When you are looking for a new pair of shoes, you may come across running shoes and walking shoes. In a glance, they look similar. However, a runner should not wear walking shoes for running. On the other hand, a walker may use running shoes for walking. See the detailed comparisons between running shoes vs walking shoes below!
In this article, you can find out more about:
– The distinctive features of running shoes and walking shoes,
– The comfort and performance of running shoes vs walking shoes,
– The suitable uses of each type of shoes, and
– Which type of shoes that is more recommended for you.
As a matter of fact, both running shoes and walking shoes require decent flexibility to allow easy movement. Ideally, the shoes should flex the most around the arch or midfoot. This way, the foot can perform natural motion comfortably. See also: Training Shoes vs Running Shoes.
Most running shoes are flexible, though the degree of flexibility may vary from model to model. For example, motion-control running shoes like the ones from Asics and stability shoes are less flexible because they need to maintain more structure.
On the other hand, many walking shoes are not flexible at all. This is not a big problem if you only wear the shoes for casual walking and daily activities. However, you may find difficulties when you have to flex your feet.
The next difference between these two types of shoes is the cushioning. Running shoes generally need to have more cushioning, as they have to reduce the impact of every step to provide the best comfort and protection. This is why many running shoes boast about their cushioning.
Meanwhile, walking shoes don’t need extra cushioning. They are made for walking, which involve lighter steps compared to running. Without the extra cushioning, walking shoes can be lighter yet still comfortable.
Running shoes typically have thicker or higher heels. Even so, different runners may have different running styles; some people strike at the forward part of the heel, some strike at the midfoot, and some others at the ball of the foot. Those who strike with the heel or midfoot should choose less built-up heels, whilst those who land on the ball should choose more built-up heels.
On the other hand, walkers strike with their heels and roll through the steps. They don’t need higher heels. Walking shoes ideally should have minimal heel drops. Most walkers should choose shoes with low heel drops for the best comfort and performance.
Furthermore, running shoes may have flared heels in order to provide enhanced stability. The flared heels are especially beneficial for those who strike at the midfoot or forefoot. On the other hand, walking shoes should not have flared heels, as they may impede the forward rolling motion through the step.
Running Shoes vs Walking Shoes
|Running Shoes||Walking Shoes|
|- More flexible||- Less flexible or not flexible at all|
|- Thick cushioning||- Less cushioning|
|- Higher heels||- Lower heels|
|- May have flared heels||- Should not have flared heels|
|- Suitable for running and walking||- Only suitable for casual walking|
Although running shoes and walking shoes may look similar, they have distinctive features and benefits. Walking shoes are only suitable for walking. Walking shoes have less flexibility, less cushioning, and non-flared heels. On the other hand, running shoes are great for running as well as walking. Running shoes have more flexibility and cushioning, so they allow better comfort and performance. Running shoes usually have higher and flared heels.