At first glance, it may appear that it doesn’t matter if you wear running shoes for walking or walking shoes for running. However, there are some differences that you should be concerned about if you walk or run frequently and want the proper support. If this is an issue that you are concerned about, below is some information on whether not running shoes make good walking shoes, that you may find helpful.
Key Differences Between Running vs Walking Shoes
Since running and walking are completely different activities, they require special footwear designed to support the impact of each activity. When athletic shoe manufacturers manufacture athletic shoes, they do so with the sport or activity in mind and the type of demand that each sport will require. This takes place to ensures that the level of stress you’re putting on your feet is properly supported based on whether you’re walking or running. For example, running in general is much more of a high impact sport than walking. According to research, when walking, the impact on the ground is normally 1.5 times the weight of your body. However, if someone is running, the impact on the ground it’s three times the weight of your body. To that end, runners usually land on the ball of their feet, their midfoot or on their heel; whereas walkers land on their heel but the weight rolls to the ball of their toe. Women should research the best running shoes for women and men should research the best running shoes for men to increase the chances of selecting the right shoe.
When walking, the body weight is more evenly distributed on the feet more so than when running. A much gentler motion takes place when you’re walking and thus walking shoes are better suited for and designed specifically for the motion that takes place while walking. So basically, the demands that each activity places on your feet are inherently different and thus your shoes should be different too.
The Differences Between Running and Walking Shoe Designs
Since athletic shoes are designed to support the impact of the sports activity, a running shoe best accommodates the sport of running, where as a walking shoe is better suited for walking. A running shoe is designed with more of a cushion in the heel of the shoe. This is not needed as much during walking activities so their designed with less cushion. Most people tend to feel hotter while they’re running; therefore the running shoe is designed with more breathability. That’s because it usually is made with more mesh than the walking shoe.
Wearing the Right Shoe Can Reduce Injuries
One more thing that’s worth mentioning here is that it’s important to wear the right kind of shoe based on the type of activity that is taking place because it can reduce injuries from occurring. Plus, wearing a walking shoe for walking provides a much better experience than it would if you wore a running shoe for walking (or visa-versa).
According to WebMD, wearing the correct pair of shoes is one of the most vital pieces of equipment that you can use – regardless of the type of sports activity that you’re participating in.
They also added that a good pair of athletic shoes can have a tremendous effect on your workout – but it’s pretty easy to select the wrong type of shoe. They advise avoiding mistakes like grabbing whatever shoe is handy and choosing the right shoe for the wrong workout.
Tracie Rogers, PhD, and a consultant for the American Council on Exercise also added that wearing an old pair of shoes may no longer have the support you need based on your sports activity, let alone the right shoe for the sports activity that you will be performing. For example, the best running shoes for men is different from shoes that are made for playing tennis or basketball.
So, you’re probably getting the point by now, if you walk a lot, you should certainly seek out shoes designed specifically for walking and that’s most suitable and comfortable for you.