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Distinguishing between walking and running shoes

Walking and running shoes while they may look very similar to you when you first see them are not designed to function in the same way. They were each made with a specific motion in mind. For running there is more padding in the heel of the shoe because this is the part of the foot that takes the most impact when you run, walking shoes are made to be more flexible. Walking shoes are made to support the rolling motion that your foot makes while you walk, this is a different motion from the stride of a runner.

Along with the different stride running shoes are designed to stabalize and propel the runner forward so the shoes have a very slight angle. If you are looking for walking shoes you don't need this angle because you roll through the step using your whole foot.

If you ever have seen a pair of running and walking shoes next to each other the one most distinguishing feature is that of the heel shape. Running shoes are designed to give the runner more stability so the heels will be flaired. Since a walker's foot hits the ground heel first the flaired heel will be in the way of the smooth rolling motion of the foot. When looking for a running shoe make sure that the heels are straight or undercut not flaired.

Running shoes are also made with considerable more mesh materials to ventalate the foot because of the amount of sweat that is produced while running.

Finally you can check the flexability of the shoe. Walking shoes should bend at more towards the front of your foot because walkers push off with their toes. Running shoes will have a bend closer the middle of the foot because runners push off with the balls of their feet.

Like all sports you have to make sure that you are using the right equipment to prevent injury. Even though the shoes may look very similar using walking shoes for running or walking shoes for running can cause injury to your feet, legs and knees. So be careful!

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