Can you Wear Running Shoes for Walking?

When you go to a sports shoe store, you may be overwhelmed by the choices you will see on the shoe racks. Now you will find shoes designed for all kinds of activities. There is a special shoe for weightlifting, yoga, running, etc. Walking is a very good form of exercise, and you should invest in a good pair of shoe. Can you wear running shoes for walking? Or are there special shoes for walking as well? Here, we will discuss the differences between a running shoe and a walking shoe. We will also learn whether you can use the running shoes for walking or not.

Can you wear running shoes for walking?

To the eyes of a casual walker, a good sneaker for running may look appealing to try out. But you have to remember that the shoe designers design shoes by keeping every little detail in mind. A shoe meant for running as features that improve the running performance. This may not be appropriate for walking.  

There are many types of shoes available in the market. Power running shoes, Achilles tendonitis shoes, etc. serve specific purposes. You should buy a shoe according to your specific purpose. Here are the differences between a running shoe and a walking shoe.


Walking shoes have more cushion overall, particularly in the heel. When you walk, your foot remains on the ground for a longer period. Our weight is more evenly distributed when you walk in comparison to when you run. Running places more strain on the body compared to walking. Running places 2 to 3 times strain in your body weight on the feet when you take each step.

On the other hand, walking puts 1 to 2 times strain in your body weight on the feet. The weight is supported on one foot when you run. When you walk, the weight is supported on both feet. So, running shoes need more support in the heel and forefoot.


Your feet move like a rocking chair when you walk. The weight of your body rolls from hell through the ball of the foot to the toe. So, shoes that are flexible through the ball of the foot are better for walkers as this type of shoe will allow the rolling motion. Such shoe will also provide more support through the arch. A running shoe has less cushion overall. They have more cushioning on the heel and less cushioning through the ball of the foot. So, if you walk in a running shoe, it may cause impact injuries such as Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, etc.


Running motion generates more heat, and so running shoes have more mesh so that your feet remain cool while you run.

Heel height:

Runners have different styles of running. Some runners strike the ground using their heel, some use the mid foot area, and others use the ball of the foot. So, in the case of running shoes, the heel is more built up to support these running styles. The walkers strike the ground with their heel, so the heel is less built up as it can accommodate most of the walking styles.

Heal flare:

More heal flare is needed for runners for extra stability. Walkers need narrow heels for a smoother stride.


Walking shoes are usually found in black, white or brown colors. You can get running shoes in all kinds of bright colors.


Walking shoes bend more easily compared to running shoes. There is more flexibility in the arch in case of running shoes.

Motion control:

The degree of stability in running shoes is more than that of walking shoes. There is more stability in the running shoes to keep the feet in a neutral position.


Walking shoes are heavier than running shoes. As speed is important in the case of running, these shoes are made lighter for easy movement.

Buying guide:

When buying a walking shoe, you should look for the following features: 

  • Cushion
  • Solid arch support
  • Comfort level
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Our feet usually swell during the day. So, it is best to go shopping in the afternoon. That way, you can buy the shoe in the right fit. You should make sure that there is enough room on the sides and above the toe so that you don’t get any painful blisters or other foot disorders. As a rule of thumb, there should be a half-inch gap between the shoe and the end of your longest toe.

Though there are these differences between a walking shoe and a running shoe, you can still wear a running shoe for walking. But never wear a running shoe for walking. Many brands have walking shoes that look like running shoes, except that they are all in one color. Before buying a walking shoe, you must decide whether you will do a bit of running as well. In such a case you should buy a running shoe. However, it is better to buy a walking shoe if your purpose is only to walk. It will be better for your feet and overall performance. You should make sure that the shoe feels comfortable.

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