Difference Between Shoes and Sneakers: What Sets them Apart?

2 years ago I was playing badminton with my friends and one of my friends was playing in running shoes. His weary face could tell me that he was not enjoying the game, so I asked him, “Dude, why are you playing badminton in running shoes?”

Then he replied, “What’s the difference between shoes and sneakers” Aren’t they the same?

That moment sparked a conversation about the importance of wearing the right shoes for different sports, and I realized that many people don’t know how crucial it is.

I mean, I couldn’t just keep this knowledge to myself, right? That’s why I am writing this article and sharing the shoes vs sneakers facts with all of you. I don’t want anyone else to make the same mistake my friend did and end up playing a sport in the wrong shoes.

So, sit tight and get ready to learn all about the importance of proper footwear for different sports and activities.

Shoes are the general term. Whatever is worn on your feet (except sandals and flip-flops) are called shoes. It is classified into different categories such as casual shoes, formal shoes and running shoes etc.

Shoes are worn by all kinds of people whether kids, toddlers, youngsters and men or women.

But, when people think of sneakers they become confused because sometimes they look the same as shoes and we often use them interchangeably. But don’t worry in this article your query on Shoes vs Sneakers will be solved.

Get a cup of coffee and let’s get started…

The Major Difference Between Shoes and Sneakers

difference between shoes and sneakers

What’s Considered Shoes?

As I have explained about the shoes and hope you got that but if you haven’t, no problem.

A shoe is an item of footwear that protects your feet and gives you comfort while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration and it has a lot of types.

Traditionally, shoes have been made from leather, wood or canvas but as time changed materials also changed now they are made from rubber, plastics or other petrochemical-derived materials.

Let me tell you some types of shoes such as formal shoes, running shoes, sports shoes or casual shoes etc. Different kinds of shoes are worn for different purposes if someone is in an ironworking job, they need great quality work boots.

And if you are one who likes to run or jog in the morning then you will need the best running shoes. But if you do not know the difference between sneakers and running shoes then how would you choose the right one? Read more to know the difference between them.

Why do people like shoes? Most people like shoes because it doesn’t take much time and effort to clean them you just need to take a clean wet cloth to clear all the specks of dirt.

Note: If you love to run, it is recommended to wear shoes with hard outsoles to ensure comfort and durability (It is recommended to wear running shoes).

What’s Considered Sneakers?

You might be wondering what are sneakers. They are soft, lightweight and comfortable and they are the sub-classification of casual shoes or tennis shoes.

Most of the time sneakers are made from materials such as canvas, textiles, or sometimes leather made with rubber soles only.

What is the difference between sneakers and joggers? An athletic shoe is considered a sneaker. The term “sneaker” is mostly used in the United States of America whereas these shoes are called “joggers” in Britain. So joggers are nothing but they are sneakers.

They are considered the most versatile footwear but most of the time used for casual wear. That is why sneakers are widely used by trainers, athletes, gym lovers, tennis players etc. But they are all confused about selecting them as it has many types.

Made Up With? It is made up of the flexible sole of synthetic and rubber material and cloth or synthetic substitutes are used to make the upper part of the sneakers. To give you comfort and protection during sports time sneakers come up with rubber soles. They can be used while playing badminton, and volleyball and normal walking in the park.

Related: What color socks to wear with white sneakers?

Apart from all the differences both sneakers and shoes look cool. There are a lot of types of sneakers with different designs and styles in the market and you can buy them according to your style and outfit. You can also read a comprehensive guide on selecting sneakers.

Note: All the shoes made with rubber are not sneakers.

Table Showing the Difference Between Sneakers and Shoes

Parameters Of ComparisonSneakersShoes
MaterialSneakers are made of synthetic or canvas materials.Shoes are made from materials like synthetic materials like nylon and polyurethane.
PurposeIt is a kind of athletic shoe and it is used for casual purposes or walking purposes.Shoes are used for a wide range of purposes like running, walking and training etc.
CushioningThey are not meant to use on rough surfaces so they are not going to give you much cushioning.It comes in lightweight and soft soles so it offers great cushioning on all kinds of surfaces.
TractionTraction and stability are high in sneakers.Traction and stability are also high in shoes.
DurabilityAgain it loses, and soles are not strong enough to tolerate high pressure.Shoes are long-lasting because they are made from polyurethane, making them strong, flexible and sturdy.
Table showing the difference between sneakers and shoes

Difference Between Sneakers and Running Shoes

I have already differentiated sneakers and shoes but do you know what is the difference between sneakers and running shoes? Here I am going to tell you in brief.

There are a few factors that are taken into account when making running shoes. Weight, comfort, flexibility, and protection are the primary concerns of running shoe manufacturers.

There are some factors that differ between running shoes and sneakers, such as cushioning level, heel height, and flexibility. A runner’s shoe must be light and comfortable while running. It is not possible to wear running shoes that are flat like sneakers.

The most important feature of running and training shoes is they absorb shock up to 4 times your body weight when your forefoot touches the ground while running. Now, I hope you understand the difference between sneakers and running shoes.

Read the full guide on sneakers vs running shoes

Can Sneakers Be Used For Running?

There is a common question among people about whether sneakers can be used as running shoes. Let’s understand this on the basis of some factors.

1. Cushioning Level of the Sneakers

Difference between Sneakers and Running shoes

When running you hit the ground up to 4 times your body and while walking it is around 1.5 times your body weight.

You need extra padded cushioning to get maximum comfort for running purposes. This ensures that you are going for miles without any trouble and you are away from foot injuries and pain.

Having less padded cushioning would be good for sneakers. That is the reason why runners do not consider sneakers for running purposes.

2. Motion Control of the Shoes

At the time of wearing shoes, the amount of control you get is called motion control. It means that at the time of running, you need good control which is fulfilled by high-quality running shoes.

And sneakers made for general use also come with a motion control feature but not much as compared to the above one.

3. Heel Height of the Sneakers

heel height of shoes

When it comes to sneakers vs running shoes, heel height is an important factor that must be considered. To ensure the flexibility and stability of running shoes they are built with adequate heel height as the front part of the foot is touched first. They help you with all your next steps.

And people who are not indulged in running can get shoes that can be flat. Read the article on the footwear conversion chart to solve all of your queries regarding shoe sizes.

4. The flexibility of the Shoes

Flexibility is an important feature of running shoes. All workout activities like running, jogging and gym need shoes that provide flexibility because they are high-intensity workouts.

If you do not use flexible and motion-control shoes then that may lead to serious injuries and foot problems like plantar fasciitis etc.

5. Durability of Shoes and Sneakers

As we know sneaker soles can not absorb much pressure which means we are not allowed to walk on rocky terrain and run while wearing sneakers.

On the other hand, running shoes are strong, sturdy and made with durable material so they can absorb high impact on the heel and toe. It means wearing running shoes has a lot of benefits over sneakers especially when you run or jog.

Frequently Asked Questions on Sneakers vs Shoes

Q1. Are shoes called sneakers?

No, shoes are not called sneakers because both are different. Sneakers are just one of several types of regular sports shoes. Whereas shoes are used for a wide range of purposes like running, walking and training etc. Do not use them interchangeably from now on.

Q2. Can sneakers be used for running?

No, sneakers can not be used for running purposes because of so many reasons. They do not absorb the high impact of shock, are not much comfortable and are not flexible and stable. There are so many other reasons which are covered in this article above.

Q3. Which is the best sneaker brand?

Nike, Adidas, Vans, Converse and New Balance are some of the best sneaker brands. If you weren’t sure which sneaker brand to choose, then feel free to select one of these.

Q4. What are the Types of Sneakers?

Sneakers have 3 types Low-Top, Mid-Top and High-Top. Low-top sneakers are worn in summer instead of winter, they do not cover your ankles. Mid-top shoes are mostly used shoes. They are above the ankles. And when it comes to High-top sneakers it is mostly used in winter instead of summer.

Final Verdict on the Difference Between Shoes and Sneakers

So, readers, I have explained to you each and everything about the difference between shoes and sneakers and hopes that you do not have any doubt or any questions but if you have any doubt then feel free to ask in the comment section. We will definitely solve your query as soon as possible.

And guys if you are a beginner in buying shoes online then it is recommended that you do proper research before buying shoes online and it is not going to be so tough for you because we do the research process for you.

After doing so much research and taking reviews from frequent shoe buyers we come up with the top best shoes for you, in those articles you will be provided full shoe details, and the pros and cons of the shoes so that you do not need to research as well.

After reading the information if you liked any of the shoes then you can buy them directly from Amazon. It helped many readers and we hope that it will help you too.

So, Don’t forget to share this article on shoes vs sneakers with your friends, families and with your loved ones.

Thanks for reading this article on menshoefactory.com

Related by Types…!

I am the founder and chief editor of Men Shoe Factory, a passionate shoe lover from India. Studying and researching on shoes led me to build this blog site where I share shoe care tips, detailed reviews and different types of shoe size charts. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form here.

2 thoughts on “Difference Between Shoes and Sneakers: What Sets them Apart?”

    • Having a good understanding of the difference between shoes and sneakers is essential for everyone. Make sure to share this information with your friends.

      Vicky Gupta


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