Should I wear my running shoes for a walk?
Are walking shoes any different from running shoes?
Can I walk in my sneakers? After all, I feel very comfortable in them. Isn’t it all about comfort?
These are a few questions that walk past every walker’s mind while trying to figure out an ideal shoe for walking.
The constant battle between walking shoes and running shoes sees no end. On the contrary, along with the myriad options available, it is quite overwhelming to select the kind of walking shoes women or men should wear.
If your mind also often entertains the “walking shoe vs running shoe” war, we might help you here. Aided by some facts, we have tried to decode the answer to this question, echoing in the vast universe since eternity. We hope you will be able to decide what is best for you by the end of this article.
Do you need different shoes for walking and running?
According to a study published in the Journal of Biomechanics, walking and running are two different activities that involve different muscle functions. When you run, certain leg muscles, like hip and knee extensors and soleus experience a greater power output. While the other muscle groups function in the same way while walking and running.
Owing to the difference in the movements, the shoe ideal for running might not be an ideal pick for walking.
What are the differences between walking shoes and running shoes?
Walking and running are two different activities. When you walk, your one foot always stays on the ground, but it is not true for running. Needless to say, you require a separate set of features to support these activities.
Here are some parameters that set these two categories apart.
1. The weight of the shoe
Weight and the speed of a runner are inversely proportional. Hence, running shoes are always lightweight to support quick movements. On the other hand, walking shoes are heavy to maintain stability while walking at a slow, steady, and consistent pace.
2. The flexibility of the shoe
Both runners and walkers require flexible shoes. However, the intensity varies.
Runners seek more flexibility as compared to walkers. Flexible arch and midfoot help them run fast and efficiently by supporting their strike at the ball of the foot or midfoot. Walkers require more flexibility at the arch. A flexible shoe sole helps them during their consistent heel-to-toe movement.
Walking in a shoe with a less flexible arch makes them susceptible to pain due to a strained and inflamed plantar fascia ligament.
3. The cushioning of the shoe
Cushioning is an essential feature that sets running shoes apart from walking shoes.
As runners tend to stump their feet with an impact on the ground while running, they require more plush cushioning to absorb the impact and protect their feet from hitting the ground. While on the other hand, walkers need sufficient cushioning for support.
Running shoes often come with more cushioning in the heel and forefoot, which compliments running stride and provide optimum comfort while running.
Is it okay to run in walking shoes?
Well, it all boils down to one factor- your comfort. If you feel comfortable while walking in your running shoes, no one is ever going to stop you from doing so. However, in this case, you must take precautions to prevent injuries.
Give yourself the time to determine what works for you. Go for a walk wearing your walking shoes one day and running shoes the other day. Determine how your feet feel during and after the walk, and then decide which shoe is ideal for you.