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What’s The Difference Between Running Shoes And Walking Shoes

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Can You Run In Walking Boots And Walk In Running Trainers

Walking, Running and Cross-Training Shoes: Whats the Difference?

Running in walking boots would definitely be tricky as they are heavy and the type of sock you wear in each shoe may differ. Alternatively, walking in trainers would work for a short distance on less challenging terrain as your shoes should support you enough, but for a longer distance or harder terrain you could end up with an increase in pain discomfort, says Anisha.

The muscles in your calf and shin attach into the ankle and foot. Walking in trainers for a long period of time can mean that the muscles in the calf or ankle are unsupported and this can lead to irritation of these muscles or ligaments and predispose to injuries like Achilles Tendinopathy or plantar fasciitis.

Everyone has different feet so find the shoes or boots that make you feel the most comfortable and secure, and make sure you have options! If you are running every day then you probably don’t want to wear the same shoes. Basically, each shoe serves a different purpose so make sure that it works for you.

Which Shoe Should You Buy

Because of foot shape, individual needs, how flat or high your arch is and the amount of cushioning you prefer, what works for one person wont necessarily work for another. Whenever youre buying a new pair, its always best to shop in a specialty store so they can answer any questions you might have and let you try on multiple pairs to determine which one is best for you. Specialty walking and running shoe stores may also have a treadmill so you can walk in each pair and see how they feel. Keeping the above factors in mind, you should always choose what feels most comfortable.

Hiking Shoes Vs Trail Running Shoes: Versatility

If you fancied breaking into a jog while hiking in the hills and mountains while wearing hiking shoes you could easily do so, but the stiffness, weight and waterproofing means theyre not great for all-day running. Compared to hiking boots, however, they will feel light, and they lend themselves perfectly to long walks in good conditions.

Trail running shoes are pretty versatile after all, if you can run in them, you can also walk in them, so they’re great for those who like to mix up the pace.

Hiking shoes vs trail running shoes

Hiking shoes
Can be worn for walking and running

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What To Look For In Walking Shoes

Generally speaking, walking shoes are made more for comfort than performance. This is because the act of walking isnt just a workoutits also an essential function you rely on throughout the day. With that said, a proper pair with orthotic arch support, cushioned midsoles, stable heel counters, and shock-absorbing outsoles like the styles from Vionic will offer the most comfort.

Look for a relatively thick outsole, breathable lining, and a contoured midsole that minimizes friction against your skin. We also recommend wide toe boxes to reduce cramping and blisters. Ultimately, walking sneakers should feel good on your feet whether youre speed walking, trekking uphill, or strolling through your neighborhood at an easy-breezy pace.

Active Shoes For Men And Women From Vionic


If you take daily walks, walking shoes are the way to go. If youre a jogger, trail runner, or distance runner, then running sneakers is your best bet. And if you do both, you might consider getting a pair of each. Not sure where to start? Vionic has an impressive selection of mens and womens walking shoes and active sneakers.

We carry lace-up walkers, as well as hook-and-loop strap styles. Weve also got plenty of trainers, active sneakers, cross-training shoes, casual sneakers, and even tennis shoes made specifically for working on your feet. Aside from being supremely comfortable and supportive, our orthotic sneakers are totally stylish.

Shop our athletic shoe collections today! If you have any questions, were always here to help you find the exact right shoe.

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What Are The Differences Between Walking And Running Shoes

Now that you have seen both walking and running shoes features I am sure that you are interested in knowing the main differences between walking and running shoes. The table below explains it all.

SL. No.
The upper part may be leather or any other suitable material The upper part is usually a lightweight material such as nylon or polyester

Uneven Athletic Shoe Wear

Semi worn shoes can leave clues as to your gait. The outer sole may show excess wear where the foot strike occurs. At best this may mean you need to change your shoes more often to maintain a level of cushioning and support.

At worst you may have the wrong shoes for your particular activity, whether its walking, running or any other exercise.

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Durability Advantage: Hiking Shoes

When deciding between a hiking shoe and a trail runner, durability becomes a very important consideration. Hiking shoes have a tougher buildtheyre often made with leather or durable nylon fabrics as opposed to mesh or thin nylonand generally feature protective toe caps and medium-stiff midsoles. Compared to trail runners, hiking shoes will hold up far better under a heavy load and are designed to withstand rugged, abrasive terrain. On the other hand, the lightweight fabric that makes trail runners so nimble sacrifices a good amount of durability, reducing their lifespan significantly. As a result, hardcore backpackers who swear by the lightweight comfort of trail runners will often go through multiple pairs each year.

Which Style Of Lightweight Trail Shoe Is Best For You

The Difference Between Walking shoes and Running Shoes
  • / Hiking Shoes vs. Trail Runners

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As lightweight gear gains popularity among outdoor enthusiasts, above-the-ankle hiking boots are quickly becoming obsolete. For a major bump in comfort and weight savings, hikers and backpackers are now opting for lightweight hiking shoes and trail runners for everything but the most demanding terrain. But with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which style is right for you? Below we break down the key differences between hiking shoes and trail runners, including weight, support and protection, durability, traction, breathability, and more. For our top picks, see our articles on the best hiking shoes and the best trail-running shoes.

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Walking Shoes Vs Running Shoes: The Differences

Shoe weight

Getting into the specifics, walking shoes tend to be heavier compared to running shoes. Thats because they use heavier materials to help stabilise the foot and support the arch during every step, as the foot spends more time in contact with the ground and needs that support. On the other hand, running shoes need to be lighter to help the runner keep going without their feet tiring, given the greater amount of time their feet spend in the air and without ground contact.


With the impact forces in running, running shoes tend to have more cushioning to help protect the feet and legs, softening the blow with every stride. This cushioning tends to apply to the entire shoe, not just the heel, as some runners strike the ground at their forefoot or midfoot. Walking shoes have cushioning, but often not to the same degree, and with great emphasis on the heel as this is where walkers first make contact with the ground at every step. Where running shoes use lighter materials, extra cushioning can add back some of this weight.


Both walking and running shoes need some flexibility but the emphasis should be in different areas. As you roll through the foot and push off the ground with the toes during walking, the emphasis on flexibility should be at the forefoot in walking shoes. Running shoes tend to have more flexibility at the arch or midfoot.


Arch support, stability and control

What Are The Features Of Running Shoes

Running shoes are usually much lighter and thinner than walking shoes. They tend to be low-top in order to provide your foot with the maximum amount of flexibility and mobility during a run. Runners prefer their shoes to fit snugly, like a sock, in order to make each step as efficient as possible. Because running requires such fast and sudden movements, these types of shoes also need to be very durable the outsole is especially important when it comes to providing grip when pushing off from one step to another.

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Why Use Trail Runners

On the other hand, a trail runner is perfect for shorter hikes and in warmer weather. They are breathable and lightweight, meaning that they are better for both hikes on gentle trails and also for very long-distance hiking. You’ll be thankful for the weight savings at the end of a long trip! Trail runners also have a short break-in period vs hiking boots and will keep your feet cooler in the summer months.

These are the perfect shoes for people that need a lightweight option – if you don’t plan to scale the side of perilous mountains but instead want to stroll through forests, these will be the best option for you.

Best For Seniors: Skechers Performance Go Walk 5 Walking Shoe

The Reasons For Difference Between Walking And Running Shoes
  • May not work for very wide feet

  • Not the best for ankle support

With a sturdy, grippy synthetic sole, the Skechers Go Walk 5 Walking Shoe is a good choice for seniors, who are at a higher risk for slips and falls. The footbed is cushioned with memory foam and the thick heel helps with shock absorption, allowing you to stroll in comfort. The slip-on style also makes it easy to slide your shoes on and off with minimal effort.

This stylish shoe can be dressed up or down, making it a great all-around and versatile walking shoe. Available in several colors and in sizes 7 to 15, in medium or wide sizes.

Materials: Athletic-knit mesh fabric upper | Cushioning: Memory foam | Closure: Slip-on

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Training Shoes Vs Running Shoes: Whats The Difference

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As you head out the door to your next workout, make sure to grab the right pair of shoes.

Though you may think that all athletic shoes are created more or less the same, there are major differences between running shoes and training shoes. Knowing the difference can be a shoo-in for better workouts and performance.

This article explains the differences between training shoes and running shoes, how to select the right shoe, and whether you can use them interchangeably.

Learn The Vocab For Athletic Sneakers

When weighing your options for the most comfortable walking shoes or running sneakers, it can be helpful to know the various terms used to describe athletic footwear. Heres a breakdown of some key vocab words.

  • Strike: The strike refers to the contact your foot makes with the ground with each stride. If a shoes description notes a smooth or soft foot strike, heel strike, or heel drop, its probably suitable for walking, jogging, or both.
  • Overpronation: Overpronation is when your foot rolls inward as you run or walk. This puts significant pressure on your arches and foot ligaments, which can be extremely painful and cause mobility issues.
  • Shock: Shock is the impact of fitness walking and running on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips. A shoe designed for shock absorption will reduce the impact on your body, helping to minimize discomfort and prevent injuries.
  • Toe Box: In the anatomy of a shoe, the toe box isyou guessed itthe area surrounding your toes. It should be spacious in terms of both height and width, as cramped toes can lead to a range of foot problems.
  • Midsoles: The midsole is the part of a shoe that lines up with the bottom of your foot. It should be contoured with arch support and heel cups while providing ample cushioning.
  • Heel Counter: The heel counter is an insert in the back of a walking or running shoe that reinforces the heel cup, controls pronation, and enhances overall support.

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Features Of Hiking Shoes

Durable boots that only need replacing every 1,000 miles, saving you money in the long term

They offer excellent protection against the elements

There is added stability and ankle support from a high top, but the low top variants also help when managing hazardous terrain better than a runner would

Offer a better defense against injury to ankles with support to the ankle, even with a low top

The shoes are designed for rough hikes as the harder materials can stand up to the punishment

The materials used to make hiking boots are warmer, making them perfect for trips during fall and winter

All good boots are waterproof and offer excellent protection against damp or sodden ground

Heavy lugs offer an excellent grip that will support the hiker on uneven ground and over difficult obstacles

Perfect for hikers who need to protect their ankles over a distance as they are comfy on the inside and rigid on the outside

Best For Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Shoe

How to choose Running shoes? Difference between Running and Walking Shoes
  • Available in range of widths

  • Very durable

  • May run small

  • Limited color choices

With excellent support and cushioning, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is a great choice for anyone with flat feet. It features an extended progressive diagonal rollbar that provides maximum support and corrects any overpronation, which is common for people with low arches. The full-length midsole cushioning also offers a soft feel while still providing excellent energy return and responsiveness.

The shoe has a roomy fit and is available in several different widths, so it can accommodate orthotics or insoles as well. Whether youre a fitness walker or someone who spends hours standing, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is a versatile and durable choice. The shoes come in sizes 7 to 15 and in Black and White.

Materials: Leather upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning | Closure: Lace-up

  • Limited color options

  • May be too warm in extreme heat

If you have high arches, the Asics GEL-Contend Walker offers the perfect blend of flexibility and cushioning that you need. Asics well-known GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot of the shoe allows for exceptional shock absorption while the AmpliFoam midsole provides lightweight yet durable comfort. The shoes Ortholite sock liner offers even more support and moisture management, so your feet stay dry and supported at all times.

Materials: Leather and synthetic upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: GEL cushioning,AmpliFoam midsole | Closure: Lace-up

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Running Shoes Vs Walking Shoes: What Are The Differences


To get the best result, you need the right tool for the work.

Walking and running is no different than this. Thats why using the same shoe for both running and walking is not going to give you much benefit.

But seemingly, many people still dont understand the fact and use the same shoe for running and walking. As a result, they are not getting significant results from the exercise, and many of them often face injuries just for using the wrong tool.

To make people aware, we put a battle of running shoes vs walking shoes and came up with some essential factors. Read it to the last, if you dont want to miss those.

Running and Walking Are not the Same

Both running and walking are known to be a great medium of physical exercise. And you indeed use your legs for both of the activities.

But friend, there is a huge difference between running and walking.

Running is a high-intensity sport. At the time of running, your body hits the ground with three times your whole body-weight. And the landing process is also different than that of walking. While running, you always land on the heel or the ball of the foot. So most of the body-weight concentrates on the heel.

Conversely, walking is a comparatively low-intensity sport. It is also known as low rate calorie-burning exercise to fitness freaks. When you are walking, your body hits the ground with just 1.5 times your body weight. While walking, firstly, you will land on the heel and then roll forward to your toes.

What Type Of Shoe Is Best For Walking

Some of the best walking shoes are carried by the brands Ryka, Asics, Adidas, New Balance, and more.

Its not a secret that exercise is an important part of your lifestyle to keep you fit and healthy. But for those who dont like HITT training or strenuous weightlifting, the simplest and one of the healthiest forms of exercise that you can do is walking.

However, before you head out for a morning walk, you need to make sure that youre equipped with the right shoes! Youll need something that will keep you comfortable all day, supports your arches, will cushion your heels, and looks lovely.

With all the available options now, it can be hard to determine the best shoes that would fit this activity. So, to narrow down your list, we gathered some of the best walking shoes that you can try!

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Arch Support Stability And Control

These three factors are essential when walking or running, but they vary based on activity and your preferred type of shoe. A shoe fitting expert will give you the best advice on the kind of support and control that will benefit you most, either when running or walking, based on your type of foot and unique foot characteristics.

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