Are CrossFit shoes good for walking?

If you are reading this, you probably have a multitude of shoes in your closet, waiting for the time you will wear them on different occasions. For instance, several pairs dedicated for the office, a pair for casual dates with your friends, sneakers that you can wear at the gym, a dressier pair for dinner dates, and sandals when you head to the beach or pool.

Among your athletic shoes, you might have a pair of CrossFit trainers staring at you, and you know they are great for almost any activity as experience will teach you. However, you might also wonder if they are good enough for those days when you want to walk around or go on hiking adventures – and while finding specialized sneakers is great, you might want some versatility in your life. In this article, we will seek to answer that question.

What should you look for in a walking shoe?

It is very important to find pairs that are specialized for walking, rather than wearing a pair of casual sneakers or running shoes. This will also prevent instabilities, injuries, and pain in the feet.

These shoes will basically be in one of three groups:

  • Cushioned shoes – these give greater levels of comfort if you happen to walk for long distances (at least five miles at a time)
  • Performance trainers – these are the lightest of the walking shoes, and are good for people who do not require motion control
  • Stability shoes – best for people that do not have issues with their stability, but they need some extra motion control

This brings us to the things that make walking shoes different from other athletic shoes. The main standout factor is their emphasis on the manner that a person moves – for a runner, their feet will first strike in the midsole, so the heel needs proper cushioning to soften this impact, as well as flared heels that add some stability. However, a walker will strike the ground with their heels, then the foot rolls inwards through the step – and they do not need cushioning nor flared heels.

Instead, the features that make up the best walking shoes are:

  • Heel – the height between the sole under the ball of your foot and the heel must not be more than an inch, and the shoe must not have any flare to it.
  • Flexion – when looking at a walking shoe, take it and twist it; this will test the flexibility of the shoe. It should twist in a horizontal direction, but it also needs to bend very easily and seamlessly at the ball of the feet instead of the mid-arch (as is the case with running shoes).
  • Flexible toes – put the shoe on the floor and press the toe area. If the shoe is a good one, the toe must rest slightly above the ground, and it should also rock slightly when you press it.
  • Foot type – there are three types of feet. Overpronators need motion control shoes because their feet tend to roll outwards, and this is even more important if they have weak hips or knees. For neutral feet, their options are more flexible because they do not have as many issues. However, if you are not sure, you should go to the shoe store and have them analyze your gait, then they will recommend the best walking shoe for you.
  • The surface you walk on – the treads on the sole of the shoe will serve you best in different situations. You will likely need a smoother sole if most of your walking is indoors or on the treadmill, while people that mainly walk outdoors, hike or walk on trails will need a walking shoe that has deeper treads. In addition, there are plenty of waterproof shoes that make these outdoor walking shoes more comfortable during the colder months.

What are CrossFit shoes?

CrossFit is quite unique in its approach to fitness because it focuses on building intensity levels – so even if you do it for ten to fifteen minutes, it already means you have had a very good workout. It features a workout of the day (WOD) that maintains an interesting approach to things because it varies different workouts. It also has a number of activities that can benefit runners as well – including squats, push-ups, planks, and pull-ups, as well as many others.

However, these benefits will apply more for running and strength training activities such as weightlifting rather than walking. In general, CrossFit shoes tend to be heavier (at least slightly) compared to a typical walking shoe, and this is because they must provide the best levels of support for your squats and heavy lifting.

Walking shoes are also quite different because they are slightly stiffer compared to CrossFit shoes, and they offer less cushioning. This is because the foot is not pounding on the ground with the same force or keeping your body weight as stable as possible while lifting weights.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, you want a versatile shoe that can handle a variety of activities without wearing out. For a CrossFit shoe though, it might not be a wise choice to use it for walking, as it might not offer you the cushioning in the areas you need it the most while walking, and it will likely be uncomfortable to wear.

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