Why choose a running shoe over a walking shoe?
In our time working in the running specialty business, one of the more common situations we experience is a person wanting to use an actual walking shoe instead of a running shoe when walking as a form of exercise. In this instance, it is our belief that in most cases a running shoe will actually suit a person's needs more so than a walking shoe and here are a few reasons why........
First and foremost, running shoes are the only type of shoes on the market that have "stability" built into the shoe. What this means is that the shoe itself has what is called a "dual-density foam" on the medial (inside) part of the shoe that is usually focused under the arch of the foot and can run as far back as the back of the heel. The point of this foam is to control any overpronation, or collapsing in, of the foot. This feature is probably the biggest advantage of a running shoe over a walking or cross training shoe.
Secondly, walking shoes are traditionally made of a leather material which admittedly are generally easier to clean, but any type of leather shoe is essentially suffocating your foot and does not allow the shoes and socks to breathe. Running shoes are made of a lighter weight, "meshy" material that breathes very easily therefore does not trap moisture in the shoe and in turn helps to prevent blisters and the development of fungus on the foot.
Last but not least, running shoes come in a variety of different styles. The traditional look of a walking shoe is either a plain black or white leather and are typically not distinguishable from most other styles walking shoes on the market. Running shoes, however, come in a wide array of color combinations and really allow an individual to express some of their personality while exercising or just walking around. If you want a more subtle look and prefer not to be noticed while working out, then you have that option. If you prefer a more bold, bright style of shoe and really prefer to be a "head-turner" while running or working out, there are plenty of running shoes that can accomplish this as well.
All in all, walking shoes have their place in the shoe world, but whether you're running, walking, or using machines like the elliptical or stair climber, there's a very good chance that a running shoe will leave your feet and the rest of your body feeling much better than in a walking shoe.