Difference Between Running Shoes and Walking Shoes

Running and walking are two distinct activities with distinct foot movements. As a result, the shoes are tailored to the necessities of the foot to provide the user with optimum comfort along with protection.

It is fairly typical for people to classify both running shoes and walking shoes like athletic shoes without recognizing the slight differences between the two.

Walking and running shoes, on the other hand, have distinct characteristics to cater to the different needs of the activities.

Running Shoes vs Walking Shoes

The main difference between running shoes and walking shoes is that running shoes usually have a stiffer sole along with thick heel wedges to provide more stability while being fairly lightweight whereas walking shoes have a flexible sole along with beveled heels and tend to be comparatively heavier. 

Running Shoes vs Walking Shoes

Running shoes are built of breathable materials because your feet will most likely sweat while running. This also contributes to the shoe’s weight reduction.

Running shoes are built with structure around the heel to promote a secure fit with minimal movement as your feet bend and flex. This is known as the heel counter. 

Walking shoes, as opposed to running shoes, are often made of more substantial material.  The heel of the walking shoes is tilted. This is done to keep the angle as the feet land on the ground.

These shoes are more flexible, allowing you to push harder during the toe-off phase. They are stiff in the front. 

Comparison Table Between Running Shoes and Walking Shoes 

Parameters of Comparison Running Shoes Walking Shoes 
Sole Stiff sole Flexible and bendable sole 
Heels Thick heel wedges Beveled heels 
Weight Lightweight Comparatively heavier 
Motion Control More motion controls It provides less stability. 
Cushioning It has extra cushioning. It does not have any extra cushioning. 
Cost It is more expensive. It is cheaper. 
Mesh It has extra mesh. It has no extra mesh. 

What are Running Shoes? 

Running shoes are made to accommodate the running action and aid the feet in this activity. They contain a lot of cushioning, which cushions the foot and keeps the heel from hurting.

This additional padding increases the weight of the shoe. As a result, running shoes are heavier than walking shoes. 

Extra mesh is also used in the design of these sneakers. The mesh in the shoe drains the extra heat created during strenuous exercise, keeping the feet cool. These shoes give the arch of the foot flexibility and stability.  

They help control pronation, or inward rolling of the foot, by adding rigidity to the sole. Running shoes are primarily intended for forwarding motion. These shoes do not provide a lot of lateral support. 

Running shoes are often lighter than other types of footwear. Furthermore, they frequently have greater padding. Because running is an impact sport, runners’ feet frequently want an extra cushion to help protect their feet in contact. 

Although runners strike the ground at different points on their feet, it is generally true that the impact of running requires more shock absorption than it does of other activities.

While your feet do strike the ground with each stride during walking, it is not with the same force as when running. 

The toe box is another significant feature of running shoes. A solid fit in the toe box is essential to prevent movement in the front of the foot, which can lead to blisters.  

What are Walking Shoes? 

Walking shoes do not necessitate additional padding. Walking shoes, in fact, should be lighter. To do this, the excess padding is removed to create a lightweight shoe.

As a result, these shoes include additional shock absorbers to cushion the heel and ball of the foot. Shock absorbers protect the foot, ankle, and heels from injury. 

Walking shoes are often heavy and designed to be flexible through the ball of your foot. This is due to the fact that your foot will make touch with the ground throughout the whole flex of taking a step.

Walking shoes typically have a beveled heel to facilitate and comfort the heel striking. It aids in the stabilization of the foot and the support of the arch with each step. 

Walking shoes, unless you run in a minimalist shoe, will be more flexible than running shoes. That is if your running shoe has cushioning and control.

Walkers should opt for shoes with the smallest difference in height between the heel and the toe. 

When it comes to walking shoes, the emphasis is on durability and support.

They provide cushioning, although not always to the same extent, and with a focus on the heel because this is where walkers first make contact with the ground with each step. 

Main Differences Between Running Shoes and Walking Shoes 

  1. Running shoes have stiffer soles whereas walking shoes tend to have more of a flexible sole. 
  2. Running shoes have thick heels edges that provide extra cushioning whereas a walking shoe will have beveled heels. 
  3. Running shoes offer more motion control to help keep the foot neutral while running. Walking shoes provide less stability. 
  4. Running shoes are lightweight for more stealth whereas walking shoes are comparatively heavier. 
  5. A running shoe has extra cushioning, but a walking shoe has no such extra cushioning. 
  6. Running shoes are more expensive than walking shoes which is more affordable. 
  7. Running shoes have extra mesh and walking shoes have no extra mesh. 
Difference Between Running Shoes and Walking Shoes


Arch support, control, and stability are essential for both walking and running, but they change depending not just on the activity (with walking, your feet spend more time on the ground and are thus influenced by the shoe as a whole), but also on the style of shoe you choose. 

Running shoes are often lighter, making it easier to perform fast motions. Walking shoes, on the other hand, are often heavier, which aids in your stability as you walk.

In other words, running shoes are designed to assist faster motions, but walking shoes are designed to support a slower, consistent, and steady pace. 


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/154193129503900509 
  2. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200634939595257.page 
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