Nike Training Shoes vs Running Shoes: What Are the Basic Differences?

Nike Training Shoes vs Running Shoes

Going running is excellent for your health, but you might suffer from painful injuries if you’re not wearing the right gear.

It all starts with wearing the right shoes that support your body’s weight and protect your muscles and ligaments from injury.

Nike is one of the most well-known brands in the footwear market, and it offers several training shoes that work for several workout plans.

In addition, it also offers special running shoes that are specifically designed for this activity.

In our Nike training shoes vs running shoes comparison, we’ll highlight the differences between the two categories. Keep reading to learn more about picking the right shoes for your next workout session.

Nike Training Shoes vs Running Shoes

Choosing the right shoes will help your feet feel their best and protect you from painful injuries.

Unfortunately, these injuries can prevent you from practicing your favorite athletic activity, and your overall performance can be significantly reduced.

With too many options on the market, choosing between training and running shoes can be a little bit challenging. So, first, you need to know the differences between both types.

What are Training Shoes?

Training or cross-training shoes are designed to support different lateral, forward, and backward movements that you practice during cross-training.

They should allow you to change direction quickly while still providing the needed support.

These shoes should be designed to be highly flexible and are typically flatter, with a low heel-to-toe drop to distribute the energy and strain on your foot.

This design helps you avoid injury while you work out. 

What are Running Shoes?

Running Shoes are specifically designed to absorb the shock when your feet hit the ground. In addition, they support your arch and facilitate forward movement, so you can safely run.

These shoes should be cushioned but provide more support to protect your feet from stress injuries. They should also be lightweight to allow you to increase your speed as you run.

When Should You Wear Nike Training or Running Shoes?

While both types of athletic shoes are designed to be worn while working out, there are specific situations where you should stick to your training shoes or running shoes.

Training Shoes

Training shoes are highly flexible and versatile, so you can wear them while doing various activities.

Here are some examples of when wearing your Nike training shoes will yield the best results.

  • CrossFit training sessions
  • Outdoor training sessions. Because of their flexibility, these shoes will allow you to train on different terrains
  • HIIT activities where you need to alter your pace to reap the exercise’s benefits
  • All types of agility training where you need to change direction fast
  • Weight lifting, strength training, and plyometrics
  • Tennis, squash, basketball, and volleyball
  • Aerobics, dance, and Zumba classes
  • Some types of yoga classes

Running Shoes

Unlike training shoes, running shoes are very specifically designed for running. However, there are different types of running shoes that you can pick from.

Lightweight running shoes will work for you if you plan to run for short or long distances, as long as you focus on increasing your speed.

Trail running shoes are specifically designed to protect your feet while running on challenging terrains.

You can even use your training shoes if you’re running for a short distance on an easy trail. They’ll also work for you if you are running on the treadmill.

What Should You Look For In Training Shoes?

Nike SUPERREP GO Training Shoe Mens CJ0773-410 (DEEP Royal Blue/W), Size 13

Choosing the right pair of shoes is a proven way to maximize the benefits of your workout, protect you from injury, and allow you to focus on improving your performance.

This is why there are some factors that you need to consider while choosing your next training shoes.


The shoes should be comfortable to wear without restricting your toes. But, at the same time, they shouldn’t be too wide, or your heel will slip, and you might fall.

Sneakers tend to get wider with time, so consider a pair that feels OK but not too comfortable, or it might get too wide after the break-in period.

The upper should be comfortable, and the midsole should be flexible enough to allow you to change direction easily and fast.


Nike Free Metcon 3 Mens Training Shoes Cj0861-010 Size 3.5 Black/White

The right kind of support will help you master several athletic movements. Your shoes should offer the right type of heel and arch support with enough cushioning to help you while working out.

A low heel-toe drop is essential for easy pivoting, which is something you need to master during cross-training.

In general, training shoes should be flexible enough, so you can move your feet in different directions. For this purpose, you can choose the Nike SuperRep Go or Nike Free Metcon 3.


The material should be thick enough to provide protection but should also be flexible to support all kinds of movements.

Training shoes shouldn’t be too stiff, or they’ll prevent you from working out the way you want to. The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep are great examples of supportive yet flexible shoes.


Look for a pair that offers the right amount of grip. Lateral movements are common in cross-training, so you need to keep your feet on the ground to prevent injury.

Your training shoes should also have thick outsoles to support your feet while training outside.

What Should You Look For In Running Shoes?

Nike Air Zoom Superrep 2 Womens HIIT Class Training Shoe Cu5925-001 Size 10.5

The primary purpose of your running shoes is to help you run faster and better without any injury risk to your joints, muscles, or ligaments.

Here are some factors to think about before choosing your next pair of running shoes.


Your running shoes should fit right with your running socks. In addition, you need to make sure that they have moisture-wicking and odor-resisting properties, so your feet can feel fresh at the end of the day with no risk of skin infections.

Moreover, despite the shoes’ rather thick construction, the upper shouldn’t rub against your skin as it might cause blisters with continuous movement.


Midsole cushioning is crucial for every runner because it supports the arch, absorbs impact, and limits stress.

Choosing a pair of shoes with responsive cushioning will help you run longer distances while reducing the strain on your joints.

The Nike Zoom cushioning system is specifically designed for this purpose, and you can find it in models like Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2.


Having lightweight running shoes is a big plus.

These shoes are going to help you go faster without sacrificing the protection and cushioning to keep your feet in perfect shape.

Heel Support

Unlike training shoes that tend to be flatter, running shoes should have a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm or more as this will increase the support in the heel area.

When you run, you put too much stress on the heels as you hit the ground. This is why you need to have more protection to prevent stress fractures.

However, some people strike more with their forefoot or midfoot. In this case, you should find a suitable pair of running shoes that provides the needed cushioning in this area.

What Are the Benefits of Nike Training vs Running Shoes?

Nike ZOOMX VAPORFLY Next% 2 White DM9056 100 Women Size 8


Nike training and running shoes are both designed to help improve your athletic performance. Yet, each type delivers specific benefits according to its construction technology.

Training Shoes

  • Versatile designs for more activities
  • Support multidirectional movements
  • Low heel to toe drop, so the design works for people with knee problems

Running Shoes

  • Lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking material for more comfort
  • Support and facilitate forward movement
  • Provide midsole cushioning to absorb shocks and impact

What Happens When You Wear the Wrong Shoes?

A lot of people don’t realize that shopping for the right athletic shoes is a must. Here is what happens when you wear the wrong shoes for your next workout session.


If the shoes don’t fit right, you can deal with various types of discomfort, from blisters and skin infections to all types of aches in your toes and heels.

Impaired Performance

Despite putting in all the needed effort, you’ll notice that you’re still underperforming when you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

As a result, you won’t be able to master your cross-training movements, and you won’t be able to reach the desired speed while running.

Pain and Injuries

The wrong shoes will push you to work harder to achieve your workout goals, which puts unnecessary stress on your feet.

You’ll be subject to more injuries because of the strain or because you slipped.

Final Thoughts On Nike Training Shoes vs Running Shoes

Not all athletic shoes are alike, and it’s your job to choose the right pair of shoes based on your desired workout.

Nike training shoes are incredibly versatile and can be worn during several activities, including short-distance running.

However, if you’re serious about running, you should go for special Nike running shoes with enough cushioning and the right heel-toe drop to support your arch.