Running shoes are those that are intended to expedite the running or jogging processes. Walking shoes, on the other hand, are that footwear that is intended to facilitate the processes of walking or sauntering.
Brooks Ghost 10, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, Asics DynaFlyte, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17, Asics GT-2000 5, and Brooks Transcend 4, are some of the top running shoes as of the year 2017.
ASICS Gel Quickwalk 3, Asics Gel Tech Walker Neo 4, New Balance Men's MX608v4, Reebok Work and Cushion, and Saucony Grid Omni, are some of the top walking shoes as of the year 2017.
These two kinds of shoes differ widely owing to their unique roles. In the discussions that follow, the main differences between these two kinds of shoes are going to be highlighted and explained in details.
Walking shoes vs running shoes. What’s the differences
Walking and running exert varying pressure on the feet. They are also actualized in different postures. This influences the manner in which the different kinds of shoes are designed. While running, people tend to land on the ground on their forefoot or midsole. While walking, however, people tend to hit the ground with the heel-ball-toe strike.
Because of these variations, running shoes tend to have thicker and rigid soles. They also tend to flex at the mid-foot or arch. Walking shoes, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible and possess thinner soles. They also bend more easily and enable the wearers to attain natural strides or gaits. They are also better suited to ease the impacts of body weight.
Heel wedges are extensions that originate from the back of the shoes to the front of the shank. They have treads that are formed by extensions of the sole. They are generally used to absorb shocks from the ground. They, therefore, grant the wearers of the shoes the comfort they need.
Running is prone to greater discomforts than walking. This being the case, many running shoes comprise thicker heel wedges. This is to provide a greater cushion against the potential side effects of these discomforts.
Walking shoes, on the other hand, have thinner and flatter heel wedges. This stems from the likelihood of fewer and less intense incidences of discomforts. Moreover, the heel wedges of walking shoes are also beveled to conform to each wearer’s waking styles.
Stability is key in case any running venture may be comfortable and successful. People generally lose this stability when running than when walking. This is because they rotate the foot outwards (pronation) and inwards (supination) more rapidly.
To guarantee the needed stability, running shoes tend to comprise several top-notch motion control features. These features are intended to keep the feet in a neutral posture as much as possible. This prevents fall-offs and unnecessary accidents. These features, however, make the running shoes less flexible.
Walking shoes on the flipside contain less of these motion control features. They are thus less stable and less effective in handling motions. Walking shoes are however more flexible by reason of lacking these features.
Weight and Design
The typical running shoe is smaller, less sophisticated, less elegant, and lighter than the typical walking shoe. This is due to the nature of intended use and the suitability for their intended roles.
On the whole, running shoes are generally designed to exert less drag to the wearers and to greatly expedite the motion. Because of this, they are generally lighter in weight than their walking shoes counterparts.
Walking shoes are also intended to exude aesthetic value over and above merely enabling their wearers to walk comfortably. This being the case, walking shoes are availed in various colors, shapes, and designs. They are also suited for broader functionalities than their running shoe counterparts.
These two kinds of shoes are designed and intended for completely different roles. The running shoes are for running while the walking shoes are for walking. Running is more intense and demanding than walking. This makes it more tortuous and uncomfortable than walking. It, therefore, follows that running shoes have to be padded with thicker cushioning than walking shoes.
The padding or cushions discharge their roles of enhancing the comforts of their wearers in several ways. For one, they reduce the trauma that the hips, muscles, and joints confront. They absorb the shocks that originate from the impact of the foot with the ground. They also absorb extra sweat and thus make the feet as comfortable as can be.
The term ‘flexibility’ in this particular context refers to the ease, or lack of it, with which the shoe may be engaged. All factors considered, walking shoes are more flexible than running shoes. This is mainly due to the purposes for which they are intended to accomplish.
Walking requires the rotation of the rapid rotation of the foot outwards (pro-nation) and inwards (supination) more rapidly, as has been stated. Because of this, the shoes have fewer sophisticated parts. They are also designed to flex more conveniently than their running shoe counterparts.
Running shoes are lighter than their walking shoe counterparts, granted. However, they comprise several other features that impede their flexibility. These include motion control features, high heels, and wider flares.
Heel Height and Flare
Heel height is the distance between the ground and the ankle region of the shoe. Heel flare, on the other hand, refers to the gradual widening of the heels of the shoes.
These two parameters occur in varying degrees in each kind of shoes. In the running shoes, the heel height is higher than that of the walking shoes. This is to provide the stability that is required while landing the feet on the ground.
The running shoes also have wider heel flares. This is due to the need to offer added stability to the runners. The heel flares of the walking shoes are narrower. This is purposely so, to avoid any unnecessary hindrances.
There indeed exist several other differences between these two kinds of shoes. Due to the limited amount of space, they could not all be exhausted. The onus is thus upon the respective interested party to carry out further research.
By way of conclusion, there is really no clear winner between these two kinds of shoes. That’s because they are intended for unique purposes. This means that each shoe is only as relevant as the role for which it is intended. It also means that each of these two kinds of shoes may be purchased at a time, without there being a conflict of interest at all!