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Women's Active Shoes
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Whether you're running a race or climbing a mountain, finding the right women's athletic shoes makes all the difference in your comfort and performance. Here we're covering the difference between popular models like jogging shoes, walking shoes and crosstraining shoes to find the best fit for your feet.
Road Running Shoes
If you're running roads or tracks, you'll want a trusty pair of road running shoes. The style you need depends on your running style—pronation versus supination—and your planned mileage. Factor in your preferred underfoot feel to decide whether you'd like a minimalist model or cushioned shoes.
Don't choose a running shoe that requires break-in time. Running shoes should fit right out of the box without leaving hot spots on your feet. Some top women's road running shoe brands include Brooks, Adidas, Nike, and On.
Trail Running Shoes
Ready to run beyond the pavement? Get a pair of trail running shoes that provide traction and protection on technical terrain. Before purchasing, consider your foot type (think wide or narrow and neutral or stable) and what type of terrain you're running. Trails that cross water require more protection, durability, and waterproofness than smooth, dry dirt trails.
What are trail running shoes?
Built with sturdy lugs for gripping the ground, underfoot protection for roots and rocks, and heavier soles, trail running shoes take on whatever tough terrain your run throws at you.
Hiking Shoes & Boots
No matter what trail you're hiking, you'll benefit from wearing hiking boots or hiking shoes that protect your feet and ankles. Pick a pair that locks in your heel but allows your toes to move in the spacious toe box. Choose low-cut hiking shoes for easy to moderate trails where you aren't carrying a large pack. High-cut hiking boots protect your ankles on steep terrain, keep water out, and provide more support when carrying large backpacks.
What are the best hiking shoes?
There's no perfect hiking shoe brand for every foot. Try on a wide variety to ensure you find a pair that fits and flexes how you like. We love Vasque, Altra, Hoka One One, Merrell, La Sportiva, and Danner for both hiking shoes and hiking boots for women.
Think you should wear your running shoes walking? Not so fast. Walking shoes differ from running shoes because walkers move differently. Walkers strike with their heel first and roll through each step. By contrast, runners strike with their midsole and need a flared heel to soften the landing.
What are the best walking shoes for women?
Emphasize function over fashion when choosing walking shoes. Comfort is key when you're putting in miles, not a fancy brand name or style. Look for a flexible, flat shoe with a minimal heel drop. Even if it's labeled as a running shoe, it may work well if it fits this bill.
Weightlifting shoes can help protect you from injury and boost the amount you can lift. Choose a shoe with a raised heel that allows you to squat deeply and activate your muscles to send the bar or weights upward. Most weightlifting shoes are minimally cushioned but very stable to protect your joints and ankles.
Cross Training Shoes
Cross training shoes have a flatter, more flexible sole than running shoes and help support your feet and reduce injury during aerobics, kickboxing, cycling, boot camp classes, or sports.
What are cross-training shoes?
Cross training shoes provide stability for almost any fitness activity besides running. They support multi-directional movement and offer flexibility for jumps and sprints.
Whether you're a volleyball player or obsessed with tennis, the right shoes can make a big difference in preventing injury and protecting your feet. How your foot moves for the sport determines what kind of support you need.
Tennis shoes are heavier than running shoes and have more lateral support for running across the court, making it easy to pivot for returning a serve. Basketball shoes support your foot during forward motion and act as shock absorbers to protect your ankles. Volleyball shoes provide traction on slick floors and lateral stability for side-to-side motion.