What is The Difference Between Walking and Running Shoes

differnce between walking and running shoes

People who are into fitness and are concerned about their health tend to walk and run a lot. They are aware of the advantages of running and walking and how these small habits can be so useful for avoiding serious diseases.

Let’s clear the difference between walking and running shoes.

Now here is the thing about walking shoes vs running shoes, you cannot walk and run in the shoes which you use daily. We know that we require different shoes for walking and running.

Some people also tend to think that walking shoes and running shoes are the same. However, there are a lot of differences between these two and that is the reason we are here, to know about both the shoes.

Walking and running, these two activities are not the same, and that’s the reason the shoes are different. Many people ignore the difference and walk and run using the same shoes, but you will face some difficulties ahead if you use the same shoes for both activities.

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Let me first explain to you:

The major difference between walking and running and then we will move towards the difference in these shoes.

Walking means when you strike your heel first while running means when you land forward on your foot. Running is associated with an increase in speed. It is a high impact sport. Running requires both of your feet to be off the ground at some point. Whereas, in walking, one of your feet is always in touch with the ground.

You see there’s a lot of difference between running and walking shoes, so how can you expect the same shoes can work for both of them?

best running shoes

Let’s move towards:

It is said that walkers can use running shoes for walking, but runners should not use the walker’s shoes. Obviously, there are reasons behind this saying.

It is seen and observed that walking shoes are very stiff and when you are running, you obviously need a lot of flexibility which the walking shoes fail to provide.

Running shoes have a lot of new features. There are a lot of variations and technologies when it comes to the manufacturing of running shoes. I also explained Best women’s running shoes with arch support.

While when you take a look at the walking shoes, you’ll see that the manufacturers always go for comfort and old designs rather than new technologies.

Let’s move towards the major differences:

can i wear walking shoes for running

  • Cushioning of your shoes 

Keep this thing in your mind, runners need more cushioning because runners impact the ground 3 times their body weight and that’s why they need more cushioning in the heel and the sole.

Runners hit the ground with much force than the walkers. More cushioning means more comfort and ensures a perfect performance and less strain. While talking about walking shoes, walkers need less cushioning.

Walking shoes are lightweight. Walkers do not need extra cushioning. Walking is difficult when you have a heavy cushioning.

  • Heel height 

Walking shoes do not have a heel height as we know that they strike the ground with their heels. Whereas, for running shoes, a buildup heel height is really important to avoid stress and to provide much more stability.

Runners hit the ground with much force and that’s why the heel height is of great importance.

Heel height matters a lot when we are shopping for running shoes or walking shoes. So, if you are a runner never compromise on the heel height.

Sometimes, when you buy running shoes, you can see the outer sole which is heightened enough, but when you try them on. They are not providing the comfort you need because your feet are at a lower level, that is the shoes you don’t buy because they are not comfortable enough.

  • Heel flare 

The flared heel is essential for the runners as they strike the ground either at the midfoot or forefoot. And if you consider the walking shoes, no Flared heels should be there.

Undercut heel would be far better than the flared heel for walkers. Heel flare provides more stability in running while it is of no use when you are walking.

best walking shoes

  • The flexibility of your shoes 

Flexibility matters in both walking and running shoes. However, the spaces of flexibility differ in both shoes. Running shoes should be flexible at the arch or midfoot or forefoot. When we talk about walking shoes, they should be flexible at the forefoot.

For checking the flexibility of the shoes, press the toes and check where the shoe bends. This might help you differentiate between walking and running shoes.

  • Sole 

Sole is a really important feature and it contributes a lot in comfort whether you want walking shoes or running shoes. Walking shoes bend really easily while running shoes do not bend so easily.

  • Motion control 

Running shoes do not provide the degree of stability as walking shoes. Running shoes are lighter in weight than walking shoes and that is the reason why running shoes allow us to run faster and faster.

Also, running shoes are really well equipped and they have features which help us to run in a neutral posture. But walking shoes lack such new technologies.

  • Weight of your shoes 

Another important difference is the weight of the shoes. As discussed above walking shoes are heavier because less speed is required in walking, however, the pace is increasing steadily when we run that is why running shoes are lighter in weight which makes it easier to run.

  • Design of your shoes 

Some people are really picky when it comes to the design of your shoes while other people only go for the comfort of shoes. The looks of the shoes also somehow differentiate between walking and running shoes.

Running shoes are the ones with very bright colors and showy designs. And the walking shoes are rather the ones with classic designs. They are not very bright in color.

Some useful advice! 

When you want the fitness walking shoes, always make sure that you get the support for your arch type. A high arch means that you have less natural shock absorption so that you should go for the shoes with more cushioning.

Walkers need less cushioning but that does mean no cushioning at all. It is important to wear the correct best-cushioned walking shoes and as well as running. The right shoes will always help you to prevent injury and make your walking and running more enjoyable.

Some of the Best walking shoes are:

best shoes for walk

Best shoes for walking : 

  • Asics Gel Contend 4

  • Ryka Sky

  • Brooks Addiction 13

  • Reebok Walk Ultra 6 DMX

Best  Shoes for Running:

best shoes

  • Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit

  • On Cloudswift

  • ASICS Gel Nimbus 21

  • HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Clifton 4 Running Shoe

Some words are important for your vocabulary before you go buying you’re walking /running shoes. Let’s learn them.

  • EVA 

EVA is a shock-absorbing foam that is present in running shoes. It is flexible and light. It is found in insoles.

  • Heel Strick

The point at which your heel touches the ground.

  • Medical Support 

It is the second name of arch support. It is a firm material that underpins your arches.

  • Last 

It is a mold on which shoes are made.

  • Heel Counter 

The heel counter is a plastic upright that is found in the heel of the shoes.

  • Pronation 

Pronation is the term used when your foot strikes the ground on the outer edge of the foot.


The term used to describe the situation when your foot hits the ground on the inner edge of the foot.

  • Toe box 

Area of the shoes in which your toes fit.

Some Last words! 

Above was all the information you need to know about the difference between walking and running shoes. Buying the right shoes will help you to achieve your best and will help you over-perform your abilities.

People tend to overhear the differences between walking and running shoes but the truth is you should never take these little things for granted.

I also suggested some of the walking and running shoes above. Some words that you need to know are also enlisted above beforehand. If you have a problem with anything, feel free to comment on this article. I would love to help you. Have a great day!

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