Walking shoes vs Running shoes

I have no idea that there is such a thing as a walking shoe, till I was looking for a new pair of shoe to purchase after my run yesterday, I keep feeling that the GT2140 that I am using for my long run is not fitted to my leg, even after half a year gone and using it sparingly, I still have blister, its not my running gait as I have my other NB racer shoe to run and my previous GT1000 was a creme de la creme they dont give blisters. but then again, I still don’t know what shoes to buy, I am so tempted to try the NEWTON Gravity trainer but it cost a bomb, can’t really justify $200 on a shoe. If you have a shoe you would like to recommend I would like to hear.

Anyway here is the difference of walking shoes and running shoes compliments by New Balance website

Why walking shoes?
At first glance, walking and running seem very similar. But when you
look closely at the two activities and the demands they place on your
feet and your footwear, the two are really quite different. Differences
that affect the need for, and design of, two very different styles of
shoes. But before we get to the shoes, let’s take a look at walking and
running and the body mechanics involved with each.

As you walk, the body’s weight is distributed more evenly on the foot
than when you run. When walking, your weight rolls from the heel,
through the ball and continues to the toe in one foot after the other.
This gentler, rocking-chair like motion requires your feet to absorb the
shock of only 1-2x your body weight with each step. And, during walking
there are points where both feet are firmly on the ground, dividing
weight. Running, on the other hand (or foot for that matter) requires
the support of at least 2-3x your body weight and each stride has
moments with neither foot on the ground. With each step, the outer heel
absorbs most of the impact before distributing weight through the foot
in an S motion through toe off. So what’s this mean to your shoes?
Basically, it’s the old axiom of having the right tool for the job.

Walking shoes are designed with the specific body mechanics and strike
path of walking in mind. They are constructed to be more flexible
through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion through
the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support to protect
where the force is heaviest on the foot. Running shoes, in contrast,
have more cushioning in the heel–the point of impact–and less protection
through the ball of the foot. The amount of heat generated in the
running motion is greater, so running shoes also are made with a higher
amount of mesh to keep feet cool during exercise.

Picking the proper shoes can prevent discomfort, injury and will
encourage you to maintain an active lifestyle. When you shop for shoes,
wear the socks you exercise in. The shoes should be comfortable as soon
as you put them on. The heel ought to fit snugly, not slip up out of the
shoe. If the shoes are tight, do not expect them to stretch out, even
if they look stylish. Since feet swell during the day, shop for shoes in
the afternoon or after a long walk. To prevent painful blisters,
calluses, and to avoid foot disorders like bunions and hammertoes, check
for enough room on the sides of your feet, above your toes, and about a
half-inch between the end of your longest toe and the shoe.

When picking a new pair of walking shoes, be sure to consider your arch
type. You can determine this by bringing an old shoe to the store with
you, or by dampening your foot and placing it on a piece of paper. What
does your footprint look like? If you don’t see much of a footprint, you
have a high arch. If it is wide, your feet are flat. Feet with high
arches may be prone to stress because of the lack of natural shock
absorption. Seek shoes with cushioning to alleviate this problem. If
your feet are flat, they may not support your body well, leading to
muscle and joint stress in your feet and knees. Walking shoes that are
more structured will give you stability. Look for shoes with medial
(inside) support to limit over-pronation and support your feet.

It is most important that your shoes feel comfortable so that you do not
avoid exercising. Once your shoes are worn out, they must be replaced.
If you can see through the outer sole to the midsole, or feel the
support buckling as you exercise, it is time for a new pair. Even
well-made shoes eventually degrade. The best advice is to keep track of
the mileage on your shoe. On average, shoes last roughly 300-500 miles,
so if you walk for exercise, keeping a weekly log of miles will help you
understand when your shoes are ready to be replaced.

The best way to ensure that you will enjoy exercising is to have gear
that fits right. Whether you decide walking, running, or cross-training
is the best activity for you, now you can make an informed decision
about the shoes that will help you achieve your goals.


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