Our Ballantyne Podiatrist Explains Why Running Shoes Should Only Be Worn for Running

January 1, 2020

There’s a good reason why you can now find special shoes made specifically for lifting weights, CrossFit, or even yoga: most sports activities are easier and safer when you’re wearing footwear specifically designed for it. And, by contrast, wearing footwear for activities it’s not designed for can have negative consequences for your feet, knees, and entire body. In today’s post our Ballantyne podiatrist explains why, if you’re currently wearing running shoes 24/7, you’re better off sticking to other options.

Running Shoes Have Less Cushion

On the surface, running shoes might look like extra-flashy tennis shoes, but they’re not. High-quality running shoes are developed to enhance the wearer’s long-term performance, and to withstand the repetitive pattern and force applied during running. For that reason, they tend to have less cushion overall, and especially in the heel. Walking shoes tend to have more cushion, especially in the heel, because the foot is on the ground longer and has less impact to absorb.

Running Shoes Are Less Flexible

When walking, your feet follow a sort of rocking-chair-like motion—the weight rolls from the heel, through the ball of your foot, and continues to the toe. That means that walkers, unlike runners, will benefit most from shoes that are flexible enough to allow for that rolling motion. Ideal walking shoes offer more support through the arch, where the force of the foot strikes are the heaviest. Long story short? If you spend a lot of time walking in running shoes, you may eventually sustain impact injuries like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and Achilles tendonitis.

Financial Considerations

If we haven’t convinced you with the health aspect, consider this point: wearing your running shoes everywhere wears them out more quickly! And with high-quality running shoes costing in the neighborhood of $120, we think you’ll see the logic in only wearing them when they’re absolutely necessary. If you can push around a grocery cart or stroll the neighborhood in a pair of $20 walking shoes, then do so, and save your expensive sneaks for when you’re hitting the track, treadmill or trail. The only time you need running shoes’ shock absorption and weight distribution qualities is when you’re repeatedly slamming your feet down, over and over, for miles on end. If you’re not doing that, then there’s no sense in wearing them out. 

Need a Foot Surgeon or Podiatrist in Ballantyne?

Ryan Foot & Ankle Clinic is proud to be the go-to podiatrist for Concord, Ballantyne, South Park, Charlotte University, and Harrisburg residents. If you think you might require help from a foot doctor Ballantyne, click here to set up an appointment today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you put your best foot forward!