The difference between walking and running shoes and why it matters

Some people are more interested in running than walking, while others are definitely part of the “walking” camp. As silly as it might feel to try and find out what group you belong to, there is a very specific reason for that. This is because the shoes you wear, matter. Wearing a great pair of shoes for another activity apart from which they were designed for, can open you up to an array of issues, like strains, sprains, chafing, and even dislocation.

Fight the overwhelm by staying systematic

A quick trip to any footwear store will show you that there is no shortage of decent footwear out there. So what seems to be the problem? The catch is that different manaufacturers produce their shoes according to differing production standards; and the colours, styles, fit, material and purpose of a shoe that can be made available by one manufacturer doesn’t mean that you will get the same from another.

It is a constant journey of discovery, which can leave those on the hunt for the right pair of shoes for sale, exhausted and overwhelmed by options. Your best route of action is to make a brief analysis of your lifestyle, and what physical activities you enjoy. This should dictate the kind of shoes you should be looking at, and what you should be spending your money on.

What is the difference between walking shoes and running shoes?

You are not losing the plot for thinking that the two activities are closely related. They are, but the biomechanical process of each is different from the other, and as such, it is far more advisable to invest in an activity-specific pair of shoes per discipline. While it may seem more expensive at the outset, your wallet and your body will thank you later.

Walking motion means that your first impact is on your heels, after which the foot rolls over to the toes. The foot gradually moves through the phases of the movement, with minimal, but pretty much equally distributed weight impact.

On the other hand, running starts with most of the impact hitting the heel area, and the speed involved means that the force can be as much as three times your weight. Dedicated running shoes will help mitigate this impact by cushioning the blow and redistributing it into the cushioning of the shoe.

Brands such as Nike have built a reputation around creating excellent running shoes, so if you are a runner, start with what you know, and try on a pair of Nike shoes to see if they meet your needs.

Purpose comes first

No matter how cool a pair of shoes look, you will be wasting your money by buying them if they are not appropriate to your needs. If you are able to, try visiting a store that offers a foot analysis service, to help you better understand the structure of your foot, and how to best support it during your activities of choice, to the benefit of your own anatomy.

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