Can You Wear Turf Shoes On The Gym Floor? Things You Need To Know

As a soccer fan, I do enjoy playing on the turf from time to time. And this is one of the reasons why I invested in a pair of quality turf shoes.

But, I also visit the gym every week and am tired of replacing my indoor shoes because of how fast they wear. So, can I kill two birds with one stone? That is, can I wear turf shoes on a gym floor?

Well, you have to know that this is a common dilemma that most soccer enthusiasts have to face. And even though you can still use turf shoes on gym floors, it is not advisable.

As a matter of fact, if you are a member of a gym with strict management and policies, they won’t let you work out with turf shoes. One of the main reasons why you may be tempted to bring turf shoes to the gym is because of their durability.

Since most turf shoes nowadays feature non-marking soles, they will be able to resist wear no matter how much friction you put them through. Turf shoes are also gentle on the knees and this makes them one of the best exercising shoes.

But the truth is, turf shoes aren’t made for gym floors. The floors found in gyms are flat and hard. As a result, you risk getting injured when working out and the little cushioning found in turf shoes exposes your heel to a lot of pressure.

Also, the small studs found on turf shoes won’t do you any good on the gym floor. Not unless your gym is carpeted, it’s best that you leave your turf shoes at home and wear shoes recommended for the gym.

can you wear turf shoes on gym floor
Ras / Juha Makkonen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why You Shouldn’t Wear Turf Shoes on Gym Floor?

Wearing turf shoes on a gym floor is a recipe for slipping over. Because of the small studs found underneath, your shoe will have minimal contact with the ground and this will affect your stability significantly.

For a gym with a carpet turf, however, you can put on your turf shoes. But chances are, the gym management will ban the use of turf shoes as carpets are thin, fragile, and can be damaged easily.

It’s also not recommended to wear turf shoes on carpet flooring because the blades of grass here are relatively small and the studs won’t have much grip on the surface.

Basically, the cons of wearing turf shoes on a gym floor outweigh the pros. It’s going to be quite inconvenient for you. And to avoid all that unnecessary hustle, just invest in a quality gym shoe, and leave your turf shoes only for the turf.

What about Wearing Gym (Indoor) Shoes on Turf?

Now that we have ruled out turf shoes shouldn’t be worn on gym floors, can you wear gym shoes on turf? The scenario is similar to the one above. Yes, you may but you definitely shouldn’t.

Gym shoes are to be worn indoors. And as a result, they do not have studs similar to those found in turf shoes. As a result, your feet won’t have enough grip on the surface to allow you to turn or stop swiftly.

The risk of slipping is at an all-time high whenever you get into the turf with gym shoes. Only wear indoor shoes on the turf when you just want to have some fun and indulge in light playing.

However, when playing professionally, only wear turf shoes because gym shoes can make you get or cause serious injuries to other players.

Turf Vs. Gym Shoes

If you are not well versed with these two types of shoes, you may feel confused as to which shoe should be used on which floor and why.

To help you understand further why you can’t wear turf shoes on gym floors, here is a head to head comparison of both turf and gym shoes.

Despite both the gym and turf shoes having a rubber sole and in some cases looking exactly the same, they are quite different.

Gym Shoes – Falling under the category of indoor shoes, gym shoes are designed to be used on indoor floors that may be made of ceramic, concrete, or a carpet tuff.

The latter despite being a type of turf, features extremely short artificial blades and that’s why you can comfortably wear your gym shoes when practicing on it.

To make it possible to practice on indoor surfaces, gym shoes have a flat rubber sole with tiny indentations. The reason behind this is to ensure the sole maximizes the size of floor it gets in contact with.

Turf Shoes – Just as the name suggests, these are to be used on outdoor turf pitches. An outdoor turf features longer blades that resemble real grass.

Turf shoes feature short spikes embedded on a rubber sole. The studs in turf shoes are a whole lot smaller than those in soccer shoes.

These studs are included to grip onto the turf surface and allow the wearer to move, run and stop without any fuss.

The Main Differences between Turf and Gym Shoes

  • Indoor shoes have a flat outsole whereas turf shoes have a spiked outsole to enhance grip on a turf surface.


  • Because they are designed for indoor use, gym shoes have a softer upper material. This is unlike the rugged upper material found in turf shoes that are built to withstand rain.


  • The materials used in both these shoes have to be different. Turf shoes need to have stronger materials because outdoor games are quite rough. On the other hand, indoor games are mostly subtle. And that’s why gym shoes can be made with a wide variety of materials.


  • Gym shoes are lighter than turf shoes. One of the reasons for this is that turf shoes have a more robust build, so the shoe will definitely be heavy. On the other hand, the activities involved at the gym require swiftness and agility. For instance, if you are running on a treadmill, you need to be fast. And that can’t be possible if you have on a pair of turf shoes.


  • The last main difference is the presence of studs on turf shoes and not in gym shoes. I have already explained the reasoning behind this design.

Factors to Consider When Getting Turf and Gym Shoes

Now that we know the best way for you to get the most out of your workout or games is to wear the right shoe. Let’s look at some of the things you need to consider when getting yourself a turf or gym shoe.

Let’s Start with Turf Shoes

Since you are not going to bring your gym shoes to the turf, it’s time you shopped for shoes that are made for this surface. And because there are hundreds of turf shoes on the market, here is what you need to consider;

  • The Right Fit

All factors aside, finding the right fit is the most important thing you need to consider when buying a turf shoe. It should fit you perfectly both at the heel and toe.

A snuggle fit will ensure comfort when playing, minimize sliding and give you more control. Because of the nature of outdoor activities, avoid shoes that are too narrow.

  • Opt for Leather Cleats

Cleats come in either synthetic or pure leather. I would recommend the latter because it stretches easily and once you break in your turf shoes, leather conforms easily to the shape of your feet. It is also comfier.

  • Budget

With turf shoes, there is no limit on how much a shoe can cost. The more features a shoe has the more it will cost you. And the higher the price tag doesn’t necessarily mean the better the shoe.

What about Gym Shoes?

Not all indoor shoes qualify to be used on the gym floor. A good pair of gym shoes should fit you well, be breathable, offer comfort, and at the same time practicality.

You also need to be very keen on the heel. A higher heel can be uncomfortable and a smaller one can affect your posture. So, go for something that’s in between.

When it comes to gym shoes, the workout intended plays a key role when choosing the shoe. Here is what you need to consider when choosing a gym shoe for the following types of workouts;

  • Treadmill Exercises

If most of your workouts revolve around the treadmill, a pair of running shoes should be your go-to option. Ensure that you look for features that offer you the support you need when running.

  • Cardio

For those who are enrolled in a cardio class, your ideal gym shoes should offer support and accommodate rigorous movements. The grip needs to be on point and the comfort ought to be exceptional.

A wide toe box may come in handy when engaging in cardio. So keep that in mind and don’t forget about ankle and arch support.

  • Lifting Weights

Weight lifters also need a pair of quality gym shoes. Preferably, the best shoes for weight lifting ought to have a firm grip on the ground. This ensures the safety and takes away the risk of slipping.

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