Choosing a pair of shoes to walk in can be more complicated than you might think. Walking may be one of the simplest things you can do for your health. With so many choices, it’s simple to either get distracted or become so overwhelmed that you wear the same pair of shoes all the time.
Walking and running both require distinct kinds of motion. While running, there is a brief period when both feet are in the air as opposed to walking, where one foot is always on the ground. Therefore, selecting the ideal walking shoes might not be as easy as donning an old pair of running shoes.
According to research, the soleus, hip, and knee extensors produce more power during running than walking which is caused by the changes in muscle function between the two activities. However, all other muscle groups functioned similarly in supporting and propelling the body forward while walking and running. The way our muscles contract, while we walk and run, appears to be quite similar.
What to know about the differences between walking shoes and running shoes?
The typical design of walking and running shoes differs because the needs of a walker and a runner are different. According to experts, you should pay particular attention to shoe fit, weight, cushioning, and flexibility.
Comfort and fit
The most crucial features to consider when buying a pair of walking or running shoes are comfort and fit. According to experts, the shoe must feel comfortable when your foot is inside of it and there shouldn’t be any bulging places that would suggest the shoe is too small for the foot. Additionally, the heel shouldn’t slip and there should be between a half and a full thumb’s width at the end to accommodate swelling and expansion.
The speed of the wearer is directly impacted by the weight of the shoe. Running shoes are frequently lighter, which makes it simpler to move quickly. However, walking shoes are often heavier, which aids in maintaining stability while you walk. In other words, walking shoes support a slower, steady pace whereas running shoes encourage speedier motions.
Both runners and walkers require flexible shoes, but where that flexibility is located matters. The flexibility of a shoe affects how well it can follow your movements. The midfoot or arch of most running shoes is more flexible, supporting the runner’s consistent midfoot or ball of foot striking. Walkers require high arch flexibility since they push off with their toes. In other words, running shoes lack the flexibility in the shoe sole that walkers require for continuous heel-to-toe movement. Walkers run the risk of stretching and inflaming the plantar fascia ligament, which can be excruciatingly painful if the arch isn’t flexible.
According to experts, the importance of cushioning as a design feature to consider when choosing between a running or walking shoe cannot be overstated. Both runners and walkers want to be at ease while engaging in their chosen activity. While runners are primarily concerned with safeguarding their foot’s base when it repeatedly contacts the ground, most walkers are concerned with having strong foot support over an extended period of time.
Most running shoes have greater cushioning in the forefoot and heel than walking shoes do. That additional padding is not necessary for walkers. Running strides can have a greater impact, thus having extra cushion support may make running more comfortable. Asics shoes for men and women are a perfect pick if your priority is cushioning.
How frequently should I swap out either kind of footwear?
Track your mileage while also regularly inspecting the bottoms of your shoes. Experts say that how often you should replace your running or walking shoes truly depends on the materials of each pair and the activities you use them for, but generally, switching to a new pair every 500 miles or so is recommended. It’s better to replace them as soon as they begin to exhibit even the smallest indications of wear before they develop holes or become uneven and asymmetrical. Replace them, but also get rid of them!
Experts recommend Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes as a comfortable running shoe that sets the bar for support in the market and is runners’ preferred choice. Visit ASICS’ website to explore more!