What Are The Best Shoes To Wear For An Elliptical Workout

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By Natalie Martin

Even though your feet are safely off of the floor when you are working out on an elliptical, thanks to the floating pedals, it is still important to wear a pair of shoes. While you can find people using an elliptical in their socks or even bare feet, this is typically not recommended by experienced trainers, licensed physicians or even podiatrists. It is important to remember that your feet and ankles still need protection when you are on an elliptical if you want to prevent some common injuries, and it is also more hygienic to work out in a pair of shoes especially if you are at the gym.

While they don’t market shoes specifically for ellipticals, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a pair of athletic or cross training shoes. To give you a better idea of what the best shoes for elliptical workouts are, here are a few factors that you will want to consider. When you are trying to find a pair of shoes for elliptical workouts it is also important to remember that what might be great for others, may not necessarily be right for your feet.

Best Elliptical Workout Shoes


Comfort and Support

When it comes to providing plenty of lateral support, which is important when you are repeatedly using your weight to press down on the pedals, it is hard to beat a pair of cross-training shoes. Not only do they come with the lateral support you normally find in tennis shoes, you also have the advantage of the wide toe box which ensures you have plenty of room to flex your toes. This can help prevent the occasional foot cramps that can be a problem for some people when they are on an elliptical.

The only downside to cross-trainers is that they can be expensive, and this might not be practical if you only intend on working out at home. This might also be true if you are planning on getting all or the majority of your exercise on an elliptical machine. In this case a pair of walking or running shoes will also be able to provide plenty of comfort and support, usually at a more affordable price.


Always Buy New

If you already have comfortable shoes at home you don’t have to run out and buy another pair, as long as they are able to provide you with the support you need. When your shoes start to wear out, and they will, it is important that you replace them with a new pair. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, it is recommended that you replace your workout shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If you track your elliptical workouts by time, you will want to get a new pair of shoes after 45 to 60 hours of training.


Stability Not Rockers

One of the latest trends in walking shoes are “rocker bottoms”, which are designed to help you have a smooth heel-to-toe movement. While this can be helpful when you are walking, it is the last thing you want on an elliptical. The shoes’ rounded sole can cause instability when you are trying to balance your weight on the pedals, and this can result in painful injuries. No matter what type of athletic shoes you choose, you will want them to come with a level, flat bottom.

Best Elliptical Workout Shoes


What about Running Shoes?

Running shoes can be a good choice to wear during an elliptical workout since they are designed to help propel you forward. This is the motion most often performed on an elliptical. Shoes designed for road running are often recommended due to their lightweight and flexible construction. This makes it a little easier for you to keep your balance on the uneven pedals. It also reduces your risk for an ankle injury.


Don’t Forget Pronation

Regardless of the type of shoes you choose to wear it is important that they are designed for your degree of pronation. This refers to the inward foot roll that occurs right before your push off. If the inward roll is exaggerated then you are an “over pronator”. If the roll is towards the outside then you are a “supinator”. You can find athletic shoes specifically designed for all types and degrees of pronation. Special inserts can also provide the support you need, and are noticeably more affordable than a special pair of workout shoes.


If you aren’t sure if your shoes are right for working out on an elliptical, an experienced trainer, podiatrist or licensed physician should be able to answer all of your questions.



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