If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times, “life’s short, buy the shoes.”  Trust us, we don’t disagree.  Every woman likes a good pair of shoes.  However, the choice is a little different when choosing workout shoes.  There are so many factors that play into the decision.  Which color? What about style? Which brand is best? Is memory foam better? Should I pick based on category?  Well, every athlete you talk to will have their own opinion, but how do you know which shoes are right for you?

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When you think “maximal running shoes” think Asics, Altra, New Balance, Brooks.  Maximal running shoes offer an increased amount of cushioning on the sole, provide a wider base, and support.  In other words, the sole of the shoe is significantly thicker to help absorb shock when running/training.  The shoe is typically designed with in a “wave” shape, with a curve in the sole to support the arch in your foot.  Maximal running shoes are mostly popular among 5K and marathon runners, as they’re light and offer enough support to be comfortable at all distances.

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Quite possibly the most popular type of tennis shoes, Minimal running shoes, offer a completely different feel for training shoes.  Nike Free Runs, Adidas Ultra Boosts, and Nike Flyknits are all prime examples of minimalist running shoes.  Where maximal shoes display a thicker sole to absorb shock, minimal shoes offer less cushion between your foot and the ground to allow your feet to strengthen.  Now, this is not as painful as your brain is making it out to be right now, we promise.  Most people actually prefer minimal over maximal due to the slimmer look and lighter feel of the shoes.

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When it comes down to it, the decision is completely and totally up to you and your preference.  Honestly, we’re just glad you’re wearing proper training shoes.  You can research, read articles, analyze statistics, and become a real shoe expert, but you won’t know until you do some shopping.  Go to your nearest Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy, or tennis shoe retailer and try on every shoe that draws your eye.  Stand, walk the aisles, or even run up and down the aisles.  Because, truth be told, you’re the only one that can decide which shoe is best for you.

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While many have their own opinions based on which type of shoe is better, here are the cold hard facts: maximal shoes are larger, have a thicker sole, and are possibly heavier.  While, minimal shoes are slimmer, have a smaller sole, and offer air flow through the shoe.  Now, depending on your style choice, both shoes offer a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs to meet your liking.