Is a Scooter Easier than Walking? (Answered: Electric and Kick Scooters).

Since both electric and kick scooters run on wheels, they represent an easier and more efficient form of transportation than walking.

They’re faster too, not to mention more convenient in warm weather or for avoiding public transport.

There are some key differences between traveling on an electric scooter and riding a kick scooter.

Read on to learn more about these differences and how each compares to walking.

Kick Scooters

To operate a kick scooter, you stand on its deck, use your feet to kick off the ground, and propel yourself forward.

Once you start moving, you’ll only need to kick now and again to keep the momentum going.

While this takes a little effort, it’s still a less laborious way to travel than walking.

Are Kick Scooters Easier than Walking?

The average person walks at a speed of 2.5-3 mph. With a kick scooter, you can travel at up to 9 mph.

How much easier and faster traveling with a kick scooter is than walking depends on several factors.

Your Destination

The first thing to consider to determine whether using a kick scooter is an easier and faster way of transportation is the distance you’ll be covering.

For example, if you have to walk more than 30 minutes to or from your destination, scooting will be a more efficient way to travel.

The effort you’ll put in will be just enough to keep you warm in cold weather. However, on a hot summer’s day, bear in mind you may have to go a bit slower if you don’t want to work up a sweat before arriving at work.

However, scooting isn’t necessarily the better option if your travel destination is only a very short walk (5-10 mins) away from your starting point.

You’ll lose more time on locking and unlocking your scooter or carrying it in and out of the building than you gain by faster travel.

Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

In most countries and states, kick scooters are allowed on sidewalks, but this also depends on the regulation of the local authorities.

In most places, you can scoot on sidewalks along with pedestrians.

You’ll go much faster than pedestrians, which puts you at an advantage in speed but poses a hazard when riding beside slower-moving people.

When operating a kick scooter, you’ll be considered a pedestrian. You’ll only be able to use sidewalks and won’t be allowed on bike lanes or the road with the general traffic.

Navigating among pedestrians can be frustrating during busy hours (such as the early morning or late afternoon). You won’t necessarily travel faster or easier.

Terrain

Kick scooters are a challenge to navigate on hills and rough terrain. Scooting requires a certain fitness level, and traveling uphill is equivalent to an intense workout.

In these conditions, walking is often easier than propelling a kick scooter. If your travel route involves several hills, consider whether putting in all that effort is worth it.

Time to Commute

Kick scooters can reduce travel time by up to half compared to walking.

For example, suppose it usually takes 45 minutes to walk to your workplace. In that case, you can reduce that to less than 25 minutes, depending on traffic.

You can spend this time on other tasks or wake up a little later if you work in the morning.

However, when using a kick scooter, your travel speed depends greatly on you, as you’re the engine that propels the scooter.

The more engaged you are in kicking forward, the more your commute time will be reduced.

If you don’t put in much effort, you’ll move slower. The difference in travel time will be less noticeable, especially if you already have only a short distance to cover.

Cargo

It’s also worth considering whether you need to carry anything on your journey. The safest way to carry cargo on a kick scooter is in a backpack or messenger bag.

The latter is great for small personal items or a laptop if you bring one to and from work.

Backpacks are handy for carrying more items, including groceries. You can park your scooter at the store, load your groceries in your backpack, and bring them home safely.

Avoid placing anything on the handlebars or holding items in your hands, as this could hinder your ability to maneuver the scooter. This advice also applies to purses and other small personal items.

If you plan to bring something you can’t carry in a backpack or messenger bag, it’s best to opt for another transportation method.

Likewise, if you plan to go on a large shopping trip and carry heavy grocery bags, it will be easier to walk than scoot.

Electric Scooters

Electric scooters have a motor that does all the propelling for you.

While most can also be used as kick scooters, their convenience lies in the fact that you pull the throttle and have instant propulsion.

You’ll only need to focus on balancing and navigating traffic.

Are Electric Scooters Easier than Walking?

Electric scooters can travel between 13 and 30 mph depending on their features and manufacturer settings.

However, like with the kick scooter, whether it’s easier to travel with them depends on a few facets.

The Destination

The destination is crucial to consider when comparing electric scooters to walking, although for slightly different reasons to kick scooters.

Since they are much faster, electric scooters are practical even for short distances. Unlike the kick scooters, the electric ones make up for the time lost handling a device with their speed.

However, electric scooters have a notable disadvantage when traveling across longer distances. They operate on batteries that only allow you to cover 35-40 miles on a full charge.

If you plan to travel longer, you’ll need to stop for 3-4 hours to fully recharge the battery (or less for a partial charge).

This limitation can end up being less convenient than combining walking and other forms of transportation.

Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

Traffic regulations and laws regarding electric scooters vary from state to state.

In some places, you can only use an electric scooter in bike lanes and on the road, and you can’t use them on the sidewalk.

While in other places, electric scooters are also allowed on sidewalks, but you must hop off and walk with your scooter when crossing an intersection.

If you don’t have bike lanes on your route and you’re limited to using congested roads and have to deal with traffic, scooting will rarely be easier than walking.

Terrain

Since electric scooters are propelled by a motor, it doesn’t matter whether there are any hills on your travel route. They can tackle hills without you putting in any extra effort.

In these conditions, they’re far easier to navigate than kick scooters and require much less effort than walking.

However, going uphill drains the scooter battery much faster than on flat ground. Your scooter’s specifications always state a range for travel on smooth, level terrain.

So if you’re considering buying an electric scooter because you have a hilly commute, your scooter’s range will have to be greater than the distance from point A to point B.

Otherwise, you may wind up having to push your drained scooter uphill, which certainly won’t be easier than walking.

That said, if you have to travel over bumpy terrain, walking might be a better option. It gives you more control over where you’re going, and you won’t have to worry about braking too late or the wheels getting caught in debris and holes.

Time to Commute

Electric scooters can cut your daily commute time even more than kick scooters. Depending on traffic, you could arrive at your destination up to 3-4 times faster.

So, if your goal is to drastically reduce the duration of your commute compared to walking, using an electric scooter is one of the most effective ways. It can give you a lot of extra time in the morning before work, and you’ll have plenty of free time left after arriving home.

On the other hand, if your commute time is already short, you won’t notice too much difference between walking and scooting.

Cargo

When riding an electric scooter, it’s paramount to determine whether you need to carry any cargo while traveling.

Remember, with an electric scooter; you can travel 4-6 times faster than the average walking speed. Consequently, you need to be even more focused on the road.

Even the tiniest bit of distraction, like the handle of a bag slipping from your shoulder, can lead to a serious accident.

Once again, use only backpacks or messenger bags when traveling, and never carry large, unevenly distributed weight in bags, much less place it on the handlebars.

If you plan to bring larger cargo, it will be easier (and safer) to walk or use other transportation methods.

Conclusion

Using an electric or kick scooter is far easier than walking. While kick scooters require a little more effort than their electric counterparts, they are still a better mode of transport than using your feet.

Both kick and electric scooters are faster than walking and reduce your commute time. Electric scooters avoid a sweat on hot summer days.

There are only a few situations in which you may find walking easier:

Kick scooter:

  • A very hilly route.
  • Scorching hot weather.
  • Bustling sidewalks in states where you are obliged to scoot on the sidewalk.

Electric scooter:

  • Your destination is too far for your scooter’s range, and you can’t recharge your battery.
  • Heavy traffic on roads in states where you are obliged to scoot on them.

Both electric and kick scooters:

  • In heavy rain (much easier to walk with an umbrella).
  • With heavy or cumbersome shopping.
  • Over rough terrain.
Jonathan Rice