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What Are Cross Trainer Shoes For?

By Andrea Cespedes

Cross trainer shoes work well if you enjoy multiple sports and gym activities weekly. They combine several features of sport-specific shoes in one. So you can run on Monday, take a kickboxing class on Tuesday, strength train on Thursday and play a quick game of basketball on Friday without having to purchase a different shoe for each activity. The optimal cross trainers support both forward motion, for running and walking, and lateral motion, needed in aerobics classes or on the court.

Sport Specific Versus Cross Trainers

The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends that if you participate in a particular sport three or more times per week, you are best off purchasing a shoe specific to that sport. For example, if you are training for a half-marathon and have three to five runs per week, wear a running shoe during training because it supports the heel-to-toe motion.

Special Considerations

Those prone to biomechanical problems in the feet, ankles, knees and hips should be most selective when choosing a cross trainer. Lots of cushioning may be a detriment if your feet turn in excessively, while it's of value if you suffer from chronic shin splints. Visit a reputable store and do your research ahead of time when shopping for cross trainers. Don't be afraid to try them on and do a few laps around the store or jump up and down to see how they feel, either.

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