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Proper Athletic Sneakers


I'll be hitting the gym more in 2016, but I'm due for a sneaker upgrade. What would you recommend?

- Brad, Nashville, TN

Good plan sir. Preparation is the key to success and what you wear on your feet in the gym will definitely impact your performance. Of course, not all gym shoes are created equal. Depending on your workout routine, here are solid options to make you faster, stronger and more coordinated.

APL, $140

APL's first training shoe boasts an impressive feature list but we particularly appreciate the numerous lacing options for a custom fit, an external heel counter for support and the brand's long-lasting proprietary Propelium outsole.

Inov-8, $130

Specifically designed for cross-training and conditioning workouts, Inov-8's F-Lite 235 has a thin midsole to help ground you during lifts and a wider toe box that allows toes to splay naturally. A grippy sole comes in handy for lunges and sled pushes.

Nike, $120

Nike's MetCon 1 has a dual-density midsole that delivers equal amounts of stability for squats and cushioning for extra bounce in your jumps. The textured rubber sides are great for rope climbing too.

361 USA, $95

A workout workhorse, this lightweight sneaker is ideal for guys who split their time between cardio machines and weight lifting. It's got the heel-toe support and shock-absorbing sole of a running shoe and the pliability of a cross-trainer thanks to forefoot flex grooves.

Wear the Right Shoe for the Workout

Exercisers who used multiple pairs of sneakers for various workouts were 39% less likely to be sidelined by an injury than those who constantly wore just one.

(Source: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports)