Walking is a great low-impact way to lose weight, strengthen muscles, improve circulation, and more. However, it is important to use footwear designed specifically for the biomechanics of walking. Walking is done with a steady heel-to-toe stride, transferring body weight evenly from the heel to the toe. This motion begins with the heel striking the ground first, followed by a rolling motion through the heel to the toes, and then a pushing out of the stride with the toes. A good walking shoe will support and facilitate this motion in a few ways. Walking shoes should be flexible at the forefoot to allow the foot to flex during the heel-to-toe walking stride. A walking shoe should provide adequate cushioning, but not as much in the forefoot as a running shoe. This makes walking shoes lighter in weight, which help keep you comfortable. Regarding the heel, straight (or undercut) heels are best for walking shoes—as opposed to wider, higher, or flared heels in running shoes which may interfere with the walking stride. Before embarking on any fitness walking regimen, consult with a podiatrist for additional footwear/foot health advice—particularly if you have an existing medical condition.
For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with Devin Bland, DPM from Prestige Medical Care. Our doctor can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.
Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes
There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.
You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.
Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.
Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Phoenix, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.