The Men’s Fitness exercise shoe guide

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Pick the right training shoe and you’ll not only improve performance you’ll also reduce the chance of picking up an injury. If you’re taking on new challenges for 2015 or simply need a kit refresh - take a look at our current favourites. 
New Balance 860V5
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New Balance 860V5

Road running: New Balance 860V5

When buying a road shoe the first thing to consider is your running style. If you dramatically over or under pronate (striking heavily on your forefoot or heel – get analysed at a running shop if you’re unsure) you need shoes designed for that. However, whatever type you need the main features to look out for are the sole and upper. Our favourite right now is the New Balance 860V5. The lightweight, breathable material keeps your foot from getting sweaty, while the cushioning provides amazing shock absorption despite being 12% lighter than standard foam soles. 
Nike Free Hyperfeel TR
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Nike Free Hyperfeel TR

Minimalist: Nike Free Hyperfeel TR

Minimalist shoes abandon the cushioned support traditionally associated with trainers. With zero-drops (the distance the shoe elevates your foot off the floor), roomy toe boxes, and increased flexibility the idea is to encourage as natural a movement as possible. Most shoe companies do their own version nowadays, but one of the widest choices comes from Nike’s Free range, with shoes for running, the gym or just everyday wear. The Nike Free Hyperfeel TR combines the minimal design of Free with super lightweight Flyknit material, creating one of the most natural feeling shoes around.
Salomon Speedcross 3
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Salomon Speedcross 3

Trail running: Salomon Speedcross 3

Running off-road demands a shoe fit for the task. That means chunky lugs for grip on muddy surfaces, a reinforced sole for protection in case you accidentally stomp on pointy rocks, and material that either doesn’t let water in, or does but also has drainage to let it out again. The Salomon Speedcross 3 has all that jazz, plus a few more tricks up its sleeve, such as super low ground clearance to reduce your chances of twisting an ankle. Plus, unlike most trail shoes it doesn’t look like it fell out a fluro-infused ugly tree. It’s not like you’d wear it out on the town, but it’s a vast improvement on most of the competition.
inov-8 F-Lite 195
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inov-8 F-Lite 195

Training: inov-8 F-Lite 195

Training shoes can be worn for a wide range of exercises. Slight midfoot cushioning lets you do box jumps or sprints while still having a low enough drop to give stability and stop you tipping forwards when deadlifting. The grippy sole keeps you firmly rooted to the spot so no power is lost from the ground up. Shoes such as the inov-8 F-Lite 195 also have special reinforcements to help you get up ropes faster and slide down them without any burn – perfect if CrossFit is your thing. It also happens to be one of the lightest gym shoes in existence, weighing in (as the name suggests) at a paltry 195g.
Adidas Adipower
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Adidas Adipower

Weightlifting: Adidas Adipower

Designed specifically for Olympic lifts (squats, cleans, jerks, snatches), the raised heel on weightlifting shoes such as the Adidas Adipower let you squat deeper with more control. Flat, wide soles give you a stable base to push through, which is important for injury prevention, while a lack of cushioning means none of the force you generate is absorbed and therefore lost. If you’re skeptical about the need for buying a specific pair of shoes for a handful of lifts, try squatting with a weight plate under your heels to elevate them. We guarantee you’ll feel the benefit.
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