difference between training and running shoes

What’s The Difference Between Training And Running Shoes? We Have answers!

When it comes to running or just plain working out, there are a variety of different shoes to choose from that will suit you the best. From different brands to different styles, there are so many options for you out there that it can be almost overwhelming to get started finding the right one for you.

Whatever the sport you are participating in, sometimes you wonder just what is the difference between a training shoe and a running shoe? Not only that, but also you might be wondering if they can be used interchangeably, so that if one wears out, you have a back-up?

All of this wondering and reflecting about different types of athletic shoes can be frustrating, and because of it can be discouraging when picking out your next pair of shoes.

However, there is no need to be overwhelmed, let alone discouraged: we are here to help! Read on to learn more about the differences between training and running shoes, as we answer some of your frequently-asked questions on the subject at hand. Soon enough, you will be able to pick and purchase the ideal type for your sport.

Without further ado, let us get right down to it!


What are the differences between training and running shoes?

This is an interesting case, just because some people might find training and running shoes to be mutually exclusive, while others might find them entirely different entities. Training and running shoes are similar in the respect that they are both reserved for athletic use, but in fact, they can have some notable differences between each other.

the differences between training and running shoes

For instance, training shoes are considered “general sports shoes,” as they are designed for and used by athletes who do a variety of sports, such as weight-lifting, boxing, walking, even light running.

They are not as specifically designed compared with running shoes, which are physically and structurally more geared towards running, or at least being on your feet for long periods of time.

That said, training shoes are usually more for general use compared with running shoes, for the former might have less padding and mesh material for cushioning and breathability, respectively, whereas the latter has more of those qualities for a more successful running experience.

Can training and running shoes be used interchangeably?

As previously mentioned, training shoes are a more “general use” kind of shoe, made for activities outside of aerobics like running. However, some runners do use training shoes to run, albeit for shorter mileage.

Structurally-speaking, training shoes are not built for marathon, let alone ultra-marathon training, so it is necessary to be careful when using training shoes for running.

Running shoes, on the other hand, are better made for running longer distances, just because they provide more cushioning and arch support for your feet, since they will have to endure a lot of pounding on hard, sometimes uneven surfaces, over a long period of time.

Then again, running shoes are not necessarily exclusively used for running, but rather can be used for other non-aerobic sports without a problem, whether weight-lifting, hiking, and so forth.

Long story short, training and running shoes cannot really be used interchangeably, at least not to their full extent. With training shoes, you can use it for running, but only short distances (no more than 5 kilometers), whereas for running shoes, you can use it for running and also other activities without much problem.

If anything, running shoes are more versatile to choose from, and buying a pair can ensure a consistently comfortable workout for you to get started with!

For more differences between the two shoes, check out this video here: 

How can I pick the best athletic shoes for me?

You might be surprised to find out that many people—athletes and non-athletes—buy improper shoes for themselves, which in the long term can cause problems not only with discomfort, but also potential injuries and stress fractures that can impede the quality of life, let alone discourage you from working out once you heal. That said, selecting the right shoe for you is important.

Here are a few things to consider when picking the best athletic shoes:

1. Measure your foot size.

This comes as an obvious statement, but nevertheless it rings consistently true: choosing the wrong shoe size can cause discomfort, as well as problems with your feet’s movements.

Hence, it is a rule of thumb to go half a size to a full size up with running shoes, to ensure that there is enough room in the toe box for the front of your feet and enough space width-wise for breath-ability.

2. Know your arch type.

This point is just as important as knowing your foot size, for having a certain arch type requires a specially-designed shoe that will fit the curves of your sole, thereby helping your feet feel good and supported. From high to medium to low arches, each will have its own specific shape, so adhering to yours will benefit you in the long run, guaranteed!

3. Know how much you will be working out.

This goes back to the training and running shoe debate, in that you will need to figure out just how many miles you plan to log in for running each week. If you are simply a casual runner, then training shoes will be a more practical and cheaper option for you. On the other hand, if you are training for a competition, then running shoes will better suit you.

4. Test the shoe.

If possible, test out the shoe by walking in them for a bit. Most running stores should be open to letting you try them out for a few minutes to get a feel for them, whether they feel good or not.


Altogether, training and running shoes are quite different from each other, with different functions to suit different needs. It is a matter of knowing which one you will use for your workouts, and from there, you should be well on your way to a comfortable running experience.

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Share this with family and friends if you enjoyed it as well.



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