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Good workout shoes for women: What shoes should you wear for strength training?

Embarking on an exercising journey can be challenging.

When it comes to choosing shoes for workouts, it's important to consider the type of exercise you'll be doing.

For example, did you know that running shoes aren’t the best footwear for gym training? Running shoes inhibit movements when training strength, so they are unstable for lifting heavy weights.

In today’s post, we are talking about how to pick the right shoes depending on the exercise you are doing.

How to pick good workout shoes for women

There are many kinds of training shoes, different workouts require different types of shoes. Not only to maximize performance, but to guarantee safety.

Proper workout shoes prevent injuries since not all exercises need the same support and stability.

Furthermore, wearing comfortable shoes enhance your overall exercising experience. And even can improve your performance since the right shoe can provide traction, support or even grip for exercises that require quick movements.

Don't underestimate the importance of choosing the right exercise shoe, and spend some time researching brands and trying out what works best for you.

Let’s dive in the world of workout shoes based on the most common types of sport:

Runners and joggers

The best choice for treadmill, walking or running lovers are running shoes that provide ample support.

Running shoes should be cushioned, with a good shock absorption, since they have to minimize the impact on feet and joints in order to avoid injuries.

Besides, they should be a comfortable fit and flexible.  

Note: Note that running shoes aren’t stable. If you’re going to train strength running, for example, it would be recommended to take off your running shoes and train barefoot to lift weight more stable.  

Cross trainers, and HITT and functional fitness lover

If you practice cross-training, functional fitness, or HITT, you need flexibility, stability and support.

You need specific shoes that fit different movements and exercises. Therefore, their soles need to handle movements and different intensity training. So the best option would be a training shoe with a low arch or minimalist profile. That is, flat and stable soles and good lateral support. They should also be lightweight and breathable, so your feet stay cool and comfortable throughout the whole workout.

Note: Cross-training shoes are designed for versatility, making them also a popular choice for strength training.


Weightlifting shoes have sturdy and stiff soles to give more range of mobility in your calf and ankle. They are designed for power and stability, so weight is more equilibrated. These shoes usually have a raised heel that provides a more elevated platform, which helps to improve your squat and deadlift form.

If you're lifting weights, you already know that the best option is a solid heel and high on your soles, which provide traction and prevent slipping on the gym floor.

Dancer and aerobic lovers

Dancers and aerobic lovers need more flexibility than most of other exercise. So their shoes typically have a pivot point on the sole to facilitate turning and twisting movements.

In Julia’s experience

When new clients come to me, especially those who haven't trained before, it's common for them to arrive wearing everyday sneakers. However, I always stress the potential dangers associated with this type of shoes, particularly if the sneakers have heels. It's important to understand that not all shoes are suitable for exercise, as they may not provide adequate support or protection.

In such cases, I prefer clients to train without shoes, as it offers a more stable foundation for their workouts. Training barefoot allows for better connection with the ground, enhancing balance and stability during exercises.

If you still don’t know Julia, discover more about her.

Risks of using the wrong shoes for your workout? By Julia

Ideally, I recommend having at least two pairs of shoes for different types of workouts.
If you engage in both cardio and strength training, it's beneficial to have one pair of shoes with cushioning for cardio exercises that helps absorb shock and reduces the risk of injury. For strength training, a more stable shoe with the possibility of flexibility is preferable. This type of shoe provides better support and allows for proper foot alignment during weightlifting exercises.

It's crucial to select shoes that fit well, provide adequate support, and are designed for the specific activities you engage in.

Remember, wearing appropriate footwear is essential to protect your feet, provide stability. Mismatching your shoes with your workout can increase the chances of injury.

When a client asks me for the right shoes for strength training, these are my recommendations:

1) Look for shoes with a stable base and good lateral support to avoid sliding during lifts
2) Try to choose shoes with a flat sole since it helps you stay in touch with the ground, which is better to maintain balance
3) If possible, select non-slip soles because they provide good traction on the gym floor
4) Also, go for light and breathable shoes, so your feed don’t quickly become sweaty and hot
5) Make sure your shoes are snug but not too tight, so your toes aren’t cramped

In summary, choosing the right shoes for exercising involves having in mind the needs of the training and mind your own safety overall.  

Remember to try on different shoes and find a pair that fits properly for maximum effectiveness and comfort during your specific workouts.

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