Running Shoes vs Training Shoes

As you may already know, a decent pair of shoes is an irreplaceable part of the fitness attire. Still, choosing the perfect shoe for your necessity is somewhat a difficult task. This is because of the large variety of options available for shoes in the market where each option differs significantly from the other. Also, a lot of brands are focusing on making shoes dedicated to a certain application that increases the confusion even more.

Today, we will be talking about the two most common types of shoes used for workouts and external activities that are running shoes and training shoes. These shoes might feel similar by the name, but they are quite different in terms of appearance as well as usability. Stick until the end of this article to find out all you need to know about running shoes and training shoes.

What are Running Shoes?

Running shoes, as the name suggests, are specially designed for running. These are one of the most common types of shoes available in the market and have been available for a very long time. Thus, you will find a lot of variety in running shoes whether you are looking for different shapes, sizes, or appearances.

Running shoes have a lot of parameters that are only suitable for a high pace running. For example, running shoes feature a considerable amount of cushioning and a broad heel size that has a positive impact on your running performance. Also, these shoes have increased torsional rigidity and strength that makes them usable on almost every terrain irrespective of the quality of the ground.

What Are Running Shoes Used For?

Running involves a lot of fatigue and impacts your feet heavily if done on a daily basis. While this fatigue is good for your feet to increase your resistance, it can sometimes cause severe problems and might stop you from going for the run from the next day. Running shoes avoids these problems by giving you the best performance for running. Here are some activities that are perfectly suited for running shoes:

  • While running, a human body impacts almost 3 times of its own weight on the ground. This high force is transferred through your heels as this is the first part of your feet that is impacting the ground on each step. Running shoes provide a decent amount of cushioning and an increased heel size so that the fatigue on your heel is reduced and makes them perfect for outdoor running.
  • If you are training to become a professional runner, or going to participate in a running competition, using running shoes for your practice is the best choice. Running shoes not only reduce the fatigue of the impact on your feet but also helps to improve your momentum so that you can gain speed faster while running.
  • Another important part of your feet that gets stretched during the run is the arch. If you look at the running shoes closely, you will find out that the sole of a running shoe is designed to match the shape of your feet. Unlike other types of shoes that are flat, running shoes are curvy and imitate the lower portion of your feet. This provides decent support to your arches and avoids the straining of arches.
  • The best part about running shoes is that they are quite light in weight and allows a decent amount of airflow throughout the shoes. This makes the shoes breathable that in turn keeps you safe from odor and skin-based problems.

What are Training Shoes?

Training shoes are also designed for the same user base that is focused on running shoes. Therefore, these shoes might not look much different in terms of appearance and shape at all. But, there are some key features of training shoes that differ them from a pair of running shoes. One of the major differences that can be seen in a quality pair of training shoes is the type of sole. Most training shoes are designing with a comparatively flat sole.

Also, the thickness of the sole on a training shoe is lesser than that of the running shoe. These indicate the use of the training shoes as these are certainly not designed for outdoor use. Instead, these shoes are perfect for indoor training activities such as gym training and CrossFit. The training shoes are designed to maintain the balance of the body that is crucial while working out.

What Are Training Shoes Used For?

While working out, you must be holding weights or performing intense tasks that require a perfect balance of the body. Failing that, you might run into trouble and also cause a severe accident. The training shoes are designed to avoid these problems altogether. Training shoes can be used for a variety of different tasks and thus, features a lot of changes as compared to a traditional shoe. Let’s try to understand the benefits of training shoes regarding multiple applications.

  • The amount of cushioning used in training shoes is considerably lesser than that of a running shoe. You must be thinking how is that beneficial if the feet are not properly protected against impacts? As we mentioned earlier, these shoes are designed for indoor use and you generally have perfectly flat ground in your gym or workout area. The thinner design allows you to maintain better control of your body as the feet are closer to the ground.
  • Another thing about training shoes is that the heel size on a training shoe is much bigger than the rest of the sole. As the sole has a flat design, the heel size and support automatically turns out larger, sometimes even larger than a running shoe. The larger heel size allows you to have great support while lifting weights in the gym and avoids the possibility of slipping that can cause major accidents.
  • You must be familiar with the fact that balancing a wider footprint object is much easier than a comparatively smaller footprint on the same size. This phenomenon is also considered while designing training shoes as they are designed with a wider footprint than that of a running shoe. This provides you a great amount of stability as well as suits wider feet perfectly.
  • The traction is yet another major feature of a training shoe. To avoid chances of slipping, the training shoes feature special grooves and design on the lower portion of the shoe. This creates friction between the shoes and the ground and allows you to perform well even on slippery surfaces like gym floors.

What Are The Main Differences Between Running And Training Shoes?

If you are planning to buy a new pair of shoes right now, you must understand the major differences between various types of shoes available in the market. For fitness purposes, you should either prefer a running shoe or a training shoe. This selection depends entirely on your applications. Although, here are some major differences between both options that you should keep in mind before buying one.

 Running ShoeTraining Shoe
Best ForRunning and external activitiesIndoor training routine
Sole TypeCurvyFlat
Heel SizeLarger than regular shoesLarger than running shoes
FootprintCompactComparatively wider
FittingTraditional fittingTight-fitting
Ground tractionSuitable for outdoor terrainGreat for indoor floors

Risks of using the wrong shoes for your workout

By now, you must have realized that there are a lot of differences between different types of shoes. Keeping this in mind, you must understand the flaws and risks of choosing the wrong type of shoes regarding your use. Here are some common after-effects if you end up with incompatible shoes for your regular use:


The least harmful effect of choosing the wrong type of shoe according to your workout is getting insane discomfort while wearing the shoes. If you are using training shoes for outdoor running, you will not get proper arch support and notice pains in your feet once the run is over.

Decreased Productivity

Due to constant discomfort in your feet, you will not be able to focus on your performance. Thus, your productivity will be decreased and you will end up spending more time on the workout than necessary.

Straining and Injuries

This is the major flaw of using the wrong type of shoes for any exercise. Using a pair of shoes that does not allow proper ground traction for heavy weightlifting can make you slip and cause an accident. Also, you will need proper running shoes for outdoor running otherwise you might end up damaging your feet.


In case you are still confused about which shoes are best for you, you should follow our recommendation and get a separate pair for both outdoor and indoor workouts. There cannot be a single option that can be perfectly suited for both activities and selecting one for both might cause you trouble in the long run.

Instead, investing in a proper pair of shoes for both activities is a smarter choice. This will also provide you with the option for selecting different appearances for your shoes in case you are focused on fashion and attire.