A Guide to Walking and Running Shoes

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One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss is “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Believe it or not, this quote often comes to mind when shoe shopping and I usually end the trip “with the right pair of shoes on my feet, “I” am the one who will decide where to go.” With that said, let’s take a look at the benefits and differences between walking and running shoes.

Walking Shoes

Walking is the most popular form of exercise, and comfortable walking shoes are vital to prevent painful joints and alignment issues. When choosing the best walking shoes, these essential factors should be taken into consideration before making your purchase. They are:

Stability – You need to have a balanced and secured feel in your walking shoes through the total range of motion.

Flexibility – Good walking shoes should allow for a good degree of flexibility at the base of the toes. The flex point of a walking shoe is the point where the shoe bends while walking. The flex point of the shoe should match the bending part in your foot. When the two don’t align, it could cause arch pain or other painful foot conditions.

Comfort – Walking shoes should provide cushioning and padding closely to your feet, providing a snug fit at the heel and midfoot of the shoes. Proper cushioning provides the necessary stability and shock control while walking.

Arch Support

Having good arch support allows for more mobility which supports proper alignment.

Running Shoes

Wearing the right kind of shoes is vital in protecting your muscles and joints when running (I swear by the trusty Nike running shoe!). While running, your body absorbs about three times the weight of your body. Running shoes tend to have a stiffer sole and thicker heel providing more cushioning and since they are made with mesh, they are very lightweight.

Most people may not realize that there are different styles of running. The style of running that you do has a huge impact on what type of running shoe is best for you. Here are the different types of running shoes:

Regular running shoes– This type of shoe can handle all types of running and are more durable.

Lightweight shoes– Lightweight running shoes are recommended for more active workouts or races. They tend to be less durable than the average shoe.

Trail Running shoes – These shoes are best when running on trails and areas with a lot of dirt. They have a more durable upper and have lugs on the bottom of the shoes to accommodate a better grip.

With the vast selection of shoes on the market today, your chances of finding good walking and running shoes are incredibly good. You can easily find a selection to suit your needs, and your budget. The sky is the limit and now that you know what you know. YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

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