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Do you know the difference between sneakers and shoes? 

If you are looking for a new pair of shoes, you should learn more about these two types of footwear.

Sneakers and shoes are different; they have similar features, benefits, and drawbacks. They differ in design and purpose. 

In this article, you will learn about:

  • What are sneakers and shoes? 
  • How do sneakers and shoes feel, look, and perform? 
  • Sharing my personal experiences with sneakers and shoes
  • How do they compare in comfort, durability, style, and price?
  • Choosing the best sneakers or shoes for you?

By the end, you will clearly understand the difference between sneakers and shoes. 

Extra tips have been included at the end of the article to help you choose the right sneaker or shoes. 

And you can decide which one suits your needs and preferences. 

What are Sneakers?


Sneakers are more than just shoes. They are a way of expressing personal style and identity. Their customisation options let people choose their colours, patterns, and designs.

Sneakers are also comfortable and supportive for various activities and casual wear. They have cushioned soles, breathable materials, and flexible shapes that adapt to the feet.

Sneakers have become fashion symbols, attracting luxury brands and celebrities. They have different styles, such as high-tops, low-tops, slip-ons, and lace-ups. They can match any outfit, from jeans to dresses.

Sneakers uniquely combine comfort and personal style. They are shoes that people can wear with confidence and flair. 

Why I Prefer Sneakers

Me reviewing sneakers on YouTube

I love sneakers for many reasons. Some of them are:

  • Comfy: They are soft and flexible and fit my feet well
  • Stylish: They are fashionable and suit my personality
  • Cool: They are breathable and airy and let my feet breathe
  • Versatile: They are adaptable and flexible and match most outfits and occasions

I prefer to wear low-top sneakers with shorts or cargo pants for a casual look.

I wear my cosy and lightweight Nike Vomero 5 to work, which might surprise you. They look professional enough, I guess haha.

Another reason I prefer sneakers over sports shoes is that they last longer. I have a lot of sneakers that I review on YouTube. 

I can wear them all day without hurting my feet. 

What are Shoes?

Image via Richard Heathcote

Designers create sports shoes for specific physical activities. They have features that suit the activity and enhance and improve performance.

Different sports require different shoes, depending on whether they are indoor or outdoor and what kind of movements they involve.

For example, curling is an ice sport requiring warm and flexible shoes and a Teflon slider for sliding on the ice. They also have a stable outsole and an adjustable upper for balance and mobility.

Another example is squash, a fast-paced sport that needs shoes with good stability for quickly changing direction.

Some sports shoes, such as running shoes, can be used for multiple sports. Running shoes are versatile and can adapt to different surfaces and speeds.

Why Shoes Are Worth It


Sports shoes are great for boosting my performance because they have:

  • Cushioning: They protect my feet from impact and reduce fatigue
  • Stability: They support my feet and prevent injuries
  • Grip: They adapt to different surfaces and improve traction

I’m a gym and running fan. I need sports shoes that can handle both activities. My favourite sports shoes are the Nike React Infinity 3. They are road running shoes but also great for gym circuits, treadmills and outdoor running.

Sports shoes are worth it because they are versatile, comfortable and cool. They can do different things, cushion my feet and let them breathe. My feet are less sweaty after exercise. 

Difference Between Sneakers and Shoes

Design: Designed to showcase product technology and innovation, with cushioning, ventilation, traction, and stability features.Design: Designed to be casual and comfortable, with a slip-on style and an open or closed heel. 
Comfort: Sneakers provide comfort for different activities and lifestyles, with support, safety, and shock absorption.Comfort: sports shoes provide comfort for all-season wear, with waterproof or water-resistant properties that keep the feet dry and clean. 
Style: Sneakers express personal style and identity with a thriving custom sneaker market and collaborations. Style: Versatile and convenient, with a simple, minimalist design that matches any outfit. 
Sneakers fit snugly or loose. You can adjust the laces or straps. They have different sizes and widths for different foot shapes.Sports shoes fit tightly and correctly. They restrict your feet’s movement and lock them in.
Sneakers resist wear and tear with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. You can replace parts like insoles, laces, or outsoles to make them last longer.Sports shoes resist scratches and cracks better and have durable, easy-to-clean materials. Little maintenance or repair is needed. 
Purpose: The fashion industry designs sneakers to meet specific needs and preferences.Purpose: You can use sports shoes for a variety of activities.
Cushioning: Usually is medium to firm feeling depending on the brand and style. Cushioning: This is usually bouncy, with the right feedback feeling with every stride. 
Material: Sneaker manufacturers use various materials, including suede, textile, leather, and recycled fabric.Material: Used in sports shoes, it is much more durable due to the likelihood of more movement. 
Traction: Best used on smooth surfaces such as paved walkways and indoor use.Sports shoes usually have ridged outsoles, ideal for various surfaces such as tracks and indoor use.

Tips For Buying Shoes

Me testing Sports Shoes on Youtube
  • Try sports shoes in the late afternoon, when your feet are the most swollen. 
  • Take along any orthotics or insoles you wear and the socks you typically use. 
  • There should be half a thumb’s width between the end of your longest toe and the tip of a shoe.
  • Emulate on-court movements while you’re trying shoes/running around, and try out your different moves in a match. 
  • Wear the shoes around the house before you use them on the court.

Pros and Cons of Sneakers 

new balance sneakers on wall
Comfortable: Sneakers provide cushioning, support, and flexibility for your feet with their design.Expensive: Sneakers can cost much money, especially if you want to buy the latest or limited edition models. 
Versatile: People wear sneakers for different purposes, such as casual, athletic, or fashion.Sneakers get dirty easily outdoors or in dusty, muddy, or wet places. Mesh and suede sneakers take more work to clean.
Stylish: Sneakers can express your personality, taste, and preferences.Foot problems: Sneakers can cause foot problems, such as blisters, if not fitted properly. 

Pros and Cons of Shoes

You can wear comfy and versatile sports shoes anytime, anywhere. They match any outfit.Sports shoes wear out faster than sneakers with more exercise. You need to change them more often. 
Sports shoes last longer than sneakers and need minor repair or replacement.Some sports shoes look plain and boring compared to sneakers.
Some sports shoes keep your feet dry in wet conditions. Some have no laces, so you can quickly put them on and take them off.New sports shoes may cause blisters until you break them in. 


You have learned the difference between sneakers and shoes, two footwear types with similar features, benefits, and drawbacks.

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