So, to be completely honest with you, until about a year and half ago, I bought workout shoes solely for their look and/or price. Specifically, if I could get a pair of mostly cute shoes at an amazing, rock-bottom price, I would pretty make them work.
It wasn’t until I started doing specific run training and specific weight training that I realized that shoes matter. I started getting shin splints, having ankle issues, and even a flare-up on my right Achilles from wearing shoes that were not designed to be run longish distances in. I was having heel issues and improper technique when lifting in my running shoes.
I was a mess.
Then, I got myself together.
Now, I basically carry about 4-5 pairs of shoes around with me at any given time, just to be prepared for whatever workout/activities I may be doing throughout the day:
I’ve mentioned many times on The Funky Fork that I LOVE taking Fit Camp at the gym where I coach. It’s basically a boot camp/CrossFit hybrid class that focuses on both strength and endurance training.
Some days are more strength and lifting focused than others. Because I’m a coach at the gym, I’m able to take a peek at the workouts in advance and plan my shoe game accordingly. If we’re doing lots of barbell work, lots of squat work or climbing the ropes, especially, I plan to wear my Reebok Nanos.
My favorite design feature on Nanos is the extra tough strip of protection across the middle of the bottom of the shoe which prevents rope burn. I have actually ruined 2 pairs of shoes that did not have rope-burn protection. This is an awesome feature, y’all!
Back when I worked for lululemon athletica, I participated in a contest among the employees to see who could run the most local 5k’s in the fall season. I ended up winning the contest and being gifted with a custom-fit pair of running shoes. I went to a local running store where they watched me run on the treadmill, measured where and by how much I pronated in my step, the length and width of my foot, etc. It was very cool. To this day, I still use my Saucony‘s from that visit. No matter what other shoes I try, nothing beats running in these specific shoes that were customized to my foot.
I’ve never been able to run in Nikes. They are just not that comfortable for running to me. They’re really cute and great for running errands in, but I’m not about to run 3 miles in them.
A close runner-up in my running shoe favorites is the Reebok’s ZQuick shoe. They’re generally the ones I carry around with me for running because they’re super light-weight and just the right amount of support without feeling like I’m running in moon boots. (Plus, I’m trying to extend the life of my Saucony’s for as long as possible!)
A definite perk of working as a fitness coach is getting to wear comfy gym shoes all day. I’m in love with my Reebok Skyscapes for this very reason. They are extremely lightweight, flexible and casual. They’re perfect for days when I have to go straight from the gym to Target and lunch with a client. I don’t look like I just got off the treadmill, yet I’m still completely comfortable!
Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a full-blown, balls-to-the-wall boot camp class, yet I want to breathe a little hard and get my sweat on. Classes and workouts of this type focus heavily on lunges, agility work and plyometric movements (most involve jumping and/or lateral movements). When I jump a lot, I noticed that I’m on the balls of my feet constantly and tend to get sore knees. For this reason, shock absorption is really important to me. I actually did quite a bit of research before finding these shoes and I love my Reebok Cardio Ultra’s.
I get tons of compliments on these shoes and love how much support I get on the ball of my foot (the area I tend to get the most pain from in any workout).
The very best part about these specific shoes is that you can get a free pair!! The very nice people at Reebok have offered to give away a free pair of Reebok Cardio Ultras to a Funky Fork reader!!
All you have to do is follow The Funky Fork on Facebook AND Instagram and leave a comment on this blog post with the following answers:
What color Reebok Cardio Ultra will you pick if you win? (Check out all the colors HERE!)
What is your Instagram name?
A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday! Good luck!
Disclaimer: Through an affiliate relationship with Reebok, I received a free pair of Reebok Cardio Ultras!