Going to the gym means you need the right footwear. If you’re headed to Planet Fitness, you probably want to know their policies on workout shoes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll give you a quick rundown of Planet Fitness’ rules on footwear and then go into detail on what shoes are allowed, shoe requirements for various areas of the gym, and more.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Planet Fitness requires athletic shoes in most areas but allows open-toed shoes in some sections like the tanning beds and massage chairs. Shoes with black soles that may leave marks are prohibited.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover Planet Fitness’ specific shoe requirements for different zones, recommendations on athletic shoe types for the gym, rules on flip flops and sandals, and tips for keeping your workout shoes odor-free.

Overview of Planet Fitness Shoe Rules

When it comes to working out at Planet Fitness, it’s important to follow their shoe policy to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all members. Here is an overview of the shoe rules at Planet Fitness.

Standard gym floor

On the standard gym floor, Planet Fitness requires all members to wear closed-toe athletic shoes. This is to provide proper support and protection for your feet during exercises and to prevent any potential injuries. So, make sure to wear your favorite pair of sneakers when hitting the gym floor.

Cardio machines

Whether you’re using the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, closed-toe athletic shoes are a must. These shoes provide the necessary grip and stability to safely operate the cardio machines. Plus, they help to absorb impact and reduce the risk of strain or injury.

Weight lifting areas

When it comes to the weight lifting areas, it’s important to wear closed-toe athletic shoes that provide good ankle support and stability. This is crucial for maintaining proper form and preventing any foot or ankle injuries while lifting weights.

Group fitness classes

For group fitness classes at Planet Fitness, closed-toe athletic shoes are highly recommended. These classes often involve various movements and exercises that require stability and support, so wearing appropriate footwear is essential for safety and comfort.

HydroMassage chairs

While the shoe policy may not directly apply to the HydroMassage chairs, it’s still a good idea to take off your shoes before enjoying a relaxing session. This not only helps to keep the chairs clean and hygienic but also allows you to fully relax and enjoy the massage experience.

Tanning beds

Although the shoe policy may not seem relevant to tanning beds, it’s important to remember that proper footwear should be worn while moving around the gym, including when going to and from the tanning area. Closed-toe shoes are necessary to ensure your safety and prevent any accidents or injuries.

Best Athletic Shoes to Wear at Planet Fitness

Choosing the right athletic shoes is essential for a comfortable and effective workout at Planet Fitness. The right shoes can provide the necessary support, cushioning, and stability to help you perform at your best.

Whether you’re into cross-training, running, or walking, here are some recommendations to help you find the perfect pair:

Cross-training shoes

Cross-training shoes are versatile and designed to provide stability and support for a variety of activities, making them an excellent choice for your workouts at Planet Fitness. They typically have a wider base and extra lateral support to help with side-to-side movements.

Look for shoes with good cushioning to absorb impact during high-intensity exercises. Some popular cross-training shoe brands include Nike, Reebok, and New Balance.

Running shoes

If running is your primary workout at Planet Fitness, investing in a good pair of running shoes is crucial. Running shoes are designed to provide maximum cushioning and shock absorption, reducing the risk of injuries. Look for shoes that offer good arch support and a comfortable fit.

Brands like Brooks, Asics, and Adidas are known for their high-quality running shoes.

Walking shoes

For those who prefer walking as their main form of exercise, walking shoes are the way to go. These shoes are specifically designed to provide stability and support for the repetitive motion of walking. Look for shoes with a flexible sole and good cushioning to absorb the impact of each step.

Popular walking shoe brands include Skechers, New Balance, and Merrell.

Remember, when shopping for athletic shoes, it’s important to try them on and walk around in them to ensure a proper fit. Everyone’s feet are different, so what works for one person may not work for another.

It’s also worth considering getting a professional fitting at a specialty running store to find the perfect pair for your feet.

For more information on choosing the right athletic shoes, you can visit Runner’s World or REI.

Are Flip Flops Allowed at Planet Fitness?

One of the common questions that many Planet Fitness members have is whether flip flops are allowed at the gym. Let’s take a closer look at the Planet Fitness shoe policy and find out if you can rock your flip flops while working out.

Flip flops in locker room/bathrooms

When it comes to wearing flip flops in the locker room and bathrooms at Planet Fitness, the general rule is that they are allowed. Flip flops can provide a convenient and hygienic option for protecting your feet in these areas where water and moisture may be present.

They can also help prevent the spread of bacteria and fungus, which thrive in warm and damp environments. So, feel free to slip on your flip flops in the locker room and bathroom areas.

Flip flops in tanning area

However, it’s important to note that flip flops may not be permitted in the tanning area at Planet Fitness. This policy varies from club to club, so be sure to check with the staff or refer to your specific club’s guidelines.

The reason behind this restriction is to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the tanning beds. Tanning beds require a certain level of cleanliness and hygiene, and wearing flip flops might not meet these requirements.

In such cases, it’s recommended to check if your club provides disposable foot covers or sandals specifically for use in the tanning area.

Planet Fitness flip flop recommendations

If you’re planning to wear flip flops at Planet Fitness, it’s important to choose a pair that are comfortable, supportive, and suitable for working out. Opt for flip flops that have a sturdy sole and provide good arch support to help prevent foot fatigue and discomfort.

Look for flip flops made from durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of your workouts. It’s also a good idea to choose flip flops with slip-resistant soles to prevent any accidents or falls.

Keeping Your Gym Shoes Odor-Free

One common problem many gym-goers face is the unpleasant odor that can develop in their gym shoes. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies you can implement to keep your gym shoes fresh and odor-free.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your shoes remain clean and comfortable for your workouts.

Let shoes dry completely between wears

One of the main causes of shoe odor is moisture buildup. After each workout, it is essential to let your shoes dry completely before wearing them again. This allows any moisture to evaporate, preventing bacteria from thriving and causing unpleasant smells.

Don’t be tempted to stuff your shoes in a bag or locker immediately after your workout; instead, leave them in a well-ventilated area to air out.

Use antibacterial spray

An effective way to combat shoe odor is by using an antibacterial spray. These sprays are designed to kill odor-causing bacteria and fungi, which can thrive in the warm and damp environment of your gym shoes. Simply spray a light mist inside your shoes after each workout, and allow them to air dry.

This will help eliminate any lingering odors and keep your shoes smelling fresh.

Replace insoles regularly

Insoles play a significant role in absorbing sweat and preventing odor buildup in your gym shoes. Over time, these insoles can become worn out and less effective. It is recommended to replace them regularly, especially if you engage in intense workouts or have particularly sweaty feet.

By replacing your insoles, you can maintain proper hygiene and minimize the chance of developing unwanted odors.

Wash shoes in vinegar and water

For stubborn odors that won’t go away with regular cleaning, washing your gym shoes in a mixture of vinegar and water can be highly effective. Vinegar is known for its antibacterial properties and can help kill odor-causing bacteria.

Create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, and soak your shoes in it for about an hour. Afterward, rinse them thoroughly with clean water and let them air dry. This method can help eliminate even the toughest odors from your gym shoes.

Sprinkle baking soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can work wonders in eliminating shoe odors. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb any unpleasant smells, leaving your shoes fresh and odor-free.

In the morning, simply shake out the excess baking soda, and your shoes will be ready to wear.

Remember, maintaining proper hygiene and taking proactive steps to prevent shoe odor is essential for a pleasant gym experience. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your gym shoes remain fresh and comfortable, allowing you to focus on your workouts without any distracting smells.

Planet Fitness Shoe Policy FAQs

Does Planet Fitness provide workout shoes?

No, Planet Fitness does not provide workout shoes. It is advisable to bring your own workout shoes to ensure comfort and safety during your exercise routine. Wearing proper athletic shoes can help prevent injuries and provide the necessary support for your feet and ankles.

Remember to choose shoes that are suitable for the type of exercise you plan to do at the gym.

What happens if you break the shoe policy?

If you violate Planet Fitness’ shoe policy by not wearing appropriate footwear, you may be approached by a staff member and asked to comply with the policy. In some cases, you may be denied access to certain areas or equipment until you have the proper shoes on.

It is important to respect the gym’s rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all members.

Can you wear boots at Planet Fitness?

No, boots are not allowed to be worn at Planet Fitness. This is because boots are not designed for exercise and can pose a safety risk. They may have a harder sole, which can damage the gym equipment or cause you to lose balance.

Additionally, boots may not provide the necessary support and flexibility needed for various exercises. It is best to wear athletic shoes specifically designed for workouts at the gym.


Knowing what footwear is allowed at Planet Fitness ensures you can work out comfortably and safely. While standard athletic shoes are required in most areas, the rules are a bit more relaxed for things like tanning beds and massage chairs.

With the right athletic kicks for your workout and a pair of flip flops for the locker room, you’ll be all set to follow their shoe policies.

We’ve covered their specific shoe requirements for different zones, top shoe recommendations, flip flop allowances, and tips for odor prevention. Just remember that athletic footwear with non-marking soles is standard for most equipment.

Now that you know the ins and outs of Planet Fitness’ shoe expectations, you can hit the gym prepared and focused on your fitness goals.

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