10 Best Workout Shoes for Challenging Summer Activities

best workout shoes for challenging summer activities

If you’re an active person, then you’re probably aware that there’s just something about summer that really makes you want to get up, get out, and get moving. After all, there’s no better feeling than the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair while you work out or spend time on the move! However, it’s essential to have the right footwear in your corner if you’re serious about reaping the rewards of your summer workouts.

If you think any well-made workout shoe will do for any summer activity, you really need to think again for a number of good reasons. For instance, features that make a certain shoe perfect for tennis can make it a terrible choice for basketball or hiking. A good pair of cross trainers is terrific for many summer activities, but they’re not really made to stand up to the outside elements. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the best type of shoe for each of your favorite warm weather workouts. You’ll be noticing the difference they make in no time.

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Standard Running and Jogging

gray running shoe isolated on whitePerhaps one of the most popular ways to fulfill that daily exercise quota is to lace up a favorite pair of athletic shoes and go for a run. This is especially the case during the summer when the gorgeous weather gives you a great excuse not to stay cooped up in the gym all day. However, it’s vitally important to make sure your running shoe is designed with that activity in mind.

Shoes that are designed for running come equipped with motion control features, as well as shock absorption technology to guard joints and bones against the jarring effects of repeated impact. This helps prevent you from sustaining or worsening an injury. You’re less likely to suffer from achy feet after you’ve been working out as well.

Think options like the 560 model from New Balance. Compression molded EVA outsoles provide unbeatable comfort, traction, and support. Special cushioning technology guards your body against impact-related damage. Breathable mesh uppers help keep your feet cool and dry during even the toughest, most grueling running sessions.

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Trail Running

While some people definitely don’t mind running on the roads, it’s not for everyone. Some people prefer the primal experience of running out in nature on trails and over various terrains. Not only is trail running a great way to treat yourself to some truly therapeutic views, but adding changeable terrain to the mix helps make your workouts more challenging.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the same shoes you wear to jog around the block will be the proper choice if you’re serious about trail running. Shoes designed for trail running feature thicker, sturdier soles capable of protecting your feet from rocks, unexpected debris, and just about anything else Mother Nature might send your way.

Ultra-traction soles are also seriously important when you’re a trail runner. Keep in mind that dirt, gravel, and loose soil don’t offer the same consistency as a sidewalk or city street, so your shoes’ soles need to be designed to handle the variants. This is especially the case when running uphill or downhill.

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Barefoot Workouts

Have you ever been at the gym and caught sight of a guy walking around or even working out completely barefoot (or maybe just in his socks)? While it may not be the most hygienic choice, we assure you he hasn’t completely lost his mind. He’s probably into barefoot workouts—which is trending right now.

man running barefoot on asphaltExperts who swear by barefoot workouts feel that the best way to get the most out of your exercise sessions is to stick to the tools Mother Nature gave you. By exercising barefoot, you can work on strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet. This, in turn, can minimize the risk of sustaining an injury, according to this line of thought.

If you’d like to try your own hand at this type of workout, consider investing in a good pair of minimalist shoes. Minimalist shoes are lightweight, feature a low heel drop, and allow your feet to enjoy the highest degree of freedom while remaining safe and supportive.

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Weight Training

These days, weight lifting isn’t just for body builders like Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore. Strength training is considered an important part of any comprehensive fitness regimen. It’s the best way to build lean muscle mass, improve your posture, strengthen your skeletal system, and so much more.

strength training infographic

It’s also a common misconception that, because logging time in the weight room doesn’t require a lot of walking or running, the shoes you wear isn’t as important as other activities. Footwear that’s appropriate for weight lifting features a flat sole and a raised heel. This set-up helps you maximize the range of motion for your ankles and makes it easier to maintain a proper lifting form—which is essential if you’re serious about seeing results and avoiding injury.

Good weight training shoes also tend to be stiffer and more stable to keep your feet from shifting during difficult moves like overhead presses, snatches, and jerks. Surprisingly, a trusty pair of Chuck Taylors is actually perfect for this activity.

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Biking and Cycling

Whether you’re sticking with your favorite spin class or have been tempted back on a traditional bike by the fresh air and sunshine, the benefits of cycling can’t be denied. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up, build endurance, and make short work of excess calories. Plus, it’s loads of fun, especially if you like to go bike riding with friends and family through beautiful natural areas.

Shoes that are ideal for biking and cycling are typically nice and stiff to provide your feet with the support they need to pedal without cramping. Good cycling shoes help you get more out of your workout by providing constant contact with the pedal and superior control over each rotation. Making sure to wear the right shoes helps reduce the likelihood of slipping off the pedals or otherwise losing control of the bike, which can result in injury.

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Mountain Biking

mountain biking shoes quoteThe rigors of mountain biking differ from cycling on paved ground. Shoes that are ideal for this sport are going to have a lot of similarities to trail running shoes because they factor in the inconsistent terrain. Think soles that feature extra traction for trekking up rough trails and maintaining control of a bike if things get unpredictable! Mountain biking shoes are also generally heavier and less aerodynamic than other types of athletic shoes—the better to protect your feet from the elements or any possible hazards.

Last, but not least, mountain biking can sometimes require you to think fast and act quickly. For that reason, you’ll also want to look for shoes that can be easily disengaged from the pedals just in case. You’ll be better equipped to handle it if you need to stop suddenly or if you happen to take a tumble.

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Since walking is something you can do every single day, it’s easy to assume any old pair of shoes will do, so long as they’re comfortable. However, walking for long periods or for exercise purposes is pretty serious business. A flimsy pair of basic canvas tennis shoes may be fine for walking around grocery store, but they may not be the best choice for a day trip to Disney Land or a long journey on your favorite hiking trail.

Look for options with features capable of supporting your body during long periods of standing or walking. Look for solid arch support, relatively flexible soles, and plenty of cushioning to help absorb shock. While it’s true that walking isn’t as high impact as running or jogging, your feet and joints will still appreciate the protection.

Try a walking shoe that doesn’t necessarily look like a walking shoe—like the You Walk from Skechers. It’s perfect for everything from window shopping at the mall to daily strolls around the neighborhood with your family.

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Hiking and Exploring

Hiking shoes are designed to handle the challenges of the trail. The more challenging the terrain, the more important it is to have a good, reliable hiking shoe.

family holding hands walking

If you’re the type who sticks to low-key recreational trails, you might be able to get away with wearing your trail running shoes. However, hikers who like to challenge themselves will want to look for something with a little added support. Mid- or high-cut tops are a good idea for supporting your ankles and maintaining stability. Just understand that hiking boots and shoes are generally made with ruggedness in mind, so they’ll be a lot heavier than standard shoes.

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Beach Workouts

If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean, a river, a lake, or any other large body of water, it’s totally understandable if it’s your workout spot of choice during the warmer summer months. However, while it’s probably tempting to perform your beach workouts barefoot, it’s really much better to choose the right footwear, just like every other type of exercise.

Don’t risk ruining your expensive running shoes or walking shoes by subjecting them to the salt, sand, and moisture down by the water. Invest in a good pair of water shoes instead. Water shoes provide the same amazing support and stability you’d expect from any other type of workout shoe, but they’re made to withstand exposure to water and moisture.

If you absolutely hate the idea of wearing enclosed shoes on the beach, try a pair of hiking sandals from a brand like Chaco or Birkenstock instead. They’ll let you enjoy the feeling of the beach, while providing the support you need.

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Crossfit or Multi-Activity Workouts

Are you one of the millions of people who have fallen in love with Crossfit? Maybe you’re someone who likes to engage in multiple types of exercise during a single session. Whatever the case may be, it’s understandable that you’d want a workout shoe that’s capable of handling this intense workout style. Try a good cross-trainer—a shoe that’s just as suitable for running as it is lifting weights and hopping on top of a plyometric box.

Good cross trainers have flat soles. They’re also built for both support and flexibility, but they don’t have an overabundance of cushioning. People who are into CrossFit and other multi-activity workouts need to feel grounded with lightweight options that will support their hard work. Try an ultra-breathable option like the Under Armour UA Dash on for size. You’ll love the way it carries you through even the most challenging multi-faceted workouts!

woman lifting dumbbell with arm

No matter which fitness program you choose, look for shoes that are designed for the activity at hand. That way, you can enjoy all of your favorite summer activities.

Great Athletic Shoes for Youth Spring Sports

Boy tagging fellow baseball player on baseIf your child is an active type, then the chances are good that they’re thrilled spring is finally here. Making sure they’re thoroughly prepared for youth sports season is all making sure they have the right equipment in their corner. However, while it’s easy to remember essentials like catcher’s mitts or uniforms, athletic shoes sometimes don’t get nearly the amount of attention they should.

This spring, give them an edge that they need with quality athletic shoes. Here we’ll go over how you can make an informed purchasing decision, as well as highlight some of our favorite offerings from top brands we love.Black and hot pink running shoe isolated Continue reading

Best Athletic Shoes for Tough Spring Workouts

Best Athletic Shoes for Tough Spring Workouts

Spring’s officially here, and summer is right around the corner. That means it’s also time to get serious about your workouts. The weather’s milder, so your exercise options are becoming less limited by the day. If you started a new workout program in January as part of a New Year’s resolution, you’re probably just reaching the point where it’s time to turn the dial up on the intensity as well. Continue reading

Favorite Outdoor Shoes for an Active Lifestyle

With spring knocking at our doors, it’s only natural to feel the longing for the great outdoors and dream of warm, sunny days. To get the best out of your outdoor experience, you need the right gear, including the proper footwear. We’ve put together our favorite outdoor shoes for the whole family to help you achieve and maintain an active lifestyle.

Women’s Outdoor Shoes

Brooks Women’s Dyad 9 $149.97

Are you looking to get outside and start running the roads? Have a marathon on your mind? The Dyad 9 from Brooks has a new streamlined silhouette and gives you more forefoot flexibility than previous models. With a 10mm midsole drop, this shoe is perfect for runners that need extra support when running. The shoe has an engineered mesh covering it, which gives the runner structure and stretch where they need it and enhances breathability. The Dyad 9 is available in two colors: Gray-Capri and Blue-Fuchsia. Continue reading

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Running Shoes This Spring

Tips for finding perfect running shoes this springFinding the right running shoe is just as important as a carefully researched fitness plan to help meet your goals. Unfortunately, many people are familiar with the pain and regret that comes from choosing the wrong pair of shoes for your activity of choice. This can especially true when it comes to an active pastime like running.

Correct shoe fit quote

Despite the challenges, exercise should be enjoyable, and the right shoes can make sure that it is. The correct shoes will fit like a dream, making you less likely to develop an injury and maintain good form. They’ll also provide ideal support for running, helping you get more out of your workouts. Continue reading

Great Athletic Shoes for Your New Year’s Fitness Plan


If you’re like over 20% of the average population, at least one of your New Year’s resolutions calls for losing weight, eating better, or improving your fitness routine in the year to come. However, planning to make some serious progress when it comes to your health and overall fitness level is one thing. Actually meeting your goals is another.

Preparedness is the key to success here, and that means having the right gear in your corner from day one. Start with a fantastic pair of athletic shoes that will really help you go the distance. Let’s take a closer look at how you can snag a pair that’s everything you need it to be.

Aren’t All Athletic Shoes the Same?

If you’re new to fitness, it only makes sense that you’d wonder whether there’s really a difference between one athletic shoe and another. However, it’s vitally important that you select a shoe appropriate for the activity at hand. Making sure you choose the right shoe:

  • Helps you lower the likelihood of sustaining an injury.
  • Maximizes personal comfort so that you don’t wind up with sore feet, aching joints, and steaming toes.
  • Ensures that you get the absolute most out of your workouts performance-wise.

Keeping that in mind, it’s best not to make your athletic shoes multi-task. A shoe that’s just right for walking probably won’t be suitable for running, cycling, or doing aerobics and vice versa. Consider the following suggestions as far as great shoes appropriate for a number of popular fitness routines.


For Light Activity Like Walking

Naturally, marathon-level training and grueling gym workouts aren’t for everyone. However, any little bit of activity added to your routine can make a huge difference, including light walking. Start by resolving to take a quick jaunt around the block after dinner or breakfast and take things from there.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with investing in a pair of cross-trainers to get your new walking routine started on the right foot, many people are more comfortable with a fantastic pair of sneakers that are built with walking and light activity in mind. Try an option like the Go Walk 4 Achiever from Skechers. The Go Walk 4 Achiever features an innovative and highly responsive 5GEN midsole for extra comfort and cushioning, and its casual style makes it perfect and easy-to-wear with just about any outfit.

Plus, you’ll look every bit as good as you feel, so you’ll want to wear these shoes everywhere. Slip them on for a quick trip to the store, playtime with the kids, or a family road trip to a favorite amusement park.

For Getting Back to Nature

Some people find it easier to stick to their New Year’s fitness plan when that plan also involves getting back to nature, and with good reason. There’s nothing like a day spent hiking with the sun on your skin and fresh air in your lungs. However, serious hikers need a supportive shoe that’s capable of standing up to the rigors of the trail.

Choose a hiking shoe like the Siren Edge from a high-performance brand like Merrell. Merrell, in particular, is well-known for creating quality element-resistant footwear. Features like a bellows tongue and a breathable mesh lining keep out dirt, debris, and moisture. Molded arches and shock-absorbent air cushions ensure stability and comfort from the first step of your hike to the last.


For Running and Jogging

When you picture the ideal workout routine for you, do you see yourself running or jogging with the wind in your hair? Or perhaps you’re thinking about signing up for that new Zumba class all your friends have been raving about, instead. Whichever the case may be, you need an athletic shoe that can keep up with you when it’s really time to spring into action.

Try an option that looks good and performs well when it comes to fast-paced activities like the Skechers GOrun 400. A light, comfortable design won’t weigh you down when you’re really in the zone. Superior ventilation helps keep your feet cool, dry, and completely comfortable, no matter how intense your workout might get. The GOrun even comes complete with special sensors that take things to the next level when it comes to traction and road feel. Try it today!

Tailgating 101: How to Choose the Perfect Outfit for Game Day

Football season is upon us again, and it is time to haul out the grills, coolers, and the portable outdoor games to keep everyone amused for the best part of the game – the tailgate! Whether you are a diehard fan or just out for the party, make the most of your tailgate by choosing the right outfit to keep yourself comfortable from the first hot dog to the last whistle. Continue reading

Favorite Fall Activity: Camping Essentials

Camping Essentials

Whenever you go camping, you never know what the weather will be like. This in-between time, after summer and before winter, means it may be hot and dry one day, and cold and rainy – even snowy – the next.

You need to prepare for whatever the weather and conditions are by ensuring you have the right clothing and footwear. Packing the right boots, jackets, and other gear will make all the difference in enjoying a cozy and comfortable camping adventure or being miserable because you did not bring the proper wardrobe.

Boots and Shoes

Probably one of the most important items you need to pack is proper footwear. You will need some sturdy shoes that are suitable for the woods and hiking. You will need a pair of quality boots that will keep your feet warm and dry should the weather turn bad.

One good choice is the Sorel Ankeny Elk Stout boot for men. This footwear offers not only great protection when the weather turns cold, but it also looks great, too. The textile mesh lining will keep your feet dry and warm, while the removable molded EVA insert gives you terrific heel and arch support.

A practical yet stylish woman’s boot for camping is the b.o.c Women’s Saturn, with faux leather uppers and a plaid collar around the top. There is a rubber outsole, and the heel is about 1½ inches.

Some women prefer a mid-height boot. If you are one of them, try the b.o.c. Women’s Cybele that has chic straps and buckles, with a side zipper, that make them very easy to put on and take off. They are lightweight, too, and have a padded insole.

Hats for Outdoor Activites


If you want to stay warm, you need a hat. According to the U.S. Army field manual, you lose 40-45% of your body’s heat through your head. This makes bringing a hat along critical when you go on a camping trip. Hats also protect you from getting sunburn on your face or head.

Hats are small and easy to pack, so there is no reason why you can’t bring several with you on your trip. A ball cap is great for keeping you from getting sunburn.

When it is overcast and cold, an easy and stylish way to keep your head warm is wearing a beanie. For example, for women, the North Face Denali Thermal Beanie is a great fashion addition for camping or any cold fall day. It is lightweight and comes in pink, gray, white, or black. Reasonably priced, you can pick up a couple so that, no matter what you wear, your beanie will match it.


Make sure that you bring a couple of pairs of gloves with you when you go camping. If it is late fall or you know that an early snow is possible, ensure you have a pair of warm, lined mittens that will keep your whole hand warm. You might want to consider something that is also waterproof.

For less harsh camping climate extremes, pack a pair of insulated suede or leather gloves. Remember, you will be camping, and you will need something that offers good protection to your hands while at the same time keeps them warm.

Fall Jackets

Sweaters and Jackets

Sweaters are very practical items to pack for any camping trip. Even in the summer, the weather can turn chilly at night. In the fall, on a nice day, a sweater will keep you warm but not encumber you while walking the trails.

You will need at least two jackets: one lightweight and one substantially heavier. During the day, you can layer your clothing, maybe a sweater and jacket, or even a hunting vest and jacket.

You need the heavier jacket for the brisker night air or for that frosty morning.

Rain Gear

Rain is part of camping. Be prepared by storing a poncho and or slicker, along with the rest of your camping gear.

Bring along a rain jacket, too, and make sure it has features such as a stow-away hood, adjustable cuffs, and drawcords to keep it snug if the wind is blowing.

Many are light enough that they can be folded when not in use.

Final Thoughts

While you may not scrimp on food or hiking gear, don’t make the mistake of forgetting to pack the right clothing. You never know when an extra pair of boots, a rain parka, a sweater, or gloves will come in handy.


Game Day Looks – Are You Ready for College Football?

Looks for Game Day - Houser Shoes

Bring on the tailgating, junk talking, and touchdown scoring fall football season. You won’t find many people who won’t tune in for a little pigskin action. Whether you are a college student or reliving your old college days, you know how important college football season is.

If you plan to hit up some tailgating, football parties, or game day celebrations, you need to make sure your outfits complement the upbeat atmosphere of the festivities. Every football fan knows that dressing the part is just as important as for whom you are rooting. Make sure everyone knows you are the top football fan by dressing in your school colors. Remember to keep your look classy, and be smart about your footwear.

Tailgates and football games call for casual and versatile ensembles. Comfort is the priority  when deciding what to wear. Your outfit should look put together, but also allow you to participate in a few games of cornhole at the tailgate. Mix your personal style with some school spirit for the perfect college football spectator outfit.    

Incorporate Your School Colors

Show off your killer fashion by dressing the part in school colors. You don’t have to be a fashion expert to realize that wearing your old jersey and sporting your school colors is the ultimate in football fandom. Wear some great athletic shoes like Converses in your school colors, and you will be rocking that college student look.

Layer It On

Many of the season’s games will go into the colder months, which means wearing heavier gear to the games. Fall weather is fickle, and a cold front can move in quickly. If you find yourself needing a cold weather outfit, you can easily accomplish this with multiple layers. Layer an oversized sweater with a long-sleeved tee, and pair them with jeans and great athletic shoes. Accessorize the outfit with an infinity scarf and a knitted beanie in your team colors. This will help keep you warm during all the game day festivities, and the layers can be removed if the temperature rises.

Add a Touch of Class

Multiple layers are only part of what you need to ensure that you stay warm and cozy during football season. For colder days, you can bundle up in your favorite pair of jeans, basic long  sleeve tee, and a nice quilted vest or jacket for that preppy look. To incorporate your school spirit, you can add a knit hat or scarf.

fall footwear for football season

Bring on the Cowgirls

It is not always cold, depending on the time of year and location of the game. As soon as fall semester starts, college football games kick off soon after.

One of the most popular looks for women on game day includes the cutesy, short dress paired with a good looking set of cowboy boots. Pick out your favorite sundress – extra points if the dress is in your school colors – and slip on your boots for the perfect game day look. This is the ideal style for tailgating before the game, rooting for your team, and celebrating your win afterward, all while you remain fashionable in your chic look. 

Football Tailgating

Combine Your Leggings and Heels

If you want a more casual look that remains well put-together, you can always stick to leggings and a tunic or pair leggings with a school jersey. Leggings are the ultimate staple for any college student closet. This outfit works great with a pair of booties and oversized sunglasses to offset the basic look.

Stick to the Flannel

If you plan on being the chef during the tailgate, you don’t want to don your best outfit. Instead, slip on a basic tee with a flannel shirt over it. Throw on your favorite pair of jeans, and you are ready to become a grill master. You can even wear a comedic looking apron to protect your clothing and to add to the spirit of the tailgate. This outfit can be worn with flip flops or sneakers, depending on your preference. When the game is about to start, throw on your sunglasses and a team ball cap to join in the fun.

Final Thoughts

The key to dressing for college football is to show off your school spirit while remaining comfortable. Game festivities can last all day, so wear something appropriate for the weather conditions and that you feel good in while displaying your support for your team. Remember to keep it casual and comfortable.

Wear clothes you can sit in for the duration of the game, wear shoes you can do a lot of walking in, and don’t forget to layer your outfit when the temperature drops.