Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes: What Is the Difference?

How much do you know about the differences between running shoes vs. walking shoes? Read on to get a clear understanding of the differences between them.

Did you know that in the United States alone that there are approximately 50 million people who engage in jogging or running on a regular basis? Whether you’re a runner or like to take it slow and prefer walking instead, the shoes you choose to take with you on your journeys can make all the difference.

After all, after some time trekking on foot, you will know whether you made the right shoe choice because your feet will either be in pain or comfort.

The mistake that people make is believing that there is no difference between running shoes vs. walking shoes. There is actually a big difference between them since they are constructed for very different purposes.

After all, even though both walking and running involve impact on your joints, running involves a lot more (and more forceful) impact compared to walking.

First, let’s take a look at the anatomy of running shoes and then see how walking shoes compare.

Understanding The Structure Of Running Shoes

Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes: What Is the Difference?

When it comes to buying the best running shoes for you, you will find that most running shoes will advertise their midsoles. The midsole is the part of the sole that absorbs most of the impact of your runs. After all, if you think about it, the whole weight of your body is coming down on your feet with each step of your run.

You can imagine that if you don’t have the right kind of cushioning for your feet that your knees, hips, ankles, and spine will all suffer as a result. Fortunately, running shoes are designed to absorb as much impact as possible so you won’t have to deal with too many future joint issues. A good midsole will ensure that it won’t feel like your feet are hitting concrete as your run.

Running shoes also tend to have very thick heel cushioning compared to walking shoes. Both in running and walking, the heel of your foot is the first thing that hits the ground. However, when you’re walking, you are not putting a lot of weight on your heel.

On the other hand, when you’re running, you might be putting 200 pounds or more on your heel with every step. With the right amount of heel cushioning, you can make sure that you won’t have severe heel pain by the time you’re done running. Purchasing the right kind of running shoes for heel pain will ensure that it does not negatively impact your overall experience or recovery time.

Running shoes also tend to have higher heels. This is because the higher heel, besides providing more cushion to the heel, provides more support for the feet overall. In the same vein, you may find that many running shoes have heels that are flared at the back.

This is also to provide your feet with more support and stability. Without these additions, your foot might more easily roll under your own weight.

Understanding The Structure Of Walking Shoes

Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes: What Is the Difference?

When choosing running shoes, you want something like the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 that will keep your feet comfortable. The same is true when choosing the best walking shoes for you. If your feet aren’t comfortable in your shoes, you might have to cut your walk short due to your pain or discomfort.

Many people think that if they get running shoes that they are all-purpose shoes. This is not the case and if you are an avid walker (and not a runner) you will find that a pair of running shoes will leave your feet very uncomfortable after a certain period of time. This is because, indeed, the structure of running shoes doesn’t fit the needs that walkers have.

One of the biggest differences between walking shoes and running shoes is that running shoes tend to have much thicker heels. This thickness is mostly in the midsole and the heel. You might think that having thicker heels when walking is a great idea, but it can actually lead to tendonitis in some people.

This is because the thick heels of running shoes are meant to be squished down under a lot of pressure as you run. On the other hand, since you will not be squishing the heels as much when you walk instead of running, you are giving your leg and foot muscles more work and strain. Walking shoes, in contrast, have thinner heels.

These thin heels still give the feet plenty of support and no strain. Another difference between running and walking shoes is the weight. Running shoes are always designed to be as lightweight as possible.

After all, running with a pair of heavy shoes would quickly exhaust a runner and slow them down. Walking shoes are heavier because walkers don’t have any need to sprint.


Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes: What Is the Difference?

The last big difference between running and walking shoes is the flexibility of these shoes. Many people don’t bother to think about shoe flexibility, but it can actually make a world of difference. Of course, neither walking nor running shoes should be stiff.

However, running shoes tend to be a bit more flexible than walking shoes. Since your feet will likely be more extended when running, you will need this extra flexibility, especially in the soles. On the other hand, walking shoes can stand to be a bit less flexible and more supportive of the feet.

You will find that some walking shoes are even a bit stiff. These shoes might be good if you are a slow walker. On the other hand, if you are a fitness walker, you will want shoes with more flexibility.

Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes

There are big differences between running shoes vs. walking shoes and if you ignore these differences, your feet will likely suffer. On the other hand, by choosing the best shoes for you, you can enjoy your walks and run to your heart’s desire. To learn more, check out the fashion section on our website.