What is the Difference Between Sneakers, Running and Training Shoes and which one Should I Buy?

When it comes to shoes, the variety available can often leave consumers bewildered. Sneakers, running shoes, training shoes – aren’t they all the same? Well, not really. Each type is crafted with a specific purpose in mind and knowing the differences can make a huge difference in both performance and comfort. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, an athlete, or just someone looking for comfortable footwear, it’s essential to select the right type of shoe for your needs.

What is the Difference Between Sneakers, Running and Training Shoes and which one Should I Buy?

Sneakers are a casual type of footwear suitable for everyday use. Running shoes are specifically designed for high-impact activities like jogging and offer ample cushioning and support. Training shoes are versatile and cater to various workouts. Choose based on your intended activity: sneakers for casual wear, running shoes for jogging, and training shoes for gym workouts.

CategoryPurposeCushioning and SupportDesign and FeaturesIdeal Use
SneakersCasual wear and fashionModerate cushioningVersatile styles, often trendy and stylishEveryday activities and fashion
Running ShoesJogging and runningHigh cushioningLightweight, supportive, with good tractionRunning and jogging
Training ShoesGym workouts and sportsModerate cushioningSupportive and stable during lateral movesStrength training, cross-training

Choose the appropriate shoe based on your primary activity. Sneakers for casual wear and style, running shoes for jogging and running, and training shoes for gym workouts and other sports activities.

Sneakers: The Universal Choice

What are they? Sneakers, also known as casual shoes, are primarily designed for daily wear. They are more about style and casual comfort rather than specific athletic performance.


  • Design & Aesthetics: Sneakers come in various designs, from high-tops to slip-ons, and are often seen as a fashion statement.
  • Material: While they can be made from various materials, they often lack the specialized fabrics that enhance breathability or moisture-wicking seen in athletic shoes.
  • Sole: Sneakers usually have a flat sole which may not be as cushioned or supportive as those in athletic footwear.

When to buy sneakers? If your primary goal is daily wear, casual outings, or making a fashion statement, sneakers are the way to go. They’re versatile and can be paired with numerous outfits, from jeans to casual dresses.

Running Shoes: The Marathoner’s Dream

What are they? Running shoes, as the name suggests, are designed specifically for running – be it long-distance, sprinting, or jogging. They cater to the forward motion and ensure that the runner’s feet are adequately cushioned and supported.


  • Cushioning: One of the primary features of running shoes is their cushioning, which absorbs the impact of each stride. This is especially crucial for long-distance runners.
  • Support: Depending on a runner’s foot arch and pronation type, running shoes can provide varying levels of support to prevent injuries.
  • Breathability: Running can be an intense activity, so these shoes often come with breathable material to keep feet dry and cool.
  • Traction: The soles of running shoes are designed to provide optimal traction, especially on roads and tracks.

When to buy running shoes? If you’re into any form of running, from casual jogs to marathons, you should invest in a good pair of running shoes. They’ll provide the necessary cushioning and support, reducing the risk of injury.

Training Shoes: The Jack of All Trades

What are they? Training shoes are versatile athletic shoes designed for workouts that involve a mix of activities, such as gym workouts, aerobics, or circuit training. They support a range of movements, including cutting, stopping, jumping, and changing direction quickly.


  • Support: Training shoes provide lateral (side-to-side) support, which is crucial for activities like cross-training or HIIT workouts.
  • Versatility: The soles are often flatter than running shoes, making them suitable for a range of activities, from lifting weights to agility drills.
  • Durability: Given the variety of activities they’re used for, training shoes are built to be durable.
  • Traction: They often have a good grip to handle quick changes in direction, especially on gym floors.

When to buy training shoes? If you engage in gym workouts, aerobics, or any fitness routine that isn’t strictly running, training shoes are your best bet. They’re designed to support multi-directional movement and provide the required stability.

Which One Should I Buy?

  • For Daily Wear & Style: Go for sneakers. They’re fashionable, comfortable, and perfect for everyday activities.
  • For Running: If you’re a runner or planning to take up running, invest in running shoes. The cushioning and support will protect your feet.
  • For Gym & Varied Workouts: Training shoes are perfect for those who hit the gym, do aerobics, or engage in varied physical activities other than running.


Can I use training shoes for running? Yes, you can use training shoes for running, but they might not provide the same level of cushioning and support as dedicated running shoes. Running shoes are designed to absorb impact and offer better protection during high-impact activities like jogging.

Can you wear training shoes for walking? Yes, you can wear training shoes for walking. They typically offer sufficient cushioning and support for walking activities.

What kind of shoes are best for daily use? For daily use, sneakers or casual shoes are often the best choice as they are comfortable, versatile, and suitable for various activities.

Are sneakers and running shoes the same? No, sneakers and running shoes are not the same. Sneakers are a broader category of casual footwear, while running shoes are specifically designed for running and provide additional support and cushioning.

What is a training shoe good for? Training shoes are good for various activities like strength training, cross-training, and sports that involve lateral movements. They offer stability and support during dynamic exercises.

What is the difference between a trainer and a sneaker? In some regions, the terms “trainer” and “sneaker” may be used interchangeably to refer to casual athletic footwear. However, “trainer” is more commonly used in Europe, while “sneaker” is more common in the United States.

Is it better to walk in running shoes or training shoes? It is generally better to walk in training shoes since they are designed to handle various movements, including walking and lateral exercises.

Are running shoes good for everyday walking? Running shoes can be used for everyday walking, but they might be heavier and have more cushioning than necessary for casual walking.

Are running shoes good for walking on concrete? Yes, running shoes can provide adequate cushioning and support for walking on concrete, as they are designed to handle impact from running on hard surfaces.

Which type of sneakers is best? The best type of sneakers depends on your intended use. Casual sneakers with adequate cushioning and support are generally recommended for daily use.

How do I choose sneakers for daily use? To choose sneakers for daily use, look for comfortable cushioning, proper fit, and a style that matches your preferences and outfits.

Is Skechers good for your feet? Skechers offers a wide range of shoes, and their comfort level varies between models. Some Skechers shoes provide good support and comfort for feet, but it’s essential to try them on and find the right fit for your feet.

How do you know if sneakers are good for running? Good running sneakers should have ample cushioning, arch support, and shock absorption to minimize the impact on your joints and feet during running.

How can you tell the difference between running shoes and regular shoes? Running shoes typically have more cushioning, support, and specialized features to enhance running performance, while regular shoes may have a simpler design for general use.

Can I run in any sneakers? While you can technically run in any sneakers, it’s better to use running shoes designed specifically for the purpose, as they offer better support and reduce the risk of injuries.

How long should you wear training shoes? The lifespan of training shoes depends on usage, but they usually last around 6 to 12 months with regular exercise.

How long should you keep training shoes? Training shoes should be replaced when they show signs of wear or lack proper support, typically after 6 to 12 months.

What are the four different types of trainers? The four types of trainers can refer to personal trainers who work in fitness, athletic shoes used for training, sports coaches, or software applications for learning new skills.

Why do Americans call trainers sneakers? The term “sneakers” originated in the late 1800s because rubber-soled shoes allowed wearers to move quietly, making them ideal for “sneaking” around. In the United States, “sneakers” became the popular term for athletic shoes.

What kind of shoes are considered trainers? Trainers refer to athletic shoes designed for various training activities, such as cross-training, weightlifting, and other gym workouts.

Are New Balance more comfortable than Nike? Comfort is subjective and varies from person to person. Both New Balance and Nike offer comfortable options, but individual preferences play a significant role in determining which brand is more comfortable for each person.

Can running shoes be worn casually? Yes, many modern running shoes come in stylish designs and can be worn casually as well as for sports activities.

Can you run on the treadmill with training shoes? Yes, you can run on the treadmill with training shoes, but for more intensive running, dedicated running shoes might be a better choice.

Should running shoes be true to size or bigger? Running shoes should generally be true to size, but it’s essential to try them on and consider factors like toe room and sock thickness for the best fit.

How do I know my foot type for running shoes? Visit a specialized running store or consult with a podiatrist to determine your foot type, arch shape, and any specific pronation issues, as these factors can help in selecting the right running shoes.

Which brand is the best for running shoes? The best brand for running shoes can vary based on individual preferences. Some popular brands known for their quality running shoes include Nike, Adidas, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, and Saucony.

How often should you replace running sneakers? Running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles (480 to 800 kilometers) of running or when they show significant signs of wear and lack support.

Can I use running shoes for the gym? Yes, you can use running shoes for the gym, especially for cardio exercises and treadmill workouts. However, for activities involving lateral movements or weightlifting, dedicated training shoes might provide better stability.

Training shoes vs. running shoes for walking? Both training shoes and running shoes can be used for walking, but running shoes are designed for higher impact activities like jogging and may have more cushioning. Training shoes offer stability during lateral movements, making them suitable for various gym exercises and walking.

Nike training shoes? Nike offers a wide range of training shoes designed for different workouts. These shoes often feature supportive soles, comfortable cushioning, and breathable materials to enhance performance during training sessions.

Are training shoes good for walking? Yes, training shoes are good for walking. They typically provide adequate cushioning and support for walking activities, making them suitable for daily walks and gym workouts.

Can training shoes be used for running? Training shoes can be used for running, but they might not provide the same level of cushioning and support as dedicated running shoes. For serious runners, it’s best to use running shoes designed specifically for running.

Asics training shoes? Asics, a popular athletic brand, offers a variety of training shoes that cater to different training needs. Their training shoes often focus on stability and comfort, making them suitable for various gym activities.

Difference between gym shoes and running shoes? The main difference between gym shoes and running shoes lies in their design and purpose. Gym shoes, also known as training shoes, are versatile and designed for a wide range of activities like strength training, cross-training, and cardio workouts. They provide stability during lateral movements. Running shoes, on the other hand, are specifically designed for running and have more cushioning and support to absorb impact during high-impact activities like jogging.

Training shoes for women? Training shoes for women are designed with female-specific foot anatomy and style preferences in mind. They offer the same stability and support as men’s training shoes but come in various colors and designs tailored to women’s tastes.

In Conclusion

Understanding the differences between sneakers, running shoes, and training shoes is crucial in making an informed decision. Choose the one that aligns with your activity to ensure maximum comfort, performance, and reduced risk of injuries. Always remember, the right footwear not only enhances your performance but also protects your feet and ensures longevity in any physical activity.