Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Workout Wednesday Poll: Should You Have Different Shoes for Different Types of Workouts?

Happy Workout Wednesday, fitties! :)
Today's WW post isn't a workout, but it's a common question in the fitness world these days: should you have multiple pairs of workout shoes if you do multiple types of exercise? I get asked this question so often...but there isn't one set answer. Just like one brand of running shoe isn't perfect for every runner, the same answer to this question may not be a good "fit" for everyone. So how can you know what YOUR answer is? Well, first we need to look at what types of exercise you do.
For example, let's say you're primarily a runner, and also lift weights a couple times per you need different shoes? Most likely not. Now switching gears, let's say you're a cardio queen (or king) that alternates between the elliptical, stair stepper, and treadmill, who occasionally throws in a cross-fit class. The verdict for you? Get a second pair. How can you know, though? What is your situation is different from either of these? No's the bottom line and my rule of thumb when it comes to workout shoes: if both/all of your exercise routines are upright mileage based (think running, walking, hiking, even elliptical), definitely have 2 pairs. However, if your workouts are 1 type of primary cardio (i.e. running) and 1 type primary strength training, then you don't necessarily need a second pair (unless you're simply a workout shoe junkie and can't seem to have enough me...hey--there are worse addictions!). In addition to having different shoes for different workouts, many running coaches even advise having two pairs of shoes that you alternate between on a regular basis--regardless of cross-training or alternate workouts, for the sole reason that each pair will last longer. You literally buy two pairs of the exact same shoe at the exact same time, and alternate between the two pairs (say, weekly). The more you switch up your shoes during your workout week, the more life you'll end up getting out of all of them. And, as mentioned above, this goes for more than just running.
I'll use myself as an example: I run 5 days per week and cross-train on the elliptical once per week, in addition to lifting 3 times per week and HIIT 3 times per week. I have one pair of running shoes I wear for my runs and my lifting sessions, and one pair I wear for my XT and HIIT sessions. I've been doing this for a few years now, and have definitely noticed better life span in my shoes because of it.
Now, if you're reading this and going, "Hold up now, Anna. ONE pair of running shoes is expensive will I buy TWO pairs all the time?!" My sentiments the beginning. Remember how I said you can, in some cases, get DOUBLE THE LIFE out of your shoes when you alternate between two or more pairs on a regular basis?! Well, there's your solution: you're not spending any more money than you normally would be...LESS, even! Yes, it's more money up front, but you'll end up saving money in the long run.
Now what kind of shoes do you need? Well, if you're a hard-core runner (or really a runner at all), you should without a doubt get fitted at least once for a good, solid pair of true running shoes. After I recovered from my stress fracture in 2012, I went to my local running store and got fitted for a really good pair of shoes, per my Physical Therapist's suggestion...and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. They matched me with my beloved Mizuno Wave Inspire running shoes, and I fell in love instantly! I'm now on my 6th pair of these babies...they're the only shoe I'll run in!

My beloved Mizuno Wave Inspire running the color I'm currently running in! 

As far as the cross training shoes go, you've got two options. Option 1: when you hit your mileage limit on a pair of your running shoes, simply switch them to your XT shoes. Option 2: buy a much cheaper pair of general workout/athletic shoes of your choice from a non-specialty (and thus, non-EXPENSIVE...think $70 or so) store for your alternate workouts. This one is not as thrifty as option 1, obviously, but your XT shoes can double as "fashionable athletic shoes" that you can wear around town (think grocery shopping!).
I've done both of these options and have had good success with both.
My current pair of "XT/alternate workout shoes": simply a pair of cute New Balances I got from a department store!

In summary, it really doesn't matter which route you go...just make sure you're rotating your shoes in some way--feel free to come up with your own method and way of doing it...see what works for you! Just make sure you are, truly and diligently rotating your shoes. I cannot stress this enough. After one round of alternating your shoes, you will be amazed--6 months after you purchase the shoes, when you would normally have to fork out another $120-$150 bucks for another pair, your shoes will just barely be worn...and you'll be a believer for life!

Think you wanna try my method? Let me know! Comment on the post, shoot me an email (my email can be found on my page, "Link up with TFVG!"), or send me a message on my Facebook page ( I'd love to connect and keep up with you on your new shoe experiment! 

Until next time, fitties. Have a wonderful Wednesday...and stay healthy! :)

"The Fit Vegan Ginger" 


  1. Helpful info! Thank you:)

  2. Considering most of my main workouts are barefoot (martial arts), and I'm old and fat and just getting back to it the past few months, I don't need more then one pair.

    I do karate (goju ryu) twice a week, practice some every day (time varies from just stretching to an hour or so) and walk my dog ~2 miles 2-3 times a week, one pair is fine. When I get into better shape and add kickboxing aerobics, I'll get another pair.

    So I am in the have 2 camp, but not because of just lifespan. Back in my gym rat days (and working as a waitress), I actually felt less fatigued in my feet and legs by changing shoes.

    But even in fashion/day wear, I change my shoes, and don't wear the same pair every day.

    And I am big on because shoes. :)

    1. Hi! That's awesome that you're into MA! I've always wanted to try it.
      And that's a good plan. Best wishes to you!