Many novice hikers ask themselves whether they can use their hiking shoes for running. When they start running on the trail, they tend to consider should they invest in some special running shoes or not?
Most people who own running shoes don’t run. They wear them as all-around sneakers that are light and cushioned. They’re good on pavement, but not significant in the dirt due to lack of traction and support. Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running?
Yes, hiking shoes can be used for running sometimes but they are not recommended for the regular runners. They require more coordination when you run because of their weight. If you cover more than 20 miles, hiking boots cannot withstand much. The shoes are designed according to the purpose.
If you exercise often and cover many miles then you must consider purchasing a pair of running trail shoes.
Consider a few of the factors before making your final decision on whether to go with hiking boots or good trail running shoes.
- Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? – 4 Factor’s To Consider
- 1. Weight
- 2. Durability
- 3. Stiffness
- 4. Water Resistance
- Differences Between Hiking and Running Shoes
- 1. Weight:
- 2. Breathability:
- 3. Durability
- 4. Foot and Ankle Support:
- 5. Weather Appropriate:
- 6. Traction:
- How To Choose Trail Running Shoes For Hiking?
- Recommended Trail Running Shoes for Hiking – Top 3 Choice
- 1. Altra Lone Peak 5
- 2. La Sportiva Bushido
- 3. Salomon Speed Cross 5
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? – 4 Factor’s To Consider
Whether you are running in hiking everyday shoes or a pair of athletic shoes, they will protect your feet from the sharp rocks, mud and other potential hazards. You can also look at the military. They run in combat boots with full packs. They have a higher rate of injuries, but they do it.
The main common points of both hiking and trail running shoes are lugged treads for traction, and both are low-tops. Think of hiking and trail running shoes as a spectrum, with the stiffest hiking shoe on one end and the lightest trail running shoe on the other.
Here’s are the consideration and factors on which basis you have to choose Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? Let’s have a look;
Running shoes are much lighter than hiking shoes. Since you lift your feet higher and faster when running, this saves you a lot of energy.
It also ends up being more comfortable on the shins, as the tibial muscles don’t have to work as hard with a lighter shoe.
In addition to the performance advantage of lighter footwear is the pleasure of wearing them. Light shoes make you feel springy and like you want to move.
The heavier the weight of a hiking shoe, the stronger its durability, as it can use more material in its construction.
This durability tends to become evident in the upper and tread, where the extra fabric helps the shoes last longer. Running shoes aren’t as durable as these.
To give your foot extra support while hiking through rough terrain, hiking boots will have a firmer mid-sole. This will protect the bottom of your foot from rocks and roots.
Trail running shoes attempt to maintain natural foot movement while offering protection from rocks and other sharp objects along the trail.
4. Water Resistance
If you are going to hike, you probably won’t do so for much longer than you will run. Because of this, hiking shoes are generally more weather resistant than trail running shoes.
It can be in the form of a more water repellent upper or complete waterproofing with a membrane like Gore-Tex.
Running shoes will have a mesh upper for breathability, which is cooler in hot weather and dries quickly.
Differences Between Hiking and Running Shoes
If you’re looking to make the switch in footwear, you’re probably wondering, what are the main differences between hiking shoes and trail running shoes.
Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? when making the transition from casual walking to hiking, there are numerous factors that you should be aware of. While there are similarities between the two, hiking shoes differ significantly from trail running shoes.
There are several fundamental differences that set the two apart.
Trail runners typically weigh between one pound and two pounds, plus or minus a few ounces. Lightweight hiking boots or hiking shoes can weigh over two pounds and up to three-and-a-half pounds.
Trail runners get ahead on breathability. Running shoes are typically made of synthetic mesh, allowing your foot to breathe and dry out quickly if you run through puddles or streams or sweat a lot. Hiking shoes are often made of more durable materials. They also tend to be waterproof or have a waterproof lining. They are more breathable than hiking boots, but generally take longer to dry out than running shoes.
Running shoes are great for running. They are light, durable, and comfortable. Trail running shoes have a useful life of about 4 – 6 months of regular use. Blame it on the ultra-lightweight materials. Either hiking shoes or trail running shoes cannot be resoled.
4. Foot and Ankle Support:
Both trail runners and hiking shoes lack the ankle support you might need for tough backcountry trails. There are a few models that come up around the ankle, but you have to search around to find them.
To support your foot, you will be better off with hiking shoes. Trail running shoes offer a certain level of support in models that feature a thicker sole or cushioned interior. In less cushioned and lightweight models, foot support can be lacking entirely.
5. Weather Appropriate:
Cold or wet weather hiking shoes are better than trail runners. Warm or hot weather hiking shoes are better than trail runners.
Traction on a hiking boot tends to be more rugged with thicker soles and deeper lugs. Certain trail running shoes do feature specialized traction features. In general, though, they don’t have the same level of traction for those parts of the trail you may want to walk through.
How To Choose Trail Running Shoes For Hiking?
While trying to find a trail running shoe for hiking, we need to alter our criteria slightly compared to running. Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? our goal here is to find shoes that will allow us to cover more distance. So, the shoes will need to be comfortable enough for long days on the trail.
Below are the factors we look at when selecting a hiking shoe for trails:
- Traction: No matter whether for hiking or running, if you are on anything but smooth, trails, you will need traction lugs on the bottom of the shoes. Lugs of 4-6 mm made of sticky rubber will help you stay sure-footed in both hard and soft conditions.
- Fit: You will need to try on a lot of shoes. The shape and size of their soles vary tremendously. You want a shoe that is firm in the heel and comfortable across the toes.
- If your foot is wider than average, look for models offered in wide or more spacious designs like the Altra Lone Peak series.
- Cushion: Whether you’re running or hiking, you need adequate cushioning underfoot to reduce impacts and protect your feet from bruising. When choosing a pair of hiking shoes, look for at least 10mm of cushion. Some models, such as the Hoka shoes, offer up to 35mm. The thicker the shoe’s sole is, the taller you stand, which can make you less stable.
- Support: To compensate for trail running shoes’ lack of support, the shoe often features a chassis molded into the midsole.
Such underfoot support will help with torsional control and often helps protect against rock bruises through the shoe’s bottom.
Recommended Trail Running Shoes for Hiking – Top 3 Choice
Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? If you’re convinced that you want hiking shoes for trail running, we’ve got you covered with some kickass models.
1. Altra Lone Peak 5
The Lone Peak is one of the most popular hiking shoes among thru-hikers. They are comfortable for long miles, have good traction, and are light compared to the average hiking shoes.
The upper wears out pretty quickly in rough terrain, but I still get about 400 miles out of a pair. They have a wide toe box, making them comfortable even when your feet swell.
2. La Sportiva Bushido
These are tough, grippy shoes that offer a lot of foot protection. They are great for rough terrain, but they’re not the best for wide feet, so they aren’t for everyone.
If you have a narrower foot, then these could be the ideal shoe for you. The extra protection comes at the cost of breathability, so they aren’t the best for hot conditions.
3. Salomon Speed Cross 5
The Speed Cross is the ultimate Tough Mudder shoe and makes a great hiking shoe because of its comfort and traction.
The sole is among the most aggressive, with widely spaced lugs at once, both great in mud and grippy on bare rock.
The toe box is wider than on previous versions, and they come in a wide model, so they fit a broad range of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wear hiking shoes as regular shoes?
Although hiking shoes and boots are for walking over rough terrain, they can be used for walking on the street or in casual situations. Walking in hiking shoes can even provide more support. However, hiking shoes are heavier and bulkier than regular shoes and can wear out faster with casual use.
What’s the difference between hiking and running shoes?
Trail running shoes are designed to offer superior protection against rugged, abrasive terrain. However, trail runners have very little durability because they are made from a very light fabric. Hiking shoes are more durable because they are built with a higher level of protection.
Can hiking boots be used as running shoes?
Of course it is possible to run in hiking boots over short distances, but they’re not recommended for regular running. If you need to run in your boots, ensure they fit well and are flexible. For extended running on difficult terrain, look for a pair of high-quality trail running shoes.
Are hiking shoes good for running?
Trail running shoes come in varying degrees of traction, but hiking shoes usually provide better traction, whereas running shoes offer less traction.
In a time of both ultra specialization and generalism, you can find the specific shoe for any condition while finding shoes that were designed to be good at everything. If you feel like getting a bit of a run in the middle of a hike, don’t hold back because you don’t have the exact right shoe. So, Can Hiking Shoes Be Used for Running? Yes, absolutely.
In conclusion, running shoes are designed to make you comfortable and allow you to run long distances. They can also make you fall down and hurt your knees, so they are not necessarily designed to make you stronger. However, if you decide to use hiking shoes as running shoes, you can wear them comfortably when you are not going to be doing any long-distance running.
In the end, it comes down to enjoying the outdoors and not getting injured. If running in your hiking shoes causes you shin splints, then take a break, continue your hike, and get a pair of trail running shoes for your next excursion.