While Nike Roshes are my go-to everyday shoe and Adidas Ultraboosts are my number one pair for running, I learned the hard way that they’re not all so great for certain studio classes. In fact, it’s dangerous to work out in sneakers that are meant to be worn for a different activity. Don’t make the mistake of sporting the wrong mesh or knit sneakers to Zumba or dance classes, mixed-format classes, or any other class that requires a lot of lateral floor work — here’s why.

The reason I love the aforementioned sneakers is because they’re lightweight and breathable, thanks to their fabric. But that’s also exactly why many of these styles are the worst for particular workouts. While they may be great for running, they’re built for forward motion, not side-to-side motion. And when your shoe isn’t designed to keep the foot and ankle aligned, you’re risking yourself of injury while doing dynamic movements. My own moment of realization was during a Barre Fight class (a combination of barre and kickboxing drills) at San Francisco’s Salt studio. The sequence called for jumping jacks, high-knee jumps, and side-to-side lunge switches. I saw the sides of my foot going past the sole with each move, leaving my ankles and knees vulnerable. My ankles were in pain for the rest of the evening.

After making that mistake, I did some research on the right types of shoes for these workouts. Here are some of our favorite sneakers that do support lateral motion!

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