Cross Training Shoes vs Running Shoes – Which Do I Need?

Natalie Cecconi
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Differences Between Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes

Running shoes and cross training shoes look similar – or so it would appear at first glance. However, running shoes are designed to cater to specific running needs. Therefore, they are stylish, tough, and comfy but also very high-maintenance. The flipside of this is that running shoes do not provide the versatility of cross-training shoes.

Cross-training shoes are made to handle a wide range of activities such as weightlifting, aerobic workouts, jogging, walking, and the like. They are more durable, as they are designed to handle a wide variety of activities, and do not wear out easily. These shoes are designed to be used on various terrains and in a variety of conditions. Many athletes claim to have been using the same pair for over a year. Nevertheless, cross-trainers are not ideal for running, as they’re not designed for this purpose.

As similar they may seem, the right pair of shoes for you will depend on your specific needs. Running shoes and cross-training shoes have specific designs, each catering to a certain type of activity. If you intend to use the same pair of footwear for a wide range of activities, please go for cross-training shoes.

However, if you intend to use them for running, running shoes would be the way to go.

What are running shoes?

Running shoes are specifically designed to give you the optimum level of comfort and protection as you go for a run. A good pair of running shoes should help to absorb any impact from heel to toe, provide stable ankle support and keep the foot in a natural yet secure position.

There is an abundance of different running shoes on the market, and they come in various colors, sizes, and styles. Different manufacturers use a variety of materials to make their running shoes, including fabric, leather, and even carbon fiber.

You can wear a pair of running shoes whether you’re going for a short walk, running errands around town, or hitting the pavement for a vigorous workout. But if you’re participating in an aggressive or high-impact sport, you may want to consider cross training shoes instead.

Running shoes are always designed to provide stability and protection with the heel, the most important part of the shoe, receiving special attention. Running shoes always have a high-density heel counter to hold the foot in place while pushing off, and the heel is often designed to absorb more of the impact than the forefoot.

In contrast, cross training shoes are specifically designed to keep you comfortable when you’re lifting weights, doing plyometrics, and doing other types of cardio exercises.

What are cross training shoes?

Cross training “ or cross-fitness “ is generally a workout regimen that combines elements from two or more different types of exercise.

You can also say that cross training focuses on multiple muscle groups and multiple training modalities. Regardless of what you call it, cross training is just one of the many different ways of staying active and fit.

The main argument for cross training is that it can be a good alternative to the more general and repetitive forms of exercise such as running or jogging.

Instead of doing one type of movement for the majority of your workout, cross training offers an enjoyable way to keep your training exciting with a great mixed bag of workouts.

The problem, however, is that with all those different workouts, it can be hard to know which ones are right for you. Even more confusing is trying to pick the right pair of cross training shoes.

Here’s the good news – cross training shoes are an excellent way to train in a variety of disciplines with a single pair of shoes. Also, since many exercises overlap, they can be used for all the exercises in your routine or you can really customize them for the type of training that fits your needs.

And finally, since they are so versatile, you can wear them for many different training activities such as aerobics, yoga, boxing, kayaking, etc.

FAQs About Running Shoes and Cross Training Shoes

If you exercise regularly, you are no doubt familiar with both running shoes and cross training shoes. Both types of footwear are designed for regular activity and offer different benefits. With hundreds or thousands of running shoes on the market, it can be challenging to figure out what’s best for you. Running shoes and cross training shoes are often differentiated by the traction they provide (running shoes have more) or the use (running shoes are slimmer and lighter). However, they both carry similar levels of cushioning, support, and stability for the feet.

Let’s take a closer look at which type of shoe is best for different kinds of activity and what to look for in the best cross training or running shoes.

Can you use running shoes for cross training?

Generally speaking, running shoes are designed to cushion, absorb shock, and provide support in order to reduce the risk of injuries associated with running. Running shoes are not usually the best option if you will be participating in a variety of activities including running, weightlifting workouts, gym classes, and other types of cardio …

And this is where cross training shoes come to the rescue.

Cross training shoes are usually more durable than running shoes and have thicker and more aggressive tread as well as more support. They are more durable than tennis shoes or other training shoes and allow you to do various activities comfortably without sacrificing support.

A good pair of cross training shoes can help you workout more effectively while helping you reduce the risk of injuries. If you are looking for a pair that can be used for a variety of activities, this is a great option.

If you are also looking for a pair just for running, this may not be right for you. However, if you are a fitness fanatic who regularly participates in workouts involving various activities, then you will be very much interested in finding a good pair of cross training shoes.

Cross training is an effective way to help you work on your fitness while challenging your body in new ways.

Can you use cross trainers for runners?

Most cross trainers are built on a similar platform to that of a running shoe, with the difference being a more stable nature intended for different sporting purposes. The shoe is designed to be more supportive for weight lifting because it needs to bear more weight. Also, because it’s slightly firmer than a running shoe, it offers better cushioning and impact protection when doing other activities such as yoga or other rigorous body exercises.

Cross trainers can be used for running, but they’re not the best option for it. Why jump from one type of shoe to another if you wouldn’t need to? The main aim of cross trainers is to support a variety of workouts and not just running activity.

In fact, here’s this crazy notion:

If you’re never a competitive athlete such as a runner, do you really need to purchase running footwear? Most of us drive a car even though we don’t compete in races. We don’t purchase the sports version of a car, either.

Chances are that if you are an ordinary jogger or walker, you would probably find a better fit in a pair of cross trainers or light running shoes compared to sports shoes. If you are looking for a sturdier shoe with more support, a cross trainer is the way to go.

If I run and do cross training, should I own two different types of shoes?

The short answer is no.

The best shoes for cross training are the same ones you wear for running.

Like a suit at a business meeting, a cross training shoe should be multipurpose. Aisles at the gym are much more crowded than ones in a running store or sporting goods store. Since you will be using your cross training shoes in such a wide variety of situations, you need a shoe that will be comfortable no matter what.

The primary difference between cross training and running shoes is in the design of the soles and use of features. Runners will want to look for a shoe with a large, soft heel that will help absorb the force of impact from running.

Anyone looking for a shoe with more stability and support will also do better with a cross training shoe. Cross training shoes are also better for working out since they have a less technical design.

Specifically, you will want a running shoe for running and a cross training shoe for cross training. The major difference between these two is that cross training shoes are less specialized for any activity than run training shoes are.

If you are looking for a shoe that you can use for running but that can also be used for other activities, the choice comes down to personal preference.