What Are Performance Training Shoes?
Performance training shoes are used by people who want a multipurpose shoe that can be used for training as well as athletic competitions or events. Baseball performance training shoes, for example, can be used on turf, on a field or to train in a gym. Performance training shoes are constructed with the aim of improving athletic performance.
Performance training shoes are made for most sports. They are designed for the specific training needs in each sport. Performance training shoes for runners, for example, are designed to be lighter weight and allow for more responsiveness than regular running shoes because they’ll have less cushioning than a regular running shoe. The shoes can be used for races as well as speed work and daily training. A football shoe, in contrast, would be heavier to increase stability with range of motion.
People who buy performance training shoes can purchase them for features that are specific to their personal needs, such as foot shape. People with high arches, for example, can seek shoes with cushioning that accommodates this. Others may have overpronating feet, meaning that the feet roll inward as they run. Performance training shoes can provide stability to counteract this.
Performance training shoes work by encouraging a person to work on certain aspects of training. In running, for example, performance shoes that are ultralightweight encourage a gait that is less impactful and more nimble. This helps strengthen the smaller muscles in feet and lower legs that promote better running performance, according to Running Times magazine. Regular running shoes, in contrast, absorb more impact for a cushier run.
There are performance training shoes that are not sport-specific. Companies that manufacture the shoes promote them as a way to gain explosive power and strength thanks to requiring harder work by muscle fibers in the lower body, work muscles in greater length to gain better range of motion, and to gain faster improvements in performance than with regular shoes. Some come with insoles that can be put in and taken out to vary intensity level while training.
Performance training shoes are not cheap, but they won’t break the bank either. Expect to spend what you would on mid- to high-end cross-training shoes or on regular sport-specific shoes. They will be more expensive than general athletic shoes due to their construction to enhance specific capabilities.
- Baseballrampage.com: Baseball training shoes
- Trails.com: What are performance training shoes?
- Nigg BM, Baltich J, Hoerzer S, Enders H. Running shoes and running injuries: Mythbusting and a proposal for two new paradigms: 'Preferred movement path' and 'comfort filter'. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(20):1290-4. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095054
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.