When you are going to buy a pair of shoes, you probably spend a lot of time not only trying them on, but trying to figure out what the major difference is between one type of tennis shoe and another. Most often, it is a debate between running shoes and walking shoes. Do you know the difference? Do you really need a running shoe or are they only for runners? Here are the main differences between the two so that you can decide more easily, which one fits your personal daily routine.
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Why are there different types?
When you are in the shoe department, you may first think that the two shoe types are very similar. They look no different. However, they are two completely different styles on the inside where it counts. To understand why they are different, you must first consider the way your body moves for each activity, whether you are running or simply walking around throughout the day.
If you are a runner, your feet take much more impact throughout the run. Your legs are pushing your feet down to keep the pace up. Most of the impact will be centered on the outer heel of your feet first and then your foot will flex up to your toes in an “S” type fashion. This “S” is something that happens naturally while running or jogging. It simply means that your outer heel will touch first in most cases and then your foot will roll toward the inner ankle or arch, and then up toward your toes. In walking, your feet will touch heel first, but the transference to your toes will be much gentler and you will feel less impact and a less pronounced “S” pattern.
A running shoe, is designed with the extra impact in mind. It provides added support to the outer heel as well as extra cushioning in that area. A walking shoe will have more support in the arch of your shoe to provide comfort in that area because it will take more of the force. However, the walking shoes are often more flexible from heel to toe.
What it means for your feet
The difference between running shoes and walking shoes is as different as night and day. Walking shoes are often lighter in weight because they do not need as much support as a running shoe. The major difference is that you will notice shock absorbers within the shoe so that the heels and the balls of your feet are much more comfortable throughout each step you take.
The running shoes will have more mesh material on them to help your feet stay cooler. They also protect your foot during the “S” movements that you make while running to ensure that your foot does not roll too far toward one side or the other. This is a major part of what will make your running shoes heavier, but it is all in an effort to keep your feet from sustaining as much damage while you are running.
Why does the right shoe matter?
If you are wearing running shoes for walking, you will have to carry a lot more weight around than you need to. This may make your feet achier at the end of the day. Your legs may also be more tired. You will not be risking injury, but why would you really want to cause yourself pain?
As a runner who is trying to run with walking shoes, you will also be putting yourself at risk for a painful experience. However, injuries could come from running in the wrong type of shoe. This is because of the protonation of your feet and how far inward they may roll. Keep in mind, there are also different types of running shoes for you to choose from. For instance:
- Motion control shoes are shoes for people with flat feet or lowered arches.
- Stability running shoes are for people who have a normal arch and a normal running foot motion.
- Cushioned running shoes will provide more cushion for people with higher arches.
Shopping for shoes
Whether you are buying running shoes or walking shoes, you will want to shop later in the day because your feet will actually be larger at the end of a day than they are at the beginning of it. You will also want to wear the socks that you normally wear when you are purchasing new shoes.
If buying a running shoe, you may want to shop at a shoe store to ensure that someone can help you choose the best shoe for your feet. Remember that you should also consider buying slightly larger shoes, but not large enough that your heel is able to slip while you are running.