Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Can I Run in My Walking Shoes?

Most people have some sort of sneaker or athletic shoe in their closet, and some might wonder if that's good enough to start jogging or running in.  The answer is an emphatic no.  Running might seem like just a fast form of walking, but that's far from the truth.

Even if your slow jog is no faster than a walk (like mine is right now), your body is still using different muscles in different ways.  A different part of your foot is taking most of the impact when it strikes the surface whether walking or running, and also not at the same intensity.  When running, your feet are pounding the ground with much more pressure, and you need a shoe that will be able to absorb the shock, or you're setting yourself up for injury.  Make sure to wear the proper shoe, one that will provide the right amount of support, flexibility, and stability for the activity that you're performing.

Your everyday sneakers or tennis shoes are probably ok if all you're doing is a short walk here and there, but if you have feet or leg problems, are overweight, or walking often or for longer distances, wearing a good walking shoe is wise.  If you're going to be doing any jogging or running at all, however, a running shoe is a must.  If your training plan calls for both walking and jogging, lace up your running shoes.  It's ok to walk in your running shoes, but a bad idea to run in your walking shoes.

If you've been jogging in your walking shoes, you'll notice a big difference when switching.  Running shoes are usually much lighter and more flexible, and I'll bet you'll find that you're able to lift your feet higher and go for a longer distance than with your clunky walking shoes.  I wore new running shoes when I did my :33 walk/jog last night and was amazed at the difference.  I felt like I was flying (ok, maybe just gliding), rather than simply dragging my feet along the pavement during the jog portions of my workout.

Wearing improper shoes is probably one of the biggest causes of jogging and running injuries.  Since shoes are really the only equipment that's required to start your fitness journey by walking or jogging, don't take any shortcuts -- invest in a good pair.  If you can only afford one pair of fitness shoes, splurge for the running shoes.  Your joints and muscles will thank you.

~ Marie Anne


  1. I wear utility boots to do my running. Of course, I run through mud, fields, hills with no paths, a gully, and over a building... Ah, life on the farm, lol.

    1. Over a building? o_0 Now I suspect Candes is a superhero... ;)

  2. I have running shoes...I wear them to the store. I pretty bad about just wearing whatever sandal I've flopped around in all day on my walks.

  3. Hah! Not a superhero. There's a ladder and scaffolding on one side I use to go up, and a mechanics cherry picker on the other side that I use to go down. I did try wearing running shoes when I first moved back to the farm, and almost broke my ankle. Even without the climbing, the terrain is too rough around here for anything less than boots.

  4. OK, now I feel like a total wimp with my flat-road, biking trail, and highway shoulder routines. Thanks, Candes. ;-)'


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