by Neil Anderson

I doubt there is a single "Best Shoe" for meeting the all the varied needs of GPP workouts.  At least, I haven't found one (yet).  Just when I think I have the perfect shoe for all the different types of workouts we do, it lets me down in one way, or another.  It brings me to the conclusion that, either I need to become less picky when selecting shoes for GPP workouts, or make sure I have several different shoes on hand (sometimes at the same workout) to serve my needs better.  Frankly, since the former doesn't suit me.  I am more likely to do (have done!) the latter.    

If there WAS a best shoe option for GPPeeps it would have the following qualities:

This type of shoe won't do for lateral work.

This type of shoe won't do for lateral work.

  1. It would be very comfortable and styling (SO cool, circa 1989).
  2. It would provide amazing arch support for our short, and middle distance runs/sprints.
  3. It would have outstanding arch support to prevent injuries like plantar fasciitis, knee pain and back pain.
  4. It would have tons of lateral support and not give out when we run around corners and do side lateral hops.
  5. It would have a cushioned mid-sole to absorb shocks from our hops and long runs, but hold up to our HEAVY lifting days.
  6. It would have a grippy outer-sole to give me more traction on outdoor runs/hikes and a solid toe cap to protect my toes from rocks and stray KBs.
  7. It would have a light, breathable, moisture wicking mesh-like upper that was tough enough to not give way like Drew's do (above). 
  8. It would be very heavy duty, last a very long time AND be very light weight.

Tall order eh?  Impossible? Probably - for now.  Instead of trying to get ONE shoe to suit my needs, I use the following different shoes for different types of workouts.  

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These I use for most heavy days that don't require running, jumping, or flinging around ropes or stray implements that could damage them.  I love these best.  I would hate to ruin them.

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These Under Armour Charge RC2's are great for burpee day.  Light weight, with a minimalist mid-sole, they provide little cushioning.  You don't really need it on burpee day.  Just something to protect your feet from scraping the ground during a 200 burpee workout.  And the taller your shoe is (see Hoka below) the further you must carry your own weight.  Don't love the thought of doing more than necessary on burpee day.  

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These Hoka One One's are my new love.  I've had them for about 10 months.  Whenever we do workouts that involve a bunch of running I reach for these.  Well, only if there isn't a bunch of lifting from the ground.  These are tall.  About twice the height of a regular running shoe.  If you are lifting from the ground (high sumos & dead lifts) you'll have to reach further down and carry the weight further up.  When you get tired it is hard not to sacrifice form.  Their extra height gives them incredible padding and shock absorption.  They are light, too.  Lighter than most running shoes.  But, that incredible lightness and extra padding comes at a cost.  Stability.  You don't want to do a lot of lateral work in these.  You don't want to turn sharp corners while moving fast either.  But, in straight lines - they are absolutely beautiful to run in.  They help my bad knees immensely.  

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These Nike Air Pegasus 25's are my every day go-tos.  Whenever I can't find the right shoe for a specific workout.  I use these.  They are incredibly tough, well-cushioned and long lasting.  I've had this specific pair of AP 25s for 4 years of very heavy use (I also have the 26's & 27's).  They have endured hundreds of reps of 300 + lbs deadlifts and hundreds of miles of running, burpees etc.  Great shoes.  I Always have a pair on hand.  Although they aren't the most comfortable for every situation, I can always count on them to come through for most stuff.  I have used (and obliterated) almost every pair of shoes (Mizuno, Saucony, Brooks), I've tried to GPP in.  They last about 3 months of heavy use.  The Air Pegs just keep coming back for more.  

Finding a pair of shoes is a very preferential thing.  It'd be good to know what works best for you.  Please share your best find(s) for shoes to GPP in, here in the comments.  

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