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After multiple uFitters asking for the best workout trainers to wear in the sessions I thought I’d write a blog to highlight the best and worst trainers you can wear, highlighting the good and bad of both and providing options for the different styles of workouts we do.

Before we start, I have to admit I am a HUGE Nike fan. Huge. I just want to get that in before we go any further and if you know me, all I wear is Nike so below you’ll see a Nike enthused post. This isn’t to say the other brands aren’t great – I just think Nike has more options when it comes to the trainers they have, and spending around £100 will go a long way.

I’ll list them by Workout type.

Density

Our strength workouts need a flatter, wider workout trainer to give more support to our feet with the lifts we do. What we’re not looking for is a shoe with a huge heel, that’s narrow (like running shoes) because we need as much support as we can when deadlifting or squatting, etc. Ideally, when strength training we want as much force being applied into the floor as we can. With a soft sole shoe, we lose some of that force as the sole absorbs some of it – meaning we then lose power and strength in the lift.

A shoe with a flatter, harder sole means we don’t lose force that would otherwise be absorbed in the heel with say, Air Max’s. So avoid the typical running shoes with big heels, that are soft and very flexible.

Note: For these trainers listed below, it’s important to work on ankle mobility as the shoes are generally flatter and stiffer. Meaning if we don’t have much mobility in our ankles it might take some getting used to when squatting. You can watch this video here if you need to work on your mobility to improve your squat pattern.

Nike Metcon 7s

I am all over the designs 😍

Good

  • Sturdy, Built Well
  • Supportive sole that is great for ground-based movements (like squats, deadlifts, military presses)
  • Strength workouts and short bursts of cardio
  • Lace system keeps you feeling tight and secure
  • Break-in well = less blisters

The Not So Good

  • Laces aren’t that durable
  • Not a running shoe
  • Slightly more expensive than your average pair of trainers

I’ve been using these shoes since around 2018 and I haven’t looked back. So far, I have around 10-12 of them and for me, they’ve really helped keep me feeling secure and sturdy in workouts. The reason I say this is because I’ve had major surgery on my right ankle. Synthetic ligaments, screws, etc. And they work wonders.

You can grab them here.


UA TriBase Reign 3 Training Shoe

Women’s TriBase 3 in Pink

Good

  • Low Stable Base
  • Great for wide feet
  • Variety of exercises like jump rope, box jumps and then the more staple strength exercises

The Not So Good

  • Again not an all round running shoe
  • If they get dirty, they’re really hard to clean
  • They’re UA haha and not Nike

You can buy them here.

Nobull

Pretty simple design that looks good in and out of the gym

Good

  • Perfect for strength and short bursts of cardio
  • Stylish for the gym and when you’re out and about
  • Wide stable sole that’s flat and stiff which gives great support.
  • Easier to clean than other brands

The Not So Good

  • Not the best lifting shoe due to it being more all-round
  • Pricey considering they’re pretty simple in design

You can buy them here.

This isn’t to say you can’t wear other trainers, you can of course (well, as long as they’re Nike). But, they won’t be as stable or as optimal as these above – especially if you wear soft trainers with too much give and a bouncy sole.

Over time I’ve found this often leads to issues in the knees and ankles as our weight begins to distribute across places that we don’t ideally want.

Intervals

Intervals on the other hand don’t require as steady a workout trainer. You’ll be running, jumping, and more plyometric work which may require a lighter shoe with a slightly softer sole for the impact.

The above can work in short bursts, for instance the Metcons are designed for short sprints but over a longer duration, they may not be great.

If we’re doing a lot of shuttle runs, or lateral shuffles, the trainers above might be a little too stiff for the movement required.

We’ve seen a few members come in with Air Zooms, or Air Max’s. You know, the trainers with the bubble in? They’re not great for either activity so they’re best left to the streets.

Nike Legend

Nike Legend Essentials are pretty compatable across different classes

Good

  • Fairly cheap pair of trainers that are versatile
  • Fairly flat and stable shoe that’s also light
  • Stylish pair of trainers in different colours

The Not So Good

  • Fairly lightweight can mean it takes a while getting used to
  • Compared to the others they feel a little cheaply made

You can buy them here.

Under Armour Project Rock 4

Good

  • Created by The Rock/Dwayne Johnson and who doesn’t love him?
  • Super stylish and can be worn anywhere
  • Lightweight mesh means you don’t overheat during intense workouts
  • Flexible mesh and sole makes it good for interval sessions across different movements

The Not So Good

  • They come up small so best to order a size above
  • Pretty pricey at £130

You can buy them here.

Overall, you need pretty well balanced workout trainers that provide support and comfort across the different styles of workouts we do. For sure you’ll get away with your typical running shoe, but when it comes to maximising performance you’ll notice they just won’t step up enough to enhance your performance.

Opting for one of the workout trainers above will give you the support and sturdyness you need to lift, sprint and improve your performance due to the way they’re designed. You’ll notice they may take a while getting used to but, in time, you’ll find your squats, deadlifts and other movements just that little easier.

Any questions, give us a shout here.

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