Running Shoes Vs Walking Shoes – The Difference Between Running and Walking Shoes

Difference Between Running vs Walking Shoes

If you want to know about the difference between running shoes and walking shoes, this guide is totally for you. There are many occasions where it is best to have different shoes for different activities. This is especially true when it comes to athletics and exercise. For example, for the average person, it is best to have a pair of running shoes and a separate pair of walking shoes. This is because the two activities require different types of shoes specifically designed for those activities.

There are many different types of shoes on the market, and it can be challenging to determine which type is best for you. So, this article will go over the difference between running shoes and walking shoes and discuss the features of both shoe categories.

Walking is a low-intensity activity that can be great for people of all ages and fitness levels. Actually, walking has been shown to minimize cardiovascular risk factors like mental stress, obesity, diabetes, vascular stiffness, blood pressure, inflammation, and high cholesterol. On the other hand, Running is a type of exercise that is classified as freehand cardio since it requires quick foot movements. Running engages not only the feet but the entire body’s muscles as well. It is also regarded as a rigorous workout. This is because running demands greater stamina and energy.

When you walk, your entire foot is in contact with the ground at all times. It means that there is less strain on your body when you walk than when you run. Runners will have both feet airborne for a brief moment, which means more stress on their bodies when they land than walkers who always have at least one foot on the ground.

Running shoes Vs. Walking shoes – The Differences

The variations between running and walking shoes are critical. So before you go out and buy a pair of shoes, consider the type of activity you want to engage in and the service you want out of your shoes. Below, we collected some of the key differences to help you choose carefully.


One such consideration is support. Walking shoes have more consistency because they are designed for all kinds of people who walk, whereas running shoes are made specifically for runners and may not offer the same level of support to someone who does not run.

There are many different types of support in running shoes. This can range from a very minimalistic and lightweight shoe to a maximalist shoe with a lot of cushioning and support. Finding the proper support for your needs is essential to getting the most out of your running shoes.

What is the difference between walking and running shoes


A trade-off to consider when choosing running shoes over walking shoes is cushioning. Walking shoes can be much less cushioned than running shoes because you strike the surface with much less impact when walking than when running (about 2 to 3 times your body weight when running and 1 to 1.5 times your body weight when walking).

In contrast to the uniformity of the walking gait, runners can exhibit three distinct foot strike patterns: striking with the heel, midfoot, or forefoot. Runners need more cushioning because of the repeated pounding their feet take, while walkers are needless because they’re not taking as many steps. However, this added easing comes at the cost of weight, so it’s a balancing act between protecting your toes and legs from trauma and ensuring you don’t get too weighed down.

A lighter shoe with ample cushioning would be ideal for those who enjoy taking extended walks. However, for people who want to do shorter walks or are transitioning to running, minimalist/barefoot shoes without sufficient cushioning might be a better choice.


The shoe’s weight is a major distinction between walking shoes and running shoes. Back in the day, running shoes were bulky and heavy. This is because they were designed to support your feet and ankles while you run. However, over time running shoes have become more and more lightweight. They’re now so light that they feel like walking shoes compared to older running shoes. So if you’re looking for a good pair of running shoes, make sure you get some that are nice and light! Nowadays, running shoes are made with mesh material, allowing air to flow through them more freely. This makes the shoes lighter and thus faster.

Heel Shape

There are many different heel shapes for shoes, and each type of heel has its benefits and drawbacks. To give heel striker runners the stability and cushioning they require, running shoes typically have a heel stack height that is higher than that of walking shoes, as walkers do not require a built-up shoe’s heel.

During a run-at-ground contact, the heel flare adds stability and pronation control. A heel flare is not necessary for walking shoes. Because it keeps the heel from grabbing and dragging on the ground, a heel with an undercut or some material removed from the area around it may be great for fast fitness walking.


When you walk or run, your feet heat up quickly, and the sweat can’t evaporate as fast. This can cause blisters and other fungal problems. Breathable shoes help to prevent this by letting air circulate through your feet.

There is a big difference between running shoes and walking shoes regarding breathability. Walking shoes often have a robust upper made of materials like leather or suede. On the other hand, running shoes feature a mesh construction that allows air to circulate, keeping your feet cool and dry.


Many people now prefer shoes with a more blended heel when it comes to walking. This means that the heels are not as stiff and are better able to flex with your natural movement. For running shoes, however, people often prefer a stiff sole to get more power and speed from their stride.

Shoe pairs with more undercut heel edges provide cushioning to distribute your weight impact as you walk or run evenly. In other words, they are better for your feet and joints. So, next time you go shoe shopping, be sure to look for shoe pairs with more undercut heel edges.


When you run, your foot strikes the ground with an impact force of around three times your weight. For people who weigh 150 pounds, this means that their feet are impacting the ground with a force of 450 pounds. This impact can cause severe damage to your feet and ankles if you’re not wearing the proper shoes.

For this reason, it is essential to have shoes that can adequately absorb that impact and protect your feet and joints. Unfortunately, walking shoes are not typically designed to handle the effects of running, so they may not be as effective in preventing injuries.


Though it might seem that running is the better option for staying fit, walking is a much safer exercise. The risk of injury is considerably lower while walking than while running. This is because when you walk, your body weight is more evenly distributed, and you have more control over your movement. When you run, your heel strikes the ground first, which creates a shockwave that travels up your body and can cause injuries.

Color and Design

Color and design are typically kept to a minimum in walking shoes. They typically come in neutral hues. Shoes that are all-black or all-white are common. A different accent color, such as red or blue, might be used if a brand feels particularly edgy.

Running shoes can look very different from one another. Running shoes in gray, black, or white are available, but they are much less common. Running shoes typically come in eye-catching colors and designs that stand out.

What Are Running Shoes?

Running shoes are sneakers that are made for running. They are mainly designed for forwarding motion. They don’t offer plenty of lateral support. They have extra cushioning in the heel to prevent pain, and they also have mesh in the design, which helps drain heat. They are made with mesh to allow heat to escape and have a unique design that will enable them to absorb shock. Additionally, the toe box is an important element of running shoes as it provides more space for the toes to move. Running shoes offer stiffness to the sole, which helps control pronation or the inward rolling of the foot.

What Are Walking Shoes?

Walking shoes are a type of shoe that is specifically designed for walking. They have features that set them apart from other shoes, such as shock absorbers to protect the ankle, heels, and the whole foot from injury and a beveled heel for comfort and stability.

The heel of walking shoes is usually beveled to assist and comfort heel striking. With each stride, it helps to support the arch and stabilize the foot. Walking shoes will be more flexible than running shoes unless you run in a minimalist shoe. Also, shoes with the shortest possible heel-to-toe height difference are best for walkers.

Types of Running Shoes vs. Types of Walking Shoes

Running shoes are classified into different types based on their features and how they are meant to be used. The same goes for walking shoes. In this essay, we will go over each of them in-depth.

Running sneakers & walking sneakers key features

Running Shoe Classifications

Running shoes are classified into neutral, stability, and motion control.

  • Neutral Running shoes: Neutral shoes are made for runners who do not pronate excessively. Also, people with under-pronated (supinated) feet can use neutral running shoes.
  • Stability Running shoes: For those who slightly overpronate, stability running shoes gently guide the foot back to a neutral posture while running, thus preventing the runner from injury.
  • Motion Control Running Shoes: Motion control running shoes are designed for people who excessively overpronate.

Walking Shoe Classifications

There are some types of walking shoes and the three most common types.

  • Neutral Walking Shoes: People with neutral feet are believed to not overpronate. They can reach the desired speed and performance thanks to the flexibility and lightness of these shoes. However, they might not provide enough support for extended walks, and larger walkers tend to put more wear and tear on them.
  • Stability Walking Shoes: Just as is the case with running shoes. They are designed for runners who pronate. Stability walking shoes are typically less cushioned than their running counterparts and have a more rigid structure to support overpronators.
  • Motion-control shoes: are the best type for people with problems with their foot posture. They are firm and keep your foot in the correct position, preventing any pain or injuries.

Risks of Choosing the Wrong Shoes For Your Workout

Choosing the right shoes for your workout is essential, as you do not struggle with them throughout your session. Furthermore, if you wear the wrong athletic shoes, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury. Make sure that you find a pair of shoes that allow you to move freely and without distraction so that you can focus on your workout.


Running shoes are not ideal for lateral movement as they have a higher heel drop. This makes the ankle more likely to sprain during lateral movement exercises. Choosing a walking shoe with a lower heel drop for lateral direction is better for activities involving lateral direction.

knee or Ankle Injury

When choosing shoes for a plyometric workout, you should avoid running shoes. The extra cushioning and support in running shoes can keep you from landing correctly and increase your chances of getting a knee or ankle injury. Instead, choose a lightweight shoe that provides minimal cushioning so that you can feel the ground beneath your feet. This will help you to land correctly and prevent injuries.

Pain & Discomfort

This may be in the form of blisters, aches, pains, or soreness. So naturally, you do not want to deal with any of these issues when trying to get fit.


If you are not careful, you might select a minimalist shoe when you need a running shoe. Minimalist shoes lack the support that can lead to tendonitis and other injuries.

Black Toenails

Make sure you buy the correct shoe width for your feet. If the shoes are too tight or too loose, they can cause discomfort and affect your natural movement while working out. If your shoes are too small, your toenails will turn black from bruising and may even fall off.


Is it possible to work in running shoes?

Running shoes are the go-to shoe for most people. They are designed for running and provide good cushioning and support. However, they can also be a good option if you want a shoe to wear during your workday. They may provide more cushioning and support than walking shoes and help keep your feet healthy.

Is it true that Skechers is excellent for your feet?

Yes, Skechers are shoes that can be worn for casual or athletic activities. Skechers have a lot of different styles and are very popular among people who like to go running, walk, hike or do other athletic activities.

Is there a limit to how far you can walk in walking shoes?

According to the American Podiatry Association, walking shoes have no specific mileage limit. However, if your shoe has not been broken in yet, you should purchase a pair that you can wear for a couple of hours before doing any serious walking.

Can I race In my walking shoes?

No, you can’t. Walking shoes are generally not appropriate for racing.

How can I tell if the sole of my shoe has a firm grip?

Shoe soles with a good grip tend to be made out of rubber or another material that provides traction and allows for a smooth surface. To check if your shoe sole has a good grip, you should test it out by walking on a slick surface.

What kind of materials are used to make running shoes?

Running shoes are made of various materials to provide support, cushioning, and flexibility. Shoe companies typically use four different types of materials: the heel is often made out of a cushioned foam, the midsole is made of a firm polymer like EVA, the arch and toe box are typically made from some type of flexible plastic called TPU, and finally, the upper is made out of thin, breathable fabric.

What is the best time to purchase running or walking shoes?

It’s generally recommended to buy running or walking shoes when feet have stopped swelling in the afternoon. By 4 pm, the feet have typically reached their maximum size, and buying a shoe after that time will ensure a good fit.

Should the price be a concern?

When deciding between running shoes and walking shoes, price is often a significant factor for people. However, running shoes are typically not cheaper compared to walking shoes. The price of running and walking shoes can vary greatly, but the answer to which is better for you depends on your activity level. Walking shoes will be just fine if you are a casual walker. However, if you are an avid runner, you will need running shoes that provide more cushioning and support.

Can I wear running shoes for walking?

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some people feel more stable and secure when they wear running shoes for walking, while others find them too stiff and uncomfortable. If you have never tried walking in running shoes before, it may be a good idea to start out with a short walk to see how they feel. If you don’t like them, you can always switch back to your regular walking shoes.

Can I wear walking shoes for running?

When it comes to running, there are a lot of different opinions on what type of shoe people should wear. Some people like to wear walking shoes because they are more comfortable, while others prefer sneakers or other specific types of running shoes. In general, it is best to wear the type of shoe that is designed for the activity you are doing. This will help prevent injuries and ensure you get the most out of your workout.

What benefits will I get from buying a running shoe for my runs if I have a comfortable walking shoe?

You might be asking, what is the purpose of buying a specialized running shoe if my walking sneaker is already comfy and durable? As we said earlier, all runners have running difficulties because running differs from walking. So, if you run wearing a regular walking shoe, you might run the risk of suffering from constant ailments that will wreak havoc on your running performance. That is why all professional runners who care about their performances in marathons always opt for specialized running sneakers. Running shoes have the particular task of balancing your gait cycle and posture during your ride. Furthermore, running shoes provide you with maximized traction on various surfaces.

Can I wear trail running shoes for walking?

Just because a shoe is marketed as a trail running shoe does not mean that it is appropriate for everyday activities. In fact, many trail running shoes are not designed for walking and can cause more harm than good. It is important to consider the shoe’s intended use before making a purchase.

Can you use old running shoes for walking?

You can use old running shoes for walking, but it is not recommended. Running shoes are designed to be more cushioned and supportive than walking shoes, so using them for walking may not provide you with the best support. Additionally, running shoes tend to wear out more quickly when used for activities other than running. If you choose to use your old running shoes for walking, ensure they are still in good condition and fit properly.

Why are walking shoes designed differently than running shoes?

Walking shoes are designed differently than running shoes because walking is a much less strenuous activity than running. This means that the shoes do not need to be as durable or supportive, as they will not be subjected to the same amount of wear and tear.

Why is it important to wear the right kind of shoes?

It is important to wear the right kind of shoe while running because it can affect your stride and cause injuries. A running shoe is a type of walking shoe that is specifically designed for runners, and they are typically heavier and have more cushioning than other types of shoes.

It is important to wear the right kind of shoe because wearing the improper type of shoe may cause or increase the chance of injury. For example, if you are running and you are wearing the wrong type of shoes, your chances of getting injured are much higher than if you were wearing the right shoes.

Every person, whether they are a runner or a walker, should take care to wear the right kind of shoes to prevent injuries. For runners, this means finding shoes that absorb shock and protect the heel and ankle. For walkers, this means finding shoes with good arch support.


The difference between running and walking will inevitably create some differences when it comes to running shoes vs walking shoes.

In a nutshell, running is a more intense activity therefore running shoes use more advanced materials and technologies. On the other hand, walking is a less intense activity that requires a shoe with a minimalistic design that achieves some level of comfort and support. In this article, we tried to clarify those differences by explaining the properties and distinctive qualities. Learning about running and walking shoes will hopefully help you determine what you need most and what to look for in either of them.

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