Saucony understands that a good day for you is a day that includes a run. Saucony’s goal is to outfit you in the shoes that help you run and train your best. While it might seem reasonable to wear the same pair of shoes for every workout, whether that means a six-mile base run or a CrossFit class, you might benefit from using different types of shoes for different exercises.
Athletic shoes fall into two categories: training shoes and running shoes. You might be thinking, “Wait. Don’t I train in my running shoes and run in my training shoes?” While these terms are often used interchangeably among runners, they have subtle differences that are important to keep in mind when choosing the right footwear for your training.
Training shoes vs. running shoes
What are training shoes? Generally, these are the shoes that work well for cross-training exercises that involve multi-directional movements, such as plyometrics, Pilates, CrossFit, HIIT, and weightlifting.
Training shoes are:
- Low to the ground
- Firm and responsive
Training shoes often feature less cushioning than running shoes which enables greater responsiveness when you’re doing high-intensity exercises like sprints or box jumps. The flatter sole in training shoes also provides stability for side-to-side movements, such as lateral lunges and sideways skips which can be harder to do in a bulkier shoe.
Running shoes, on the other hand, are designed for running, with more structural support to keep you comfortable while you log miles. Compared to training shoes, running shoes have a higher stack height and offset as well as a thicker midsole. The increased offset keeps your heel higher than the ball of your foot; this reduces strain on the lower-leg muscles and tendons.
Running shoes are:
- Higher from the ground
- Cushioned for maximum comfort
Can training shoes be used for running?
While training shoes differ from running shoes in certain aspects, training shoes can be used for running, and running shoes can be used for cross-training. Saucony shoes are designed for running—so while they may vary in terms of offset, thickness, and cushioning, every pair of Saucony shoes can carry you through miles.
Saucony training shoes
For runners who land on their mid- or forefoot and those who have knee or hip issues, training shoes with lower offsets can be ideal for logging miles, since higher offsets tend to shift strain toward the knees and hips. Also, runners who are racing or doing speedwork might prefer to wear lighter and more responsive shoes to get an extra boost down the backstretch.
One shoe that works as well in the gym as on the road is the men’s/women’s Kinvara. With a 4mm heel-to-toe offset, the Kinvara is lightweight and responsive enough for sprints and HIIT circuits, but also durable enough to wear during a marathon.
If you want a shoe with a similar offset and weight, but with more cushioning, the men’s/women’s Freedom is a great alternative to the Kinvara. For runners who are seeking more stability during both workout classes and base runs, we suggest the men’s/women’s Tempus. It has many of the same elements as the Freedom but with a more supportive underfoot.
Saucony running shoes
While the shoes mentioned above work for all types of training and racing, other runners might prefer a more supportive and durable shoe for logging miles. Heel-strikers and athletes with a history of lower-leg injuries (such as tight calves or Achilles issues) would likely benefit from shoes with higher offsets and thicker midsoles to help reduce the chance of injury.
For a durable running shoe that provides premium comfort and support, try the Triumph. It weighs between 8 and 10 ounces, has a 10mm offset, and features lightweight, plush cushioning from heel to toe. If you’re looking for a firmer shoe, pick the Ride. It has an 8mm offset and weighs slightly less than the Triumph 20.
Find your perfect Saucony pair
Remember, every runner has individual needs and preferences, and you might need to try out a few different shoes before you find the ones that work for you. Having trouble picking a pair? The Saucony Shoe Finder is an online tool that will help you narrow down your options. You can also pop into your local running shoe store to have an expert fit you with shoes.
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