Sneakers vs Running Shoes (What’s the Difference?)

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.

Sneakers vs Running Shoes

Are you confused about sneakers vs running shoes? This article analyzes the difference between sneakers and running shoes to give you a correct understanding of when to wear sneakers instead of running shoes.

Sports shoes are usually divided into casual and athletic sneakers. People usually use casual sneakers as street-style clothing or business casual shoes. Athletic sneakers have certain similarities with running shoes. Both provide the necessary cushioning, arch support, heel and collar padding. The upper of the sneaker is mainly made of leather for support as they provide support for lateral movement. On the other hand, the upper of the running shoe is mainly made of technical mesh, which is more breathable.

Are Sneakers and Running Shoes the Same Thing?

Although there is some overlap between sneakers and running shoes, their functions and designs are not always the same. Both sneakers and running shoes can be lightweight and comfortable; there are a few key factors that set them apart.

SNEAKER is a generic term used for sneakers, athletic shoes, and other casual footwear. Outside of sporting events and training activities, many people wear sneakers for everyday use, often because they are more comfortable walking in these shoes than heels or boots.

Whether you call them kick shoes or trainers, tennis shoes, or athletic shoes, you’re still talking about a very basic shoe – just a rubber sole and a lightweight upper.

The sneakers are very comfortable. They are so popular because they can be used to make any fashion statement. As long as sneakers match your outfit, they will make your outfit look better and more stylish.

Sneakers and running shoes are different because sneakers are usually associated with fashion and several celebrities wear them for different events and occasions. 

People have different fashion tastes, so what kind of sneakers you wear is entirely up to you. Going out in sneakers can sometimes feel awkward, but if you’re just relaxed and have a sense of humor, you’ll love seeing the different types and styles of sneakers people wear.

For example, when I talk about some basketball shoes like Jordans and Adidas Harden Vol, a lot of people like to wear these basketball shoes casually because of their style and casual touch. You can wear these low-tech boots on the street as easily as you would on a basketball court.

Additionally, many different styles include low and high tops. The difference between the two is that the high-top has a higher ankle. Therefore, they offer more protection than low-tops. But they can make your feet look chubby. Low-top sneakers are for people who like to show their ankles or look thinner than they actually are.

Are Sneakers Business Casual?

Many trade journals and online magazines such as Businessinsider regularly report on the sneaker industry due to its prominent position in the fashion industry.

As I mentioned above, when we use the term “sneakers,” some people think of them as minimalist loafers, like the Adidas Stansmith. By contrast, others think of them as sneakers or sneakers.

Casual sneakers with flat or flat rubber soles and leather uppers. The casual sneaker heel is also lower than the formal heel. The difference between these two types of loafers and sneakers is mainly in appearance; loafers usually look a little more “classic” than sneakers. Additionally, the sneaker features a sporty look, breathable mesh upper, thick midsole (with negligible heel-to-toe sag), and a stabilization system that supports the directional movement.

It’s worth noting that some people have sneakers as their “dress shoes of choice.” These people work as much, if not more, in sneakers than they do in suits or ties.

So if you’re referring to casual sneakers from brands like Vans or Converse, they’re considered business casual sneakers.

What Is the Difference Between Running Shoes and Sneakers?

The main difference between running shoes and training or athletic shoes is their midsole and design. All running shoes have a low-top design while sneakers can be divided into high-top and low-top depending on the style one prefers. Additionally, all running shoes feature a breathable mesh upper for a flexible fit and smoother forward movement while running.

Running shoes are designed to increase the efficiency of your stride. They are designed to properly support and cushion specific parts of the foot and make it easier for your body to do this process. There’s a lot going on in shoe design and many different types of running shoes.

Midsole material in running shoes

The midsole of a running shoe needs to be strong enough to prevent heel strikes while running, but durable enough not to put too much pressure on a runner’s foot when sprinting at high speeds. It needs to be light enough to allow quick movement, yet supportive and comfortable enough to not cause injury.

As for the material of the midsole of running shoes, there are several well-known brands such as Brooks, Nike, Adidas, and New Balance. But according to the brands, EVA foam is an important part of the midsole structure of these running shoes.

EVA foam is used in combination with some other materials, such as carbon fiber, to provide additional shock absorption. Some shoes also have additional innovative features, such as wave plate technology, which uses specific movements of the foot to control certain aspects of gait, such as pronation or supination.

Here are some examples of midsole technology exclusive to some famous running shoe brands.

  • Brooks DNA Loft uses a combination of EVA foam with rubber and air.
  • The Nike Zoom midsole is composed of a responsive, proprietary foam and carbon plate combination that delivers strength through a lightweight design.
  • The material composition of the Adidas Boost midsole completely dispenses with EVA foam. It is made from expanded particles of thermoplastic polyurethane foam.

Running shoes solve the problem of excessive pronation

These are also called motion control running shoes. Running shoes are designed according to a runner’s gait.

Some runners wear shoes that are overpronated, which causes their feet to roll inward while running. For such people, running shoes have stabilizing properties and a dual-density midsole that supports their lateral movements and helps the runner move forward. Additionally, one study found that runners with excessive pronation issues and wearing motion-control running shoes had a lower risk of injury compared to standard running shoes.

An example of this type of running shoe is the Brooks Beast 20. These shoes feature a Guiderails support system placed in the rearfoot area of ​​the midsole to prevent your ankle from rolling inward while running.

Neutral arch running shoes

Likewise, most neutral runners are heel strikers. They have neutral arches and do not require lateral bracing. You need more cushioning in the heel area so that the runner’s heel is less stressed during the landing phase of the run.

An example of such a shoe is the ASICS Gel Contend 5. They have gel cushioning in the heel area to absorb runway impacts and protect your feet.

High arch running shoes

The human arch helps distribute the body’s weight evenly throughout the foot. People with high arches tend to have stiff feet. For this reason, these people need running shoes with a continuous cushioning system in the midsole.

An example of such a running shoe is the Saucony Cohesion 12. These running shoes do not have a structural system that provides stability, as they are specifically designed for people with very high arches, as they only need cushioning under the foot.

Can Sneakers Be Used for Running?

No, you shouldn’t wear sneakers for long runs. You can casually wear running shoes for all kinds of activities or while walking on the street, but sneakers are not for running.

Sneakers are a bit heavier compared to running shoes because of the higher percentage of leather in the upper of the sneakers for better support during lateral movements.

Also, midsole or sneaker cushioning is not designed to withstand the high impact of running. So I suggest you limit your sneakers to sports, physical activities like gym and fashion.