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Is It Okay to Walk in Running Shoes...and Vice Versa?

Is it okay to walk in running shoes… and vice versa?

I’m mostly a walker. But sometimes I buy running shoes if I see a pair I like or if I can’t resist a good sale. I know there’s a difference between walking and running shoes but I’ve never really asked a professional whether it’s okay to walk in running shoes… or run in walking shoes… until now.

The short answer from Shane Downey, Sales Merchandising Manager for New Balance: “You can always walk in a running shoe, however you can never run in a walking shoe.”

But I always want to know more. It’s the journalist in me. So, let’s explore the difference in walking and running shoes further, shall we?

“Since walking is made with a slower, more deliberate motion, the walking shoes generally are not as flexible and pliable from heel to toe, thus providing a more stable platform,” explains Downey. “We also don’t put as much cushion into a walking shoe and place it in different locations because of the variance in the foot strike of a walker versus a runner. Running shoes, in contrast, have more cushioning in the heel – the point of impact – and less protection through the ball of the foot.”

So, what if you want to do a little running and some walking, too? The answer from Downey – wear a running shoe.

It’s funny that I’ve been exercising for so long but never asked about this. I’m glad I finally took the steps I needed to get some answers.

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