Athletic shoes have come a long way since the first running shoe was created in the mid 19th Century. These running shoes were basic, with a leather upper and with almost zero paddings to protect the athletes’ joints from impact. On the other hand, training shoes came almost a century later, and they marked a major milestone in the design of athletic shoes.
Training and running shoes are both designed for different activities and it’s important to have the right shoe for the fitness activity that you want to perform. In this article, we are going to help you figure out, between the training shoes vs running shoes, which shoes are most suitable for your needs.
Main Differences Between Training Shoes vs Running Shoes
- Training shoes are used for different types of gym workouts, whereas running shoes are used for long-distance running and marathons.
- Training shoes have a flatter outsole that is flexible for multi-directional movement, whereas running shoes have added support and cushioning suitable for running motions.
- Training shoes have a low heel drop that supports a wide range of movement, whereas running shoes have a high heel drop to help with forward movement.
- Training shoes feature a firm, removable midsole that provides support for different activities, whereas running shoes have a cushioned midsole that helps to absorb the impact of your feet hitting the ground.
- Training shoes feature a plainer outsole with less traction to ease movement across the floor, whereas running shoes feature a durable outsole designed to provide maximum traction and impact absorption.
- Most training shoe models have removable midsoles to allow for custom orthotics, whereas running shoes have stability models and motion control models to help control pronation.
- Training shoes are designed to be used on flat surfaces like the gym floor or court while running shoes are designed for use on a variety of different terrains.
Training Shoes vs Running Shoes: Product Reviews
|1. Reebok Nano 9 Crossfit Trainer||Check Current Price|
|2. Nike Metcon 5 Crossfit Trainer||Check Current Price|
|3. Asics Gel Cumulus 22 Running Shoes||Check Current Price|
|4. Saucony Guide ISO 2 Running Shoes||Check Current Price|
The Reebok Nano 9 is one of the most popular CrossFit shoes designed to help you move easily while performing high-intensity gym workouts, weight lifting, and light running. The key features of these shoes include a low heel drop with a meta split outsole and a wider toe box, which allows generous space for your toes.
- 100% Textile
- Rubber sole
- Platform height: 0.25 in
What We Like
As mentioned earlier, the generous toe-box space and the meta split grooves on the outsole allows your forefoot and toes to splay fully and give you stability when lifting weights and performing squats.
The shoes have a low 4mm heel drop for better stability and have a flexible outsole with shallow treads to enable easier lateral movements. The outsole is more extended in the Nano 9 with a midsole wrap to provide more grip for rope climbing.
The midsole is more comfortable in this model with added cushioning in the forefoot versus a firm heel. The midsole has been upgraded with a softer EVA foam, which adds a bit of comfort for short runs.
What We Don’t Like
These CrossFit shoes are designed for indoor use, so they don’t grip well on wet surfaces. The shoes run big and the wide toe box may be a little uncomfortable for narrow feet, so you may need to get half a size smaller to fit comfortably. The upper also gets bunched up in the forefoot when you tighten the laces.
- The generous toe-box provides better stability for weight lifting
- Outsole design allows for better movements and flexibility
- Offers great performance and durability
- Midsole wraps provide stability for lateral movements
- The upgraded midsole provides better cushioning for shock absorption
- The Flexweave upper material is durable and highly breathable
- Runs big and loose for some wearers
- Has a stiff outsole with little shock absorption
The Reebok Nanos have been described as almost indestructible because they last so long and are reliable. They offer stability, comfort, and versatility, which makes them one of the best CrossFit trainers in the market. Overall Rating 4.6/5
Before Nike brought its first Metacon trainer, the CrossFit shoe market was being dominated by Reebok Nano trainers. Metacon is short for Metabolic Conditioning, which is a high-intensity interval training that involves a combination of weightlifting, cardio, and strength training.
- Mesh upper
- Carbon rubber sole
- 4mm drop
What We Like
The Metacon 5 comes with an extra Hyperlift insert midsole which adds an extra 3mm heel drop to provide better stability and easier lifting up during squats. The outsole features a dual rubber combination, similar to what you’d find on running shoes. This provides better traction and durability, as well as flexibility with the soft grippy rubber at the forefoot. The hard-wearing rubber is on the sides of the outsole and extends to the sides of the shoes to provide a better grip for rope climbing exercises.
The dual-density midsole features a firm heel to keep you steady with your weights while the forefoot is made softer for better flexibility and responsiveness.
What We Don’t Like
The heel is rigid with minimal padding that makes it uncomfortable for running. The dual midsole does not have a gradual transition from the hard part to the soft which creates a pressure point where the dual densities meet. It is a specialized shoe which does not give it much versatility for other workouts like walking.
- Provides excellent heel stability for squats and deadlifts
- Features a wide flat base that keeps your feet parallel to the ground
- Dual rubber outsole provides durability and flexibility
- Flywire lacing system provides a secure fitting
- Outsole tread design provides better traction
- The padded heel collar is low and doesn’t provide a firm foothold
- Pressure points in the midsole where the dual-density foam meets
The Metacon 5 features several updates from its predecessor and includes lots of valuable contributions from different CrossFit athletes. It is an excellent trainer for squats and weight lifting but the Nano 9 makes a more versatile CrossFit trainer. Overall Rating 4.6/5
The Cumulus line of neutral running shoes is one of the most popular Asics road running shoes known for comfort and durability. Now in its 22nd edition, the shoe boasts of a completely new design that provides a more comfortable ride.
- 3D print upper
- Rubber sole
- Rear and forefoot gel cushioning
- Made in USA
What We Like
The Cumulus 22 features an updated breathable mesh upper with 3D printed overlays for better forefoot fit, which helps you run for longer in comfort. Its lacing structure includes extra eyelets to help you adjust the tightness of the laces for a better fit. The dual midsole combines a thicker Flytefoam cushioning and Flytefoam Propel to give more bounce and forward momentum. The shoes also retain the Asics gel padding at the heel and forefoot for a smoother landing and toe-off.
The outsole features more grooves and a smaller guidance line, which makes it more flexible than the 21st edition. It also uses a high-abrasion rubber that gives it more durability and better traction on various surfaces.
What We Don’t Like
These are neutral running shoes that offer little support even for people with high arches. The shoes have a narrow toe-box, which gives a tight fit, and with short laces, it’s difficult to wear them loosely for better comfort.
- Stretchy and breathable mesh upper provides a snug-fitting
- Flexible outsoles with excellent traction for various surfaces
- Thick cushioning provides a more comfortable ride
- Lightweight shoes for long-distance running
- Gel padding allows for smoother landing and transition
- Provides little support for high arches
- Has a narrow toe-box
- Has short laces and tongue for loose-fitting
The Cumulus 22 running shoes are durable and comfortable for daily training which is why they are so popular. They are also affordable and with the new improvements, it’s good value for your money. Overall Rating 4.6/5
The Saucony Guide ISO 2 is one of the most reliable stability running shoes in the market. It features a medial post that provides moderate support for overpronators by preventing the arch from rolling inwards too much. The shoes are designed for road running and on flat trails.
- Synthetic-and-mesh upper
- Rubber sole
- Contoured footbed
What We Like
Guide ISO 2 is a lightweight and stable running shoe that you can use for daily training and the occasional race for people who need support. It features a PWRFOAM midsole that helps to absorb much of the impact when landing.
The EVERUN top sole provides energy return to give you the forward momentum you need to push off faster. It features a medial stability post made of EVA foam to correct overpronation and to protect your underfoot muscles from getting too strained.
What We Don’t Like
Like most stability shoes, the Guide ISO 2 is a stiff shoe and is uncomfortable to run with for long distances. Also, some users have noted that the heel lining wears off too quickly, which can give you blisters.
- Extremely comfortable with great support
- The midsole provides excellent cushioning and energy return
- Breathable upper provides a great fit at the forefoot
- Features good traction for multiple surfaces
- Medial support helps to correct overpronation
- The shoes fit loosely at the heel
- Heel counter lining wears off quickly
- Very stiff for long-distance running
Guide ISO 2 is a comfortable stability shoe that helps to support people with overpronation. It gets positive reviews for comfort and excellent fitting. The shoe’s design is also attractive with its bright colors and shape. However, the heel counter lining wears off quickly. Overall Rating 4.5/5
Training vs Running Shoes: The Important Features
There is an overwhelming number of athletic shoes in the market to choose from, and knowing which shoes best fit your type of fitness workout will improve the quality of your training. Here’s how you determine which shoes between cross-training shoes vs running shoes you’ll need to wear for which workout.
Also known as cross-trainers or aerobic shoes, training shoes are versatile for performing a variety of gym workouts. The outstanding features of these shoes include:
- A low heel drop that brings your foot as close to the ground as possible for better stability.
- A wide base that allows you to splay your toes fully for stability while lifting weights.
- A stiff and durable outsole that extends to the sides of the shoe to provide grip for rope climbing activities.
- The outsole features shallow treads for easier lateral movement.
Cross-trainers are multi-functional and are best used for indoor activities. Their midsoles offer medium cushioning for high-intensity exercises and short distance running while the stiff outsole offers heel support for weight lifting and squats.
Running shoes are designed with the proper cushioning to reduce the impact on your joints from the constant pounding. This prevents long term pain and injuries as well as providing comfort to help you run for longer. Here are some of the most distinguishing features of running shoes.
- A high heel drop, usually of about 10mm, to promote forward momentum that improves your running efficiency
- A thick layer of midsole cushioning provides shock absorption to reduce the impact on your joints.
- A more flexible outsole made of both soft and hard rubber and features
- deeper treads for traction.
- A breathable mesh upper that promotes aeration inside the shoe to reduce the build-up of moisture caused by sweating.
Running shoes are very specific for their use, which is running, but some models are versatile to use as walking shoes or as daily casual wear.
The sports shoe market is a huge industry with numerous brands competing for space. Within this market, there is a niche for specialized athletic shoes that help to improve performance in different sports activities. However, this also means that there is a wide range of shoes to choose from which is overwhelming.
Hopefully, we’ll have helped to make it easier for you to choose the best shoes for your needs. We love all the shoes we’ve highlighted here but our favorites are Reebok Nano 9 Crossfit Trainer and Asics Gel Cumulus 22 Running Shoes. Please let us know which are your favorites in the comments section below.