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Can You Wear New Balance Running Shoes for Fitness Walking?

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Updated August 31, 2013

New Balance 826 Running Shoes

New Balance 826 Running Shoes

Wendy Bumgardner © 2008
Question: Can You Wear New Balance Running Shoes for Fitness Walking?
Are New Balance running shoes good for fitness walking? Shouldn't you wear walking shoes rather than New Balance running shoes for walking?
Answer: I have worn New Balance running shoes for fitness walking for the past 10 years. Not all New Balance running shoes are good for fitness walking. Walkers need flex in the forefoot and do not need as much heavy cushioning as is found in comfort shoes or cushioned running shoes. But I have been very happy with New Balance running shoe designs for marathon walking, half marathon, 10K and training.

When comparing fitness walking shoes with running shoes, the running shoe models incorporate more of the latest developments for cushioning, motion control, and support.

New Balance Shoes Features

New Balance has a full range of styles for overpronators who need motion control, neutral lightweight training shoes, stability shoes and trail shoes.

Widths: Very few athletic shoes come in widths, but New Balance has shoes in a full range of widths: x-narrow, narrow, medium, wide, x-wide, xx-wide, for men, women, and children.

Lasts: New Balance uses a variety of different lasts for its running and walking shoes. For many years they used the SL-1 and SL-2 lasts. But they have changes things up and it is best to research which last fits your foot best, then buy shoes built on that last. The lasts differ in heel width, toebox width, toebox depth, and instep height.
New Balance Shoe Lasts

What to Look for in New Balance Running Shoes for Fitness Walking

1. Flexible You should be able to bend and flex the shoe in the forefoot.

2. Low Heel Some running shoes have higher heels to support runners who land on the ball of the foot.

3. No Flare A true fitness walking shoe has a heel that is undercut, that angles in from the heel to the ground. Walkers land on the heel and do not need a built-up or flared heel. Many running shoes, and especially trail running shoes, have a flared heel for stability for runners who land on the arch or ball of their foot. The best you can look for is little or no flare.

4. Fit To have your foot and gait assessed for whether you need motion control or stability shoes or can wear neutral lightweight trainers, visit the serious running shoe store in your area. The staff there will be able to recommend the best type of shoe for your walking needs. New Balance has their own shoe stores in some locations and the staff of those stores can give you a good assessment and fitting.

Walking Shoe Guide
How to choose the right shoes and lists of the top shoes for each category.

Top Picks for Walking Shoes

I have several New Balance running shoe designs in each of the categories.
Top Picks for Motion Control Shoes
Top Picks for Stability Shoes
Top Picks for Cushioned Shoes
Top Picks for Performance Training Shoes
Top Picks for Racewalking Shoes

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