Can You Use Running Shoes for Walking?

Can you use running shoes for walking or is this a recipe for disaster?

If you’re like me and love to save money, you’re probably thinking of wearing your running shoes for walking too.

There are just so much more bright and vibrant colors in running shoes, it makes sense that we would want to choose these over walking shoes!

Especially because they’re only made up of black, white and brown colors.

There’s just no oomph in walking shoes compared to running shoes.

So the short answer is yes, running shoes can be used for walking but walking shoes cannot be used for running.

Why?

Well that’s what I want to talk about today.

Walking Shoes vs Running Shoes

What is a Walking Shoe?


A walking shoe is strictly designed for walking.

There’s just enough padding to handle the force of the body when you walk on the heels of your feet.

Yes they still have more cushioning then casual/around the city shoes but still less padding than running shoes.

They also have more flexibility since walking requires more range of motion than running.

However, there is often no flare with walking shoes and that’s a good indication that they’re designed for walking in.

They come in mesh for less weight and ultimate breathability but not uncommon to see synthetic leathers either.

Basically, walking shoes are vanilla in color: black, white, brown, etc, have less stability, more flexibility and less cushioning.

What is a Running Shoe?


A running shoe has MUCH more cushioning to catch the brunt of the force.

As you run, you putting about 3x your body weight into the heels and balls of your foot, and shoes need to be able to handle that.

Running shoes are much more vibrant in color, textures and styles and that’s what you’ll see in the pictures of your favorite Instagram models.

They tend to have more features to compensate for the added stress and more stability thanks to the flare feature on the soles.

Shoe with flare:

Running Shoe with Flare

Shoe without flare:

Walking Shoe Without Flare

Are Running Shoes Good for Walking?


Finally we get to the almighty question.

Can you use running shoes for walking? Abso fricken lutely.

And it makes sense that anyone would want to considering they have more color and life to them than their boring black and white counterparts.

So how is this possible?

Well the fact that there’s so much more cushion in running shoes compared to walking shoes.

Meaning it’s completely fine to use running shoes for walking.

But on the other hand, walking shoes should not and NEVER be used for running. Not even once.

There’s not enough support to handle the extra weight from pounding your feet into the ground.

The walking shoes simply can’t handle all that force and it’s going to cause you too much pain. You might do some serious damage and put you out of the running game for good.

So that’s why you should keep walking shoes for walking and running shoes for walking and running.

What to Look For in a Running Shoe Used for Walking


1. Costs

If you think purchasing running shoes for walking is a good idea, you need to take into consideration the costs involved.

As mentioned earlier, running shoes have more features, technology, motion control and cushioning to compensate for the added support it offers.

And because of this, they tend to be more costly than walking shoes.

2. Flexibility

It’s true that there is more flexibility in walking shoes since walking requires more range of motion.

So if you’ll be using running shoes for walking also, you’re going to need a shoe that can bend in the forefoot.

As a rule of thumb: If you can bend it too easily then it’s probably too flexible and not good for neither walking or running.

An example in the picture below shows a shoe which bends too easily. It might be good for walking but definitely not for both.

Soft Fore Sole

3. Heel height

Most running shoes have an increased heel height for more support against the added pressure and stress.

However, if you’re going to use your running shoes for walking, this is going to become a problem since you don’t need the added height.

You’ll have to find a shoe with no increased height.

Manufacturers will list this as a drop of millimeters, so look for a drop of 10 mm or less.

4. No flare

Almost all running shoes will have a flare which adds more stability and balance.

However, this won’t be necessary in a walking shoe so make sure the running shoe you buy doesn’t have one.

Look for little or no flare at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wear Running Shoes As Your Everyday Shoes?


What exactly do you want the running shoes for that everyday shoes don’t have?

Is it the vibrant colors running shoes offer?

Is it the added cushion?

If so, you’ll have to take into consideration the things I mentioned above.

Such as how much are you willing to pay, how long you expect your running shoes to last if you’re using them everyday, etc.

But yes you can totally use running shoes for everyday activities.

Can You Use Running Shoes for the Gym?


Yes as long as you’re using the treadmill, stairmaster or any other cardio activity.

These shoes are designed for running for long periods of time and will perform great in the gym as long as you stick to these types of activities.

It becomes a problem when you try and lift heavy weights.

They aren’t designed for extremely heavy loads so weight training is only going to wear them down faster and may even end up in injury.

What About Other Sports Like Tennis or Basketball?


No, this is not recommended since tennis and basketball require you to move side to side in short bursts of movement, in all directions.

And running shoes do not provide lateral support so this is only going to end up in injury (a sprained ankle, sore knees, etc).

If you want to play some type of sport then you better invest in some proper shoes designed exactly for that activity.

You’ll minimize risk of injury and get the most bang for your buck.

In Conclusion


You can definitely use running shoes for walking taking into consideration that you’ll need to sacrifice some features you won’t need for walking.

You might also need to pay a little extra cost to get some higher quality shoes to last a long time.

Well that’s all I have for today and I really hope you found what you were looking for.

Please leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you asap 🙂

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