Shoes You Should Never Wear During A Workout

We all like to look good while we're working out, but comfort is more important than style when you're at the gym. A good pair of shoes designed for your exercise routine will help you maximize your workout and minimize injuries.

The best and worst pair of shoes to wear during your workout will depend on the workout itself. "Sometimes I see people try to use running shoes in the gym when lifting, and sometimes I see people using cross-training shoes for distance runs," Jesse Dietrick, CSCS, FRCms, and director of trainer development at Fitness Quest 10, told Real Simple. "I think this is a mistake because it is very common to injure your feet when using a shoe that is designed for a different task."

Running shoes, for example, should provide adequate cushioning and disperse the forces felt on your feet while pounding on the pavement. Your shoes should also have an extra finger-width of space in front in case your feet swell while you exercise. Weightlifting shoes should have a flat sole to keep your body in proper alignment while lifting heavy dumbbells and barbells.

Avoid worn-out or low-support shoes

Even the best pair of running shoes won't do much for you if they fit you incorrectly or are falling apart. "You know your sneakers are too old when the treads or designs on the bottom start to wear out," Jasmine Marcus, a physical therapist in Ithaca, NY, told Women's Health. "If the bottoms are flattening in areas and you can no longer see the design of the's time to get new sneakers."

Because shoes are designed to support and protect your feet, many fashion-forward shoes are not appropriate to wear at the gym. Dress shoes will not provide enough support to be safely worn while working out (via Chron). Sandals, for example, have "too thin of cushioning and thus are not designed for absorbing impact that's placed on your feet when you're exercising." Any shoes that leave your feet exposed make you more prone to injury, whether you're weightlifting at the gym or running through the city.