Choosing the right footwear for the gym is crucial. You need shoes that support your body rather than hinder it if you want to get the most out of your workout (and who doesn't want that?).


There are three main types of men's athletic footwear:

Running shoes


Shoes for lifting weights


Athletic footwear


Distinctive attributes
  • Versatile
  • Flexible
  • Large footing
  • Stiffer heel
  • Not as adaptable
  • Extra-wide ramp
  • Lighter
  • Flexible
  • Extra padding

One by one, let's examine them.

Running shoes

Cardio shoes can go by many names, such as cross-trainers, HIIT shoes, and so on. In a broad sense, we can classify them as multi-modal or multi-functional. They're made for dynamic workouts that incorporate running, jumping, lateral movements, and even lifting.

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The Nike Free Metcons and Nike SuperReps are two of the best-reviewed lines of cardio shoes.


This shoe needs to be versatile because you'll be engaging in a wide variety of motions. It must facilitate not only vertical motions like running and jumping, but also lateral, or side-to-side motions.

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In this grouping, you can frequently find hybrid shoe designs. A hybrid shoe is a shoe that combines elements from different styles. Nike Free is an excellent illustration of this concept because it is a running shoe that is both lightweight and flexible. Conversely, the Nike Metcon shoe range is specifically made for weightlifting and has a substantial sole for stability. The Nike Free Metcon 4 is an example of a hybrid shoe that combines the benefits of running and cross-training.


You can expect some semblance of lateral and vertical motion in your multipurpose workouts. You need a shoe with a lot of forefoot pliability as a result. Grabbing the toe and flexing it will show you how flexible the shoe is. The toe should be able to bend back toward the laces without any difficulty.

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Large footing

Choose a pair of shoes with ample width in the midsole so that you can make lateral movements without putting too much strain on the shoe's outer sides. When doing activities like agility ladder sprints, side-to-side motion can be restricted by shoes that are too narrow.


Shoes for lifting weights

You need to have your feet firmly planted on the ground when performing compound lifts in the gym. You can't waste any of the effort you put into a movement by wasting energy due to unstable footwear. Nike Metcons and Reebok Nanos are two of the best-reviewed pairs of lifting shoes currently available.

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See specialized lifting shoes with boosted heels to take your performance to the next level.

Stiffer heel

You want a weightlifting shoe with a stable midsole.

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This will also aid in halting any swaying from side to side. The shoe's sole must be flat for maximum stability, but a slight kip in the forefoot is also desirable.


The lifting shoe NOBULL Trainer is 37% more rigid than the Nike's latest cardio shoe is the Air Zoom SuperRep 3.

Rigidity lessens

Weightlifting shoes shouldn't have as flexible of a forefoot as running shoes. When it comes to stability and lockdown, a stiffer shoe will serve you much better than one with a lot of give.

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Running shoes should have a wider sole than cardio shoes so that more of your foot is in contact with the ground at all times. It also needs a lot of grip to make sure nothing slides laterally.


When carrying a heavy load overhead, the last thing you need is for your feet to slip. That's not only foolish, but it'll also waste some of your energy that could be used for propulsion.

Athletic footwear

Joint stress is increased significantly when running. The durability of your footwear should be optimized to reduce this.

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More cushioning is provided by running shoes than by cardio or weightlifting shoes. Since your heel absorbs the majority of the impact when you land on your feet, it will be the most cushioned part of the shoe. The less force is transmitted to your ankles, knees, and hips due to a lack of cushioning, the longer your joints will last as a result of the impact.


The standard heel stack height is 33. A road running shoe has a drop of 2 mm, while a 24 As little as 1 mm in running shoes

The added padding there usually results in a heel drop of 4-10 mm. The height is entirely composed of cushioning, so you can't use them for squatting. That's like trying to squat while perched on a pillow.

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Flexibility is essential in a running shoe, as your feet will naturally bend forward and backward as you run.

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Shoes for running should be as light as possible. Wearing cumbersome footwear will only hold you back. Because of this, shoe companies are always trying to find ways to reduce the weight of their footwear.

Nike Pegasus 39 weight

Training shoes weigh an average of 315g, while road running shoes weigh an average of 273g.

If you're interested in learning more about running shoes and how to select the right pair, check out our detailed guide to the top-rated running shoes for men.

Structure of a man's athletic shoe

The once simple running shoe has been upgraded with high-tech features. They've been updated with a bewildering array of high-end components meant to improve performance. A summary is provided below for your convenience.

The upper

The upper is the part of your training shoe that goes over the top of your foot. It must prevent the foot from rocking to the side or back and forth.  


The upper is divided into four main sections:


This front part encloses the foot and toes. Both runners and weightlifters require a shoe that is roomy enough to accommodate their toes when they splay.


For athletic footwear, the typical width of the toe box is 100 mm.

Layers of reinforcement

Overlays are synthetic materials stitched in various patterns across the shoe's upper to increase its durability and support.


Some footwear features additional heel and side support in the form of TPU cages or firm foam carriers.


Adversarial heel

A heel counter, a rigid implant sewn into the shoe's upper near the heel, provides added support.

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Center of the shoe

The midsole makes up the shoe's structure in between the upper and the sole. The midsole is the part of a shoe that sits between the sole and the upper, and it is typically constructed from a foam material such as EVA, polyurethane, E-TPU, PEBA, etc. )

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The midsoles of training shoes are typically firmer than those of running shoes, particularly in the heel (by at least 6%, according to our durometer). This will give you confidence when lifting heavy objects and changing directions quickly.

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Dual-density refers to a midsole constructed from two foams, one of which has a lower density than the other. This makes the heel more solid and stable, while the forefoot remains flexible and responsive for quick bursts of speed.

Bottom sole

The outsole makes up the sole of the shoe. It's typically made out of rubber and has to be able to flex, bend, and provide traction.


To withstand the abuse of rigorous training, rope climbs, and other outdoor activities, training shoes rely heavily on the resilience of rubber.

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Training shoes typically have a 4 mm thick rubber sole. 0 mm This is 0 5-0 The soles are 6 mm thicker than those of standard basketball or road running shoes.


The rubber in workout shoes is also made to be more durable. Here are the typical rubber durometer readings (higher numbers equal firmer rubber):

  • Tennis shoes, a rating of 85.5
  • To be used on trails; rating: 84.9
  • 84.1: Exercise footwear
  • Shoe size for basketball: 81.4
  • Shoe rating: 79.7 on the road