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An athletic shoe or sneaker is a generic name for footwear designed for sporting and physical activities, and is different in style and build than a dress shoe.

Athletic shoes, depending on the location and the actual type of footwear, can also go by the name trainers, sandshoes or joggers, running shoes, runners or gutties, sneakers, tennis shoes,gym shoes, tennies, sport shoes, sneaks, or takkies and rubber shoes. The term athletic shoes is used for running in a marathon or half marathon, basketball, and tennis (amongst others) but tends to exclude shoes for sports played on grass such as football (soccer) and rugby, which are generally known as "boots", or in North America as cleats.

The shoes themselves are made of flexible material, typically featuring a sole made of dense rubber. While the original design was basic, manufacturers have since tailored athletic shoes for the different purposes that they can be used for. A specific example of this is the spiked shoe developed for track running. It is also a good idea to get your foot measured by a trained shoe specialist. Also, some come in leather,

High-end marathon running shoes will often come in different shapes suited to different foot types, gait etc.