Walking and running are both fantastic ways to improve your cardio endurance, boost your mood levels, and aid in losing weight. Choosing the right pair of shoes can significantly impact your performance when running or walking, and can also cause pain and discomfort if you do not select the right pair.
So, let us explore the answer to what is the difference between walking and running shoes to answer the question once and for all.
The Basics Of Walking Shoes
It may not seem like there is a vast difference between walking and running, but the biomechanics of the two activities are very different. When running, a portion of your stride consists of both feet being on the ground simultaneously,
More force is placed through the ankles, knees, and hips as your feet strike the ground, and the impact force is sometimes three times as powerful as the weight of your body. This means that more support is usually needed in certain parts of the shoe, and the shoe must compensate for the various different foot strikes runners have.
A good pair of shoes should possess some distinct characteristics that you should consider the next time you go shopping for a pair. The first, and perhaps most important, is cushioning.
The majority of running shoes come with more cushioning in the heel and forefoot in order to counteract the impact on those joints. This generally increases the total weight of the shoe and can sometimes decrease its overall flexibility, which is something that walking shoes need.
Many running shoes feature a heel that is positioned higher than the toes, to improve motion control and stability. This is known as the heel drop of the shoe and should be about 4 millimeters or less. Most walking shoe models have a zero drop.
What Are Running Shoes?
Many people are under the impression that any pair of shoes can be worn when running, but this is a misconception that can lead to both damaged shoes and injured feet. When you walk into your local shoe store and see the wall of running shoes, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of options available.
There are some things that you should consider before choosing a pair of running shoes, like how often you run, the type of shoe you need, and what you need your shoe to do. Is there a best running shoe?
Running shoes are designed to protect your feet from hard surfaces such as pavement, to provide traction on various terrains, and to support your feet and cushion landing shock. So, there’s a lot to look out for.
Picking an ideal pair of running shoes is not so much a science than it is an art. Most runners use a trial and error method to find the brand and model that feels right to them, both comfortably and functionally.
Not only do proper running shoes make you look pretty cool, but they also provide the best possible protection for your body, legs, and feet. Your foot is forced to absorb almost three times your body weight each time you impact when running, making a running shoe with excellent cushioning essential.
What To Look For In Running Shoes
So, we’ve discussed what you should look out for when buying a pair of walking shoes, but what about running shoes? Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you’re on the hunt for a pair of runners.
There should be plenty of toe length because your feet swell as you are running. You should look for a space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe that is about as long as your thumbnail.
Likewise, there needs to be sufficient toe width. When your toes are pressed together in your shoes, you will get blisters — no doubt about it.
Your running shoes should also have the correct arch to accommodate your feet’s natural arch contour. If you need a more customized fit, you might need to add some inserts.
How Often Should You Run?
If you are new to running, or you want to improve your training to something more competitive, you have probably wondered how often you should be running. Most folks don’t know that there needs to be a balance between how much you run and how much you rest.
Experts recommend that beginners run around three to four days a week. If you have been running for some time, and know your paces, you will probably be able to run a maximum of five days a week.
Even if you are able to pace yourself, you would be better off running three or four times a week, and cross-training once or twice a week. Try not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of exercise this is each week.
Now that you know some of the key differences between walking and running shoes, you’re ready to go out and find your next pair. Remember to have fun with your exercises, even on those walks/runs that seem insurmountable.