Fitness Footwear

What is the difference between a walking and running shoe?

A Answers (2)

  • Walking shoes are designed to have the base of support on the heel and to enhance the rocking motion from heel to toe that is natural of walking motion. Running shoes have the support distributed more evenly across the entire foot to help distribute the load more evenly when you run. Walking shoe will not provide a natural motion while running and is not recommended for people who run regularly. If you do a combination of running and walking a cross training shoe would be the best option.
  • Although a walker can use running shoes, a runner should never run in walking shoes because they lack appropriate support and cushioning for the higher-impact sport. The fit of a shoe is paramount for either a runner or a walker. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, a perfect walking shoe or running shoe offers stability, cushioning and allows for a smooth stride.

    Sole and Heel - Running shoes tend to have a stiffer sole. As a result, walkers sometimes find that running shoes impede their ability to achieve a natural stride or gait. Walking shoes usually bend more easily when you grip the toe and heel. In order to provide absorption from the shock of running, many running shoes have thick heel wedges. While these provide cushioning for runners, they can cause a slapping movement of the foot when walking, which can induce shin splints or Achilles tendinitis in some walkers. The thicker sole also can cause a walker to trip. The mechanism of walking happens with a heel-ball-toe strike while runners land more on the mid-sole or forefoot. Walking shoes' heels usually are beveled to specifically address the way walkers land on their heels.

    Issues of pronation (rotating the foot inward) and supination (rotating the foot outward) exaggerate in a running stride. Many running shoes offer motion control features that keep your foot in a more neutral position. Although some walking shoes provide stability, they will not offer it to the same degree as running shoes.

    Weight and Design - Running shoes are usually lighter than walking shoes to help a runner move faster. Because there is a greater demand for running shoes, manufacturers offer more variety in terms of colors and design of running shoes. Feb 5, 2010 | By Andrea Cespedes
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