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What’s the difference between gym shoes and sneakers?

May 11, 2020

What’s the difference between gym shoes and sneakers

Gym shoes and sneakers are both a part of our everyday lives—we wear them as everyday footwear, to exercise and at work. We often use these two words interchangeably, even though there’s a small, subtle difference between them. Gym shoes were developed especially for sport, whereas sneakers are generally look- or style-related.


From gym shoe to sneaker

The line between gym shoes and sneakers isn’t exactly clear; that’s because the history of sneakers is very similar to gym shoes. In the 19th century, the first gym shoes were created. These shoes had a very rigid, rubber sole and were primarily used (and beloved) by athletes.

Over the years, gym shoes evolved. Thanks to Charles Goodyear, gym shoes started to be made with a softer sole made of vulcanized rubber. This sole made the shoes so soft. So soft in fact, that it made it so easy for their wearer to “sneak” across the floor, hence their name. From this moment, the shoe industry changed forever as the sneaker was born. More and more famous stars like Chuck Taylor, Mick Jagger or Michael Jordan began to wear sneakers in their everyday lives. That’s how sneakers turned into a stylish fashion symbol.

In contrast to sneakers, gym shoes are produced with emphasis on the shoes’ athletic aspects. Properties like cushioning, fit and sole vary depending on each specific sport, and are designed to correctly support their wearer through athletic activity.


The Giesswein Merino Sneaker

Our Giesswein Merino Sneakers combine style and comfort. They’re made of our unique 3D Stretch Merino wool material, which allows the sneaker to fit your foot like a glove. The shoes’ soft wool is breathable, and is temperature- and moisture-regulating—which means that your feet will neither be too warm nor too cold in any temperature, and that they’ll always stay comfortably dry. Our slip-free sole system, made of feather-light EVA material, will make you feel like you’re floating through the streets.

You can also ditch your socks while wearing our Merino Shoes—yes, you can wear them barefoot—without sweating. What Are Barefoot Shoes? You can get all the answers you need on our blog.

Sneakers Merino RunnersSneakers Merino Wool Knit


Wool Cross X – the world’s first Merino sport shoe

Are you looking for a comfortable athletic shoe? Look no further than our super-light Wool Cross X. The shoes’ soft inner lining, which is made of Merino wool, wicks moisture away from the foot. It also keeps feet cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. This keeps your foot at a comfortable temperature, allowing you to enjoy long, safe trainings. Their water repellent material and Micro-Grip Sole Technology makes the Wool Cross X the perfect athletic shoe for all types of weather and terrain.

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