How to choose the right pair of Training Shoes


So many choices!

When it comes to your BootCamp and other training routines, you might not realise how important it is to make sure you choose the right Trainers. But it is VERY important to wear the right Trainers to get the best from your Workouts and to reduce the risk of injury and muscle strains. 

Whether you’re at BootCamp or hitting the trails with us on our Beat The Hill Challenge, the footwear you choose can make a huge difference. Let’s go over the basics of how to choose the right Trainers so you can make the most of your Workouts.

There are three main types of sports shoes you should know about. Cross Training shoes, Road Running shoes and Trail Running shoes. Of the three types, Cross Trainers are the most suitable for BootCamp and mixed types of training in the Summer and when the ground is reasonably firm and not too muddy. Cross Training Shoes can also be used in the Winter when some of our Workouts are indoors in school sports halls. When the ground is very wet and muddy, the extra grip of a Trail Running Shoe might be more suitable and will certainly come in handy if you intend to join us on some of our Running Club Events , which rarely involve road running (too much pollution!).

How to Choose Cross Training Shoes

Cross Training shoes work well for a variety of sporting activities and are ideally suited for BootCamp. They can also be worn for road running short distances a couple of times a week, but you should consider investing in a pair of Road Running shoes if you plan on road running more frequently.

What to look for in Cross Training Shoes: A good Cross Training shoe is lightweight with a wide outsole to allow for stability and lateral movement, which is generally not the case with Road Running shoes. To increase stability, Cross Training shoes have a very low heel to toe drop, or no drop at all. Cross Training shoes shoes are flexible yet durable, with a good amount of responsive cushion in the midsole. We like the ones here but you should visit a proper running store and try on a number of different brands to see which suits you best.


Reebok Crossfit Nano 8.0 Cross Training Shoe is a lightweight and supportive shoe and it looks great too.



New Balance 1080 V7 Cross Training Shoe is a very competent all rounder with good cushioning, grip and stability.

How to Choose Road Running Shoes

Road Running Shoes are best used for running long distances on pavements and smooth, paved surfaces. They are lightweight, stable and designed to support your foot through its range of running motion on both shorter and longer distance runs.

What to look for in Road Running shoes: In general, look for a cushioning system that is supportive of the forefoot and midfoot, which is where most runners land on their initial foot strike. Your foot’s specific arch and pronation type will affect what features you look for in a Road Running shoe, so a trip to a specialist running shop is well worth the time.

When to use Road Running Shoes: Use running shoes for runs on pavement, hard level surfaces and running tracks. 

Adidas Ultra Boost Road Running Shoe is designed to increase the energy return if each footstrike so you go further for less energy.

New Balance 1080 v7 Road Running Shoe is a firm favourite and not too pricey for such a well made shoe.

How to Choose Trail-Running Shoes

Trail Running shoes are best for running on trails and rugged, non-paved ground. Trail Running shoes work well for running outside in wet, mucky conditions because many of them come with full waterproof membranes. Trail shoes are heavier than Road Running shoes and feature a lugged outsole to grip varied terrain, so they aren’t the best choice for running long distances on paved surfaces or treadmills. Some hikers choose Trail Running shoes over classic hiking boots for lighter, more-mobile footwear.

What to look for in Trail Running shoes: A lugged outsole (think chunky grip sole) is the most important feature to look for in Trail Running shoes. The outsole will be thick with deep indentations for improved traction and stability. The upper is designed with overlays to prevent rocks and other trail debris from entering the shoe. If you tend to run on rocky trails, look for a rubber toe guard for extra protection. Some Trail Running shoes include thin plates between the midsole and outsole to protect your foot from getting bruised by rocks and other trail hazards.

Why Trail Running shoes: People who want to get some nature into their fitness routine will love the Trail Running option. Wear trail-running shoes for all types of trails, dirt paths and backcountry running that require more grip. When shopping for training and running shoes, be sure to try them on wearing the socks you’ll use them with. Get help from a specialist running shop to make sure you get the right shoe and the right fit. See you at BootCamp soon!

Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX – The GTX version has a Goretex waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry on muddy trails. If your trail running involves running through water, opt for the non waterproof version or they’ll fill up and slow you down! These have superb grip but they are light on cushioning.


Hoka Challenger ATR 4 offer superb cushioning and still give a high level of grip.


In Summary:

We think the best training shoes for BootCamp and the other activities we do, like Hill Sprints, Trail Runs, Assault Courses etc. are a good pair of Cross Training Shoes and a pair of Trail Running Shoes for when the ground is wet and slippery. Get some advice from a Specialist Running Shop to make sure you get the right fit – and make sure they do a price match offer so you don’t kick yourself when you see a cheaper pair online! See you at BootCamp soon!




Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.

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