Running Shoes Vs Training Shoes

While there are many options to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which type of shoe is best for a specific activity, especially when you are just starting out. The same holds true for running shoes and training shoes.

If you are choosing between them, you need to consider some key differences as well as specific differences. That is why in this article, we are going to see running shoes vs training shoes.

The following describes running shoes and training shoes in a nutshell.

Running shoes provide protection and support forward movement. With their cushioned soles, running shoes provide good shock absorption, making them perfect for long runs.

Training shoes are versatile, supporting a range of movements (and specifically lateral i.e. side-side movement) which makes them perfect for all-in-one gym shoes.

What Are Running Shoes?

What Are Running Shoes

Designed for forwarding momentum, running shoes encourage heel-to-toe striking of the ground while running. You can choose running shoes based on the heel-to-toe drop, ranging from minimalistic to high heel-to-toe drop.

Other things that make running shoes perfect for running are thicker midsoles, more cushioning, and responsiveness on the ground.

Best running shoes promotes the kind of momentum you will need while running.

What Are Training Shoes?

What Are Training Shoes

Designed for a variety of activities, the training shoe has a much lower heel-to-toe drop and a flatter sole. Among the various movements promoted by training shoes are backward, lateral, forward, and stability movements.

Harder midsoles, thicker outsoles, and overall rubber construction promote stability, and relatively lower heel-to-drop supports a range of movements. 

Differences Between Running Shoes And Training Shoes

Differences Between Running Shoes and Training Shoes

Heel-to-Toe drop differences

Heel-to-Toe drop is the amount of difference between the base of the heel, forefoot, and the shoe.

The heel-to-toe difference in running shoes is relatively higher and you will see a lot of options while choosing running shoes based on the heel-to-toe differences.

As mentioned earlier, training shoes have a relatively lower heel-to-toe drop on an average ranging from zero to four millimeters. 

(Tip: While training shoes support most of the gym activities, if you specifically want shoes for weight lifting, then cross-training shoes might be the best option for you. Since cross-training shoes provide slightly higher heel-to-toe drop than normal training shoes, it becomes easier to stay forward while lifting weights.)


Running shoes contains ridges throughout the outsole making them responsive on the ground. Forefoot ridges promote toe drive.

Training shoes have a relatively flatter outsole. It will have traction based on what type of movement they promote.

So if you are looking for stability then you should choose a training shoe whereas if you want more momentum in the forward direction while running then go for running shoes.


The midsole is the material that separates the outsole and the insole of the shoe.

Running shoes contains thicker midsoles with a compressive material which makes them more unstable especially at the ankle joint. That is why you should not use high-midsole running shoes while lifting heavyweights.

Training and cross-training shoes contain a minimalistic and stable midsole.

Want to know more about the soles of running shoes? Read our guide about the best sole material for running shoes.


Running shoes are more lightweight and breathable. While training shoes are a bit more firm for durability purposes to resist abrasion. Also being made of synthetic material like rubber, training shoes are more resistant and long-lasting.

What Are Running Shoes Best For?

What Are Running Shoes Best For

So, supporting the previous discussion, running shoes are obviously best for running purposes. 

If you want to go for a long run or run a marathon then running shoes are best for you.

It also promotes side-to-side movement. So, while performing activities that include side-to-side movement then you should use running shoes.

Due to the shock absorption and cushioning properties, running shoes are more comfortable while performing high momentum activities.

What Are Training Shoes Best For?

What Are Training Shoes Best For

High-intensity gym activities: Owing to a range of activities like cutting, stopping, breaking, jumping, training shoes are much more stable while performing high-intensity gym activities.

Agility training: Since training shoes promote changing the direction quickly, it makes the training shoes the best choice for agility training like plyometric Jumps.

Weight lifting: Training shoes and specifically cross-training shoes are the best choices for weight lifting activities.


Although these are very broad and general considerations while looking at Running shoes vs Training shoes, it gives an overall idea about both types. You will see exceptions and variations while looking at different brands, models, etc. So this concludes the key differences between running shoes and training shoes.


  1. Good analysis. Well-written article. The writer is great. keep posting! 😉

    1. Thank you so much☺☺

  2. This article help me a lot in selecting shoe

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