Are Running Shoes Good For Walking?

In the first of our “ask the expert” series, we helping you with all those running shoe questions that you’ve always wanted to ask.

Michelle Burges writes:

Dear Running Prof,

My husband and I do a lot of hiking and I’m constantly getting blisters from my walking boots when we walk over 10 miles, however when I go out on 10 mile plus training runs – my feet are perfectly fine with no rubbing and not a blister in sight!

My question – are running shoes good for walking?


Michelle Burges

Well Michelle, thanks for emailing your question across.

It’s a funny old thing but only a few weeks ago I found myself in the Lake District asking the exact same question – can I really use running shoes for walking?

There was only 1 way to find out.

We planned to walk Skiddaw, a tough, mountainous walk featuring some pretty tough terrain; with exceptional views it’s certainly worth the hike.

I digress.

Typically on good walks I would opt for boots because of the added ankle protection but given that we had a rare warm day I decided to pull on a pair of trail running shoes (Salomon speedcross 3-gtx to be specific) and give walking in running shoes a go.

In all honesty I was shocked by how enjoyable the walk was.

When I started out I thought that my ankles would really suffer as we walked up and down the undulating gradient but it just didn’t happen.

Without the weight of boots my legs actually felt fresher as I wasn’t having to carry the extra weight and because of how breathable my running shoes felt in comparison to walking boots or shoes my felt didn’t feel like they were cooking as we plodded along.

In short I was massively impressed with how well suited running shoes were for walking.

That said, once the weather turns a bit colder and wetter then I’ll be pulling my boots back on as I don’t enjoy trudging for hours uphill with wet and cold feet.