What's The Difference Between Weightlifting And Running Shoes?

The type of shoes you wear while exercising makes a huge difference in your workout. Just like how soccer players wear cleats and ballerinas wear pointe shoes, weightlifters and runners need specific types of footwear for their activities. Running shoes tend to be viewed as all-purpose training shoes because they offer good support for your feet and ankles while you move (via Men's Journal). They typically have heavy arch support and a raised toe to avoid injuries while running.

"When you run, you hit the ground with force greater than two times your own body weight," Jeff Dengate, shoes and gear editor at Runner's World, told Prevention. "Running shoes are built with higher-quality, lightweight materials that help lessen that impact." Cushioned, high-support, and loose-fitting running shoes are ideal for anyone who will be putting their body through the high-impact activity of running every day. It might seem like this type of shoe is ideal for any workout, including weightlifting, but this isn't the case.

What makes a good weightlifting shoe?

Although plenty of support is good for running, you want the opposite effect with a weightlifting shoe. Lifting heavy weights requires strength from your entire body and starts with your feet. Cushioned shoe soles make your feet unstable and can increase your risk of injury (via Men's Journal). A thin, flat sole will allow the muscles in your feet to keep your body stable throughout the entire movement.

Weightlifting shoes also often have an elevated heel. According to BarBend, this can increase mobility when squatting and avoid injuries by keeping your body stable while lifting heavy weights. Weightlifting shoes also often contain straps that keep the shoe tightly wrapped around the midsole. This keeps your feet from sliding around in the shoe and helps reduce injuries. While running shoes are an excellent way to stay safe while running and walking, you shouldn't lift weights in your sneakers. Stick to the right shoes for each activity and your body will thank you.