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The Best Gym Shoes for Men

Heading to the gym for your workout can be as simple as throwing on a pair of shoes and workout clothes. But choosing the right type of shoes can actually improve your overall performance in the gym. You don’t wear dress shoes if you go for a hike, and the same goes for your gym shoes. Shoes must have the design, versatility and fit that match your individual workout, fitness goals and foot type.

Workouts

Your fitness goals determine the type of workout, and the workout determines the type of gym shoes. For example, if you are performing strength-training workouts using a combination of barbell lifts, such as squats and deadlifts, or Olympic lifts, such as snatches or jerks, the best gym shoes are weightlifting shoes. The weightlifting shoes promote stability when lifting heavy weights, but they don’t have a significant amount of cushioning. If you need additional cushioning for cardio workouts, such as running, the best gym shoes are traditional running shoes. The running shoes combine a lightweight design that provides support and stability.

Design

The design of gym shoes can enhance your gym workout by promoting support, stability and traction. For example, cross-training shoes provide lateral support and stability if you are performing side-to-side cardio exercises, such as lateral lunges. The outsoles need to be designed with a durable carbon rubber compound that improves traction on any gym surface while the uppers are made from breathable, synthetic materials that keep your feet cool and dry during the workout.

Versatility

If you are an athlete or someone who participates in a wide range of workouts including strength training, cardio and fitness classes, cross-training shoes provide the versatility that can perform in any gym workout. The cross-training shoes combine comfort, cushioning, stability and durability for nearly any type of sport, activity or workout. Good cross-training gym shoes allow you to switch from running on the treadmill to performing strength-training exercises.

Fit

The best gym shoes for men need to have a comfortable fit that matches your individual foot type. For example, if you have flat feet or pronate, the best gym shoes will have additional internal support to prevent your foot from rolling inward. As a general rule, however, the best gym shoes must allow space between your longest toe and the end of shoe along with fitting comfortably through the midsole. The heel must provide support without slipping as you walk.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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