I get asked often “what kind of athletic shoes do you wear to workout?” The answer is, “It depends.” After spending way too long wearing cheap athletic shoes, store brand from whatever major chain was having a sale, I learned that if you have the ability to splurge in one area, make it shoes.
First: RUNNING SHOES
The Mizuno’s were my big splurge when I signed up for a half marathon, and they are perfect for me with my higher than average arches. (Well, I splurged on the shoes and the jacket I now wear all the time because apparently I’ve become one of those people.) If you want to run, you must must get a good set of shoes fitted to your type of foot and gait that is at least a half size bigger than daily wear shoes.
Sadly these are sitting in the back of my closet while I finish clearing my lungs of this horrible flu I’ve had for what feels like years.
Second: LIFTING SHOES
Lifting shoes? Really? Yes, really. Because my running shoes are so tall, I find them destabilizing when I am focusing on barbell work. The New Balance 730 is a clearance shoe, so it was SUPER affordable, and they are lightweight, low profile, and low to the ground. If you find it hard to feel where you are on the ground or to really dig in for a squat, consider adding some type of low profile shoes to your closet. Some people prefer to lift barefoot or in their socks, but I don’t quite go that far.
Third: CROSS TRAINING
I’m calling these cross training shoes when really they are my, “I’m not sure if I want to commit to running or lifting today, so I’ll wear something that’s okay for both just in case.” The Nike Relentless is a good balance for me. I wouldn’t run more than a few miles in them because they aren’t quite right for me for distance running, but a 20 minute jog to warm up and they do the job. They are slightly higher profile than I prefer for heavy lifts, but they work fine and are irrelevant if I’m doing core work. My pair is in brighter colors, so I also wear them with jeans just because they are cute.
Runner up: The “I knew I should have gone to a shoe store” pair
Sigh. People who love Asics LOVE ASICS, so one day when I saw a crazy cheap deal online on this adorable pair, I bought them, assuming I would love them, too. Nope. I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic shoes and really, really great quality, I just find that they run a little tighter in the toe for me, so I should have been doubly generous in shoe size when ordering. I would have known this if I had tried them on, but I didn’t, so I ordered a half size smaller than I wish I would have, and because of the crazy good deal, there was a “no returns” return policy. A great deal turned into a really nice quality pair of shoes I wear to mow the lawn or while camping.