What are the best shoes to wear for your workout? Whether it’s running, bootcamp, HIIT, or playing tennis, there are benefits to wearing shoes specific to your workout. Click the image below to watch the video or get the basic details below.

Sneakers Thumnail

All Sneaks

First, you need to look at the natural arch on your feet. Generally speaking, if you have a high arch and your ankles lean out your foot you will want to looks at neutral shoes. If your foot pronates, you may have a low arch and your ankle leans inward. Those who have a low arch may benefit from a shoe with stability and motion control shoes.  A neutral foot means that you have a normal arch and your ankle doesn’t lean in or out. You can look for neutral running shoes. If this is too much information already, go to your nearest sneaker specialty store like Marathon Sports, City Sports or South End Athletic Company. They will be able to tell you what to get.

Running Sneaks

A running shoe should not be worn for other activities like HIIT or Bootcamp in my opinion because it does not have lateral stability for your ankle. Running shoes are meant to go from front to back not side to side. Depending on your running gait, you will want more or less of a heel cushion. A shoe with a minimal drop means there is less heel cushioning. If you hit the ground with your mid foot first when running, you do not need as much cushion on your heel as a heel striker would. Make sense? My favorite running shoe right now is the adidas Boost. 

Cross Trainers or Training Shoes

If you do not know what a cross trainer looks like, it is rounded at the toe and has more heel support than a running shoe. It is built for lateral movement. This shoe can be worn for a variety of exercises. Any HIIT, Tabata, Bootcamp or fusion class will benefit from a cross trainer rather than a running shoe. Have you ever tried to balance on one foot in a pair of running shoes? It’s not easy. Try wearing cross trainers and you will find balancing exercises are less difficult. They also are more flexible on the bottom and move with the natural movement of your foot. I like the adiPure 360 for my HIIT workouts. It has a little more arch support for my flat feet for all the jumping up and down. If you play tennis once in a while like me, this will be your go to shoe.

What about classes like Barry’s Bootcamp? 

If you want to wear running shoes, that is your right. I suggest a minimal running shoe or cross training shoe that can double as a running and cross trainer in a class like Barry’s Bootcamp. You would not want to run more than 2 or 3 miles in this shoe but it will help your form during the floor exercises. If you have bad knees however, a running shoe may be necessary for comfort and injury prevention. It also helps to switch up your shoes during the week between activities to reduce injury!

Of course if you are going to run cross country or become a sprinter, there are spikes and waffles, similarly with soccer you will want cleats but I am assuming you guys know this stuff.

I recommend my clients have at least two pairs of sneakers to alternate between. A training shoe for strength training and classes and a running shoe if they like to run. I also have a pair of cycling shoes which were one of my best investments of 2013.

Got any more sneaker questions? Leave them below 🙂

The Best Sneakers For Your Workout

About The Author


    • Sarah

      I am firm believer in investing in your shoes because it usually comes out to investing in your health and body. If you wearing bad shoes and get injured -- then you are paying the doctor/physical therapist/pain relievers/random foam rollers etc… By regular sneakers do you mean running shoes or cross trainers because most of one or the other.

  • Caroline

    This is a really interesting post. I always wear the same pair for everything so I will certainly consider getting some more specific ones for the activities I am doing. Thanks!

  • Ashley

    You’re awesome, Sarah! Thank you soo much for this post. I recently started Barry’s wearing my marathon partner, Asics GT series but have been feeling that while great on the treads the GT was a bit too structured for the floor portion. I’m a normal/mild over-pronator and have always stuck with my GT’s for marathons, but am now thinking of getting the performance stability shoe like the Asics Electro 33 or a performance neutral shoe. I’m thinking that performance shoe is lightweight and have more of a barefoot feel so they may be similar to cross trainers..what are your thoughts? Thanks so much!
    P.S. loved the New Balance pair you were wearing for the Barry’s HIIT workout you did a couple months back..which type are they?

  • Via Vascular

    I heard someone talk about having the right gear earlier this week! Its so true having the right shoes makes a huge difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter.

  • Si

    How about training free weights, Sarah? I can’t find any decent reporting on this. There’s been a trend towards flat footed shoes to bring the heel down for lifting, but i’m battling to find good evidence to support this! What do you think?

  • Rachel

    After watching your video, I know i need to invest in cross-training shoes for my tabatta workouts. I have really bad arches, so I buy all my shoes from new balance with their arch support. But I was curious just for everyday shoes can I wear cross trainer shoes that I buy for the tabatta workouts? Or what do you recommend? I know I need something with support that will help my back as well.

  • roma

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m a little confused on if I should do cross training shoes or running shoes because the bootcamp classes I do also incorporate sprints of running. We do it outside so we are typically doing a mix of running and HIIT. I’ve been wearing a lighter running shoe for the last year but the shoes are done and giving me shin splints now.

    Any suggestions? I think I waited too long to get new shoes because the thought overwhelmed me!

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