Agility drills. Linear exercises. Lateral movements. Specialized motions need specialized shoes. One of the most common mistakes people seeking to get in shape make is not quite understanding the importance of proper footwear. At New Balance, we know that you have questions—and we have answers.

Generally, running and jogging shoes are built for forward motion—that is, they’re good for heel strike to toe-off. They have an emphasis on thicker heels and midsoles with more flexiblility in the toe area, and have thicker overall cushioning that allows for shock absorption during impact. This helps transfer energy from legs to feet and into the ground as runners move along. The soles of running shoes are curved so that the front tip of the shoe is arched upward and has distinct treads—both of which also aid in the forward running motion.

Training exercises take advantage of repeated movements to condition specific parts of the body. This could mean anything from lateral moves in an aerobics class to the high impact of kickboxing to the repeated motion of weight lifting. Training shoes are designed with this variety of uses in mind. They feature characteristics like flexibility in the forefront of the shoe to allow for more agility and added support on the sides to aid in lateral movement, with added cushioning placed in key areas of the shoe for shock absorbtion. This combination of support, flexibility and cushioning allow athletes to easily move from weight lifting exercises like squats along to more flexible movements like lunges, while accommodating linear movements for warm-up such as a brief walk or light jog. The soles of training shoes usually have a very supportive heel and slight treads since they’re not intended for running on the road.

For over a hundred years, New Balance has been renowned for our running shoes—assisting the most casual of runners to the elite members of Team New Balance in their pursuit of excellence. But if you’re after a shoe to aid your weight training regimen or better support your aerobics endeavors, try on a pair from our training collection. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

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