The Best Shoes for Your Next Workout

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What kind of shoes should you be wearing for your workouts? Many of us choose the shoes that we see advertised on television or on the internet that our favorite athlete is promoting. But is that the best shoe to maximize your training?

Check out the video review below to see what shoes fitness training specialist Dr. Chad Moreau recommends for your workouts.

When choosing the correct shoe you should take into account a few factors:

1) What kind of surface will you be training on?

2) What kind of activities will be performed?

3) Do you have any injuries or functional limitations that will affect shoe selection?

Strength Training

Strength training is typically done indoors on a hard, flat surface. Typically, strength training involves performing exercises with external resistance that can include dumbbells and weighted barbells. This external loading requires the individual to be wearing a shoe that is low to the surface and stable. A shoe that has an elevated heel via an air cushion or gel is a poor choice for strength training as it can lead to instability due to the lack of ground support. Also, an elevated heel can have a tendency to cause the individual to drive forward at the knees during the squat exercise rather than using the proper technique of sitting back into the hips and engaging the hamstring and gluteal muscle groups. I have personally witnessed the air pocket on a pair of Nike Air shoes pop and slightly deflate during a heavy power squat repetition! Good shoe choices for strength training would be any low profile athletic shoe that makes you feel close to the surface and stable.

My top choices for strength training:

1) Vibram Five Finger Komodo Sport $110

-when you get used to this shoe (look and feel!), you will feel very connected to the training surface

-most of my pro hockey players now use these shoes for strength training

 

 

2) Merrell Barefoot Run Trail Glove $110

-this might be the best hybrid between the barefoot feel while still looking like a normal shoe

-this shoe is very durable like most Merrell products

 

 

 

3) New Balance Minimus $72.99

-good for individuals with wide feet as they come in 2E

-I feel like my feet have a tendency to slide around in these shoes

 

 

 

Speed/Agility/Endurance Training

Speed and agility training can be performed on asphalt, gravel, rubberized track, artificial turf, hard-packed dirt or grass. Many of us wear restrictive shoes all day as we walk around on hard, flat, man-made surfaces. This can cause a loss of ankle, foot and toe mobility. As a result, when we walk and run, the stiffness in our ankles and feet can create injuries in the knees, hips and even low back. Many individuals benefit from minimalist or barefoot shoes that encourage foot and ankle mobility when performing speed and agility training. Another advantage to minimalist shoes is that the individual feels close to the surface when changing directions which can help reduce ankle sprains. Typically, the barefoot shoes are better on less firm surfaces such as rubberized track, turf and grass (see my top choice for strength training above). Harder surfaces such as asphalt, gravel and hard-packed dirt may require a more traditional training shoe.

My top choices for speed & agility training on HARD surfaces:

1) Nike Free Trainer $110

-feels like a more traditional athletic shoe but without the bulky air or gel heel technology

-the sole of this shoe has a tendency to tear with aggressive use

2) New Balance Cross Trainer $79.99

-traditional cross-trainer that comes in wide sizes

Check out the video review below to see what shoes fitness training specialist Dr. Chad Moreau recommends for your workouts.

Dr. Chad Moreau
About Dr. Chad Moreau

Dr. Chad Moreau is the President of Back to Function, a sports chiropractic office dedicated to providing elite quality care for athletes and athletic-minded clients. He is also the Chiropractic Consultant for the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and the Team Chiropractor for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He can be contacted at drchad@backtofunction.com.

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