In the fitness and running world, the shoes you wear are super important for how well you do and staying safe from injuries.
People often wonder if it’s okay to run in shoes made for walking.
In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll talk about the differences between walking shoes and running shoes, what your feet need when you run, and how to pick the right shoes for your next jog. Ready to start? Let’s tie our shoelaces and go!
Understanding Walking Shoes
Walking shoes are made to be super comfy and give good support. They’re designed to follow the way your foot moves when you walk.
These shoes usually have a flexible bottom, lots of padding, and a shape that helps your foot go smoothly from heel to toe.
But, here’s the thing: some people wonder if it’s okay to use these shoes for running, which is a more intense activity.
Understanding Running Shoes
Running shoes, on the other hand, are engineered with the specific biomechanics of running in mind.
They prioritize shock absorption, stability, and durability.
The soles are designed to take in the hit when your foot hits the ground. This helps lessen the pressure on your joints and muscles.
Running shoes also give good support to the arch of your foot because running puts more weight on your feet.
Can You Run in Walking Shoes?
Yes, you can run in walking shoes, but it might not feel as comfortable or provide the right support for running.
Running shoes are made just for running. They’re better for running because they’re designed to handle the way you move and the impact on your feet.
I myself have Skechers arch fit walking shows, but whenever I try to run in them, it becomes hard for me in comparison to if I run in proper running shoes. I can feel the weight of those walking shoes when I speed up.
See there are people in the world who run barefoot every day but as we know caution is better than cure.
This means if there are people in the world who can run barefoot, you can also run in walking shoes.
But does that give you the same results as running shoes? absolutely not, do they make you feel as comfortable in them while running as you feel in running shoes? Absolutely not!
Walking shoes are great for slow walks and are comfy. But if you want to run, they might not be the best choice.
Walking shoes don’t have enough cushioning and support for your arches. This can make your feet uncomfortable and may cause injuries when you run, especially if it’s a high-impact activity.
Choosing running shoes is a good idea because they give your feet the right support. This lowers the chances of hurting your feet and getting injured.
Related: Does Running Reduce Thigh Fat?
Reasons why it is hard to run in walking shoes
Running and walking use our feet in different ways, so it’s harder to run in shoes made just for walking. Here are some simple reasons why:
- Cushioning and Bounce: Running shoes have special cushioning that helps absorb the impact when our feet hit the ground while running. Walking shoes don’t have as much bounce, so they might not protect our feet well during a run.
- Support for Joints: When we run, our feet go through more intense movements, and running shoes provide extra support to our joints to handle this. Walking shoes are designed for smoother, less intense movement, so they might not give enough support when running.
- Flexibility: Running shoes are made to be more flexible at the ball of the foot, allowing a good push-off during a run. Walking shoes, on the other hand, are designed for a rolling motion. Trying to run in shoes that aren’t flexible enough can feel awkward and uncomfortable.
- Weight Distribution: The weight distribution on our feet changes when we run compared to when we walk. Running shoes are designed to handle this shift, distributing the weight in a way that’s comfortable and safe for running. Walking shoes may not provide the right balance for running.
Big companies like Nike, Adidas, and Asics use smart ideas and good materials to make their running shoes.
They use special technology to make the shoes comfy, strong, and good for your feet.
let’s break down some of the technologies used by Nike, Adidas, and Asics in their running shoes:
- Nike Air: Many Nike running shoes have Air technology. It’s like a cushion filled with air in the sole. This makes the shoes soft and bouncy.
- Flyknit: Nike uses a material called Flyknit that’s like a sock but strong. It makes the shoes light and snug on your feet.
- Boost: Adidas uses Boost technology, which is a special foam. It’s super soft, so it feels like you’re running on cushions. It also helps with energy return, making your runs more efficient.
- Primeknit: Similar to Nike’s Flyknit, Adidas has Primeknit. It’s a material that fits your foot well and is breathable.
- GEL Cushioning: Asics is known for its GEL cushioning. There’s a gel-like substance in the sole that absorbs shocks when your foot hits the ground, making the shoes comfortable.
- FlyteFoam: Asics uses FlyteFoam, a lightweight material that gives good support and makes the shoes last longer.
Each company has its unique technologies, but they all aim to make running shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and durable for runners.
Key Differences: Traction, Cushioning, and Flexibility
Running Shoes: Enhanced traction for various terrains, including uneven surfaces. Walking Shoes: Moderate traction suitable for consistent and flat walking surfaces.
Running Shoes: Maximum cushioning to absorb the impact of each stride. Walking Shoes: Adequate cushioning for comfort during a walking gait.
Running Shoes: Balanced flexibility to facilitate the natural motion of the foot while running. Walking Shoes: Increased flexibility to support the rolling motion of the foot during walking.
Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider
Before you pick shoes, it’s important to know how you walk.
Some stores that focus on running can check how you walk and suggest the right shoes for you. They help you find shoes that match the way you walk.
Think about the ground you’ll be running on. Running shoes are made with specific outsoles to give you a good grip on different surfaces.
If your running route includes diverse terrains, it’s really important to get shoes made specifically for that type of terrain.
Foot Arch and Pronation
Running Shoes Offer variations for different arch types and pronation patterns. Walking Shoes Generally provide standard arch support, which may not be suitable for all foot types.
In the discussion about if you can use walking shoes for running, it’s better to get shoes made specifically for running.
Walking shoes are great for comfortable everyday walks, but running needs shoes with special features to keep your feet safe from the impact of each step.
Take care of your feet, improve how you run, and walk confidently by picking the best shoes for each activity.
Tie your shoes, go to the track, and let your shoes be your good friends on the way to a healthier, more active life.