Recently, one of my colleagues discovered running. Day by day, he increased his mileage by a tiny percent until he actually enjoyed lacing up and getting out of the door (even if it was at 10pm every night). Just as his evening runs became habitual, he started to notice a nagging pain in his feet, his ankles, his shins. Why? Because he was wearing trainers that didn’t fit, that didn’t work and that were ultimately hindering his progress. When I advised him the best brand to try (I like to think of myself as a seasoned runner, even if no one else does), he shook his head “but they look so ugly.” And here lies the issue, gentlemen. How do you find a pair of trainers that properly does the job, that doesn’t hinder your progress, but that also looks good?
Our first piece of advice is not to just go for the best looking, but the ones that are actually proven to help you. Functionality is key and there’s no point in picking the shiniest on the shelf if you’re actually going to end up inured and unable to continue onto the road to becoming ripped. Here’s what you need.
Running on the treadmill
Most of us will use the treadmill either for a full-on cardio session or as a 5-minute warmup before free-weights. Wearing the right shoe will allow you to execute maximum efficiency with minimum shock damage to your knees and feet. Achieving your fitness goals, whether it’s a 5K run or lifting your heaviest weight yet is best done with Nike’s Free RN Distance 2 trainers. Lightweight and breathable, they offer unmatched comfort and shock absorption, so much so that you’ll never want to take them off.
Squats, deadlifts leg press and lunges
These leg workouts require optimal stability and your trainers need to be flat-soled and non-absorbing. Avoid running shoes and don’t go for anything too slim-fit and imbalanced.
No matter what workout you’re doing, these trainers are designed to optimise what you do. They’re built from lightweight and flexible mesh that’ll give you undeniable support and the firm heels and platforms will provide you incredible stability.
Finding a shoe that can let you run, lift and jump to the best of your ability could seem like you’re asking for a miracle. Your chosen shoe has to withstand the rigours of this intense training session – from power cleans, box jumps, deadlifts to rope climbs. New Balance’s Sport Pack trainer has just enough absorption without being too soft, and its sock-lick fit will mean the trainers perfectly moulds to your feet for a closer fit – ideal, considering CrossFit workouts will have you jumping and running left, right and centre.
The focus on the spinning shoe should be on the sole. These workout-specific shoes are designed to be very stiff to allow you to exert the most amount of energy exerted from your glutes and leg to the peddle of the spin cycle. The fit should be snug, with enough wiggle room at the toes for comfort during intense cycle sessions. The main feature with Shimano’s R088 biking shoes is their adjustable ratcheting buckle for the best fit – which trumps other designs which rely on velcro straps only.