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Running Shoe vs. Walking Shoe

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Updated April 19, 2014

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Heel Flare for Running Shoes vs. Walking Shoes
Flared Heel vs. Straight Heel

Flared Heel vs. Straight Heel

Wendy Bumgardner © 2009
Running shoes may have a flared heel to provide extra stability for runners who strike the ground at their midfoot for forefoot. A flared heel is also often seen on trail running shoes.

Fitness walking shoes should not have a flared heel. Walkers strike the ground with their heel, and a flared heel impedes rolling forward through the step. A true fitness walking shoe would have an undercut heel rather than a flared heel or built-up heel.

In the photo, the running shoe on the left has a flared heel, while the running shoe on the right does not.

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