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Running, jumping, brisk walking, dancing, weightlifting - working out already sounds too much of a task, especially for beginners, so why should you be worrying about footwear too? If you want to concentrate on getting fit and not be bothered by your feet dragging because they suddenly felt heavy, then putting on a pair of lightweight workout shoes seems like the logical choice. They don’t weigh much, so you’ll feel like you’re training almost barefoot but your feet are still protected and supported.
What to expect from the best lightweight workout shoes
Best lightweight workout shoes for women - May 2019
Lightweight workout shoes generally weigh less than 300 grams each which means they can go pretty unnoticeable when they’re on your foot. But aside from the weight, what do you need to look for in a pair of lightweight workout shoes?
The upper of lightweight workout shoes is typically made of mesh or knitted fabric. Not only are these materials pliable, but they are also breathable and ensure that the foot chamber is kept fresh during workouts. Most of them do not have overlays, but if there are, they are also made of thin components such as polyurethane (PU), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), leather, or fabric. The use of thin elements allows it to keep the weight of the footwear down while also promoting natural movements and expansion of the foot.
To keep the weight down, most lightweight workout shoes have a single unit of foam for both the midsole and outsole. The most common cushioning material used for this is the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. This platform is not only lightweight but also resilient which allows it to restore its form after being compressed. It is also flexible to facilitate natural foot bending and durable to withstand working out on different types of surfaces.
Frequently asked questions
How much do lightweight workout shoes weigh?
A lightweight workout shoe typically weighs below 300g though minimalist training shoes could weigh even less than 200g. These trainers are very light and users have compared the feeling of wearing them to walking barefoot.
Are lightweight workout shoes the same as minimalist workout shoes?
Not all lightweight workout shoes can be considered as minimalist workouts shoes since some models have thick soles. To be considered minimalist, the shoe’s sole needs to be very thin so that when you wear it, you feel like you are barefoot, while having thin protection from the ground. Minimalist workout shoes are generally lightweight because they use fewer and thinner materials.
Can lightweight workout shoes be used for CrossFit?
The simple answer is yes, but they lack the proper components, such as a rope guard and sturdy overlays that protect the upper against friction from rope climbs and descents. As most of them use mesh or knitted fabric, the lateral support may not be as pronounced compared to the dedicated CrossFit shoes. If you are into CrossFit and other high-intensity workouts, then investing in footwear intended for such purpose would be wise.
Can lightweight workout shoes be used for running?
Workout shoes, in general, are versatile. They are constructed to be used for most types of physical fitness activities. However, the cushioning unit on lightweight workout shoes is quite different from proper running shoes, so they may not fair as well for long distance runs. If you plan on training for a marathon or going for long runs, the best option is to get a dedicated running shoe. If you’re just going to use it to run on a treadmill or a short run around the neighborhood, then a pair of lightweight workout shoes could suffice.
When to replace lightweight workout shoes?
Shoes have a 500-mile walking limit which translates to about 3 to 6 months, depending on use.
When it has been reached, the footwear either has lost its cushion, the upper may have developed holes or tears, and the outsole may have worn down its treads. But this is not a strict rule since everyone wears their shoes differently. The important thing to remember is that if you feel that your lightweight workout shoes lost traction, the midsole no longer feels comfortable under your feet, or the upper no longer secures the foot properly, then it’s time to replace them, regardless of how long you have been using the pair.
Are lightweight workout shoes for everyone?
Lightweight workout shoes may feel like the best option for anyone, but the weight of a person could be a factor when it comes to choosing which model to purchase. The weight of a person affects the force of the impact of each step. A heavyset person may experience a greater impact on their feet because of the effect of gravity on their weight. Wearing lightweight workout shoes with thicker soles may be their best option since there is room for the midsole to compress and cushion impact compared to minimalist footwear.