GETTING a pair of the best gym trainers can transform your workouts.
Whether you're lifting weights, running on treadmills or throwing yourself around a Zumba studio, the right footwear can make all the difference.
How do I choose gym trainers?
It's worth considering that the perfect pair of gym trainers varies from person to person.
Your planned usage, weight and even running style should all factor into your decision.
And there's other factors, such as fit, drop (the difference in height between the heel and the toe of the shoe) and cushioning, to consider before you spend your cash.
We've looked around the web, as well as testing a few pairs ourselves, for the top-rated trainers for different uses to give you some inspiration.
We're testing: Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II Recycled
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II Recycled, £110 from Vivobarefoot – buy here
The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II trainers aren't like much else on the market.
They're designed to replicate the feel of training barefoot, without the inconveniences of stepping in dog mess and the like.
They've got an incredibly thin sole (3mm) which means you've got minimal padding between your feet and the road, which supposedly will help you build up the supporting muscles in your feet and lower legs, (along with a number of other benefits that you can find here.)
I can't confirm if my feet are any stronger for wearing these for a couple of weeks, but as someone who rolls their ankles relatively frequently, I can confirm that these are a good antidote to such mishaps (possibly because the sole is so thin, there's nothing to roll).
It's advised that you don't run for extended periods in these to begin with as your legs will be more used to padded running trainers.
Having completely ignored this advice and gone for a 5k run in these almost immediately, I can confirm this advice is worth heeding; something I appreciated as I limped around the office with a serious case of the DOMS for the following week.
But once this died down I could appreciate that the Primus Lite IIs are actually a very comfy wear, with the vegan materials (leather-free and made from a mix of recycled plastics and bio-based materials) offering a snug fit where it mattered.
And, because they're so well ventilated, they're ideal for sessions in the gym.
I actually felt a lot more stable while lifting weights with these than regular trainers as the (lack of) soles provide you with a very solid platform.
They're grippy too, so I'd happily recommend these for HIIT classes or similar.
Just make sure you build up slowly to any running: your calves and Achilles tendons will thank you for it.
The best gym shoes for running
If you like to pound out long sessions on the treadmill at your local gym, you're going to want a decent pair of running trainers.
These will usually differ from standard workout trainers as they'll have larger soles and heels to provide you with extra cushioning.
Some models will be super lightweight, to help you expend less energy as you run, but bear in mind that lightweight trainers are likely to have less padding.
If you suffer from impact injuries, such as runner's knee, you might want to invest in some cushioned trainers to help you stay injury free.
Not only are New Balance's FuelCell Rebel trainers a favourite of reviewers and users, we think they look really good for a pair of performance gym shoes.
They're available for men and women and prices start at £60.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel (women), £60 from New Balance – buy here
New Balance FuelCell Rebel (men), £72 from New Balance – buy here