7 Tips to Get the Right Shoes for High Intensity Exercise

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the new and trendy type of cardio workout more people are doing to save time and boost their results. Instead of performing a cardio routine at a moderate level of exertion for a longer period of time, HIIT involves very short and explosive bursts of exercise where you push until you can’t push anymore, followed by short periods of rest.

All you need is a few bursts in a 10 to 20-minute timeframe to burn fat and boost your metabolism, but if you’re wearing the wrong type of shoes while you do it, you could easily injure yourself and put yourself out of commission from exercising for a while. Since high intensity exercise is often also higher impact, here are are few things you should consider in a good pair of shoes.

1. Tailor your type of shoe to the type exercise you’re doing. 

If you’re planning on doing a lot of jumping and lateral movement, you’d be making a mistake by wearing running shoes rather than cross trainers. On the other hand, if you plan on doing sprints for your high intensity exercise, which doesn’t require moving from side-to-side, runners would do just fine. Make sure you pick the right shoes for the right form of movement!

2. Determine whether you have flat, neutral or high-arched feet.

Knowing your foot type can make all the difference in choosing the correct shoe that best supports its shape while you move. A flat-footed person’s footprint is large and wide whereas a high-arched person’s footprint will look much smaller, especially around the arch. If you’re not sure what type of foot you have, you can take this test to find out (or ask your podiatrist).

3. Get your feet professionally measured and bring your own socks when trying on a new pair.

Most people assume that their feet stop growing once they reach adulthood, which is actually a myth, and a good rule of thumb is to measure them once or twice a year. Before you head out to the shoe store, make sure you bring along a pair of athletic socks you plan to wear (and your orthotics if you have them) to ensure you find the absolute best fit while wearing them.

4. For running shoes, focus on comfort around the forefront and forward moving stability according to your foot type.

When you run, you land on the forefront of your foot, which is why runners include more cushioning in that area. If you have flat feet, you may do better with a running shoe that offers more stability to help prevent overpronation. Consider talking to a knowledgeable athletic shoe sales associate or even your podiatrist for more professional advice on what to look for in a runner that best fits your foot type.

5. For cross trainers, focus on ease of quick pivoting, flexibility and lateral movement according to your foot type.

Choosing the proper cross trainers according to your foot type can be tricky, but in general, people with neutral or high arches can go with a shoe that has more cushioning while people with flat feet can go with a stability, neutral or even minimal shoe. Try testing the traction on them by moving from side to side and twisting around on the balls of your feet to ensure the shoes grip the ground well enough.

6. Don’t expect to break your shoes in.

Another big myth people tend to believe is that they need to break their shoes in first before they feel completely comfortable. According to WebMD, shoes should feel comfortable right from the get-go. That means they should feel like a natural extension of your foot, fitted snug but comfortably around the heel with up to half an inch of room between the tip of your big toe and the end of the shoe.

7. Replace your shoes often.

They may still look brand new on the outside, but if you’ve worked out in your shoes almost every day, they’ll be broken down on the inside within a few months. If you start getting shin splints or any pain in your feet, it may be time to get new shoes. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine has some more detailed signs to look for when determining when your current shoes have done their job.

Never underestimate the importance of proper fitted shoes when working out—especially when you’re doing a lot of fast, high impact movement! Keep in mind that a podiatrist can really help you out if you struggle to find shoes that feel comfortable and offer you the best support.

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Photo Credit: DieselDemon


W. C
W. C1 years ago

Thanks for the tips.

William C
William C1 years ago

Thank you.

Julie Pham
Julie Pham2 years ago


HEIKKI R2 years ago


Mahalia W.
Mahalia W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Ana R
ANA MARIJA R3 years ago

Good to know. Thank you for sharing

Pablo B.
.3 years ago


Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago