By: Travelle Gaines

If you are serious about training — no matter what sport — then you should be serious about the footwear you are wearing during your workouts. Too many athletes today can be found sporting running shoes or even casual shoes during intense training. They don’t understand the benefits that a strong training shoe can bring. The Nike Metcon 2 and Nike Romaleos 2 are two of the top training shoes on the market, and below I will break down the workout benefits of each.

Nike Metcon 2

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Think of this as your strong and versatile weightlifting shoe. With enough sleekness for runs and more than enough stability — under load and laterally — for any lift, this shoe stands out over others. Some features:

  • Highly abrasion-resistant yet breathable upper withstands the most demanding training regimen.
  • Flywire cables provide a locked-down fit and feel without sacrificing flexibility.
  • Flat and firm foam rubber outsole with 4 mm drop, and a thermoplastic polyurethane plate is ideal for deadlifts and squats, as it’s designed to maintain stability under load.
  • Zero-friction heel clips keep you steady when doing handstand push-ups, allowing your feet to glide up and down with ease, no matter the wall material.
  • Aggressive sticky rubber outsole pattern gives you traction on any surface.
  • Midfoot rope wrap is made of a highly durable rubber that allows you to climb ropes without fear of slippage or material failure.

Nike Romaleos 2

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Think of this as your serious, next-level weightlifting shoe. This is for advanced weightlifters looking to lift a lot of weight in the gym. Some features are:

  • Durable synthetic upper is constructed from materials that are ultra-supportive while being lighter than the previous model.
  • Integrated lacing and two large hook-and-loop fasteners keep your foot locked firmly in place on any lift.
  • Elastic on the top of the shoe flexes with the tendons of your foot during the snapping “triple extension” movement of clean and jerk lifting.
  • Two different sock liners are included: a softer insert for training and a harder version for competition, when you benefit most from zero deflection as power is transferred through the foot.
  • Nike’s exclusive contoured thermoplastic polyurethane heel wedge cups your heel and supports your foot to provide unmatched lifting stability.
  • Rugged outsole design minimizes wear on the heel.

I assume most of you already know why it’s important to wear a training shoe during a workout involving weights, but I’ll close by stating once again that a training shoe is much more stable than a running shoe. If you’re serious about making “GAINES” and want to get better in the weight room — or in whatever training route you’ve chosen — get a shoe designed specifically for training.