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Running Shoes Vs Walking Shoes: What Are the Differences?


To get the best result, you need the right tool for the work.

Walking and running is no different than this. That’s why using the same shoe for both running and walking is not going to give you much benefit.

But seemingly, many people still don’t understand the fact and use the same shoe for running and walking. As a result, they are not getting significant results from the exercise, and many of them often face injuries just for using the wrong tool.

To make people aware, we put a battle of running shoes vs walking shoes and came up with some essential factors. Read it to the last, if you don’t want to miss those.

Running and Walking Are not the Same

Both running and walking are known to be a great medium of physical exercise. And you indeed use your legs for both of the activities.

But friend, there is a huge difference between running and walking.

Running is a high-intensity sport. At the time of running, your body hits the ground with three times your whole body-weight. And the landing process is also different than that of walking. While running, you always land on the heel or the ball of the foot. So most of the body-weight concentrates on the heel.

Conversely, walking is a comparatively low-intensity sport. It is also known as low rate calorie-burning exercise to fitness freaks. When you are walking, your body hits the ground with just 1.5 times your body weight. While walking, firstly, you will land on the heel and then roll forward to your toes.

Must-Have Features for Running Shoes

As running is a different sport than others, it will demand some particular features from your shoes. Make sure your running shoe has all the things below:

  • Mesh Upper

The inner portion of running shoes gets hot in a short time. That’s why a breathable, good quality upper mesh is muchly needed for running shoes.

  • Good Shape Ankle Collar

The ankle collar holds the heel in place. In running shoes, the ankle collar needs to be a little large. Otherwise, your heel will slip while running at a fast speed.

  • Good Quality Outsole

The outsole is the outer portion of the shoe that meets the road. A running shoe should always have a grippy rubber outsole that will always give you constant traction and durability.

  • Toe Spring

Some renowned manufacturers turn up the toe of their running shoes. It is called the toe spring. Toe spring helps to bend your toe at a comfortable angle.

  • Cushioned Midsole

The portion that lies between the outsole and the upper is called the midsole. For a running shoe, the midsole needs to be cushioned but not much. So while buying your shoe, check the midsole’s thickness and look if it is soft enough.

Must-Have Features for Walking Shoes

Though walking is a low-intensity exercise, walking shoes should also have some definite characteristics to provide you with better service. Let’s see some such features that walking shoes should have:

  • Removable Insole

Walking shoes must have a removable insole that is well-cushioned. Because walking sessions usually last for a long time and so the insole can get wet. So, if it is removable, you can take it out to dry between walking sessions.

  • Synthetic Upper

Walking sessions usually last long, so the inner portion of your walking shoe should be breathable. That’s why walking shoes should have a synthetic upper that is lightweight and provide better ventilation.

  • Achilles Tendon Protector

Walking shoes should have good locking around the heel because it reduces stress on the Achilles tendon. Without it, your tendon may get damaged. 

  • Toe Box With Sufficient Space

Though the toe box does not affect running, a roomy toe box will make your walking sessions more enjoyable. Besides, it also prevents unwanted calluses.

  • Outsole

Like running shoes, the outsole is also an essential part of walking shoes. Any rubber outsole will help you maintain proper traction while you are walking.

So the walking shoes should have all these properties in them. Try to buy a pair of shoes that hold these components.

The Differences Between Running and Walking Shoes

As we already know, running and walking are very different from each other. That’s why both sports need additional equipment. You can’t run properly with shoes that are made for walking. And the same goes for walking also.

So you may be eager to know the results of the battle “running shoes vs walking shoes”. Let’s get down to see those.

Running Shoes Vs Walking Shoes

FactorRunning ShoesWalking Shoes
1.CushioningNeeds more cushioning than walking shoes.Don’t need extra cushioning.
2.Heel HeightRunning shoes need an elevated heel height for better stability.Walking shoes don’t have that extra heel height.
3.FlexibilityRunning shoes need more flexibility. That’s why they have a bent arch.Walking doesn’t need much flexibility; that’s why walking shoes don’t have a bent arch.
4.Motion ControlRunning shoes have more built-in motion control to reduce pronation.Walking shoes provide less motion control as there is less pronation in walking.
5.WeightRunning shoes are comparatively lighter than walking shoes.Heavier than running shoes.

Running and walking puts you in different situations. So it’s pretty clear that you can’t get both sports done with the same shoes.

Final Verdict

Whether your sport is walking or running, having the best pair of shoes is the primary condition for better results. So, if you have been using the same shoe for both walking and running till now, don’t let your mistake go long. Choose different shoes for different sports because running and walking will put you in two different situations. And so, you will have to take care of these situations differently.

So, buy your running and walking shoes today. Make sure your shoes hold all the criteria we discussed here.


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