Do running shoes make good walking shoes?
The technical running shoe is the best-researched and developed athletic shoe. It’s also the best all-purpose exercise shoe. This is good news for walkers. Because, while it may not be easy to find walking shoes, you can find technical running shoes in many places.
Running shoes are better than walking shoes for general exercise
In a previous post I discussed how running shoes, more than any other athletic shoe, can be used on or with a large variety of equipment: treadmills, resistance machines, hand weights, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, barbells, ab machines, stair climbing machines, rowers, cardio cross trainers, and kettlebells.
Walking is the best exercise because it is accessible to just about any person, of any age, and in any place. And walking, by itself, can deliver the majority of health benefits from exercise. When it comes to walking, technical running shoes are at least equal to walking shoes–but they’re definitely more versatile than walking shoes.
Running shoes are probably better-built than walking shoes
Technical running shoes were made for users who land each step with about three times their body weight. When walking, however, we land with only about half of that force. So there’s no question about running shoe’s durability for walking. Running shoes are also lightweight; the shoes on our wall weigh between 6.3 ounces and 13.6 ounces. Running shoes have a mesh upper, which allows air to more easily pass through to evaporate the moisture that can accumulate during walking. As the quantity of moisture reduces, so does the chance for blisters.
Where to find help
There are many consumers that need help selecting the right shoes. That can be a problem when shopping for walking shoes because there are very few stores that sell walking shoes. There are a number of running shoe stores, however. And they can help you find the most comfortable pair of shoes. Then they can customize the fit of the shoe with lacing techniques, inserts, and socks.
People tend to spend more time walking than running. So walkers may have to change their shoes more often than runners. A shoe can handle a certain amount of standing on its midsole. That amount can be measured in time. After that time has been reached, the shoe will take on the characteristics of a dead shoe: it will feel flat, more rigid, and generally uncomfortable.
All worn shoes will get to that point. Walkers’ shoes tend to get there quickly! Dedicated walkers should consider replacing their running shoes 3-4 times a year.