We told you about cushioning but you may be wondering if our answers are the same for all sports. The answer is no; as the movement of the foot is not the same, your needs are not the same for every type of practice, whether it be in terms of cushioning or other important features of a shoe.
What is the difference in the way my foot moves when walking and running? If I take the example of running, the movement of your foot and the angle of attack are different from when you are walking. The forces brought into play by the movement are also not the same.
When running, there is a bouncing movement; the body leaves the ground at a given point because of the bounce: there is therefore a strong heel strike and an energy transfer off the front of the foot. The sole has to absorb this bounce, i.e. it has to absorb two to three times your body weight with every stride. For everyday walking, as with fitness walking, one of your two feet is always in contact with the ground. There are therefore fewer forces at play and the sole has to absorb 1 to 1.5 times the weight of your body. It is a smooth process and there is a transition of the foot from the heel strike to the energy transfer from the big toe.
The impact these differences have on what you need from a shoe:
For walking :
support and stability to keep the foot aligned in the direction of movement.
flexibility to promote a good heel-to-toe transition (from the heel strike to the energy transfer of the toes).
For running :
cushioning adapted to the strong heel strike,
support to stabilise the heel on the ground,
propulsion to transfer energy to the foot