Difference between Running Shoes and Training Shoes

December 28, 2016 by Editorial Team

Are you a jogger who decided to make time to hit the gym as well? Or are you a frequent gym goer who decided to take up running? Either way, I bet you are faced with this dilemma: are the shoes you have been using so far fit for other kinds of activity? What is the difference between running shoes and training shoes?


A running shoe

Running shoes are sports shoes designed for specific running movements. They absorb the impact the ground exerts on the foot in a forward pounding motion. They have good grip on the asphalt due to rubber soles. This also makes them flexible, which is great for the foot. The midsoles have extra support for various types of strides and they correct any misalignment of the foot. Also, since they are outside sportswear, running shoes have uppers made from light and breathable material. Wearing incorrectly fitting running shoes could result in plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of the foot), shin splints, tendinitis or knee pain.

Training shoes
A training shoe

Training shoes provide lateral support and stability to the foot while training. Their soles are softer and they do not need special markings as they are for indoor use. The upper part of the shoe is often made of leather for protection and durability. While training, the motion is generally side-to-side. Therefore, training shoes keep the ankle steady without restricting the movement of the foot. The midsoles are stiff for support as well. Among the most common injuries caused by improper footwear while training are sprained ankles, tendinitis and knee injuries.


For starters, one is designed for outside activity while the other is for inside activity. This determines the design of their soles. Therefore, running shoes will have rubber soles with markings to provide a good grip on asphalt or dirt. Training shoes do not need much grip so their synthetic material soles do not have many markings.

Outdoor activity requires a good foot temperature control, thus the material of running shoes is light and breathable. Training shoes have leather to protect the leg from gym injuries and makes the shoe more durable.

Running shoes are suited to forward movements because they have cushioned heels. On the other hand, training shoes are for side-to-side movements and have more lateral support. Good running shoes will absorb the shock of the foot constantly pounding on the hard ground. This shock affects the base of the foot, the ankle, the shin and the knee. Training shoes, on the other hand, must protect the ankle first and foremost.

Comparison Chart

Running ShoesTraining Shoes
For outdoor useFor indoor use
Provides support for forward movement by absorbing the shockProvides support for side-to-side movement by holding the ankle
The sole is rubber and has markings for better gripThe sole is not necessarily rubber nor does it need markings
The upper is flexible, light and breathableThe leather upper is flexible but it protects the foot and provides durability
The midsoles are softThe midsoles are stiff
They have cushioned heelsThey have cushioned sides
Protect the foot from plantar fasciitis and the leg from knee and joint pain and shin splintsProtect the foot from a sprained ankle