Top Pick

Brooks Ghost 11

Best Premium

Reebok CROSSFIT Nano 8.0
PREMIUM

Best Value

Asics Gel-Venture 6 MX

Article by: Andrew B.

Last Edited: 19 April 2019

We are roughly 3 months into 2019, or exactly 90 days, and if statistics are correct you are probably among the 92% of people that have backslid on their New Year’s Resolutions.

Even if you haven’t quite stuck it out -psychologists tell us (insert link) it’s never too late to start that resolution back up! So whether that is eating better, getting more active, sleeping better, taking better care of your skin, or all the above. We have done the research work for you to get started (again)!

The first step to getting back into the swing of exercise though is to make sure you have the right shoes.

I will break this down as follows:

  • Type of Activity
  • Type of wearer
  • Wearer’s physical situation
  • Cost
  • Material type
  • User reviews

What workout activity are you doing?

The first thing to be aware of is any type of workout shoe is designed and built with the activity of the wearer in mind, so it is important that you decide what ways you are going to use the shoe so that you prevent injury and maximize results.   Here we will stick to the most common workout types:

Running

Any type of running shoe will be built around the fact that your foot is landing in a heel-to-toe motion.  This is especially important to help prevent injuries as they are built to provide added support for that particular repetitive back to front, or heel to toe movement.

While all running has a heel to toe motion pattern, some runners have a stride that leans more towards the outer or inner portion of the foot, which is called underpronation (also called supination) and overpronation – respectively.  If you are unsure if this is the type of runner you are you can either watch your stride (an underpronated stride will strike primarily on the outer edge of the foot, and vice versa), or inspect and old pair of shoes for wear patterns on the sole.  For example, if you find the outer edge of the sole is wearing out before the rest of the shoe, there is a good chance you underpronate when you run.

Within running there are a variety of running styles and types depending on your environment.  A few questions to ask yourself:-

Where will I be running?  Is it a more urban environment, or will it be somewhere outdoors – perhaps on an unpaved trail?

When will I be running?  Will it be outdoors at night?  Is there a potential that I will need my shoes to help alert cars to my presence?

Circuit/Cross Training

Circuit Training shoes are designed for a wide range of movements – and are especially designed for any type of fast side to side motion.  Typically you will find the area around the base of the toes to be wider and often there will be ways to adjust how tight these areas are.  

Much like running shoes, these are built in a way to provide support and balance to help you maximize your movements while helping to prevent injury.  Other common activities circuit/cross training shoes are used for:

– Training
– P90X
– Crossfit

Weight Lifting

Weightlifting shoes are often very similar to circuit/cross training shoes except for a few key features.

Since your upper body will be working with movements involving large amounts of weight, it is even more important that the foundation of your body, starting at your feet, is even more secure than what a cross training shoe or running shoe can provide.  This means you will typically have a raised heel made of a material that will not give when you load the weight up (i.e. wood or a hardened rubber).  The raised heel encourages better form – especially for traditionally heavier lifts like squats or deadlift.  You will also find that the shoe itself has added support in the midsole with something like a strap. 

There are major sneaker companies, like Adidas, Nike and Puma that have identified that most people involved in cross training will also be lifting weights and are trying to build shoes that will appeal to both activities.

Before you choose, should your workout shoes be loose or tight?

There are many things to consider when lacing your workout shoes but a couple of rules tend to hold true.  First, you always want as much security around the ankle and heel as you can as this helps prevent your foot from actually sliding inside of the shoe and causing blisters and potential ankle injuries. 

You also want to make sure that any movement in the foot is intended so as not to compromise other movements you are making.  This especially holds true in circuit training or weight lifting- where the feet are the foundation and an inability to support movement can potentially cause injuries elsewhere on the body.

Another thing to note: for the other areas of the foot, as you workout your feet tend to swell, so you want to try and give the toe area of your shoe some room for movement.  While the midsole section should remain fairly neutral in how tight it is laced.  We will call this the goldilocks section.

Best Overall Shoes for Men

I hope we have convinced you how important choosing the right shoe for you is. With it helping support the foundation of the body during various forms of activity, the difference between an ideal shoe and a less than ideal shoe can mean everything from a less than ideal workout to possible injury. Finding the right shoe for you is very important. Below we have done some research on the best picks for men, as the width of their foot is often wider and requires a different type of engineering.

Best Running Shoe (Neutral)

Brooks Ghost 11

Brooks has long been a respected brand in the running community and is in heavy use by runners around the world, and currently running shoes is the only type of shoe Brooks creates.

WIth that said, It is estimated that 20-30% of runners have a neutral pronation foot strike. This means that runners like that need a neutral style running shoe, one that offers support for a foot that strikes fairly evenly across its width at the same time. This is a shoe for that type of runner. The Brooks Ghost 11 are designed for runners with a medium or high arch (roughly 80% of the population.

Many users have said these shoes are very comfortable, have a large toe box for those longer runs, and typically it fits true to size. A lot of those that have purchased these shoes also said it helped alleviate pain around their knees and other joints.

Construction

BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning in the sole (patent porous rubber blend), and a mesh upper that provides breathability and structure.

Pros

  • Users say good for larger runners
  • High quality cushion in the sole
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not recommended for users with overpronation or supination (underpronation)

Running Shoe (Underpronation / Supination)

Asics Gel Venture 6 MX

Runners with an underpronated stride have a lot of the same needs as any other running type.  They will need security and breathability in the upper, as well as a solid heel pocket and appropriate arch support, all sitting on top of a sole that provides stability for the front to back motion of a run.

The differences they need from a neutral stride have been contested over the years, but many agree that what is of extra importance in this area is added stability in the sole (usually represented by width of the sole not the shoe) and a strong cushion system in that same sole.  The reason for the stability is to help prevent any injuries that might arise from landing more on the outer side of your foot, and the cushioning is the help alleviate pressure and impact on a portion of your foot that might not be relied in that way during day-to-day activities.

Asics, likes Brooks, has always been a strong contender in the running space.  However, unlike Brooks, which primarily specializes in neutral running strides, Asics has really tried to design shoes for all three stride types.

The Gel Venture running shoe is recommended for runners with a underpronated running style.  The sole has a width that will offer stability in most terrain.  The sole itself has added cushion to alleviate pressure on your foot.  However, it also offers more cushion in the heel to ease your stride into the roll onto the outer edge of the foot.

Many users of this shoe have said that it has helped them on longer runs and races, and some even wear them for everyday work where they are required to stay on their feet for the majority of the day.  Others have said these shoes have alleviated some of the pain they used to experience while running before – especially for runners that underpronate.  These are reported to fit true to size. 

Construction

  • Upper: Synthetic Mesh
  • Removable Sock Liner
  • Outsole: AHAR OUTSOLE: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for added durability. TRAIL SPECIFIC OUTSOLE: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
  • Sole: Rubber
    • Also has a “REARFOOT GEL TECHNOLOGY CUSHIONING SYSTEM”, that  that takes a lot of the initial impact of most strides while foot rolls through the landing.

Pros

    • Good for both urban and trail running
    • Cost (Some models)
    • Good for runners with Supination, or that underpronate while running

Cons

    • Lacing – some users have complained of issues with the lacing and how it lays across the top of the foot
    • Laces  – some users have complained that the laces themselves can wear out rather quickly
    • Colorways: Slightly outdated colorways

Running Shoe (Overpronation)

Asics Gel Kayano 25 SP

Much like the fact that shoes for underpronation (supination) need similar attributes as a neutral shoe, so does a shoe for overpronation, a gait style that puts a large portion of the stability work on the inner portion of the foot.

Shoes in this category also need, a very stable (wide) sole – with added medial post support.  Medial post support basically means that there is (usually) a separate material in the sole that adds rigidity and helps roll the foot out as the runner lands.  On top of that, added arch support is often needed for runners of this type as their natural strike position typically places a lot of pressure on that type area of the foot.

The best shoes we could find that meet this requirement are, Asics Gel-Kayano 25 SP’s.

These shoes were built with the overpronated runner in mind.  They come with a stable sole base, a “guidance line” midsole piece, that provides the medial post support described above.  It also offers an arch that works well for runners with lower arches, or arches that will get a lot of added pressure.

Many users have said these shoes are very comfortable, even for larger runners, with some users stating it has helped relieve pain they were experiencing with other shoes.  On top of the comfort these shoes provide, users have also reported that they fit true to size and are of a really good quality.

Construction

  • Upper: Mesh fabric
  • Sole: “FLYTEFOAM LYTE” porous rubber that provides a soft cushion and a sturdy midsole guidance line to help gently move the gait back towards neutral

Pros

  • Lighter than a lot of other shoes designed for runners with an overpronated running style.
  • Comfortable, even for heavier runners
  • Beautiful colorways
  • Built with overpronated runners in mind

Cons

  • Cost:  Depending on the size and colorway, these shoes can be pricier than others
  • Heel cup.  Some users have reported issues with the inflexibility in the heel.

Cross Training Shoe

Adidas Men’s Powerlift 3 in 1 Cross Trainer

This shoe is probably one of the best looking, highest rated, and best built we will have in this entire article.  The Adidas Men’s Powerlift 3-in-1 Cross Trainer is ideal for both cross training, as well as lifting as the heel is also raised with a large amount of sturdy support in the sole due to the fact that it is cut from a high density midsole wedge (important for those power lifts that require a strong and quick push back from the sole/heel of the foot).  The shoe has a wide base and an adjustable strap on the midsole to offer plenty of stability. 

Many purchasers of this product have said these shoes have enabled them to have better technique and form due to the angle of the foot, dense heel, and ankle support. 

Construction

There are a variety of materials that are used to construct this shoe.  It is built with a synthetic leather upper and a rubber sole.  It also has a “high density midsole wedge” to enable those moments you need strong support to pushback on heavier sets of weight.

Pro

  • Support
  • Stability
  • Construction
  • Colors
  • Rigidity of the sole

Cons

  • Cost. There are other cross training shoes on the market for less
  • Narrow for some wearers
  • Limited color options for women

Best Overall Shoes for Women

So far, I hope we have convinced you how important it is to find the right shoe for the activity you are looking to do.  With that said, although it is getting better, a lot of athletic shoe companies have been slow to release full product lines for women.  More recently this has been brought to the attention of large brands like Under Armour, Nike Adidas, Puma and Sketchers attention by a young girl that reached out to Steph Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, asking why his shoes were only being released in male sizes.

While the gesture might have been somewhat symbolic – there is a biological reason behind encouraging brands to engineer shoes for both sexes – and traditionally women have had limited options and/or had to try and find their size in a shoe designed for males.  This is problematic for a lot of reasons.  It might go without saying, but there are typically a few noticeable differences between men and women’s feet. 

To quote a study done by Penn State in 2001: “… female feet and legs are not simply scaled-down versions of male feet but rather differ in a number of shape characteristics, particularly at the arch, the lateral side of the foot, the first toe, and the ball of the foot. These differences should be taken into account in the design and manufacture of women’s sport shoes.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11283437)

Thankfully, athletic brands like Nike, Adidas, Pumas, Under Armour, etc. are no longer asking women to choose from smaller male sizes, or scaled down mens shoes in different colorways, or a very limited selection of shoes specifically designed for the female athlete. With that in mind, these are what we currently recommend for women getting into various forms of activity:

Running Shoe (Neutral)

Brooks Womens Glycerine 15

Like we stated earlier, Brooks has long been a respected brand in the running community and is in heavy use by runners around the world.  Also, if specialization is important to you, neutral shoes are the primary focus of Brooks.

Brooks long ago began to become a leader in neutral gait running shoes and by all accounts knocks it out of the park with the Glycerine 15.  A simple, highly cushioned and lightweight sole, sits below a mesh upper that provides plenty flexibility and stability. 

Note: There is a newer version of this shoe, the Glycerine 17’s.  We are recommending the 15’s now as they are still a great shoe and are much cheaper in many cases with a higher track record of satisfied users.

Many users have found this shoe to be very comfortable (some even claiming that it has helped their plantar fasciitis).  Most users have also found these fit true to size – but some find them to be a bit on the small side, especially in the toe box area and recommend moving a size up.

Construction

  • Upper: Breathable Mesh
  • Sole: Lightweight and porous rubber for a soft feel

Pros

  • Cost
  • Colorways
  • Construction

Cons

  • Smaller toe box for runners with wider feet
  • Appears to wear out quickly around the ankle

Running Shoe (Underpronation/Supination)

Asics Gel-Venture 6 MX

We were such a fan of this being the top running shoe for men with an underpronated running style that we decided the one designed for womens feet actually had our vote as well.

As a reminder, an underpronated running style or gait (also called supination) is when you land on your heel and primarily roll through the stride and push off with the outside of your foot.  This, if forced into a shoe not designed for it or left on its own can debatably cause a variety of injuries for long distance runners. 

With that in mind, the Gel-Venture 6 MX are a greater running shoe in both their women and mens models.  A lot like the male version the sole has a width that will offer stability in most terrain.  The sole itself has added cushion to alleviate pressure on your foot.  However, it also offers more cushion in the heel to ease your stride into the roll onto the outer edge of the foot.  All of these great features are built into a shoe that takes into account the physiology of the female foot and body.

Users have found these shoes to be very comfortable.  One possible side effect of underpronation is the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis, and some users have reported that wearing these shoes to workout and during day-to-day activities has helped alleviate their symptoms.  All of that and people seem to find a lot of comfort while using these for everything from long distance trail running to day-to-day work shoes in jobs that require them to be on their feet a lot.

Construction

  • Upper: Synthetic Mesh
  • Removable Sock Liner
  • Outsole: AHAR OUTSOLE: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for added durability. TRAIL SPECIFIC OUTSOLE: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
  • Sole: Rubber. Also has a “REARFOOT GEL TECHNOLOGY CUSHIONING SYSTEM”, that  that takes a lot of the initial impact of most strides while foot rolls through the landing.

Pros

    • Good for urban, suburban, gym and trail running
    • Cost (Some models)
    • Good for runners with Supination, or that underpronate while running

Cons

    • Lacing – some users have complained of issues with the lacing and how it lays across the top of the foot
    • Laces  – some users have complained that the laces themselves can wear out rather quickly as well as they can have trouble staying tied.
    • Colorways: Some would say slightly outdated styles

Running Shoe (Overpronation)

ASICS GT 1000 7 SP

Just like shoes for underpronation (supination), shoes for overpronation need very similar attributes as a neutral shoe. Overpronation is a gait style that puts a large portion of the impact and stability work on the inner portion of the foot, and consequently puts added pressure on the arch of the foot.

A good shoe for women that have an overpronated walking/running gait should have a few features. First, that shoe should have a very stable (wide) sole – with added medial post support. Medial post support is typically found when the sole is engineered with a separate material running diagonally across the midsole to adds rigidity and assist the foot to roll more towards a neutral position as the runner lands, taking pressure off the inner portion of the foot and arch.

Add to that, this running style can add pressure and weight to the inside of the foot impacting the arch – causing issues and a degradation to the arch arch height. Because of this you will want to find a shoe that offers a strong arch support and a lot of cushioning to distribute the inner foot impact evenly across the rest of the foot.

With those needs in mind, the shoe we recommend for a female runner with overpronation is the ASICS GT 1000 7 SP. The “Trusstic System” provides the medial support you will need across the midsole, while the sole provides a good deal of stability and arch support.

Those that use this shoe have found that these shoes are comfortable and, while a little pricier than other options, they should help alleviate symptoms and issues that arise from overpronation. As it is reported, this is partially due to well designed and engineered arch support and a stable sole. Add to that the fact that these shoes were designed specifically for a woman that has a tendency to overpronate and you have a good looking running shoe that easily justifies slightly higher prices than other options.

Bottom line, if you are someone that tends to overpronate – these shoes should help alleviate some of the symptoms and pain that can come along with that.

(Note: many people have also found this shoe to run about a ½ size too small. We recommend ordering a half size larger than your normal size.)

Construction

  • Upper: mesh fabric, reflective material
  • Sole: Rubber
    • Main construction is a “Flytefoam” low density synthetic rubber that allows for a very porous and soft feel.
    • Medial support is provided by a “Trusstic System”, a rigid portion of the sole running diagonally across the midsole.
  • Outsole: “Ahar Plus”, a synthetic rubber placed in critical areas of the shoe to provide 50% more durability than the material used in the sole.

Pros

  • Great for overpronated runners from a trusted brand in this field
  • Reflective for added visibility and safety
  • Removable insoles (for other orthopedic inserts)

Cons

  • Not true to size
  • Pricier than other options

Cross Training Shoe

Reebok CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer

Like the Adidas cross trainer we recommended earlier, this is a truly a great looking shoe.  However, like the Adidas trainer, this shoe packs a lot great engineering and functionality in a beautiful package.

The sole size and width provides an appropriate amount of stability for heavy lifts and side to side fast movement.  To assist in the stability needed for explosive movements usually performed in cross training, the toe box itself is slightly wider than a standard athletic shoe.  This enables your toes to fan out and swell over the course of your workout (something that will happen slightly during any repeated activity), giving you more control from main push off point during these type of workouts.

Users have found these shoes to offer stability and breathability.  For those getting more serious about cross training and weight lifting the sole itself gives them an added edge to perform lifts and circuits needed to achieve their fitness and personal goals.  Add to all of that, like we said earlier, many have commented how eye catching the shoes can be, with compliments pouring in when they are wearing them in public.

Construction

  • Upper: Mesh, “Flexweave”
  • Sole: Synthetic rubber with foreflex flex grooves to provide added stability
  • Outsole: Tough outsole to secure heel throughout workout.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Wider toe box
  • Large variety of style options
  • Solid heel support

Cons

  • More expensive than other options
  • Lacking arch support

For Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common ailment that can impact any active individual, at any point in their active lifetime.

A shin splint is typically a throbbing pain in the shin area that stems from stress on your tibia, leading to an inflammation of the connective tissues and muscles that attach to that bone. 

There can be many culprits behind shin splints, but the more common ones are:

  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Inadequate stretching/warm-ups
  • Muscle inadequacy/imbalance in the core, quads, calfs
  • Overpronation
  • Flat arches
  • Intensity and type of training
  • Activity Surface

 

While the culprits can vary, there are a few things that experts agree on for all cases.  First, you should stop the activity you are doing and allow your body to heal.  “Pushing through the pain” will typically lead to more injury that will manifest in other areas – ultimately undermining your long term fitness and health goals.   

Next, you will want to assess what might be behind your particular situation.  Is it an imbalance or inadequacy in strength somewhere else in your body?  Are your shoes worn out or ill fitting? Have you been cutting corners during your stretches and warmup/cool downs?  If possible, it’s recommended you see a doctor to assess pains you are feeling in this area as it is not unheard of for stress fractures to be mistaken for shin splints.

A quick google search will provide a variety of tips, from trusted sources, on how to treat the other causes of shin splints, but here, we will recommend a few shoes to help prevent this injury.  

Again, the easiest and quickest way to ensure your shoes will not be the cause of a shin splint is to make sure they fit your feet properly and are laced correctly. 

Apart from that, shoes we would recommend to prevent shin splints are mostly engineered for those that overpronate.  Below are two shoes we recommend for those that suffer from shin splints:

For Women

Brooks Glycerin 15

While Brooks typically builds shoes for the neutral runner, the Glycerin 15’s have been reported to actually provide a lot of the benefits needed by female runners that overpronate, and consequently have shin splints.

Combine the solid construction with the testimonies of many women that have found the Brooks Glycerin 15’s to alleviate and prevent shin pain – and it’s easy to recommend these for women prone to shin splints stemming from their shoes.

We describe this shoe in more detail in the women’s section of this article, but to recap: users have found this shoe to be very comfortable (some even claiming that it has helped their plantar fasciitis).  Most users have also found these fit true to size – but some find them to be a bit on the small side, especially in the toe box area and recommend moving a size up.

Construction

  • Upper: Breathable Mesh
  • Sole: Lightweight and porous rubber for a soft feel.
  • Inner:

 

Pros

  • Cost
  • Colorways
  • Construction

Cons

  • Smaller toe box for runners with wider feet.
  • Appears to wear out quickly around the ankle

For Men

Asics Gel-Kayano 25 SP

For our complete overview of this shoe please see the men’s section of this article.  Many of the reasons we love this shoe for male runners that overpronate while running, are the same reasons we love this shoe to help prevent shin splints.

While it is not likely a shoe will be enough to completely eliminate the risk of shin splints, for those that are at a higher risk of them due to overpronation, these shoes should help.

The ASICS Gel-Kayano’s were built with the overpronated runner in mind.  They come with a stable sole base and a “guidance line” midsole piece that provides the medial post support that will help a runner of this type.  It also offers an arch that works well for runners with lower arches, or arches that will get a lot of added pressure.

Many users have said these shoes are very comfortable, even for larger runners, with some users stating it has helped relieve pain they were experiencing with other shoes.  On top of the comfort these shoes provide, users have also reported that they fit true to size and are of a really good quality.

Construction

  • Upper: Mesh fabric
  • Sole: “FLYTEFOAM LYTE” porous rubber that provides a soft cushion and a sturdy midsole guidance line to help gently move the gait back towards neutral

 

Pros

  • Lighter than a lot of other shoes designed for runners with an overpronated running style.
  • Comfortable, even for heavier runners
  • Beautiful colorways
  • Built with overpronated runners in mind

Cons

  • Cost:  Depending on the size and colorway, these shoes can be pricier than others
  • Heel cup.  Some users have reported issues with inflexibility in the heel.

For Plantar Fasciitis & Flat Feet

Before I begin discussing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis and fleet feet, please remember to always discuss any diagnosis and treatment options with a certified medical professional.

Plantar Fasciitis

With that out of the way, here are some of our top picks for the best workout shoes to wear if you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.  Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the ball of your foot down to your heel. It can be very painful in general and even more painful to place weight on.  When looking for a shoe that can help alleviate the pain and symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is important that it takes into account a few things:

  • A wide heel base with a deep heel cup
  • Light materials (you do not want a heavy shoe helping weigh down the foot and increasing the power of each impact)
  • Removable insoles and/or an insole that has been contoured specifically for your foot.
  • A strong back to the shoe that helps keep the heel in place while you are moving around.

Flat Feet:

It is estimated that 20-30% of all people will suffer from “flat feet” (also called fallen arch or ples planus) at some point during their life.  What some people might find surprising is flat feet can be present at birth as a result of genetics – but it is much more common to set in later at life due to a variety of reasons including: illnesses, injuries, poor form, and size/shape of the individual.

This wide spread of reasons actually points to a variety of “flat feet”, flat feet that are actually flat due to a variety of different reasons.  Because we don’t want to risk confusing a complex condition here by getting into the numerous reasons someone can have a flat foot – we recommend contacting a medical professional to discuss IF and WHY you might have flat feet.

For the purpose of this article, a flat foot encompasses any foot that has an arch that is lower than usual.  This typically will impact everything from the pressure being put on other areas of the foot, to the gait and movement of the upper body. 

To help mitigate the problems caused by flat feet, and in some cases even improve flat feet,  we have found a variety of shoes that can help those of you that suffer from this. If you have flat feet, there are a few things you should look for when buying a shoe:

  • Strong, and comfortable support under the forefoot and a supportive heel
  • Soft “arch” support (this should not try and place your arch in a position that causes strong discomfort)
  • Like a lot of running shoes, a wide toe box to give your toes room to support the variety of impact and push off
  • Since most “flat feet” are a result of foot strength and gait type, a shoe that encourages strengthening those parts of the foot.

Previously we described shoes for individuals that overpronate, and any of these should help alleviate issues that are usually associated with flat feet.  Beyond those options, many people recommend barefoot style running shoes.

Most individuals who have flat feet do not have them because there is a genetically structural difference to their feet – but instead because a variety of factors are contributing to a weaker muscle in the arch of the foot.  With this reason in mind, some experts believe the best way to alleviate issues that come with flat feet is to force the foot to begin to support itself. This is where “barefoot” shoes come in.

Barefoot shoes are believed to do a variety of things, but the most important benefit here is they force the foot to rely on its own strength.  In some cases, this should naturally begin to build up the muscles in arch of the foot as the wearer can no longer rely on the support of a more traditional style shoe.

Women’s Barefoot

Vibram Women’s V Running Shoe

Studies have shown, many people who have low to no foot arch have a lower muscle density in the flexor digitorum brevis – a muscle in the sole of the foot that makes up part of the foot arch.  Other studies have found endurance training in “barefoot” style shoes led to a strengthening and growth of that muscle – leading to a loss of pain and other complications that can occur with a low arch.

Vibram is a leader in barefoot running shoes, and they live up to that with Vibram V.  A Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh/Polyester Microfiber upper, sitting on a thin yet durable synthetic rubber sole – make this shoe very light and flexible.  This lack of structure will task your foot with supporting itself – and theoretically strengthening it.

Another nice feature of these shoes is the interior lining, an antimicrobial drillex sock liner helps with comfort and smell of the shoes.

Many users claim that these shoes have relieved pain caused by a low arch as well as plantar fasciitis.  While many users admit these shoes might not be for everyone – those that like them claim they have relieved pain from low arch, plantar fasciitis, and even minimized the frequency of shin splints.  While definitely an odd looking shoe, users also like the freedom it gives your toes. Note: this shoe is reported to run a bit long. Refer to the companies size chart before purchasing.

Construction

  • Upper: Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh/Polyester Microfiber
  • Sole: synthetic rubber
  • Inner Lining: antimicrobial drillex sock

 

Pros

  • Helps some individuals with ailments and injuries like low arch, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Great Traction

 

Cons

  • Style: Most would agree that the unique look of these shoes can be a bit much for some runners
  • Some users report issues with toe sizes

Men’s Barefoot

Vibram KSO Cross Training Shoe

Studies have shown, many people who have low to no foot arch have a lower muscle density in the flexor digitorum brevis – a muscle in the sole of the foot that makes up part of the foot arch.  Other studies have found endurance training in “barefoot” style shoes led to a strengthening and growth of that muscle – leading to a loss of pain and other complications that can occur with a low arch.

Vibram is a leader in barefoot running shoes, and they live up to that with Vibram V.  A Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh/Polyester Microfiber upper, sitting on a thin yet durable synthetic rubber sole – make this shoe very light and flexible.  This lack of structure will task your foot with supporting itself – and theoretically strengthening it.

Another nice feature of these shoes is the interior lining, an antimicrobial drillex sock liner helps with comfort and smell of the shoes.

Many users claim that these shoes have relieved pain caused by a low arch as well as plantar fasciitis.  While many users admit these shoes might not be for everyone – those that like them claim they have relieved pain from low arch, plantar fasciitis, and even minimized the frequency of shin splints.  While definitely an odd looking shoe, users also like the freedom it gives your toes. Note: this shoe is reported to run a bit long. Refer to the companies size chart before purchasing.

 

Construction

  • Upper: Polyester Lycra Stretch Mesh/Polyester Microfiber
  • Sole: synthetic rubber
  • Inner Lining: antimicrobial drillex sock

 

Pros

  • Helps some individuals with ailments and injuries like low arch, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Great Traction

Cons

  • Style: Most would agree that the unique look of these shoes can be a bit much for some runners
  • Some users report issues with toe sizes

 

For High Arches

Unlike flat feet, high arches are actually solely genetic.

“High arches can make it difficult to fit into regular shoes,” Miguel Cunha, DPM, a podiatrist based in New York City and the founder of Gotham Footcare, tells Health. “Having high arches means that less of your foot actually touches the ground when walking or running, providing less shock absorption.”

“High arches are genetic, Dr. Cunha explains, and as the name suggests, are characterized by an arch that’s higher than normal. The arch itself may not cause pain, but your feet might feel fatigued or sore, especially when you’re walking or standing. Other symptoms include arch inflexibility or stiffness, ankle pain, a tight Achilles tendon, or painful corns and calluses. (When in doubt, a podiatrist can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your foot pain.)”

(https://www.health.com/style/walking-shoes-high-arches)

Additional Questions About Workout Shows:

We hope we have given you enough to make an informed decision when choosing the right workout shoe based on your feet and activity of choice.  Ultimately though, we recommend purchasing from a company that allows for you to try the shoes before commiting to them.

With all that said, we have a few more final questions that we feel should be addressed in your shoe buying journey:

Are converse good for working out?

The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, and the answer might surprise you (depending on the activity).

Weight lifting:

You may have seen people walking around your gym in Chuck Taylors and ask yourself, “did that meathead just fall out of a time machine?”, or “Did they just come here from a punk show?”.  While we’ve had the same thoughts, you actually might be surprised to find that, for some, this is a very intentional choice based on the activity they are trying to perform. Unlike standard trainers, shoes like Chuck Taylors have little to no cushion in the sole.  This is important for those that are looking to lift a large amount of weight (especially those that require explosive movements originating from the feet like power cleans) as it doesn’t have any give and therefore immediately pushes back to any force – in this case your foot – that pushes on it.  A great analogy of why running shoes might not work as well in the same situation is the cushion they are designed to give to your feet are essentially like trying to do the same exercise while standing on a thin mattress.

Running / Cross Training:

Despite what the kids said in the classic Sandlot, the only guarantee PF Flyers, and shoes like it, have are a guarantee to hurt yourself after extended use during exercise.  Although stylish, the lack of any type of arch support, heel contouring, small toe box, and lack of side and ankle support – make shoes like the classic Chuck Taylors a no for this type of workout.  

Are vans good workout shoes?

We have seen this question a lot.  Please refer to our section titled: “Are converse good for working out?”.  To some degree, the same rules apply to this shoe as Converse (Chuck Taylors) – except they actually have more give than Chuck Taylors.  We do not recommend using these shoes for any activity other than what they were made for – general skating and gnar tricks.

How often should you replace your workout shoes?

Like changing the oil in a car, there has always been a lot of debate, and strong marketing, as to when you should replace any type of athletic shoe.  Even now, this is hard to answer in any definitive way – however, there is one thing all experts agree on: due to the repeated pounding that any athletic shoe gets over its lifetime they will need to be replaced sooner than a casual shoe.  How soon depends on the activity, activity rigour, age of the shoes, and weight, biomechanics and build of the individual.

Because this is not an exact science, what we recommend is that you understand the function each major area of the shoe plays (Heel, toe box, sole and upper) and pay very close attention to how that area is holding up and how your feet feel.  Due to the variety of quality across brands (and even from shoe to shoe) there is no hard and fast expiration date on these, so you should pay close attention to signals your feet and body are sending you.  With that said, there are some VERY general guidelines to help get you in the neighborhood of when you should start considering replacing your athletic shoes:

Running: 300-500 miles (roughly 6 months for the average jogger)

Cross Training: 6 months

Weight Lifting: 12 months

Source: https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/health/a56647/when-to-get-new-athletic-shoes/

Conclusion:

Regardless of what shoes you chose, find the ones that are best for you and your activity.  We have provided a lot of options, but be sure that wherever you are choosing to purchase them (online or in person) you make a choice that feels right for you from a vendor that allows for reasonable returns.

As always, please consult your physician before performing any strenuous activity – especially if you suffer from any of the common foot ailments listed above.

Thank you!