Running Shoes vs Walking Shoes

Monday, June 29, 2015

Here’s why running and walking shoes are completely different

When the time comes to buy the perfect walking shoe, there are several factors to consider. Because walking shoes are designed for people who spend a lot of time on their feet, their main stability point is at the back of the foot and under the arches.

Although it pains me to say this (and this is where lots of people make their mistake), the point of walking shoes is not to look cute.

Walking shoes play a crucial part in keeping your alignment and posture in top form. A range of ailments, from joint pain to back pain, can be successfully avoided by wearing the right shoes.

Walking shoes should comfortably mould around the wearer's foot shape, and provide enough cushioning to prevent blisters and chafing, but be snug enough to effectively support the arches.

Thanks to modern technology, many shoes are now available that not only check all the boxes mentioned above, but which also look good, and dare I say, sometimes even cute.

Best Kind for your Budget

The golden rule for walking shoes is to buy the best kind your budget allows.

Don't be scared to handle and manipulate any shoe that is a good contender for what you want while you are still in the shop – there are good things to be found in that Nike sale!

 If you are going to spend the money, make sure you spend it wisely. Test out the shoes and do all your homework before making the commitment.

So what's the deal with running shoes then, I hear you ask. Simply put, running is an entirely different activity to walking, and comes with its own specialized set of needs.

Although the two are physiologically similar, the effects on the body are different, which is why they should be treated as two separate activities.

Compared to walking shoes, running shoes are generally far lighter, and designed to take greater impact around the heel area, as this is the zone of greatest pressure while running.

Inward or Outward Rolling

Most runners will at some point have heard of the term "pronation". This refers to the inward or outward rolling of the foot while in its natural motion.

If you have flat feet, you could be at risk of overpronation. Luckily this is no cause for concern, as a shoe with extra cushioning is often the answer to take the extra weight off the toes and provide extra support around the ankles.

People who underpronate often have high arches, and the additional rolling motion of the foot as a result can easily be identified by extra wear and tear around the outside edge of the shoe. This is also easily remedied by wearing the correct shoe for the condition.

Finally – although the end of the day might seem like a terrible time to go shopping, it is actually the best time to buy shoes.

In the afternoon, your feet are at their biggest after a long day's work. This means that shoes you try on at this time won't pinch you later on, as you will have already catered for the expanding of your feet.

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