Can Running Shoes Be Used For Gym? Answer With Reason

Can Running Shoes Be Used For Gym? Answer With Reason

It is most often seen that many people use their running shoes to the gym just because they are lightweight and comfortable. They think that running shoes are versatile for doing different kinds of training and exercises.

But, the fact that can not be ignored is the only right type of shoes designed for specific activity not only helps you to perform your best but also keeps you motivated and safe. 

So, here the question comes into the picture, Can running shoes be used for Gym? While performing light activities, treadmill run, and cardio, running shoes can surely be used. But, they are not specifically designed for high-intensity workouts, training, and heavyweight lifting. And using running shoes daily to the gym can wear out them sooner. 

According to this article from TimesofIndia, approximately 60% of people who wear the wrong shoes to the gym, not only lowers the performance but also increases the risk of getting injured while exercising.

Thus investing in a good pair of gym shoes or training shoes is a wise decision to keep yourself stay away from any kind of injuries and to done every activity effortlessly.

Are Gym Shoes and Running Shoes the Same?

Can Running Shoes Be Used For Gym? Answer With Reason

However, running shoes and gym/training shoes look similar in appearance but they are not the same. There is a significant difference between running shoes and gym shoes that you can read in detail here in this article.

The major difference between running shoes and gym shoes can be seen in the sole, upper quality, and heel drop. Running shoes are designed with keeping forward movement in mind to cushion the feet while running, but the gym shoes are designed with keeping multi-directional movement in mind to offer better feet hold and stability while working out.

Mostly running shoes are constructed with lighter and breathable materials to provide ample ventilation to keep the feet dry and cool throughout running sessions.

Running shoes also feature thick soles to offer more cushion by absorbing impacts against the surfaces arisen from repeated foot strikes.

On the other hand, activities like cardio, weightlifting, and many training exercises require the feet to get steady and in shape properly instead of cushioning and firm fit. 

Thus gym shoes have thick upper materials with an aggressive heel-to-toe drop (low heel drop) or flat stiffer soles to provide better stability, support, and hold to the feet.

This nature of training shoes supports the entire load of the body more proportionally and avoids the risk of injury. 

Can Running Shoes be Used for Training and Heavyweight Lifting?

If you do workout regularly, or lifting heavyweight, or perform high-intensity training exercises, then running shoes are not the best choice for these kinds of purposes.

Because exercises like overhead press heavy lifting and deadlift require gym shoes designed with flatter sturdy soles. These types of shoes distribute your entire body weight equally on all the areas of the foot and ensure you get the most out of any workout you do. 

While running shoes are constructed with light materials with thick soles. Hence, this construction makes running shoes flexible and responsive to cushion the feet for comfortable running. But, they lack in providing support, stability, and hold to the feet while working out. 

So, if you haven’t any fitness goals or perform light bodyweight workouts for a while, then wearing running shoes to the gym is just fine. You don’t need to invest in separate specific gym shoes. 

Want to know the benefits and disadvantages of wearing running shoes for training exercises? Read this article.

Gym Shoes vs Running Shoes

Gym ShoesRunning Shoes
Supports multi-directional movement Supports forward movement
Have a thick and sturdy upper unit to hold the feet in shapeHave lighter and breathable upper for comfort and ventilation purposes
Have a firm midsole to keep the feet steady for multi-directional exercisesHave cushioned midsole with shock absorbency to offer ease of run
Have a thinner and aggressive heel-to-toe drop for better ground stability Have thick and durable soles with more flex groove for improved ground traction
Versatile for a variety of activities like workouts, training, weightlifting, work & casual useDesigned particularly for running, jogging, walking, and casual wear 

What Would Happen if I Use Running Shoes in the Gym

If you wear your running shoes in the gym, then the day is not far away that you have to compromise these things:

  1. Wearing running shoes to the gym can lower your performance.
  2. Wearing running shoes every day can wear out the shoe quickly.
  3. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can increase the chances of getting injured.
  4. Running shoes may lose support and stability while doing workouts.
  5. Multi-directional movement can compress the midsole and make them less responsive.
  6. You may feel discomfort and uneven wear.

How to Choose the Right Gym Shoes for Training and Workout

In order to get the most from your workout and training exercise, you need the right gym shoes. 

Only the right shoes built for specific purposes benefits you by avoiding the risk of injury. But due to the availability of different kinds of gym shoes, it is easy to get lost. 

The below table shows the qualities require for different types of gym shoes. If you consider into account these qualities then you can pick the right gym shoes for you.

Everyday Workout ShoesWeightlifting shoesCross-Training ShoesTreadmill ShoeHIIT Workout Shoes
WeightLightHeavyHeavyLightLight as possible
UpperBreathableThick & sturdy Durable than workout shoesFirm and breathableFirm & durable
SoleFirm midsoleElevated heelLow dropCushioned at heel & forefootCushioning
AbilityImpact-resistantNon-compressibleBetter ground stabilityAbsorb impactLateral support
OutsoleGrippy outsoleFlatterFlat and firmFlexibleFirm and low profile

There are few other pointers that you can keep in mind to avoid the mistakes of choosing the wrong gym shoes. 

1. Know Your Movement to Choose the Right Shoes

Knowing the type of your movements can help you make the right decision. As running on roads and running on the treadmill are not the same, so running shoes may not work well for gym activities.

These two activities have different running motions, thus they require different specific shoes. So, if you have a good idea of what workout you’re going to do, then you can choose the perfect shoe.

2. Know Your Feet Type

Considering your feet type can also help you choose the right shoes for gym activities. As each person has a different feet type (i.e. Normal feet, Flat feet, & High Arched Feet), each gym shoe is not built for every person.

So, if you wear any wrong shoe according to your feet, it may not only hurt you and cause foot problems but also lowers your performance.

3. Know Your Feet Size

Wearing loose or too tight shoes may cause many foot problems and increase the chances of getting injured. But, this can be avoided only if you have knowledge of the actual size of your feet.

Thus, it is suggested to measure your feet size. For this, you can visit your nearest shoe store and take the help of a professional to measure your feet size. This way you can choose the perfect fit shoes for your feet.

4. Be Little Choosy

Try to examine the multiple pair of shoes that are built specifically for your needs and then choose the right pair. You can look for the fitting, comfort, and quality to make sure that the shoe is durable and worth investing in.

5. Don’t Overwhelm with Colors

It is advisable to not get influenced by attractive colors and design. Because there is possible that you can make the wrong decision. 

Instead, look for the other parameters of the shoes to ensure the shoe is durable, supportive, comfortable, and right for your feet.

6. Test them Before You Buy

If you buy any shoe without actually testing them, the chance is you’ve chosen the wrong shoe. It is also a good way to test the shoe by wearing them and walking for a while at the shoe store.

This way you can not only choose the perfect fit shoe but also can feel the comfort, durability, and quality. And make the decision whether the shoe is worth buying or not.


I hope you have got a better understanding between running shoes and gym shoes and find your answer on whether you should wear your running shoes to the gym or not. 

Only for people who are not financially feasible to afford a separate specific pair of gym shoes, its fine to wear running shoes for light workouts. But, not recommended for all training and exercises.

Now it’s time to hear from you about your feedback. Did you find this article helpful? If so, make sure to share it with your loved ones.

And check out this article on the best Nike shoes and the best Adidas shoes to find your perfect pair of shoes for all types of activities.

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