Difference Between Sneakers And Running Shoes

Shoes are essential parts of our lives. They protect the feet from severe weather and give us a stylish look; however, there are different footwear types for various occasions. Walking shoes (sneakers) are different from running shoes in many ways. Sneakers, also known as athletic shoes, have rubber soles and leather material on the upper side. Sneakers are trendy around the world, and most people use them as casual wear.

Running shoes, on the other hand, are shoes manufactured explicitly for running. They are light in weight and make it possible for runners to run quickly. The shoes are smooth and provide support while running.

What Is The Major Difference Between Sneakers And Running Shoes?

Major Difference Between Sneakers And Running Shoes

Since running shoes are specifically made for running, they are manufactured to ensure runners get maximum comfort. The shoes are light and make it easy for the runner to run without being pulled down by their weight. Moreover, running shoes can absorb four times your body weight when the foot hits the ground when running. On the other hand, sneakers don’t have the right cushioning required to absorb impacts.


When running, you hit the ground with nearly three times your body weight but only impact the surface with almost 1.5 times your weight when walking. This means that your lower legs, including the heels and forefoot, get a significant impact, thus, why you need a running shoe with better padding. When walking, you don’t need a shoe with lots of cushioning as you only impact the ground with only 1.5 times your body weight. Therefore, running shoes differ from sneakers which are mainly used for walking in terms of cushioning.

Height Of The Heel

Running shoes have a higher heel than sneakers to provide you with better stability. A runner hits the ground with different parts of the foot, including the toes. The heel also hits the ground with a more significant amount of force for propelling you for the next step. The process goes on until the end of the run. This is why it is crucial to have a shoe with a proper heel to help your upward movement for your next step.

Since a sneaker is a walking shoe, it does not need a unique heel design as the walker will touch down with the whole foot at the same time,

Heel Flare

A flared-up heel provides more comfort to runners who hit the ground with their forefoot first. The flare acts as an extra safety measure that shoe manufacturers put in for maximum comfort and preventing injuries to the feet.

On the other hand, walking shoes do not need a heel flare since the walker hits the ground first with the heel. Flaring up a walker’s shoe may cause injuries as the feet will roll forward through the step. Walking shoes should only have an undercut heel.


Gym shoes and exercise shoes should offer the wearer comfort. Working out can lead to fitness injuries if you wear the wrong type of shoe. A running shoe should flex from the arch to the midfoot, offering flexibility when the runner strikes the ground with toes first. A walking shoe only needs to bend at the arch to give the toes enough space for movement when providing the other foot part with the necessary support. Shoes that do not bend can cause serious strain on your feet and lead to severe injuries.

Can You Use Sneakers For Running?

Can You Use Sneakers For Running

Sneakers should not be worn for long-distance running. Although you can wear your running shoes to different casual occasions or use them to walk on the streets, sneakers are not perfect shoes for running.

Sneakers are heavier than running shoes since they have a high proportion of leather material on the upper parts, providing a better supportive fit for sideways movements. Moreover, sneakers have midsole cushioning that can’t bear a strong impact during a run. This is why sneakers should only be limited to sports, fashion, and gym activities, while running shoes should be used solely for running.

Should You Get Sneakers Or Running Shoes

If you are still confused about getting sneakers or running shoes, you should first evaluate your main goal. If you are a runner who also hits the gym sometimes, you should invest in a good pair of running shoes that you can use for both purposes.

If your exercise does not involve running, sneakers should work just fine in helping you achieve your goals.

Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Running Shoes

Avoid Buying A Shoe Simply For The Looks

First-time runners may be concerned with fashion forgetting other essential factors, including proper support, fit, and comfort. The color and style of the shoe shouldn’t affect your decision-making process. If you do not get the desired support from the shoe, avoid buying it, as it will leave your feet feeling irritated and sore.

Don’t Buy Shoes Which Are Too Tight.

Wearing very tight running shoes can cause blisters and black toenails. Ensure that the shoe fits perfectly, but you can also have a little extra space at the front to avoid squashing your feet. You should leave a 1/2-inch space in the forefoot for a comfortable fit.

Never Assume The Shoe Size.

Before you buy a shoe, you should get your feet measured. Shoe sizes differ depending on the brand and the type of shoe. Moreover, other factors, including stitching and shape of the shoe, may affect how well the shoe will fit and how comfortable you will be. The best time to find the most comfortable fit is in the evening hours since our feet sweat throughout the day until about 4 pm.


For most people, sneakers and running shoes are the same things. However, it is essential to know the difference between these two types of shoes as they will play a massive role in how comfortable you will be during your exercise. Therefore, the next time you are shopping for a running shoe or a sneaker, ask yourself if running or walking is your primary goal.

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