If we could pick our favorite exercise, shopping for activewear would be a top contender. Who doesn’t love to browse through the lululemons and Outdoor Voices of the world, running our fingers over the soft, cozy leggings and dreaming about all the classes we’d take in the brightly colored tanks?
But as fun as shopping for athletic wear is, there’s more to it than trying to figure out if we can dedicate yet another drawer to our gym clothes. Sure, they need to fit well and be comfortable, but did you know deciding what to wear can either benefit or hurt your performance in class? That makes researching and carefully choosing your workout wear even more important. And that includes—you guessed it—footwear.
You already know that choosing the right sneakers for class is pretty important. A staple in your fitness wardrobe, your kicks play an essential role both in and out of class. Plus, let’s be honest: Sneakers can be expensive, and when it comes to our health and wellness, we want to make the best (and smartest) investment that we can.
But before you stress out about buying a new pair, let us give you the lowdown. We’ve done the research and uncovered the sneakers you need for any and every type of workout. So go ahead, meet your perfect sneakers match (your feet can thank us later):
If you’re going the distance, you’re going to want to choose a sneaker that’ll be in it for the long haul, and it seems this gel-venture running shoe is coming along for the ride. Runners applaud its durability during long-distance trails, and revel in the comfort the gel cushioning gives their feet. But one of our favorite qualities? These sneakers ring in at less than $50, which is more than a steal for a reliable pair of footwear.
Get a Pair: Asics Women’s Gel-Venture 5 Running Shoe, $50
It’s a common misperception that wearing the right shoes for weightlifting isn’t super important. You’re standing in one place, aren’t you? But trust us, choosing the right sneakers is vital. Providing ankle support and stability can enhance the performance of your workout, and more importantly, help protect yourself from injury. These Adidas sneakers do it all, being specifically engineered for weight-lifting.
Get a Pair: Adidas Women’s Weightlifting Powerlift.3.1 Shoes, $80
Before entering the ring, it’s important to choose the right kind of sneakers for your boxing class. You’ll need to be quick on your feet, and have all the support you need to master every jab and hook. These high-top sneakers from Puma are one of our faves. The flexible shape allows your body to move, while the sleek look gets us in the zone to throw a punch.
Get a Pair: Puma Women’s Eskiva New Hi Wn’s Boxing Shoe, from $86
These sneakers will do more than take you to new heights. While lightweight and breathable, these shoes also give your feet great traction as you’re walking and climbing through various terrain. Plus, the memory foam is a nice touch for when your feet start feeling less than comfortable trekking uphill.
Get a Pair: Ryla Sky Walk Women’s Walking Shoes, $65
Running class has nothing on you when you’re donning the right pair of sneakers. These Nikes feel snug and secure, while also giving your feet room to breathe (a huge bonus when class really starts to heat up).
Get a Pair: Nike Air Max Torch4 Running Shoe, $45
If you’re a fan of moving to the beat, choosing the right footwear can be a make or break decision. These sneakers were made specifically for Zumba-dancers, and we can see why! The breathable mesh gives your feet some room to breathe while the Z-slide gives you the mobility to master any move.
Get a Pair: Zumba Women’s Fly Print Dance Shoe $49