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Picking the right workout shoes is a big challenge. It is not about choosing a stylish pair that you’ll wear casually. Shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly can be extremely dangerous, even if they look pretty. Wearing the right footwear can improve your performance and, most importantly, prevent any injuries. 

However, there’s more that goes into the process of picking the right pair. You have to spend time researching what supports your feet correctly and what will help you reach your fitness goals with minimal pain. 

The shoes that you wear for running are not the same shoes you want to wear for dancing. Trust me, I’ve tried, and it didn’t end well. Once you figure out what your body is most comfortable with, the right pair of shoes can feel like the perfect motivation for a great run or an epic workout. 

We will not only talk about the best workout shoes for women, but we will also help you learn how to choose them for each type of fitness activity. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause aching heels and shin splints. That’s why it’s important to be careful and use this guide to help prevent that from happening. 

Best Workout Shoes for Women: Know Your Feet

I know we’ve all got 10 toes and two heels, but feet come in so many varieties and shapes! The best way to determine the shape of your foot is to do a wet test. With a wet foot, step on the floor and then examine your footprint. 

Running Shoes 101: How to Choose Shoes for Your Next Adventure

If the footprint is flat, that means you have low or no arch. Correspondingly, the wider and straighter your footprint, the lower your arch is. 

As your foot comes in contact with the ground when you run, the arch of your foot collapses to help your body absorb the shock of impact. This action is called pronation. Once you’ve got the results, figure out the type of workout shoes you want to go for.

If Your Foot is Flat (or You Have a Low Arch)

Did you know that 8 percent of U.S. adults are flat-footed? At least according to a 2012 survey by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, this seems to be the case. Flat feet are also partially genetic, so you can thank your parents for this one. 

Flat feet also overpronate, which means your feet roll inward. Unsupportive shoes, weight gain, or physical injuries can make them worse. Therefore, you will want motion-control shoes with maximum support.

When looking for flat feet-friendly sneaks at the store, you should avoid any shoes that have a flat sole. “Look for running shoes that have an arch built into not only the sole of the shoe but the insert in the shoe as well.,” says Dr. Canuso, M.D., a podiatric surgeon and founder of Dr. Canuso Skincare for Feet in Marlton, NJ.

Here are a few workout shoes for women with flat feet:

Mizuno Wave Inspire Running Shoe

Nike Air Zoom Structure

New Balance 860

If You Have a High Arch

If you have a high arch, you tend to underpronate. That means your feet roll outward. A few symptoms of underpronation are pain through the arch and ball of the foot. Other symptoms are lower back pain and knee pain. 

A high arch foot is tight and does not absorb shocks correctly. Running and other physical activities may cause excessive strains on joints and muscles because of the lack of absorption. This is why when looking for the best workout shoes for women with a high arch, you will need shoes that provide maximum shock absorption. The perfect pair will also need to be a cushioned one with a soft midsole.

Here are a few excellent choices:

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 18

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17

If Your Arch is Neutral

If your footprint has a distinct curve along the inside and your shoes wear out uniformly, your arch is neutral. Neutral pronation is the most ideal, putting all parts of your foot to work with less effort.

You will need “stability” shoes with the right mix of cushioning and support for this foot type.

Here are a few options:

Adidas Ultraboost 20

New Balance 840v4

Nike Revolution 5

Best Workout Shoes for Women: Other Tips to Help You Pick the Right Shoes

  1. Always secure your heels.
  2. Give each pair of shoes a flex test.
  3. Shop toward the end of the day. Your feet will expand and swell throughout the day. Therefore, a good pair of shoes should fit your feet when they’re at their largest.
  4. Keep about half an inch between your largest toe and the front of the shoe.
  5. Replace your shoes once they show signs of wear.
  6. Don’t assume that the most expensive pair is the right one for you. Instead, try out different shoes to find the perfect one for your feet.

Best Workout Shoes for Women: If You Have Back Pain

If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the second most common reason for people to visit the doctor.

Don’t give up on working out because of the pain it is causing. Instead, know that picking the right pair of shoes can make a difference.

Orthofeet, ASICS, Brooks, and Saucony have proven to be the brands with some of the best sneakers for back pain. Adidas and Nike have recently joined them with some excellent models.

Best Workout Shoes for Women: Best Dancing and Cardio Workout Shoes for Women

If you’re a dancer, you understand how frustrating it is when your feet are exhausted after a long and exciting dance session. However, it is extremely dangerous and risky to be wearing the wrong pair of shoes while exercising for that long. What will you do if you’re a class instructor and your feet decide to give up on you mid-session? 

Luckily, brands are working hard at designing some fashionable yet supportive shoes for dancing and cardio. Check out some of our top choices!

Nike Flyknit 

Zumba Women’s Fly Fusion 

Nike Free Run 5.0

Best Workout Shoes for Women: For Weightlifting

Finding weightlifting workout shoes for women wasn’t that easy before manufacturers decided to step it up. Sure, men’s weightlifting shoes have been around forever, but the ladies were not that lucky. As women usually weigh less than men, the midsole of the shoes will vary in width. Heel support is crucial for weightlifters, so pick your pair carefully. 

Here are the best weightlifting shoes on the market:

Rebook Legacy Lifter

Adidas Powerlift 4

Reebok Crossfit Lifter

Nike Romaleos 3 XD


Finding the right workout shoes for women is a challenge. You may need to do some additional research if you want to prevent injuries or reduce pain. A good pair of shoes should make you feel comfortable and support your feet correctly. Unlike casual sneakers, workout shoes should not be bought based on style or appearance. These shoes will be your partner throughout your intense workout or running sessions.

Nowadays, most brands are aware that consumers have different types of feet and are working hard to design the most suitable and high-performing workout shoes for them. So don’t just rush into buying a pair because it worked for your friend or neighbor. Instead, spend time learning how to choose the right one for your feet. When your body feels comfortable and taken care of, you will more likely enjoy your workout and be able to stay fit!

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