By Nick Rizzo

1. Running shoes are not “workout shoes”.

These categories of shoes are drastically different, and for good reason.

Where a workout shoe or crosstrainer can be used for weightlifting, plyometrics, sprints, sports, and everything in-between, a running shoe is designed to help you do the exact same motion of moving forward.

Mixing this up can leave you open to potential injuries.

So take note of these differences when comparing a running versus workout shoe:

  • Workout shoes can provide mild cushioning, but have a greater focus on support, durability, and movement control for lateral movements. Whereas running shoes typically have a lot of cushioning and support.
  • Running shoes typically are lighter because running requires less overall material and the material used is lighter in comparison to the workout shoes that use heavier and more durable options.
  • In a workout shoe, you want to feel connected to the ground in order to best support proprioception and neuromuscular functioning. Running shoes aim to remove your foot from impacting the ground as much as possible by layers and layers of cushioning.
  • A typical shoe for workouts will have a wider base in order to support the various types of movements while running shoes are slim and narrower.

2. Cheaper workout shoes are better.

Save your money. Expensive workout shoes aren’t worth it.

That’s what one study found after analyzing 323,776 reviews of 336 workout shoes from 20 brands.

The general trend is that the more expensive a shoe is, the worse it’s rated. But even at the extremes, the 10 most expensive workout shoes cost 183.05% more than the 10 most affordable ones.

Despite costing so much more, the expensive shoes were actually rated 2.3% worse than the cheaper ones.

3. Know the differences between brands.The 20 brands from the same study were compared against each other as well, comparing the average price and ratings of each brand of workout shoe.

Brands like NoBull, Skechers, Jordan, Inov-8, and Puma are in the top five highest rated brands, making them all great options based upon your specific needs.

But, if you are looking to keep the cost low and the ratings high you have to consider Skechers, Puma, Ryka, Reebok, and Avia.

4. High quality shoes at a great price.

With a clear idea of where the brands stand, here are a few great affordable suggestions for your next pair of workout shoes:

  • Reebok Flexagon Energy
    Average Price: $55 (Some sizes and colors priced as low as $25!)
    Rating: 87/100
  • Skechers Haniger – Casspi
    Average Price: $50
    Rating: 89/100
  • Avia Avi -Verge
    Average Price: $35
    Rating 88/100

About Nick Rizzo

Nick Rizzo is the Training & Fitness Content Director at RunRepeat.com. He uses his education in the sciences, experience as a researcher, and 10+ years in the fitness industry to craft comprehensive content to educate, motivate, and support readers with information backed by science.