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Why Running Shoes Should Only Be Worn For Running

Sneakers, sneaks, tennis shoes, running shoes—what you call the shoes you use for running doesn’t matter as much as what those shoes were developed to do.

Running shoes are made for running. They are developed specifically with forward motion in mind.

Tennis shoes are designed for people who play tennis. In tennis you move from side to side and forward to back.

You can run in tennis shoes and you can play tennis in running shoes if you desire. However if you want your shoes to last longer and not risk an injury like rolling your ankle while playing tennis in running shoes, then stick to what the shoes were developed for.

When I lift in my basement gym or do Jillian Michaels DVD’s, I wear shoes that are specifically designed for these types of workouts. Shoes that were developed with the various motions in mind—forward and backward, side to side, and up and down.

Related: Our Favorite Running Shoes For Winter 2016

Here are three of the main ways having a specific shoes for each sport helps:

  1. Injury Prevention. You wouldn’t go for a run in Jordans, so why would you play basketball in running shoes? Athletic shoes are developed with injury prevention in mind for the specific sport you are using them for. Running shoes are made for running, not for anything else.
  2. Habit Formation.When I put my running shoes on, my mind knows that there is a 100 percent chance that we are going for a run. When I put on my gym shoes in the morning when I wake up, I know I have no choice but to squeeze in a workout before my kids wake up.
  3. Long Term Money. Cross training shoes typically cost less than running shoes. A mile is a mile on your running shoes, whether that is a mile spent walking around Target or the gym or a mile running on a trail. Your shoes typically last 300 to 500 miles. Save them for when you run so you can use the full mileage while running. Don’t think walking around adds up? If you wear an activity tracker and attempt to get 10,000 steps a day, that is roughly 5 miles. Wear your running shoes three days per week while non-running activities and that is an extra 15 miles per week. If you use your $120 running shoes for running and $80 shoes for the gym, you are saving money by not having to purchase another pair of shoes sooner than you needed to.
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Dorothy Beal is the creator of the #irunthisbody and #IHaveARunnersBody MOVEments and the owner of, a website that sells fun running tees and jewelry! She is a mother of three who started running in college as a way to lose weight literally and figuratively and got hooked in the process. In 2003 she completed her first marathon and has run 31 of them since. Sharing her passion for running is one of the things she most enjoys behind being a mom. You can find her writing about life as a runner on her personal blog at and follow her on Instagram, where she shares her life in photos @mileposts.