Who doesn’t love a fresh pair of kicks. That first time wearing them, basically the only time they will look that clean on your feet. Unless they are gym shoes… worn inside it’s actually possible to keep them clean which makes me happy. If you know me then you know how much I struggle to keep shoes clean.
When it came to gym shoes I would usually head down to the closest sport check or foot locker and buy some runners. Basically the deciding factor was color and how badass they look on my feet. What I have learned over the past few years is what kind of shoe you buy actually matters!
Being obsessed with fitness and bodybuilding the first thing I was hunting for was lifting shoes. For a small fortune I went and purchased my first pair of legit lifting shoes. So what is the big difference between a runner and a lifting shoe?
Runners are made for.. well as the name implies running. They have more tread for different terrain you may need to grip. The sole of the shoe is way more flexible and narrow. They are made to be light-weight to speed you up and breathable to keep you going.
Now when it comes to a lifting shoe the intent is much different. Instead of running in them you are loading them up with weight and traveling the minimal distance possible. The sole is wider for stability and rigid to give you a solid base. By increasing your footprint you have more stability resulting in safer lifts. Some also have a heel to target more quad development while doing lifts like a squat. There really is no give in the sole, making these pretty hard to do any cardio in.
This is where I came to the conclusion, I am not a power lifter. I don’t need to be worrying about maximizing how much I can carry but really liked the stability I got. That is where I found shoes intended for cross fit. The soles are a lot more rigid then a runner but still flexible enough to do cardio in. Changing your shoes from lifting to cardio can be a pain in the butt, so having a well rounded shoe made life way easier!
I have enough stability in them to perform dead lifts and squats without stressing about what injury I may get. It restores confidence in your lifts when your ankles and knees are not flopping all over the place. I go to the gym to prevent injury and help with the longevity of my body. Wearing purpose built footwear for the activity you are doing seems to just make sense. I mean you wouldn’t wear sandals in the snow so why would you wear a shoe intended for running to lift 300lbs?