Can training shoes be used for walking?

Quick Guide to Differences between Walking Shoes and Training Shoes

So, you want to take your new pair of training shoes for a test walk?

Courtesy: RunningAsics                        

It’s not uncommon to see individuals donning training kickers for the fitness walk around the neighborhood. While cross-training shoes are designed for use on a variety of training spaces, they can be a source of disabling injuries if they are converted to walking shoes. While these shoes have extra interior padding, their flexibility can cause injuries as they can’t withstand abuse of a rough terrain.  So, how can you differentiate between walking sneakers and training kickers?  

This guide highlights the telling differences between cross training and walking shoes. We have also enumerated the guidelines to buying the right shoe model.   

Can training shoes be used for walking?

Training Shoes vs. Walking Shoes: The Main Differences

  • Cushioning 

Walking shoes have extra layers of cushioning on the heel area to protect your foot as you hit the ground. While cross training shoes are also well cushioned, much of the cushioning material is around the heel area.  This makes them less suited for long runs or walking through rough terrain.

  • Soles 

Since walking has a much lower impact on your feet, walking shoes have a thinner sole compared to trainer sneakers that handle more stress during high octane physical activities.

  • Heel-to-toe drop

Training shoes have a low heel-to-drop. This provides a flat base which, ostensibly, provides the lift as user trains. Walking shoes have a relatively raised heel-to-toe drop and this aid in building forward momentum.  

  • Flexibility

Cross-trainers have strong outsoles and a flatter design which makes them less flexible compared to walkers.

A walking shoe mimics the pronation of your feet. They are more flexible and lighter compared to training kickers.

  • Ankle support

Training shoes have cushioned ankle support to protect you when you make those sudden moves as you train. Walking sneakersonly come with minimal cushion at the ankle since there isn’t much of sudden, sideways movement as you walk.

What to Look For When Picking an Athletic Shoe

If you are wondering what to check in footwear, below are pointers to ‘shoe’ you the way:

  • Foot pronation

A good shoe should contour the shape of your foot. This is especially vital if you suffer discomfort when you wear shoes of natural size. A shoe that suits your feet pronation can help ease the pain.

  • No seams

A good walking shoe shouldn’t hug tightly on your fit. Presence of a seam on the upper section, however, creates a space between the shoe and your leg. As slips in the space, the seam rubs against your ankle causing blisters.  

  • The fit

A performance shoe shouldn’t hug your toes tightly as this will lead to painful blisters. The toe-box should leave some wiggle room both width and breadth wise.  

  • The cushioning

Thick cushioning doesn’t only offer more comfort but shields your feet from injuries. A thick cushion also makes your shoe feel firmer on the foot and this helps stabilize your muscles.

The 3 Main Types of Walking

Walking can be classified based on intensity and distance covered. The kind of walking shoe to buy should be suitable for intended variation of walking.

  • Casual walking

Casual walk entails making rounds in the neighborhood to engage nature and enjoy the weather. Since these kinds of walks aren’t intense, you can don any type of walking shoes.  

  • Hiking

Hiking is popular with individuals looking for adventure beyond their neighborhood. It’s more intense thus needs a more durable, well cushioned shoe. The walking shoe should have good treads under the outsole for a firm grip. The shoe should also be light so that you don’t tire mid-way through the journey.

  • Marathon walking

This entails part time walking and part time jogging. For this you can only use shoes that are light in weight, well cushioned, and durable in construction. Training shoes are too heavy for such an event and are thus a no go zone. You can try running shoes if you don’t have walking shoes at hand.

Takeaway Message

Walking has a flurry of health benefits. It is a relaxing way to interact with nature and unwind. It can also be chance to bond with your friends        as you explore the world.  

But for your walking adventures to flow as planned, you must source for the appropriate footwear. While both training shoes and walking appear to be similar, using them interchangeably exposes you to potential injuries.

The Problem:

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The Solution:

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