Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here!

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Written By Samarjit Sinha

Working out for 10 years | Has a home gym | CPD (UK) Certificate holder in Fitness

Are Running Shoes Good for Cross-Training?

I don’t think so! Training vs Running Shoe showdown.

Running shoes are not good for cross-training or general weight lifting at all. I have found that running shoes cause me to lose balance and hold or grip the floor.

If you ask me, I am better off doing weight lifting with a cross-training shoe or barefoot.

Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here!

Running shoes are not good for cross-training because they are designed to protect you from the repetitive load that is put on your body when running.

Cross-training shoes add more cushioning to the forefoot to absorb the impact from landing on your toes, which is something that running shoes do not do.

Additionally, running shoes are typically designed to increase the move forward with a grip to the ground to add stability to your movements, which is something that cross trainers do along with side to side movement support.

Are Running Shoes Good for Cross Training

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Cross training vs Running Activity

Cross training and running are both very different sports. Where cross training is all about doing almost everything lie squats, pull ups, jumps etc.

And running is just running. Cross training requires more hand-eye coordination, focuses on developing full body strength etc.

Although the trainer and running shoes look alike, they differ when it comes to cushion, absorbing impact and side-to-side movement. 

Thus cross training and running shoes are not interchangeable.

Can you work out in your running shoes?

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Cross-Training Shoes Weigh More Due to Heavy Construction

Cross-training shoes typically weigh more than running shoes because they are designed for a variety of activities, as opposed to running shoes which are focused on one activity. Thus they have extra padding, cushions and materials that make them heavier than running shoes.

This additional weight can add to the fatigue accumulation that’s going to naturally happen when participating in multiple activities. 

While new technologies have made cross-training shoes more versatile, we still wouldn’t recommend using them for long-distance running.

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In contrast, running shoes are meant for everyday use and are not as durable as cross-training shoes. Cross-training shoes typically have more cushioning and support than running shoes because they are meant to be used during exercise. 

This extra protection can help prevent injuries during cross-training.

If you just want to run or walk then getting a running shoe is the better choice.

Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here! 1

Cross-Training Shoes Have Flat Outsole and Strong Midsoles

Cross-training shoes are designed with a firmer midsole and outsole construction which allows for a consistent stride when running on them. But only run for a short distance, these are not for long distance running.

Cross-training shoes are designed with a slightly firmer rubber and TPU-Esque material which together makes them more durable.

Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here! 2

Cross-training shoes are designed to have a firmer midsole and outsole. This makes them more resistant to compression and better equipped for jumping movements. 

As a result, they can be used for other forms of exercise such as running or weightlifting without having to worry about the shoes not being able to handle the impact.

Running shoes do not have flat outsoles because they are not meant to stand in one place, plae a firm grip on the floor below and lift something heavy. They are made for running and thus they have various patterns, grippy rubber soles and focus on heel and midsole.

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Cross-Training Shoes Are Down to Ground

Cross-training shoes have less stack height than regular running shoes because they are designed to absorb shock and provide ground reaction force for a variety of activities, not just running. 

They work well for recreational runners who have a midfoot or heel strike and are perfect for minimalists who don’t require a high stack height.

On the other hand, running shoes have high heels, because often we strike the heel on the ground while running. Thus it is required that you have good thick heel support.

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Minimal Heel-to-Toe Drops

When it comes to running, the heel-to-toe drop is an important consideration. This is the offset between the height of your heel and your toes, and shoes have different drops. 

A higher heel-toe drop will ease the ground reaction force you experience in your landing phase, while a lower drop can help you with speed and turnover. 

If you’re confused about what heel-toe drop to go with for your running shoes, then I’d highly suggest having your gait analyzed at your local running store after doing this once – they can help recommend a specific type of shoe for you.

Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here! 3

In addition, cross-training shoes have minimal heel-to-toe drops. 

This allows you to support multi-directional movements, explosive workouts, cardio/strength circuits, and heavy lifting sessions. 

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Risks of Using The Wrong Shoes For Your Workout?

Uncomfortable During Workouts Like Squats

Discomfort while working out can be caused by many different factors, such as the wrong type of shoes or the wrong amount of pressure being put on your feet.

This discomfort can lead to a lower performance level and even injuries.

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Performance Degradation When Weight Training

When you wear shoes that don’t fit well or are not suited for the activity you’re participating in, your performance can be lowered. 

This is because you’re working against the shoes rather than with them. Additionally, injuries can occur when shoes are not fitted properly or are worn in the wrong way.

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Injuries from Lifting or Impact

Discomfort, problems in movement and lowered performance will cause you injuries in no time. Especially with sports like Crossfit. Crossfit involves a lot of different movements thus having a perfect-fit shoe is essential.

How to Choose Cross-Training Shoes


Cross-training shoes provide the flexibility to work out in a variety of ways, including running, biking, and swimming.

Cross training is a term used to describe the practice of incorporating multiple forms of exercise into your workout routine. This can include running, biking, swimming, and other activities that work for different muscle groups.

Flexibility is important for people who want to stick to a fitness routine because it allows them to perform different exercises without feeling pain or discomfort.

Cross-training shoes provide the flexibility to move around easily while you’re working out and avoid injuring yourself.

By choosing cross training shoes that are flexible and comfortable, you’ll be able to enjoy your workouts more and maintain your fitness goals over time.

Are you confused between training and running shoes? Are running shoes good for cross-training? Know all about running shoes vs trainers here! 4

Know Your Arch

There are three different types of arches- fallen, normal, and high. It is important to know your arch type so that you can choose the best cross-training shoes for you.

Cross training shoes are designed for specific arch types, so it is important to choose the right pair. They should fit well and be comfortable to wear during your workouts.

Check the recommended shoe for plantar fasciitis.

Focus on the Fit

A fit that is not too right or not too loose is very comfortable for doing Crossfit style workouts. Or any other workouts really. A too loose fit and you might fall while doing a snatch. Too tight might make your feet painful after a workout day.

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A key performance characteristic is having a good cushion in both the insole and outsole of the shoe. A good cushion will absorb the impact of body weight and weight-bearing exercises. This will ensure that you suffer from fewer injuries.

Shock Absorption

Your cross-training shoes have high-quality shock absorption which will save you from impact injuries like a box jump or squat jumps.

Pay Attention to the Construction

In all cross-training shoes, reviews are mindful of what they say about the construction differences. Crossfit is demanding and you do not want your shoe to depreciate quickly. Check for construction factors like rubber outsoles grip, comfortable foam insoles, mesh cover etc.

If I run and do cross training, should I own two different types of shoes?

Running shoes are designed for running and are typically not good for other types of training. 

You can technically use them for heavier training sessions, but it’s not recommended because they may not be as durable or supportive. If you’re looking for a shoe to do multiple activities, you should consider purchasing a cross trainer or multi-sport shoe.


Can I wear running shoes for CrossFit?

You should not wear running shoes for crossfit. Crossfit shoes have cushions under the toe area and under the heel and mid-foot. They are made to adapt to the different loads of jumping, snatch and support while you do deadlift and squats. Whereas running shoes are only designed to support your feet for running. Thus you should use two separate shoes for two different styles of workout.

Are running shoes better than trainers?

Trainers provide support for both forward and side-to-side movement whereas running shoes are mostly used for their forward movement. Thus they are not better than each other.

What is the difference between a walking shoe and a cross trainer?

A cross trainer shoe has lots of protective cushions, grips that a simple walking shoe lacks. Walking shoe is made for one simple task whereas with a cross training shoe, anything is possible.

Can you lift weights in running shoes?

You should not lift weights in running shoes, they lack the grip and stability that is required for squats and deadlifts. If you do not have proper shoes then you can do these barefoot as well.

Can I squat with running shoes?

You should never do squats with running shoes. A running shoe’s outer sole will prevent you from putting force on the floor and it will cause you to lose balance. And if you lose balance then there is a high chance that you will not be able to perform well with the squat.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?

Running shoes and walking shoes have similar properties thus it is completely okay to wear running shoes for walking.

Are flat shoes better for CrossFit?

I like my flat shoes while doing workouts. Flat shoes help you spread your fingers and grip the floor below perfectly. Thus the flat shoes are better for crossfit and any type of weight lifting.

Can I wear running shoes for HIIT?

If you are not doing any weight lifting then you can wear your running shoes for HIIT. If you are also going to lift weights then you should use crossfit shoes.

Are training shoes worth it?

Training shoes are awesome when it comes to doing a variety of workouts like sprints, squats, snatch etc. Running shoes do not offer the amount of stability and support that trainers can give you.

Can you do leg day in running shoes?

You can do leg day in running shoes but you should not. A typical leg will have some form of squat and deadlifts and a running shoe is not an ideal shoe for these. You will have balancing issues with a running shoe.

Can I deadlift in running shoes?

You should not do a deadlift in running shoes. If you do not have flat sole shoes then you can do deadlifts just with your barefoot but never do it with running shoes.

About The Skinny Author


Working Out for 10 years | Owns a home gym |Certificate course done on Improving Aerobic Fitness, Diet | CPD (UK) Accredited Certification on Fitness

Yo Friends, this is Samarjit! A skinny guy who is building his tiny home gym.

I have successfully gained 10 kgs in 10 months going to commercial gyms. And I have been working out on and off for about 10+ years now.

I have gone swimming, done martial arts, Olympic lifts and body-building-type workouts!

I canceled the gym subscription as I was more into making my home gym for workouts. And getting ready, then getting my cycle and ride to the commercial gym seemed a drag after 10 hours in the office.

Thus, I needed a home that I could access at any moment!
And I started building my home gym!

I had to research a lot to build my home gym and decided to share effective, budget-friendly home gym machines, and nutrition to buy as per your goals here in

If you have question then contact me here

Ps: The author is highly experienced with making small workout routines, understanding and guiding people to get gym equipment, and setting up the home gym as per their Fitness goals.

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