Power walking and running:what's the difference?

You have opted for an open-air sport in order to feel better, lose some weight and relax. Whatever your objective, fast walking and running are endurance sports, which are both recommended if you want to take care of your body. But why is walking so different that it needs a specific type of footwear?

Fast walking steps and running strides

When walking fast, the movement of your foot is known as a step, whereas runners generally talk about strides. In terms of the time taken, both of these movements take place between the moment that you place your foot on the ground for the first time and the moment you place your foot on the ground for the second time.

When walking, the person is permanently in contact with the ground whereas runners make jumps as they move forward. When runners reach the sky to move forward, walkers place their heel on the ground. Starting from this point, the foot rolls through to the toes, which propel the walker forwards, while the other foot returns to the ground heel first.

This is what fast walkers call the double support, as you can see in the following diagram:


This is the correct way to move the foot when walking fast.

This double support phase makes walking more stable and significantly reduces the risk of sprains.

Do your feet have different needs if you are walking?

The answer is yes! As one of your feet is always in contact with the ground when walking fast, the forces exerted on your joints are significantly less than when you're running.

When walking fast, the hip joints, knees and ankles are not subjected to the same ordeal – far from it. That's why the cushioning you will find in a shoe designed for fast walking is less substantial than that you will find in a running shoe.

A fast walking shoe must, first and foremost, be extremely flexible in order to allow an excellent foot roll-through.

  • FURTHER INFORMATION: How to choose between walking or running Although this naturally depends on your own preference, it is advisable to opt for fast walking if you have weak joints or you haven't practised any sport for awhile. Like running, this is an ideal endurance sport for strengthening the heart and developing your respiratory capacity, which will all contribute to a lasting loss of weight.


Sports specialists define walking as "the nearest thing you can get to the ideal physical exercise".Fitness walking is an accessible sport that can be practised at different rhythms and for different reasons. Follow our guide designed to help choose the right pair of fitness walking shoes.


Walking is a complete, simple and effective sport but your feet, which are needed for walking, are complex. Made up of 26 bones, many joints and several ligaments, our feet are what enable our bodies to walk.


Why do they say that fitness walking is a complete sport? Fitness walking, active or fast, works not only lower muscles. In addition to working out the thighs and gluteals, fitness walking also strengthens the entire upper body, especially the arms and abdominals.


Doctors and healthcare specialists agree - fitness walking is an excellent choice for losing weight: it allows your muscles to burn calories by using your fate reserves. However, do you know how much walking you need to do to lose weight and keep it off?