The short answer is “yes,” because walking and running do put very different demands on your feet and body.
When you walk your foot will roll gently from your heel to your toes, spreading your weight fairly evenly throughout the walking cycle. Much of the time both of your feet are on the ground, and as you move forward each foot absorbs about one to two times your body weight. To work with this kind of motion, walking shoes are designed to be flexible and provide support for your arches.
When you run, however, your feet absorb two to three times your weight with each stride, with your outer heel taking most of the impact before distributing your weight through the rest of your foot. So the right running shoes have thicker soles to absorb the shock of impact and more cushioning, especially in the heel.
Many experts say that while you should not run in walking shoes, it’s fine to walk in running shoes.
And everyone agrees that fit and comfort are key. So be sure to shop for shoes where you can get expert advice on the kind of shoes that are right for your arch type and walking or running style. (May we suggest Foot Solutions?) The right shoe should have ample room for your toes, fit snug in the heel and not pinch in the width. Finally, be sure any shoe you choose feels truly comfortable as soon as you put it on.
How long do you keep your walking or running shoes? Comment below.