Running and walking shoes may look the same but are designed for totally different functionalities. One of the key differences between the two is that they are made with different cushioning levels. When walking, the heel contacts the ground first; you make a typical heel to toe motion.
The heel absorbs most of the shock from your actions. This explains why walking shoes have thick, beveled heels. The heel is created to be flexible and improve your stability while you walk. Walking shoes are more flexible at the ball of the foot because this point helps you to push off.
Runners on the other hand land on the entire foot while in action. This means that the cushioning of the shoe is across the whole sole. This means that the shoe is much stiffer than the walking shoe. running shoes are very light but have thick soles which act as shock absorbers.
That being said, you can’t use running shoes for walking and vice versa; the chances of getting quality walking or running experience is low if you have the wrong shoes. Also, wearing shoes that fit your feet well and are comfortable can help prevent blister and calluses formation in your legs.
Making sure you have the right type of shoes will allow you to have outdoor time in comfort. Are Nike shoes good for walking? This article covers that and more.
What features make Nike shoes good for walking
Many companies use different rubber compounds, material blends and sizes for different traction and durability levels. Thin light soles may be flexible and lightweight which is great for walking but they are known to provide you with less grip and flexibility.
The insole of the shoe
The insole is basically the padded base where your feet sit when you are wearing the shoe. some people also refer to the insole as the footbed. Most insoles made for walking shoes are created with high quality and comfortable material. For instance, many are created with EVA foam that provides plenty of cushioning for your feet. This allows you to walk comfortably and not feel rough grounds.
The insoles can be different depending on the type of shoe you chose. Some shoes are known to provide more cushioning than others. Insoles also lose their shape and side over time which means they will no longer provide you with the comfort you need to walk and therefore will need some change.
This is the part that sits between the inner sole and the outsole of the shoe. The midsole on walking shoes is designed to provide you with shock absorption, cushioning, protection from uneven surfaces or sharp objects while you work and more.
Most midsoles for walking shoes are made from Phylon or EVA material. Pylon is very dense and will offer you high levels of comfort over a long time while EVA material is very comfortable and lightweight.
Walking shoes come in a variety of soles, it all depends on the brand, material and type of terrain it is intended for. The outsole is the bottom most part of the shoe and can be made from a variety of materials.
Sturdy soles are convenient because they provide a higher traction level and are more durable while still functioning as great walking shoes. One of the most common materials for walking shoe outsoles is Vibram. Vibram is a mixture of silicon and rubber and is also used to make car tires which proves how much traction it can take.
Vibram soles are of great quality when compared to the other soles. They are slip resistant, waterproof and will last you a long time. They are designed to keep your feet flexible and comfortable at the same time. Vibram soles work well on a variety of terrain. They have high efficiency when it comes to protecting your feet and toes from uneven ground, discomfort and harm.
The shoe upper
This refers to the uppermost part of the shoe, typically everything above the sole. Most Nike shoes are made from suede, leather, mesh, and other materials. The shoe upper is responsible for airflow and grip on your foot.
The weight of the shoe – A good walking shoe should weigh between 12- 34 ounces. Lightweight shoes allow you to move around easier on any surface. While Nike shoes are light, they cannot compete with shoes made by other big brands. In comparison, they could do better when it comes to producing light walking shoes. This is not to take away from the fact that they produce good quality walking shoes with an averagely good weight.
Breathability – most walking shoes today are created with a synthetic upper to allow for breathability especially for people who go for long distance walks. The weight of the shoe allows for less heat generation while walking hence less sweat.
Comfort – there are several factors that will determine the comfort of your shoe including the weight, material, midsole and outsole. Walking shoes should have contours and paddings that provide a snug fit while leaving ample room for your forefoot.
Durability – while durability is not a direct concern when creating a comfortable walking shoe, it is a factor to consider when choosing one. Go for shoes that have strong materials and will last you for a while and work well on different terrain types
Protection – the upper part as well as the sole of the shoe should offer your feet protection. This allows you to wear them comfortably without fear of injury for walking on different terrains and for long lengths of time.
Nike focuses on shoes intended for multiple functions. They create both running and walking shoes to cater to the needs of their large fanbase. Nike has a reputation for making good quality shoes for everyday wear. You can find a variety of shoes with different designs, materials, weight and more depending on what you like. Nike shoes have been proven to offer excellent arch support throughout the day which makes them great for people who stand and walk for long.