adidas should I buy separate shoes for aerobics ? I am confused plz help”

Thanks for your question Kawal. It reminded me of the days when I was doing a teacher training course in floor and step Aerobics. Before starting that course, I had not done aerobics in life. So I had no idea of the shoes or the basic steps. Hence, I used my running shoes for the initial few classes and the result was shin pain. There were other pains as well. As I was new to aerobics so initially I kept bumping into the other students in the class . I started by standing in the front row to moving to the last row, to again standing in the front row after a month.

Coming to the question, aerobics has two parts floor aerobics and step aerobics. Floor aerobics is a low impact activity as compared to step aerobics. Step aerobics can be used to do amazing plyometric workout. The correct shoes make sure that there is no injury while doing either of these. A good pair of shoes also support plyometrics or any other workout.

The choice of shoes for any workout depends on two things

1. The shape of your feet
2. The requirement of the workout

By shape of the feet I mean people with flat or flexible feet may want to avoid a shoe with too much cushioning. People with high arches or inflexible feet may need a shoe with more cushioning. If you have a foot or joint problem that requires arch supports, then you chose a shoe accordingly.

Now how to decide your shoe as per your workout? I have not read any research on this. Whatever I am sharing I am sharing out of experience.

1. Pylometrics or aerobics: Need a good grip on the sole. With a soft sole -phisal jaoge :D .. So go for rugged sole. Not very tightly fit on the mid sole. This I can say from my recent experiences with jumping rope practice also. If the mid sole is tight then after sometimes, the feet start hurting.

The best way to feel light while doing any rythmic movement is to do it on the toes. Got this advice from a dancer. Have tried it and bow down to it. For this to happen happily, the shoes should have amazing flexibility and good cushioning in the front sole.

2. Running

Full length of the sole should be cushioned well. The mid sole fitting should be good. It should be soft and comfortable otherwise after few kms, you will get bruises due to friction between your feet and shoes. They should be light so that you do not have to put much effort to lift the shoes.

3. Weight training

I always end up removing my shoes or wearing vibram while weight training. Cushioning make me lose balance. I want a stiff, not very thick cushioning. Just like a canvas. Imagine yourself doing a squat. When you go down then, all your load is on the heels. You will feel unstable if the heel cushioning is not stiff and rugged. Similar thing applies to deadlift.

One more point came to my point. Type of shoes also depend on the flooring. This is the reason, all sports have different shoes requirement. The Squash court has wooden flooring, which is slightly shiny(low friction) so squash shoes need an amazing grip on the sole. Likewise, different shoes for TT and LT, Badminton, basketball etc. (This reminds me that I have so many shoes gathering dust.. anyways). The same applies for aerobics also. Some studios have hard wood flooring. Some have linoleum flooring.

This was by bit on shoes. I would say, ask your body while you do any workout. Observe your biomechanics while doing a workout, write down what you feel, you should be wearing to protect your feet and support your workout. Accordingly, try different shoes and decide your shoe. No particular brand of shoes is once and for all for everyone. Price wise as well as requirement wise.

Please share in comments, for the type of shoes you wear, for the workout you do. We can discuss more on shoes, based on our experiences

That said.. barefoot is the best :)


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24 thoughts on “How to Chose Workout Shoes

  1. Kawal

    Thanks Nidhi for writing this article. I want to tell u that i have flat foot nd most of my old shoes nd slippers get bent on inner side of my feet. plz suggest some shoes if poss nd wat is rugged sole

    1. Nidhi

      Kawal rugged mean, good grip due to more friction due to more grooves on the sole… please try different shoes and select the one which suits your feet and has qualities that i mentioned…. dont do aerobics barefoot esp if you do it with a group :-)

  2. Ramya

    Nidhi, awesome n very informative post, ur fulltu back in action, loving it! :-)
    I have a series Of doubts after reading this post :-D
    1. What is vibgram or vibram?
    2. I use runtone reebok for running n so far so good, what do u think?
    3. My trainer told that barefoot running is best so to buy shoes which simulate barefoot running :-| like realflex by Reebok. Why do I need shoes which simulate barefoot running?

    1. Nidhi

      Replying from phone will share vibram link later… ..meanwile check on google. Shruti uses it more often.. she can tell better…. if you are fine with your shoes than carry on with them… you can try barefoot as well as trainer recommended shoes.. may be you like to try that form of running too once in a while … i do both as per mood… both are a different feel:-)

    2. Nidhi

      Barefoot running activates deeper muscles of the feet.. it is an acupanture activity also..can do once in a while… remove your shoes and run as it is :-)

    3. Shruti

      Ramya Vibrams are that five finger shoes, I wear them when lifting. (Didn’t bring them here and regretting) basically for lifting you should have the best grip on ground, for that wear flat sole shoes and five fingers give a good grip, all my toes have never been this functional :)

      Running shoes is a complex matter. Try to get your pronation tested. Best to go to a running store.

      When I run in my vibrams, my calf muscles really really feel it, which is not the case with my running shoes. Also barefoot running is not for everyone.

      Another school of thought behind barefoot running is that, this is how humans are supposed to run. Primal and all that stuff, that our ancestors ran barefoot and it’s natural

      1. Ramya

        Thanks Nidhi n Shruti!! Nidhi I’ll surely try out barefoot running, I think I know what u mean by acupressure I just got back from a trip with parents where I had to climb a hill barefoot n I ended up loving it!!
        Shruti okayyy now I got an idea about vibrams, it sounds so interesting! That’s the explanation my trainer gave me too, about barefoot running being our natural way n all. Let me try it sometime, I’m not a great runner as such, more of yoga n weights prerson but I’m hoping to change that this year :-)

  3. Ankita

    this is something I have no clue about so thanks a lot for writing this :) I use just one pair of shoe for everything :P I really like those 5 toe shoes…I will look like a duck if I wear them…hahahaaa…they r so cute… :) does this give me a reason to buy one more shoe..maybe yes :P

        1. Shruti

          Surprisingly, Anku, those are the worst looking shoes. They don’t look pretty but they are functional. I am always made fun of for vibrams :P but you gotta do what you gotta do. On another note, vibrams are pretty expensive, my pair was about 9-10K INR. There are a lot of other cheaper good options available, and I honestly wouldn’t recommend vibrams until you are lifting very heavy.

  4. shilpa

    I had brought Nike shoes last year with no logic of such used unfortunately ;) and now some how i feel my feet gets heated up after walking/running on thread mill :( :( does that mean i have to change ????
    2 ) how to check the shape of the feet ??? by its foot prints ( i knw it sounds little dum but i just want to clear my doubt :) :) )

    1. Nidhi

      Abe warming is normal.. footprint is one way else ask the shopkeepers at shoe shops.. very basic and simple it is.. no worries :-)


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