Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes
A running shoe has different characteristics from a walking shoe. Runners should not run in walking shoes, as most of them are too stiff and don't flex the way runners need them to flex. For that very reason, many walking shoes aren't good for fitness walking, either.
Running shoes have several functions, and designers work to keep them updated with the newest materials and technology. You have a wide range of choices for different running styles and needs. They vary in the amount of cushioning, from minimalist designs for racing to cushioned shoes for long-distance running. Running shoe models offer different levels of heel-to-toe drop to serve the needs of toe-strikers, midfoot-strikers, and heel-strikers. Running shoes are also categorized by their stability elements and whether they are motion control shoes constructed to help correct for overpronation. Newer designs aim to provide structure and cushioning with far less weight and with seamless construction to eliminate points of rubbing that can lead to blisters.
Walking shoes, by contrast, have always lagged in technology and have been designed more for comfort than for performance. If you need a comfortable shoe for short walks and strolling at an easy pace, these may do fine. But fitness walkers need a flexible, lightweight, and flat shoe as they strike with the heel and roll through each step. You have to analyze walking shoe designs carefully to find these features, as many are stiff and heavy. They fight your natural foot motion and slow you down. It comes down to having fewer choices when you shop in the walking shoe aisle, so fitness walkers often find running shoes that better meet their needs.
Video: Walking, Running and Cross-Training Shoes: What’s the Difference?
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