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7 workout sneakers that are actually good for running

7 workout sneakers that are actually good for running


Though you may be tempted to buy the best looking sneakers on the market, it is important to know whether that particular shoe model suits your form of exercise. Will you be using your kicks for intense heavy lifting? Serious rope climbing? Stick with specific CrossFit or Olympic shoes. The Reebok Nano 3.0 is a good choice with added protection. The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

As for me, I run outside almost everyday and hit the gym 3 times a week for basic exercises. Since my primary activity is running, I choose my shoes with that activity in mind. Popular brands want to sell you as many shoes as they can: one pair for fitness, another for cross-fit, another for running in the rain, etc. However, I've come to realize that certain running shoes adapt to almost all body-weight exercises: from air squats to burpees. This particular type of shoe will have great ventilation, flexibility and stability and of course, it'll still be excellent for running.

In this list, I'll be selecting the best running shoes that will help you to sprint or go the distance— but you'll also be able to do box jumps and double-unders with equal ease.

Need workout shoes that can withstand your jogs AND your lifts? These cross-trainers are the answer for you // The PumpUp Blog

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

These are one of my favorite shoes for both running and multi-form fitness. The workout sneakers' toebox is roomy and its ventilation is superb. What's more, it weighs in at a mere 10.6 oz.

Unlike most premium running shoes, this Mizuno is far from being soft. The usual squishy foam sole is replaced by a firmer substance called the Wave plate, a patented support mechanism that can be found in the midsole. Paired with a 12mm heel to toe drop, this makes the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 an unexpectedly good fit for squats. Its raised heel boosts your posture in the way that modern lifting shoes would. The shoes' lack of compression will give you a consistent platform to push from.

The flexibility on this shoe is better than you'd expect, especially in the forefoot. It will get better with time, as the EVA rubber will become less resistant to bending. You can decide for yourself whether this shoe fits the bill after 100 miles or 200 planks.

With the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 you won't find yourself wobbling during an overhead squat. Who knows you may also win a marathon with it.

Skora FIT

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

SKORA means "skin" in Polish, thus it comes to no surprise that most SKORA models feel as comfortable as wearing socks. All SKORA models have a no-sew build and an anatomic fit that mimics the natural shape of one's foot— design signatures that make these shoes unique. You'll want to splay your toes in these sneakers.

With 16mm of thickness in the heel and the forefoot, the FIT equally belongs in the gym and on the road. The minimalist cushion will give you plenty of depth, as well as the stability you need for weightlifting. If you're craving for a complete ground connection, just remove the 4mm sock-liner and go sockless when you're wearing these workout sneakers to the gym.

With a glove-like fit and a featherweight quality,  the Skora FIT makes tough exercises look easy, fast and precise. Are you ready for one leg jumps?

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

Nike promises a more natural ride with its "Free" line. The point is to offer a ground-like feel akin to running barefoot less is more. While it's a "minimalistic" shoe, what so special about it?

First, it comes with a special Flyknit material. This was selected by the New York Times  as one of the best inventions in 2012. There is an engineered "knit" in the upper area of the shoe, which is more or less dense depending the size of one's foot. It blends mobility and support in one sneaker. Finally, the shoes have flex grooves etched into their outsoles, which allows for crazy flexibility and a natural range of motion.

The Nike Free 4.0 is the best of the Free line, according to experts at SoleReview.  It sits between the more minimalist Free 3.0 and the more cushioned Free 5.0, affording wearers with a sweet balance of comfort and ground feel.

Brooks Connect 4

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

Brooks is one of the most popular brands for marathon sneakers. They focus on high-performance running shoes with made with high-quality materials and a solid build. Great running shoes like Brooks should have a place in the gym.  My choice goes to their Pure line. It's composed of 3 lightweight, low to the ground shoes: the Connect, Cadence and Flow.  Small frame shoes are preferable for the gym because they are lighter and more flexible.

The Connect is the fastest and most responsive of the 3 workout sneakers: it features an outstanding midsole and a seamless upper sole. The forefoot is extremely flexible, which something I value when I'm doing any exercise that requires jumping or plyometrics. The fit is narrow and supportive, thanks to a strapping system called the "Nav-band".

Also worth mentioning is its traction. Several pods in the outsole give you an outstanding grip, regardless of which surface you're working with.

Under Armor Speedform Gemini

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

Though Under Armour is better known for its apparel, the brand released a shoe that works well for most types of exercises.

Its cushioning is consistent, and on the firmer side. The shoe's midsole foam firms up when you accelerate and it softens up when you decelerate, making transitions smooth and exciting. This shoe is a great asset for HIIT running workouts, where you often need to change gears.

The upper, crafted in a clothing factory, is perforated for increased breathability with no visible seams. The only drawback is its non-removable sockliner, so make sure you buy anti-odour sprays before you slip them on.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

The American brand delivers a great lightweight shoe with the Fresh Foam Zante. At a light weight of 8.1 oz and with a low stack height, this shoe will help you run fast. Runners would use it for uptempo workouts to increase speed and endurance.

The midsole is made out of a single soft foam, which increases flexibility while adding just enough softness to the foot strike. The rubber that composes the entire outsole offers outstanding grip and the upper foot is well ventilated. It has an internal smooth sleeve and the tongue is built on top of it – which makes these workout sneakers a perfect fit for sock-less running.

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila EVO

The best workout shoes that are actually good for running // The PumpUp Blog

These are the most flexible workout sneakers you can find out there, as your toes can move independently. FiveFingers are synonymous with barefoot running and this Bikila is no exception. It features a minimal 8.5mm of cushioning and the upper feels like a second skin.

Of course, this is not the choice for long-runs on the road but they are perfect for running on the treadmill. The transition can be hard, especially in the beginning, because you're using different foot muscles to compensate for the lack of cushioning and the flat sole. Expect stronger calf muscles and a stronger big toe.

What's your choice for the gym? Do you go with regular trainers or are you peeky about your choice? Let us know in the comments below!

Fastblr is a powerful running shoe finder which lets you compare prices among 13 online stores. If you don’t know which running shoe to pick, start with our shoe recommender – it gives you 5 best shoes based on your physical and performance characteristics. Keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Cover photo via PumpUp member @rachaelgervais.

How Trang went from running her first mile to a running a half-marathon

How Trang went from running her first mile to a running a half-marathon

Trang didn't consider herself to be a runner when she started her fitness journey. Most of her days were spent lounging on the couch. She contemplated the idea of working out, but never followed through. "I couldn't even run a mile straight," Trang admitted. "I was overweight 12 years ago and workouts felt like punishments to me. I always had excuses not to be active because I hated feeling tired."

Your Monday Milestones

We’re sharing a few #milestones from our PumpUp family today.

From marathons to 5k races and from planks to bench presses, this post celebrates personal bests and firsts in addition to stories about injury recovery and rehabilitation.

Read more below!

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PumpUp member gavynhill7, a track and field athlete at Wichita State University, tore her ACL and meniscus and had surgery performed on her leg in August. As of September 2nd, she was able to get back to doing upper-body lifting and core work! She can now walk without crutches and has been recovering steadily and surely with rehabilitation. Keep it up!

Shawna K (skmh) also shared a story about recovery. “From open heart surgery, I was so stiff that I couldn’t move for months,” she reveals. “Now I am able to stretch and dance and get into better shape than I was before.”

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Marathons were a theme among many other Monday milestones. Terryx’s story about his ultramarathon is almost herculean! He says, “I joined the Run it Fast running club and they invited me to run in one of their races. I decided to give it a shot. I had never raced trails and I didn’t train except for 2 weeks to run 30 miles. I made it.” 

Amanda_fitmomof3’s biggest milestone was finishing her first half marathon in May, exceeding her own expectations. "I finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes, beating my own expected time by far. I had been training for a 10 km race until 2 days before the race," she elaborates. "I thought I could do more, so I switched to the half marathon." What is extraordinary is that Amanda had never incorporated running as a form of exercise before in her whole life until last fall! Isn’t she amazing?

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Travis619’s milestone was completing the Spartan Beast race—even though he injured his ankle 2 miles into the 13.5 mile race! He explains, “I grew up small and skinny, but changing my diet and working out helped me achieve my goal of competing in a fitness race.” Travis continues to be motivated by the PumpUp community, saying that "Everyone in the PumpUp family inspires me daily to better myself and continue competing. I hope I can do the same for at least one person."

Two of our members are thrilled with being able to run their first-ever 5 km races. Marie (marrymee) got her training off to a rocky start, explaining that "I’ve never been that interested in sports and working out. A few years ago, I was not feeling well. I didn’t like my job and it made me sick." Upon integrating more activity into her daily routine, things changed drastically. “I started taking walks and I was feeling better. Running [then] made me feel stronger, more confident. This year, I’ve decided to run a 5k for the first time!” Corey B. (coreybendebba) also ran his first ever 5k, where he finished 24th out of 120 people. "In that moment, I proved to myself that I am strong and that I CAN do anything I put my mind to!," he affirms. "Don’t ever stop chasing your dreams. You’ll reach them one way or another."

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Other Monday milestones were slightly more specific. PumpUp’s bigsalfitness shared this photo of his first attempt at bench pressing 315 lbs. His next goal? Bench pressing 405 lbs of course! We are also proud of our member jgnabc, who achieved her goal of mastering the 5 minute plank. "After having four kids, I never thought I’d have the flat toned belly I was looking for," she explains. "After joining PumpUp and learning to set s.m.a.r.t. goals, I not only was able to accomplish my 5 minute plank, but I was also able to achieve a level of fitness I only dreamed of."

Thank you PumpUp members gavynhill7, bigsalfitness/IG bigsal2417, terryx, travis619, amanda_fitmomof3, jgnabc, skmh, and marrymee for your stories. #MotivationMonday