Understanding the Different Athletic Shoes

tennis shoe photo

Each sport has a shoe specially crafted to offer the players advantages on the game’s standard playing field. You can learn a lot about a sport from its shoes.


Running shoes are designed to absorb the shock involved in your forward motion. An excellent running shoe protects the front of your foot while also supplying cushioning.


The minimalist shoe offers a close to nature alternative to running shoes. These athletic shoes have little cushioning built-in so that you can feel the run.

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes tend to cushion the ball and heel of the foot more than runners do. The shoes also help you walk correctly, with a more rigid front and slightly rounded sole for smooth movement.

Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes support the quick side to side movement the fame requires. The shoes offer more strength along the inside and outside while including flexibility in the shoe sole near the ball.

Cross Trainers

Cross trainers are versatile and designed so you can play more than one sport in them. A good cross trainer has a flexible forefoot while still maintaining stable sideways movement.

Trail Running

Trail running athletic shoes tend to support the foot at the heel and sides for safety on uneven terrain. These shoes also tend towards a heavier tread for grip and a more durable exterior.


Basketball shoes tend towards a thicker and stiffer sole, which offers better support for all the running the sport needs. The high-top design provides extra protection during jumps and quick sideways motions.

Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats are close fitted and may take some getting used to once you find the right size. The cleats on the bottom help you grip the grass or turf the game is played on.

Lacrosse Shoes

Lacrosse requires a lot of quick movements on turf. To that end, the shoe’s cleats tend to go around the outside of the shoe. Lacrosse shoes also feature high-tops for ankle support.

Football Cleats

Football cleats may differ slightly by position. Football cleats tend to have stiff soles and more weight than their other cleat counterparts in soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. All football cleats have studs for leverage on the grass.

Base/Softball Cleats

These cleats are some of the longest athletic shoes on this list. They also tend to be narrower. Proper base/softball cleats offer extensive arch support so everyone can play without pain.

Golf Shoes

Golf shoes feature short cleats that help players grip the turf during their swings. The shoes also support players’ feet as they walk through the specific golf course terrain.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots offer better grips on uncertain terrain and help protect feet from environmental hazards. Hiking boots come in different weights based on the expected difficulty.


Cycling shoes come in two variations where cleats are concerned, normal and sunken. Normal cleats appear on professional shoes with a stiffer sole. Meanwhile, sunken cleats allow for a flexible sole and easier time walking around in the athletic shoes.

Photo by marcoverch

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