What to Look for in a Training Shoe

What to Look for in a Training Shoe

Although it is an important factor to consider, many athletes don’t think very much about what shoes they should be training in… at least from a functionality standpoint. The athletes we see at EForce come in with a wide range of shoes and there are some that are definitely better than others. The majority of our workouts consist of sprinting, changing direction, jumping and lifting. For both performance and safety it is important to make sure you’re wearing a shoe that is built to handle the demands of the training sessions. In this article we will cover some of the important aspects to consider and a few good shoe selections.  

Training Shoe Anatomy

Shoe with description

When it comes to the construction of the shoes we need to look at a few key variables:

Type of Material:

Look for a shoe that has multiple outer layers, as these are great for performance. They increase the shoe’s durability and are more resilient at resisting stretching out, which is important based on the training demands.

The Forefoot & Toe box:

This should be wide enough to accommodate foot width in weight bearing. Take the shoe insert out and stand on it; if your foot spills over the sides the shoe is too narrow and you should look for a wider shoe.

The Heel:

You should look for a shoe with a minimally raised/elevated heel; as too high of a heel is disadvantageous for sprinting, changing direction and jumping. Finding a shoe with a heel lift of .25in or less for training is best.  

The Outer Sole:

This should be sturdy with good traction to allow for efficient sprinting, changing direction and jumping. This is also important during lifting as it will give you a more stable base. Avoid the soft foam bottom shoes.

Good Training Shoe Options

Below are a few examples of good training shoes to invest in:

  • Nike Metcon
  • New Balance Minimus Prevail
  • Reebok Speed
  • Reebok Nano
  • NOBULL Gum Trainer
Black man with running posture

While many shop for shoes primarily based on aesthetics, in the training realm functionality is king. Finding a training shoe that is both comfortable and meets the requirements above will both increase performance and safety.  

Erik Jernstrom

Director of Sports Performance @ EForce

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