The importance of proper aerobic shoes is often underrated. People talk about doing the exercises right, planning out a routine, eating properly, hydrating properly, and all manner of other workout tips, but they seldom get to talk about good gym shoes. Of course, if you are taking an aerobics class, then footwear does not matter. You will do all of your aerobic exercise on a padded mat, and wearing shoes will be discouraged, if not outright banned from the room for the sake of preserving the floor. But for many other aerobic exercises (with swimming and a few other excepted) proper aerobic shoes are a must. You just can not protect your feet without them.
The type of aerobic shoes depend on what you are doing for your workout. If you are a serious runner, you need to get running shoes. These are lighter than other kind of aerobic shoes, and concentrate padding for where runners need it. They are no good for playing tennis, for example, as they provide very little lateral ankle support. For tennis, or most other exercises that involve more than just moving in a straight line, you need a different kind of aerobic shoes: cross trainers or tennis shoes. Basically, both of these aerobic shoes are about the same thing â€“ the modern version of the gym shoe, with plenty of padding, but still a low top to allow some flexibility and movement at the ankle.
Of course, if you play basketball, you need bigger sturdier aerobic shoes to adequately protect your ankle. These are called high tops, and they come up all the way to the top of the ankle. They are great for this sport, because you are repeatedly jumping high, bursting into sudden sprints in different directions, and doing many other things that can wreak havoc on your ankle. They protect you from injuries much better than any other kind of aerobic shoes, and you will see almost all basketball players wearing them. They are not good for the kinds of sprints that you have in tennis, however, and so are rarely if ever worn by tennis players. Then again, if you are a cross country runner, you need different aerobic shoes altogether. They will be sort of a combination between tennis shoes and light hiking boots, with a fairly light build and plenty of traction on the bottom. But that is another story entirely.