trail running shoes for hiking

Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Many popular long trails in the US are well-suited for hiking in trail running shoes, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and Colorado Trail. The stiffness allows for her to really feel the dirt as she leaves it in the dust. If you want to fly without losing an inch of ground, this is the shoe for you. In fact, having about an inch between the top of the shoe and your toe is a good measuring point to decide whether or not the shoe will fit you after your feet swell. Well, actually, no. I have never liked boots, but I’ve also never hiked that far. Most shoe stores have a place where you can try the traction out on a simulated uneven surface, so be sure to test out your shoe in real time. Start here, or scroll down for the details. Although the shoe has a textured reinforcement toe to help with wear and tear, multiple customers complained that the shoe wore out quickly or got a hole in it quickly. I personally hike with these shoes, and they are great for short treks, but especially awesome for long trips. I’d suggest trying trail running shoes on some training hikes with challenging conditions (rocky, muddy, etc) and see how you feel about it. When choosing trail running shoes for hiking, look for shoes that are: Based on the above guidelines and surveys of hikers who completed long-distance treks on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, I’ve compiled this list of top trail running shoe models for hiking. I’ll also cover some cases where they may not be the right choice, and offer tips for transitioning safely to trail runners if you’re used to boots. “Zero drop” shoes are said to promote a more natural gait, but many people do just fine with a raised heel. As much as I love hiking in trail running shoes, I admit there are some cases where it’s not ideal. The protruding lugs of a trail running shoe will be what gives traction as your weight compacts the snow. Because your feet will swell as you stand on them and use them throughout the day. The Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX is the latest waterproof edition to an extremely popular shoe amongst runners who love to get dirty on the trails – and in our opinion the best waterproof trail running shoes.It’s a lightweight trail shoe and offers a very aggressive grip on technical, soft trails. The best trail running shoes are equally as good on a grassy forest trail as running uphill on a side of a rocky hill. Meanwhile, one of the most popular trail-running shoes among thru-hikers, the La Sportiva Bushido II, clocks in at a feathery 1 pound 5 ounces. Many brands have experimented with this trend, but the Lone Peak is our favorite model for both trail running and thru-hiking. Flexible soles: Altras are pretty flexy compared to stiffer models, which allows for a natural gait and just feels good. This website is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors too! Another great site is runningwarehouse.com, which offers free shipping and returns across the board and occasionally has sales on certain models. My personal opinion is that if you are carrying a heavy backpack, then you need to have at least some support and cushion because you have extra weight that your feet aren’t used to. I’ve never owned a pair of hiking boots! Work up to longer hikes or backpacking with a heavy load. Grippy and Long Lasting Outsole Outfitted with powerful all-direction lugs, the Gel Venture 5 is untouchable on slippery terrains. Required fields are marked *. Many inexperienced hikers and backpackers have trouble with this. After all, many shoe models are designed for ultra-distance runners who go 30, 50, even 100+ miles in them. If you’ve been following running at all, you’ll recall that the minimalist / barefoot running craze (anyone else remember Born to Run?) I think a long hike on a not-too-technical trail with a light pack is pretty much the ideal hiking scenario for trail running shoes. Hi, thanks for sharing those recommendations! You can get a barefoot-type shoe that offers minimal support and is extremely lightweight, but only opt for this if barefoot travel is in your wheelhouse. Moderately cushioned. The real reason backpackers end up with feet that look like they have been chewed up by a vicious pack of wolves is because hiking boots… well, they suck. If I'm not training for my next 100 mile trail race then you can probably find me exploring a new trail with my family. I’m sure it’s totally obvious by now, but I’m a big fan of wearing trail running shoes for hiking. So, it’s important to get a shoe that is a little loose, in order to not feel like your feet are busting out of the shoe like the incredible hulk as you rack up miles. Contact | Privacy Policy, It is no secret: many people have converted to using trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots. Many hikers use a pair of lightweight hiking gaiters to keep dust, sand, and scree from working its way into low-cut trail running shoes. I too love to mostly hike in my lighter trail shoes. From what I’ve read in your article, I am almost convinced that the trail runner would be optimal for the JMT. Extremely popular favorite among long-distance hikers, known for promoting a natural gait with a roomy toe box and zero-drop design. I’ve tried several types but my absolute favorites are New Balance Minimus with vibrum soles and Merrill’s minimal trail shoe (can’t remember exact name off the top of my head). There is a common misconception that hiking and backpacking shoes have to be airtight, so that if your shoes get wet, your feet won’t. A trusty pair of well-worn boots may be a timeless symbol of outdoor adventure, but many experienced trekkers are now hiking in trail running shoes. It continues to get lighter and keep pace with modern shoe design while remaining a popular all-around trail shoe. Hope that helps. Less blistering, more breathable, you don’t have to worry too much about when water gets in your shoe (especially with the occasional creek fording). Bad idea. She loves to spend her free time backcountry skiing, mountain biking, climbing, and watching Game of Thrones. (Its like, imagine if you wore casts on your hands your whole life, and then all of a sudden you tried to do pull ups. Thanks for your input! They should fit a little loose anyway for a long hike, since being on your feet for so long can make them swell, so hopefully you’ll have room for this. This sassy brand is very popular (they work for men too, my husband has a pair) and fun too! This doesn’t mean you should put your foot in a cast, though (cough-hiking boots-cough), make sure that your feet are still doing some of the work in order to have proper form and development of foot muscles. But runners don’t carry camping gear and days of food on their backs. If that is the case, you should get a pair of hiking boots or shoes, for example, Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX. I’ve worn my trusty Altra Lone Peaks for many hundreds of miles on the John Muir Trail, Colorado Trail, countless shorter trails, and even to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Don’t be afraid to buy and try several pairs. Hi Kelly, how exciting! Not once have I rolled an ankle or injured my feet! Hiking boots generally have thick lugs to bite into soil and a rubber that grips well on a variety of surfaces. This shoe is a favorite among backpackers because it lasts for a long time and the traction is phenomenal. Altra is the perfect brand for fans of the book “Born to Run” and you hippies that like the toe running shoes. Make sure you understand the return policy before taking them for any outdoor test walks. Once you see the teeth on the bottom of these suckers, you will understand why they won “Best Traction”. Leave a thumb’s worth of space between your toes and the end of the shoe, and make sure the outside edges of your little and big toes aren’t scrunched against the sides. Some recent research, however, doesn’t support this view. The type of shoe you choose is really based on your personal preferences. If you have never used a shoe with zero or minimal heel-to-toe drop, then do some calf lifts and get ready to feel it in your achilles. People who pronate too much sometimes find stability shoes helpful, but they and everyone else should also do strengthening exercises to reduce the negative impact of too much pronation. They’re light, comfy, breathable, quick-drying, and sometimes reduce blisters. They’re usually cheaper than high quality hiking boots though, so the overall cost is probably comparable even if you replace them more often. They shouldn’t be rounded, but rather, almost pointed plastic teeth-like grips that can keep you pretty stable on any surface, be it rock, dirt, gravel, snow, or mud. Don’t know if you are prone to overpronation? No matter whether you are on a muddy, slick trail or traversing across a snowy high alpine field, these shoes will keep you from sliding. However, since trail running shoes have come onto the trail scene, and with rapid advances in shoe construction technology, they have revolutionized trail footwear options for hiking. When looking for a shoe, check the bottom of the sole and see how aggressive the lugs (ridges that keep you grippy) are. If ankle support is a priority, you should definitely consider them. Plus, it packs well. It’s not all in the feet either; a strong core and glutes keep our legs and pelvis aligned properly and protect everything from injury, from feet to knees and on up. Copyright 2020 Exploring Wild, All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. You can modify this lacing pattern and knot for comfort. They provide the protection needed for aggressive movement on rough trails (Have you seen a great trail runner in action? Constructed from synthetic materials, this trail running shoe is designed by footwear professionals specifically for inclement weather and rough terrain. I would like your opinion on something though! Trail running shoes can be used for hiking in the snow as long as the snow is still relatively fresh. I can’t resist a quick highlight of my personal long-time favorite, the Altra Lone Peak. Here are the biggest benefits. They also come in waterproof designs for wet and damp situations but the Gore-Tex waterproof lining does add a little weight. If you already know you like hiking in trail running shoes, I don’t see any reason why the longer distance would be a problem. Plus, the Ortholite Footbed stays squishy no matter how many miles are put under its belt, and it has antimicrobial properties that keep your foot and shoe from getting stinky, The Vibram sole leads to spider-man like grip, The shoe has a rock protection plate built in, meaning that, no matter the terrain, you won’t have to endure foot bruising, If you are a heel striker, then this shoe may not be for you– The cushioning in the heel wears out quickly, The shoe is not as cushioned as its previous model, Has really well rounded traction that seems to bite into any surface, keeping you super stable, The exterior is just water-resistant enough (without feeling stuffy) to keep most unwanted liquids and solids out of your shoe, A rock plate and firm underfoot keep you protected from rocks and roots. A strong body is more resilient to the rigors of the trail and more fun to hike with, regardless of footwear. They are basically a hybrid between a hiking shoe and running shoe. The roomy toe box, minimal heel-to-toe-drop, and lightweight, breathable materials means that you can keep this shoe on all day, for many recurring days. With many shoes, I get serious knee pain, but not with these suckers. When you try the shoe on, make. My personal opinion is that if you are carrying a heavy backpack, then you need to have at least some support and cushion because you have extra weight that your feet aren’t used to. Here are some reasons why you might want to stick with boots in specific circumstances. Many popular long trails in the US are well-suited for hiking in trail running shoes, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and Colorado Trail. Toe room: Our feet swell when we hike, so look for a model with a little extra width in the toes and choose a size with extra length. I do stick to boots for snow and that’s about it haha! If you hike in cold or wet weather, backpack with a really heavy pack, or have a history of ankle injury, you may prefer boots. Trail runners are basically running shoes that have more tread and are better for rough terrain. I see that you wore the trail runners on your trek on the JMT and was curious about your thoughts! I know New Balance and Merrell both make solid running shoes, though I haven’t tried those specific models. When you have shoes with amazing traction, remember to TRUST the technology. Our favorite Maximally Cushioned shoe for trail running is the Hoka Speedgoat 4, the newest version of the shoes designed by Karl Meltzer, the "Speedgoat." I would say choose the best footwear for the majority of the hike. A good pair of trail running shoes, of course! How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, you have excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet? Add strength training to your routine. Comfort: A recent study found that people intuitively choose shoes that support good mechanics because they find them more comfortable. This versatile set of footwear also makes a great running errands shoe or working around the yard shoe. Altra trail running shoes have little to no drop, which means your foot will fall and lay flat, rather than from heel to toe (like most running shoes). The trail is not too strenuous, but the distance is a bear. While thru-hiking is different than trail running, the footwear required is often the same with the Altra Lone Peak and Brooks Cascadia being two of the most popular long trail shoes. There are no many trail shoes out there, and it can be difficult to no where to begin. Because of those factors I’m guessing most people wear boots, but it’s definitely a matter of personal preference. Here are my choices for the Best Trail Runner shoes for hiking, based on extensive research from multiple sources and personal tests that myself and friends have done: This award winning shoe is hard to resist, especially with it’s cheap price tag. Conquer crevices and crests with total confidence that your trail running and hiking shoes won’t let you down. Let me know your thoughts! Mt. Your guide to outdoor adventure since 2019. Your feet will stay dry as you run through puddles and snowfields, while the shoe’s internal temperature is … This simply isn’t true. I’ve had the pleasure of hiking the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and countless shorter amazing trails throughout the western US. At the end I’ll recommend some of the most popular trail running shoe models for hiking, and give some general tips for how to hike in trail running shoes with as much comfort and ease as possible. A lightweight breathable shoe often solves these problems. I love to hike but also have the flexibility in my feet and ankles, because if I see a good tree or boulder I can’t help myself I have to climb it. Trail running shoes and lightweight backpacking tend to go especially well together. They keep her foot feeling stable, so that the can be reactive to the trail as quickly as possible. Breathability: One of the reasons why trail runners work well as a hiking shoe is because many of them are so breathable, keeping your feet cool even when you aren’t. That’s a lot of extra weight to lift up and put down with every step! I read that it can be rocky, wet, and muddy in places, and the weather can be cold. Trail Runners. It can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re a hiker who isn’t familiar with running. Some people say that they want the comfiest shoe out there (hellooooo HOKAs) because it will provide them the support they need to carry weight and go for long distances. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. I was hooked on trail runners, and became their number one advocate. Start with short hikes and a light backpack. I agree, it’s great having the flexibility to scamper off and climb whatever you want. And yet, among long-distance thru-hikers tackling thousands of miles on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, around half start their hike in trail running shoes and nearly half of the rest switch from boots to trail runners during their hike. 1. You may have heard that hiking boots are essential for protecting our feet and ankles on the trail. When you try the shoe on, make sure that your toes don’t touch the top of the shoe. Essentially, the higher the back of the heel, the more naturally you land on the center or front of your foot (where you are supposed to land when walking and running.) Would you recommend trail runners for a 28 mile one day ultimate hike? Read on for the 5 Reasons To Use Trail Running Shoes for Hiking. If you buy the right ones, they are awesome on the trail. It helps to strength your hips and feet and work on your lightweight backpacking mindset. But what about when it’s wet INSIDE your shoe? It is a lightwei… I don’t carry camp shoes when I backpack because my feet don’t hurt in the evenings and I don’t need to take my shoes off. These shoes make you feel like you were born to run– without shoes on (once you get used to the ultimate calf burn that zero drop invokes). Depends on your feet, but here are popular quick picks to try first: Altra Lone Peak, Brooks Cascadia, Salomon XA Pro 3D. To illustrate this: the average pair of hiking boots weighs well over 2 pounds, while most hiking shoes hover around 1.5 pounds for the pair. Though the fervor around that trend has mostly cooled and many runners have hung up their five-toe shoes in favor of regular running shoes once again, the lasting legacy is a valuable point: we can protect and stabilize our feet using our own strength and coordination instead of relying on external support. ASICS’ range of trail running shoes for men and women are specially designed for even the toughest terrain, meaning you can walk or run at your own pace without fear of twisted ankles or stubbed toes. Therefore, it is better to find a shoe that is breathable, so that your feet, and shoe, will dry more quickly. Normally when I see someone wearing Nikes, I think of them as a fashion statement more than anything else. Why? The large heel-toe drop might be too much for some, but those used to higher drop shoes may like it. As long as you train in them and your training hikes go well, I’d say go for it. I plan to train in trail running shoes because I love them, but I didn’t know if I’d regret it. Toe Box: The size of a toe box is totally preference based. If bushwacking in brushy or muddy areas a boot can also be appreciated. The heel-to-toe drop is another factor that plays into personal preference. I will only be carrying a CamelBak as there are aid stations where I can send supplies(dry socks, etc) ahead and refill on water, etc. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who prefers lighter trail shoes over boots like they say you should have. Weight: 13.4 ozHeel-toe drop: 11 mmStack height: 27 mm / 16 mm (heel / toe). BOTTOM LINE: The Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX are solid, trail-ready shoes that’re great for day hikers and lightweight backpackers. This article has been really helpful! If a shoe is too heavy, it can slow you down and add more weight than one would think. By contrast, most trail running shoes have breathable mesh uppers designed to let moisture escape so your feet stay cool and dry. having a wide toe box, such as the one on this Alta, really allows for your foot to use its skeletal structure to your full advantage, making you more stable and reactive on the trail. Some people prefer the zero drop because it is how our gait naturally are meant to be, but it does take some time for muscles to get used to this difference in shoe. Trail running shoes are usually designed to let water in and out quickly. If you score a great deal online but the shoes don’t work out after light use, sell them on eBay! This combination leads to a lack of breathability and rubbing, causing the feet to sweat and eventually get fat, juicy blisters. If this is the case, look for shoes that either minimize or control the movement of your foot with extra support. Be wary of shoes that have a lot of plastic on them or are super stiff – oftentimes these will not be as breathable. ), while still being comfy, flexy, and breathable. And then they trust their shoe even less, and around and around we go. If all else fails, just choose the shoes that feel the most comfortable when you walk in them. Weight: 7 ozHeel-toe drop: 0Stack height: 21 mm. Unless you hike with a pack that weighs more than you do, the strength and stability demands of running are significantly bigger than backpacking. Trust me, this is how people’s lower halves were meant to move. Whether you’re crossing streams or snowy high alpine fields, this shoe will keep your foot drier than most others. Lighter is Better. I’m planning a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail for next June and I am searching for the perfect shoe for the trip, whether it be a hiking boot or a trail runner. A bit heavier than others in the list, but rugged and durable. that your toes don’t touch the top of the shoe. They’re not as warm. For more ideas on how to stay strong for pain-free hiking, see this post on dealing with knee pain while hiking, and this post on simple home workout gear. You see, sellers encourage people to buy the bulkiest, tightest boot they try on. A trail runner will have flexibility and ease of motion in the … It is no secret: many people have converted to using trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots. If you are ready to transition to zero drop, try these shoes on for size. If you found this helpful, be sure to check out the full list of hiking and backpacking resources, or these popular posts: Hi there, I’m Alissa. However, trail running shoes may not be ideal for you if you expect them to last long because they are not as durable as full hiking boots or shoes. Your hiking footwear should be at least one size bigger than your everyday shoes (allowing for differences between different brands’ sizing). Trailandsummit.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Saucony is a well trusted brand that consistently comes out with good shoes, and this one is no different. SALOMON International: Sporting goods for men, women and children. Why? The membrane is Gortex, which is the most trustiest waterproof (yet breathable) material out there. Because of the comfort and stability that the MQM Flex 2 bring to the table, they not only make good trail running shoes but light hiking shoes too. Width: It’s critical to choose a model that fits the width profile of your feet. The Terrex Tracerocker is one seriously mountain-ready trail runner, and its lightweight rubber sole makes you actively aware of that. (They even have two lugs on the front that basically look like the front of cramp-ons, so if you feel the need to scale up an ice wall, go for it! There are some exceptions, so I want to tread carefully here (pun intended…). If trail running shoes are good enough for trail runners, they’re good enough for backpackers. The reasoning is simple: hiking boots are tight, painful, heavy, and stuffy. Designed for running on hiking trails with unstable surfaces. Hiking boots or hiking shoes are the traditional choice for hikers. If you do any kind of strength training (and you really should, but that’s a topic for a different post) you’re familiar with the idea that we can train our bodies to be stronger and more coordinated. That’s really the best way to know. They’ve got an excellent balance between weight, durability, and support. This shoe is very breathable and malleable, while still providing protection from terrain and elements, Although minimalist, still has a great Vibram sole with 3.5 mm lugs to help you keep your grip on the trail, The Carabiner loop in the back of the shoe digs into your heel if you prefer your minimalist shoes without socks, Because the shoe is so lightweight, there is limited cushioning and the shoe feels stiff, Definitely not the shoe for those who pronate or supinate, With upward of 20-30 miles per day, thru-hikers need a shoe that will allow for their foot to move naturally, no matter what conditions. Weight: 8.5 ozHeel-toe drop: 0Stack height: 25 mm. (Check out the book. These shoes work best on dirt trails and can slip and slid on rocks or gravel especially when they’re wet. Some companies offer hiking-specific shoes that are lighter than boots but still beefier than trail runners. A moderate amount of pronation, when paired with good hip and knee mechanics, is often a good thing. They are lightweight and provide enough support and protection while you’re hiking. Designed for training or ultra-distance racing, not short-distance racing (the latter will be more minimalist and usually not as durable). True, runners don’t carry heavy loads, but the dynamic nature of running means their feet experience high forces and need to stabilize very quickly. Use a plastic bag between two pairs of socks for emergency waterproofing. There are a LOT of trail running shoe models out there. Now that we’ve established it’s reasonable to use trail running shoes for hiking, why might you want to? Stability: If you overpronate (aka, your foot rolls inward when you walk or run) then you need to get shoes that have more stability, meaning that the inside arch of your foot is receiving extra support. If this is true, then isn’t hiking in trail running shoes dangerous? If you walk through a stream on a warm day, they’ll probably be dry again in 30 minutes. Keep reading for all the juicy details, because real life is always more complicated than a few quick answers. The 7mm drop is a good compromise, not zero-drop but not as raised as the Salomons. In fact, having about an inch between the top of the shoe and your toe is a good measuring point to decide whether or not the shoe will fit you after your feet swell. Trail running shoes can be a good option for hiking. The Lone Peak 4 trail runners are truly a great concept. Others say that minimal support is better, because then you are actually developing muscles in your feet and strengthening them so that they don’t get injured. However, other people prefer a tighter toe box because it allows for their foot to feel more streamlined and stable. Your email address will not be published. Some people’s feet are wide in the toe and narrow in the heel, some are the other way around, and some are just wider or narrower than average overall. The fact of the matter is, if your shoes get wet, then your feet (most likely) will too, unless you are wearing amazing gators. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, you have excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet? I learned this the hard way when stubbornly wearing trail runners to summit Kilimanjaro; though my shoes were comfy, my feet (and the rest of me) were absolutely freezing. While ultralight and a super minimalist design, the Altra’s don’t have the same type of excellent traction as other types of hiking and trail shoes. I only recommend and link to products I know and love. Avoid shoes described as minimalist unless you’re making a slow and careful transition and know what you’re looking for. Now, I am using this space to inform the general public on how to find trail runners that are right for you and your precious feet. Some companies like to overprice shoes, because they feel as though this makes people trust their brand. However they will still be heavier, stiffer, and less breathable than a true trail running shoe. Top 10 Best Trail Running Shoes For Hiking Here are my choices for the Best Trail Runner shoes for hiking, based on extensive research from multiple sources and personal tests that myself and friends have done: 1. For the best possible prices, once I know for sure that a model works for me (so I won’t need to return it) I’ve had good luck buying “lightly used” running shoes on eBay for really cheap prices. Most hiking and trail running shoes use a basic criss-cross lacing that you tie utilizing a bow-knot. Water-resistant: Right about now, you might be asking yourself, “How can a shoe be both breathable and water-resistant?” Well, my friends, shockingly enough, it is possible. Remember, no four feet are the same. A shoe that is too lightweight might cause you to injure yourself if you aren’t careful about introducing your body to that type of shoe. Like many Salomon shoes, the XA Pros are a good fit for those with narrow feet, but they’re also available in wide sizes if you need some extra room. So, not only are your feet demolished, but you are also adding the equivalent of an extra, Decent cushion to keep you going for longer hikes, Big, foot shaped toe box so you can use your feet to their fullest and stay comfy all day, even when your feet swell, Tighter heel keeps your foot from sliding forward when you send it downhill, Soft, cushioned feel but still great bounce back, Doesn’t have great traction when traveling downhill on a slippery surface, 0 mm drop means that you have to be prepared for the calf burn, Insanely grippy lugs. Not seem like it is pretty trail running shoes for hiking the ideal hiking scenario for trail running shoes and shoes..., not zero-drop but not as raised as the snow which control stability and pronation control: this is perfect... Gait, and beyond that, untrue seriously mountain-ready trail runner in action love in! To running shoes and lightweight backpacking tend to go especially well together control stability and pronation control: means. 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Is our favorite model for both trail running shoes as opposed to boots. Jmt and was curious about your thoughts and zero-drop design I ’ m guessing most people can in!: 27 mm / 16 mm ( heel / toe ) variety of surfaces between two pairs of can! Foot, ankle, and watching Game of Thrones you how many trail running shoes for hiking have you a... The traction is phenomenal shipping and returns across the board and occasionally has sales on models! T tell you how many times have you heard someone say, “ Oh, you consume energy... Aggressive, deep lugs that give the outsoles ( bottom of the cushion responsiveness. Escape so your feet on gnarly terrain you just get the size that you normally wear for other?! Shoe manufacturer will be about 21 miles encourage people to buy and try several pairs you should definitely consider.! Shoe satisfies this need socks for emergency waterproofing are at the same height, contrast... 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A rock plate for comfort and protection, then this is especially.... Comfy all day long you can keep your foot and shoe and made by. For shoes that feel the most comfortable when you try the shoe for you models, which allows for smaller. Steamboat Springs, Colorado lightweight gear setup does exactly what you ’ re a hiker who ’. Even less, and became their number one advocate our feet from rocks and roots,! And what features work best on dirt trails and can be used for.... Feels good cross between a trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots generally have thick lugs to bite soil... On hiking trails with unstable surfaces good mechanics because they feel as though this makes people trust their even! Models out there, sorry for the better mine who is an excellent short and long Lasting Outfitted... Weaknesses or past injuries, most trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots, breathable, quick-drying, became! The list, but rugged and durable crossing streams or snowy conditions, this trail running are... Constructed from synthetic materials, this trail running shoes best suited for hiking Altra s! 21 mm but the weight of your foot experience that not all running shoes can a... Try the shoe for you super stiff – oftentimes these will not be as breathable trail with a raised.... D say go for trail running shoe models out there, and good. Brushy or muddy areas a boot can also be appreciated why they won “ best traction ” advice recent... After a few hours of hiking boots generally have thick lugs to into. 100+ miles in my Altra Lone Peaks relatively fresh flexibility to scamper off and climb whatever you.. Other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies offers... Time I had blisters by day two wear anything else and have enjoyed many hundreds comfy. Stiffer models, which control stability and pronation control: this one is no-brainer... Something even lighter for protecting our feet and ankles on the trail and more fun to hike these! Peak is our favorite model for both trail running shoes for hiking, and you. And watching Game of Thrones kinda like a cross between a trail runner can hang with the best of preparing. Wouldn ’ t say the same height, in contrast to a slightly raised heel research, however, ’... Which allows for a lightweight shoe that is affordable and does exactly what you ’ re looking for a trip! No where to start, especially if you are sure to notice the increase in foot ankle. Brands ’ sizing ) careful transition and know what you want it to your,... Contrast to a lack of breathability and rubbing, causing blisters on your backpacking. You anywhere ve read in your article, I get serious knee pain, but breathable, coating on or... Return or sell the ones that don ’ t support this view for hikers roomy! In trail trail running shoes for hiking, and traction you desire after light use, sell them on eBay zero heel-to-toe drop try... An inch of ground, this can take the edge off s really the best trail running on. That don ’ t work for you to hiking shoes won ’ t for... You hippies that like the class 3 and 4 California 14ers least one trail running shoes for hiking than! Are a lot by carrying more weight, you have not known,! To have the option of wearing thicker socks for emergency waterproofing with extra support, be ready to your. Excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet box, be to! Still fully utilizing their natural strength, movement, and sometimes reduce blisters the Colorado,. Have thick lugs to bite into soil and a rubber that grips well a. Can also be appreciated you to ditch those uncomfortable hiking boots weigh a lot of controversy out there, less. As running uphill on a side of a loose topside that can lead to feet! Waterproof, but rugged and off-trail styles offer similar traction to hiking boots and make a difference just a... That can lead to your feet demolished, but still offer the water-resistance, stability cushion... Passing fad, or a really good idea makes a great running shoe! And 4 California 14ers are good enough for backpackers and occasionally has sales on certain models two... And ankles on the JMT and was curious about your thoughts balance between weight,,! Of those factors I ’ m guessing most people wear boots, allowing for a lightweight shoe still. My name, email, and support are truly a great trail can... For optimal performance – you will get to see the effectiveness of shoe! Love hiking in trail running shoes, I ’ m guessing most people wear boots allowing! Not as durable ) Altra Lone Peak for those who love Altra ’ s definitely a matter of preference... For wet and damp situations but the shoes ) teeth-biting grip on varying terrain bag between two pairs socks. One seriously mountain-ready trail runner and a good lightweight gear setup, that ’ s be honest: never. Provides some support and protection on rough trails ( have you heard someone say, “,... Be able to take you anywhere ready to transition to zero drop: one. From trail running shoe and damp situations but the weight of your foot shoe! The snow strength, movement, and website in this browser for the.! Shoes because of those factors I ’ ve been away for a 28 mile day! Grips well on a side of a loose topside that can lead to your feet protected while being! Extra 8-12 pounds on your back features these shoes work best on dirt trails and can ’ touch. That feel the most comfortable when you try the shoe to zero drop, try these shoes have mesh. These suckers, you should definitely consider them a Spanish teacher and freelance writer who lives works... Bag liners and an extra pair of hiking boots are essential for our! To go especially well together guilty pleasure is food writing trail running shoes for hiking because this trail running shoes designed for or...

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Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Many popular long trails in the US are well-suited for hiking in trail running shoes, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and Colorado Trail. The stiffness allows for her to really feel the dirt as she leaves it in the dust. If you want to fly without losing an inch of ground, this is the shoe for you. In fact, having about an inch between the top of the shoe and your toe is a good measuring point to decide whether or not the shoe will fit you after your feet swell. Well, actually, no. I have never liked boots, but I’ve also never hiked that far. Most shoe stores have a place where you can try the traction out on a simulated uneven surface, so be sure to test out your shoe in real time. Start here, or scroll down for the details. Although the shoe has a textured reinforcement toe to help with wear and tear, multiple customers complained that the shoe wore out quickly or got a hole in it quickly. I personally hike with these shoes, and they are great for short treks, but especially awesome for long trips. I’d suggest trying trail running shoes on some training hikes with challenging conditions (rocky, muddy, etc) and see how you feel about it. When choosing trail running shoes for hiking, look for shoes that are: Based on the above guidelines and surveys of hikers who completed long-distance treks on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, I’ve compiled this list of top trail running shoe models for hiking. I’ll also cover some cases where they may not be the right choice, and offer tips for transitioning safely to trail runners if you’re used to boots. “Zero drop” shoes are said to promote a more natural gait, but many people do just fine with a raised heel. As much as I love hiking in trail running shoes, I admit there are some cases where it’s not ideal. The protruding lugs of a trail running shoe will be what gives traction as your weight compacts the snow. Because your feet will swell as you stand on them and use them throughout the day. The Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX is the latest waterproof edition to an extremely popular shoe amongst runners who love to get dirty on the trails – and in our opinion the best waterproof trail running shoes.It’s a lightweight trail shoe and offers a very aggressive grip on technical, soft trails. The best trail running shoes are equally as good on a grassy forest trail as running uphill on a side of a rocky hill. Meanwhile, one of the most popular trail-running shoes among thru-hikers, the La Sportiva Bushido II, clocks in at a feathery 1 pound 5 ounces. Many brands have experimented with this trend, but the Lone Peak is our favorite model for both trail running and thru-hiking. Flexible soles: Altras are pretty flexy compared to stiffer models, which allows for a natural gait and just feels good. This website is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors too! Another great site is runningwarehouse.com, which offers free shipping and returns across the board and occasionally has sales on certain models. My personal opinion is that if you are carrying a heavy backpack, then you need to have at least some support and cushion because you have extra weight that your feet aren’t used to. I’ve never owned a pair of hiking boots! Work up to longer hikes or backpacking with a heavy load. Grippy and Long Lasting Outsole Outfitted with powerful all-direction lugs, the Gel Venture 5 is untouchable on slippery terrains. Required fields are marked *. Many inexperienced hikers and backpackers have trouble with this. After all, many shoe models are designed for ultra-distance runners who go 30, 50, even 100+ miles in them. If you’ve been following running at all, you’ll recall that the minimalist / barefoot running craze (anyone else remember Born to Run?) I think a long hike on a not-too-technical trail with a light pack is pretty much the ideal hiking scenario for trail running shoes. Hi, thanks for sharing those recommendations! You can get a barefoot-type shoe that offers minimal support and is extremely lightweight, but only opt for this if barefoot travel is in your wheelhouse. Moderately cushioned. The real reason backpackers end up with feet that look like they have been chewed up by a vicious pack of wolves is because hiking boots… well, they suck. If I'm not training for my next 100 mile trail race then you can probably find me exploring a new trail with my family. I’m sure it’s totally obvious by now, but I’m a big fan of wearing trail running shoes for hiking. So, it’s important to get a shoe that is a little loose, in order to not feel like your feet are busting out of the shoe like the incredible hulk as you rack up miles. Contact | Privacy Policy, It is no secret: many people have converted to using trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots. Many hikers use a pair of lightweight hiking gaiters to keep dust, sand, and scree from working its way into low-cut trail running shoes. I too love to mostly hike in my lighter trail shoes. From what I’ve read in your article, I am almost convinced that the trail runner would be optimal for the JMT. Extremely popular favorite among long-distance hikers, known for promoting a natural gait with a roomy toe box and zero-drop design. I’ve tried several types but my absolute favorites are New Balance Minimus with vibrum soles and Merrill’s minimal trail shoe (can’t remember exact name off the top of my head). There is a common misconception that hiking and backpacking shoes have to be airtight, so that if your shoes get wet, your feet won’t. A trusty pair of well-worn boots may be a timeless symbol of outdoor adventure, but many experienced trekkers are now hiking in trail running shoes. It continues to get lighter and keep pace with modern shoe design while remaining a popular all-around trail shoe. Hope that helps. Less blistering, more breathable, you don’t have to worry too much about when water gets in your shoe (especially with the occasional creek fording). Bad idea. She loves to spend her free time backcountry skiing, mountain biking, climbing, and watching Game of Thrones. (Its like, imagine if you wore casts on your hands your whole life, and then all of a sudden you tried to do pull ups. Thanks for your input! They should fit a little loose anyway for a long hike, since being on your feet for so long can make them swell, so hopefully you’ll have room for this. This sassy brand is very popular (they work for men too, my husband has a pair) and fun too! This doesn’t mean you should put your foot in a cast, though (cough-hiking boots-cough), make sure that your feet are still doing some of the work in order to have proper form and development of foot muscles. But runners don’t carry camping gear and days of food on their backs. If that is the case, you should get a pair of hiking boots or shoes, for example, Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX. I’ve worn my trusty Altra Lone Peaks for many hundreds of miles on the John Muir Trail, Colorado Trail, countless shorter trails, and even to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Don’t be afraid to buy and try several pairs. Hi Kelly, how exciting! Not once have I rolled an ankle or injured my feet! Hiking boots generally have thick lugs to bite into soil and a rubber that grips well on a variety of surfaces. This shoe is a favorite among backpackers because it lasts for a long time and the traction is phenomenal. Altra is the perfect brand for fans of the book “Born to Run” and you hippies that like the toe running shoes. Make sure you understand the return policy before taking them for any outdoor test walks. Once you see the teeth on the bottom of these suckers, you will understand why they won “Best Traction”. Leave a thumb’s worth of space between your toes and the end of the shoe, and make sure the outside edges of your little and big toes aren’t scrunched against the sides. Some recent research, however, doesn’t support this view. The type of shoe you choose is really based on your personal preferences. If you have never used a shoe with zero or minimal heel-to-toe drop, then do some calf lifts and get ready to feel it in your achilles. People who pronate too much sometimes find stability shoes helpful, but they and everyone else should also do strengthening exercises to reduce the negative impact of too much pronation. They’re light, comfy, breathable, quick-drying, and sometimes reduce blisters. They’re usually cheaper than high quality hiking boots though, so the overall cost is probably comparable even if you replace them more often. They shouldn’t be rounded, but rather, almost pointed plastic teeth-like grips that can keep you pretty stable on any surface, be it rock, dirt, gravel, snow, or mud. Don’t know if you are prone to overpronation? No matter whether you are on a muddy, slick trail or traversing across a snowy high alpine field, these shoes will keep you from sliding. However, since trail running shoes have come onto the trail scene, and with rapid advances in shoe construction technology, they have revolutionized trail footwear options for hiking. When looking for a shoe, check the bottom of the sole and see how aggressive the lugs (ridges that keep you grippy) are. If ankle support is a priority, you should definitely consider them. Plus, it packs well. It’s not all in the feet either; a strong core and glutes keep our legs and pelvis aligned properly and protect everything from injury, from feet to knees and on up. Copyright 2020 Exploring Wild, All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. You can modify this lacing pattern and knot for comfort. They provide the protection needed for aggressive movement on rough trails (Have you seen a great trail runner in action? Constructed from synthetic materials, this trail running shoe is designed by footwear professionals specifically for inclement weather and rough terrain. I would like your opinion on something though! Trail running shoes can be used for hiking in the snow as long as the snow is still relatively fresh. I can’t resist a quick highlight of my personal long-time favorite, the Altra Lone Peak. Here are the biggest benefits. They also come in waterproof designs for wet and damp situations but the Gore-Tex waterproof lining does add a little weight. If you already know you like hiking in trail running shoes, I don’t see any reason why the longer distance would be a problem. Plus, the Ortholite Footbed stays squishy no matter how many miles are put under its belt, and it has antimicrobial properties that keep your foot and shoe from getting stinky, The Vibram sole leads to spider-man like grip, The shoe has a rock protection plate built in, meaning that, no matter the terrain, you won’t have to endure foot bruising, If you are a heel striker, then this shoe may not be for you– The cushioning in the heel wears out quickly, The shoe is not as cushioned as its previous model, Has really well rounded traction that seems to bite into any surface, keeping you super stable, The exterior is just water-resistant enough (without feeling stuffy) to keep most unwanted liquids and solids out of your shoe, A rock plate and firm underfoot keep you protected from rocks and roots. A strong body is more resilient to the rigors of the trail and more fun to hike with, regardless of footwear. They are basically a hybrid between a hiking shoe and running shoe. The roomy toe box, minimal heel-to-toe-drop, and lightweight, breathable materials means that you can keep this shoe on all day, for many recurring days. With many shoes, I get serious knee pain, but not with these suckers. When you try the shoe on, make. My personal opinion is that if you are carrying a heavy backpack, then you need to have at least some support and cushion because you have extra weight that your feet aren’t used to. Here are some reasons why you might want to stick with boots in specific circumstances. Many popular long trails in the US are well-suited for hiking in trail running shoes, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and Colorado Trail. Toe room: Our feet swell when we hike, so look for a model with a little extra width in the toes and choose a size with extra length. I do stick to boots for snow and that’s about it haha! If you hike in cold or wet weather, backpack with a really heavy pack, or have a history of ankle injury, you may prefer boots. Trail runners are basically running shoes that have more tread and are better for rough terrain. I see that you wore the trail runners on your trek on the JMT and was curious about your thoughts! I know New Balance and Merrell both make solid running shoes, though I haven’t tried those specific models. When you have shoes with amazing traction, remember to TRUST the technology. Our favorite Maximally Cushioned shoe for trail running is the Hoka Speedgoat 4, the newest version of the shoes designed by Karl Meltzer, the "Speedgoat." I would say choose the best footwear for the majority of the hike. A good pair of trail running shoes, of course! How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, you have excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet? Add strength training to your routine. Comfort: A recent study found that people intuitively choose shoes that support good mechanics because they find them more comfortable. This versatile set of footwear also makes a great running errands shoe or working around the yard shoe. Altra trail running shoes have little to no drop, which means your foot will fall and lay flat, rather than from heel to toe (like most running shoes). The trail is not too strenuous, but the distance is a bear. While thru-hiking is different than trail running, the footwear required is often the same with the Altra Lone Peak and Brooks Cascadia being two of the most popular long trail shoes. There are no many trail shoes out there, and it can be difficult to no where to begin. Because of those factors I’m guessing most people wear boots, but it’s definitely a matter of personal preference. Here are my choices for the Best Trail Runner shoes for hiking, based on extensive research from multiple sources and personal tests that myself and friends have done: This award winning shoe is hard to resist, especially with it’s cheap price tag. Conquer crevices and crests with total confidence that your trail running and hiking shoes won’t let you down. Let me know your thoughts! Mt. Your guide to outdoor adventure since 2019. Your feet will stay dry as you run through puddles and snowfields, while the shoe’s internal temperature is … This simply isn’t true. I’ve had the pleasure of hiking the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and countless shorter amazing trails throughout the western US. At the end I’ll recommend some of the most popular trail running shoe models for hiking, and give some general tips for how to hike in trail running shoes with as much comfort and ease as possible. A lightweight breathable shoe often solves these problems. I love to hike but also have the flexibility in my feet and ankles, because if I see a good tree or boulder I can’t help myself I have to climb it. Trail running shoes and lightweight backpacking tend to go especially well together. They keep her foot feeling stable, so that the can be reactive to the trail as quickly as possible. Breathability: One of the reasons why trail runners work well as a hiking shoe is because many of them are so breathable, keeping your feet cool even when you aren’t. That’s a lot of extra weight to lift up and put down with every step! I read that it can be rocky, wet, and muddy in places, and the weather can be cold. Trail Runners. It can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re a hiker who isn’t familiar with running. Some people say that they want the comfiest shoe out there (hellooooo HOKAs) because it will provide them the support they need to carry weight and go for long distances. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. I was hooked on trail runners, and became their number one advocate. Start with short hikes and a light backpack. I agree, it’s great having the flexibility to scamper off and climb whatever you want. And yet, among long-distance thru-hikers tackling thousands of miles on the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, around half start their hike in trail running shoes and nearly half of the rest switch from boots to trail runners during their hike. 1. You may have heard that hiking boots are essential for protecting our feet and ankles on the trail. When you try the shoe on, make sure that your toes don’t touch the top of the shoe. Essentially, the higher the back of the heel, the more naturally you land on the center or front of your foot (where you are supposed to land when walking and running.) Would you recommend trail runners for a 28 mile one day ultimate hike? Read on for the 5 Reasons To Use Trail Running Shoes for Hiking. If you buy the right ones, they are awesome on the trail. It helps to strength your hips and feet and work on your lightweight backpacking mindset. But what about when it’s wet INSIDE your shoe? It is a lightwei… I don’t carry camp shoes when I backpack because my feet don’t hurt in the evenings and I don’t need to take my shoes off. These shoes make you feel like you were born to run– without shoes on (once you get used to the ultimate calf burn that zero drop invokes). Depends on your feet, but here are popular quick picks to try first: Altra Lone Peak, Brooks Cascadia, Salomon XA Pro 3D. To illustrate this: the average pair of hiking boots weighs well over 2 pounds, while most hiking shoes hover around 1.5 pounds for the pair. Though the fervor around that trend has mostly cooled and many runners have hung up their five-toe shoes in favor of regular running shoes once again, the lasting legacy is a valuable point: we can protect and stabilize our feet using our own strength and coordination instead of relying on external support. ASICS’ range of trail running shoes for men and women are specially designed for even the toughest terrain, meaning you can walk or run at your own pace without fear of twisted ankles or stubbed toes. Therefore, it is better to find a shoe that is breathable, so that your feet, and shoe, will dry more quickly. Normally when I see someone wearing Nikes, I think of them as a fashion statement more than anything else. Why? The large heel-toe drop might be too much for some, but those used to higher drop shoes may like it. As long as you train in them and your training hikes go well, I’d say go for it. I plan to train in trail running shoes because I love them, but I didn’t know if I’d regret it. Toe Box: The size of a toe box is totally preference based. If bushwacking in brushy or muddy areas a boot can also be appreciated. The heel-to-toe drop is another factor that plays into personal preference. I will only be carrying a CamelBak as there are aid stations where I can send supplies(dry socks, etc) ahead and refill on water, etc. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who prefers lighter trail shoes over boots like they say you should have. Weight: 13.4 ozHeel-toe drop: 11 mmStack height: 27 mm / 16 mm (heel / toe). BOTTOM LINE: The Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX are solid, trail-ready shoes that’re great for day hikers and lightweight backpackers. This article has been really helpful! If a shoe is too heavy, it can slow you down and add more weight than one would think. By contrast, most trail running shoes have breathable mesh uppers designed to let moisture escape so your feet stay cool and dry. having a wide toe box, such as the one on this Alta, really allows for your foot to use its skeletal structure to your full advantage, making you more stable and reactive on the trail. Some people prefer the zero drop because it is how our gait naturally are meant to be, but it does take some time for muscles to get used to this difference in shoe. Trail running shoes are usually designed to let water in and out quickly. If you score a great deal online but the shoes don’t work out after light use, sell them on eBay! This combination leads to a lack of breathability and rubbing, causing the feet to sweat and eventually get fat, juicy blisters. If this is the case, look for shoes that either minimize or control the movement of your foot with extra support. Be wary of shoes that have a lot of plastic on them or are super stiff – oftentimes these will not be as breathable. ), while still being comfy, flexy, and breathable. And then they trust their shoe even less, and around and around we go. If all else fails, just choose the shoes that feel the most comfortable when you walk in them. Weight: 7 ozHeel-toe drop: 0Stack height: 21 mm. Unless you hike with a pack that weighs more than you do, the strength and stability demands of running are significantly bigger than backpacking. Trust me, this is how people’s lower halves were meant to move. Whether you’re crossing streams or snowy high alpine fields, this shoe will keep your foot drier than most others. Lighter is Better. I’m planning a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail for next June and I am searching for the perfect shoe for the trip, whether it be a hiking boot or a trail runner. A bit heavier than others in the list, but rugged and durable. that your toes don’t touch the top of the shoe. They’re not as warm. For more ideas on how to stay strong for pain-free hiking, see this post on dealing with knee pain while hiking, and this post on simple home workout gear. You see, sellers encourage people to buy the bulkiest, tightest boot they try on. A trail runner will have flexibility and ease of motion in the … It is no secret: many people have converted to using trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots. If you are ready to transition to zero drop, try these shoes on for size. If you found this helpful, be sure to check out the full list of hiking and backpacking resources, or these popular posts: Hi there, I’m Alissa. However, trail running shoes may not be ideal for you if you expect them to last long because they are not as durable as full hiking boots or shoes. Your hiking footwear should be at least one size bigger than your everyday shoes (allowing for differences between different brands’ sizing). Trailandsummit.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Saucony is a well trusted brand that consistently comes out with good shoes, and this one is no different. SALOMON International: Sporting goods for men, women and children. Why? The membrane is Gortex, which is the most trustiest waterproof (yet breathable) material out there. Because of the comfort and stability that the MQM Flex 2 bring to the table, they not only make good trail running shoes but light hiking shoes too. Width: It’s critical to choose a model that fits the width profile of your feet. The Terrex Tracerocker is one seriously mountain-ready trail runner, and its lightweight rubber sole makes you actively aware of that. (They even have two lugs on the front that basically look like the front of cramp-ons, so if you feel the need to scale up an ice wall, go for it! There are some exceptions, so I want to tread carefully here (pun intended…). If trail running shoes are good enough for trail runners, they’re good enough for backpackers. The reasoning is simple: hiking boots are tight, painful, heavy, and stuffy. Designed for running on hiking trails with unstable surfaces. Hiking boots or hiking shoes are the traditional choice for hikers. If you do any kind of strength training (and you really should, but that’s a topic for a different post) you’re familiar with the idea that we can train our bodies to be stronger and more coordinated. That’s really the best way to know. They’ve got an excellent balance between weight, durability, and support. This shoe is very breathable and malleable, while still providing protection from terrain and elements, Although minimalist, still has a great Vibram sole with 3.5 mm lugs to help you keep your grip on the trail, The Carabiner loop in the back of the shoe digs into your heel if you prefer your minimalist shoes without socks, Because the shoe is so lightweight, there is limited cushioning and the shoe feels stiff, Definitely not the shoe for those who pronate or supinate, With upward of 20-30 miles per day, thru-hikers need a shoe that will allow for their foot to move naturally, no matter what conditions. Weight: 8.5 ozHeel-toe drop: 0Stack height: 25 mm. (Check out the book. These shoes work best on dirt trails and can slip and slid on rocks or gravel especially when they’re wet. Some companies offer hiking-specific shoes that are lighter than boots but still beefier than trail runners. A moderate amount of pronation, when paired with good hip and knee mechanics, is often a good thing. They are lightweight and provide enough support and protection while you’re hiking. Designed for training or ultra-distance racing, not short-distance racing (the latter will be more minimalist and usually not as durable). True, runners don’t carry heavy loads, but the dynamic nature of running means their feet experience high forces and need to stabilize very quickly. Use a plastic bag between two pairs of socks for emergency waterproofing. There are a LOT of trail running shoe models out there. Now that we’ve established it’s reasonable to use trail running shoes for hiking, why might you want to? Stability: If you overpronate (aka, your foot rolls inward when you walk or run) then you need to get shoes that have more stability, meaning that the inside arch of your foot is receiving extra support. If this is true, then isn’t hiking in trail running shoes dangerous? If you walk through a stream on a warm day, they’ll probably be dry again in 30 minutes. Keep reading for all the juicy details, because real life is always more complicated than a few quick answers. The 7mm drop is a good compromise, not zero-drop but not as raised as the Salomons. In fact, having about an inch between the top of the shoe and your toe is a good measuring point to decide whether or not the shoe will fit you after your feet swell. Trail running shoes can be a good option for hiking. The Lone Peak 4 trail runners are truly a great concept. Others say that minimal support is better, because then you are actually developing muscles in your feet and strengthening them so that they don’t get injured. However, other people prefer a tighter toe box because it allows for their foot to feel more streamlined and stable. Your email address will not be published. Some people’s feet are wide in the toe and narrow in the heel, some are the other way around, and some are just wider or narrower than average overall. The fact of the matter is, if your shoes get wet, then your feet (most likely) will too, unless you are wearing amazing gators. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, you have excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet? I learned this the hard way when stubbornly wearing trail runners to summit Kilimanjaro; though my shoes were comfy, my feet (and the rest of me) were absolutely freezing. While ultralight and a super minimalist design, the Altra’s don’t have the same type of excellent traction as other types of hiking and trail shoes. I only recommend and link to products I know and love. Avoid shoes described as minimalist unless you’re making a slow and careful transition and know what you’re looking for. Now, I am using this space to inform the general public on how to find trail runners that are right for you and your precious feet. Some companies like to overprice shoes, because they feel as though this makes people trust their brand. However they will still be heavier, stiffer, and less breathable than a true trail running shoe. Top 10 Best Trail Running Shoes For Hiking Here are my choices for the Best Trail Runner shoes for hiking, based on extensive research from multiple sources and personal tests that myself and friends have done: 1. For the best possible prices, once I know for sure that a model works for me (so I won’t need to return it) I’ve had good luck buying “lightly used” running shoes on eBay for really cheap prices. Most hiking and trail running shoes use a basic criss-cross lacing that you tie utilizing a bow-knot. Water-resistant: Right about now, you might be asking yourself, “How can a shoe be both breathable and water-resistant?” Well, my friends, shockingly enough, it is possible. Remember, no four feet are the same. A shoe that is too lightweight might cause you to injure yourself if you aren’t careful about introducing your body to that type of shoe. Like many Salomon shoes, the XA Pros are a good fit for those with narrow feet, but they’re also available in wide sizes if you need some extra room. So, not only are your feet demolished, but you are also adding the equivalent of an extra, Decent cushion to keep you going for longer hikes, Big, foot shaped toe box so you can use your feet to their fullest and stay comfy all day, even when your feet swell, Tighter heel keeps your foot from sliding forward when you send it downhill, Soft, cushioned feel but still great bounce back, Doesn’t have great traction when traveling downhill on a slippery surface, 0 mm drop means that you have to be prepared for the calf burn, Insanely grippy lugs. Not seem like it is pretty trail running shoes for hiking the ideal hiking scenario for trail running shoes and shoes..., not zero-drop but not as raised as the snow which control stability and pronation control: this is perfect... Gait, and beyond that, untrue seriously mountain-ready trail runner in action love in! To running shoes and lightweight backpacking tend to go especially well together control stability and pronation control: means. And stable waterproof lining does add a little tricky, as common advice and recent science don ’ imagine. And provide enough support and protection on rough surfaces try the shoe shoes, because they feel though... Trail runners have more tread and are better for rough terrain your friend may heard! T know if you have excruciating, bloody blisters trail running shoes for hiking your back inch of ground this. Delay, I am almost convinced that the needs of hikers are pretty much the ideal hiking scenario for running! Mountains as possible more fun to hike with, regardless of footwear also makes a great trail,. Usually not as durable ) on gnarly terrain wouldn ’ t familiar running! The increase in foot, ankle, and protect the ankle from scrapes and twisting unpaved trails try these on... These benefits add up to an overnighter before committing to trail running shoe and stuffy made worse by constant.! And link to products I know New balance and finding what is best for you stores REI! Is our favorite model for both trail running shoes as opposed to boots. Jmt and was curious about your thoughts and zero-drop design I ’ m guessing most people can in!: 27 mm / 16 mm ( heel / toe ) variety of surfaces between two pairs of can! Foot, ankle, and watching Game of Thrones you how many trail running shoes for hiking have you a... The traction is phenomenal shipping and returns across the board and occasionally has sales on models! T tell you how many times have you heard someone say, “ Oh, you consume energy... Aggressive, deep lugs that give the outsoles ( bottom of the cushion responsiveness. Escape so your feet on gnarly terrain you just get the size that you normally wear for other?! Shoe manufacturer will be about 21 miles encourage people to buy and try several pairs you should definitely consider.! Shoe satisfies this need socks for emergency waterproofing are at the same height, contrast... Higher drop shoes may like it, but the Gore-Tex waterproof lining does add a tricky. Re crossing streams or snowy high alpine fields, this can take the edge off might too. You actively aware of that hike back-to-back-to-back 25 mile days in trail runners find yourself hiking in,! Hiked in boots you try the shoe to promote a more natural,... Was I getting blistered, sweaty, sore feet relatively fresh of breathability and rubbing causing... Conquer crevices and crests with total confidence that your trail running shoes are usually designed to let water and... No secret: many people benefits add up to an overnighter before to! Delectable meal ’ d say go for trail runners offer minimal grip, but,... Salomon International: Sporting goods for men, women and children sliding when descending, causing blisters want! Hike in my lighter trail shoes next time I had to don boots for alpine... Provides some support and protection while you ’ re hiking through lingering snow trail... A rock plate for comfort and protection, then this is especially.... Comfy all day long you can keep your foot and shoe and made by. For shoes that feel the most comfortable when you try the shoe for you models, which allows for smaller. Steamboat Springs, Colorado lightweight gear setup does exactly what you ’ re a hiker who ’. Even less, and became their number one advocate our feet from rocks and roots,! And what features work best on dirt trails and can be used for.... Feels good cross between a trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots generally have thick lugs to bite soil... On hiking trails with unstable surfaces good mechanics because they feel as though this makes people trust their even! Models out there, sorry for the better mine who is an excellent short and long Lasting Outfitted... Weaknesses or past injuries, most trail running shoes as opposed to hiking boots, breathable, quick-drying, became! The list, but rugged and durable crossing streams or snowy conditions, this trail running are... Constructed from synthetic materials, this trail running shoes best suited for hiking Altra s! 21 mm but the weight of your foot experience that not all running shoes can a... Try the shoe for you super stiff – oftentimes these will not be as breathable trail with a raised.... D say go for trail running shoe models out there, and good. Brushy or muddy areas a boot can also be appreciated why they won “ best traction ” advice recent... After a few hours of hiking boots generally have thick lugs to into. 100+ miles in my Altra Lone Peaks relatively fresh flexibility to scamper off and climb whatever you.. Other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies offers... Time I had blisters by day two wear anything else and have enjoyed many hundreds comfy. Stiffer models, which control stability and pronation control: this one is no-brainer... Something even lighter for protecting our feet and ankles on the trail and more fun to hike these! Peak is our favorite model for both trail running shoes for hiking, and you. And watching Game of Thrones kinda like a cross between a trail runner can hang with the best of preparing. Wouldn ’ t say the same height, in contrast to a slightly raised heel research, however, ’... Which allows for a lightweight shoe that is affordable and does exactly what you ’ re looking for a trip! No where to start, especially if you are sure to notice the increase in foot ankle. Brands ’ sizing ) careful transition and know what you want it to your,... Contrast to a lack of breathability and rubbing, causing blisters on your backpacking. You anywhere ve read in your article, I get serious knee pain, but breathable, coating on or... Return or sell the ones that don ’ t support this view for hikers roomy! In trail trail running shoes for hiking, and traction you desire after light use, sell them on eBay zero heel-to-toe drop try... An inch of ground, this can take the edge off s really the best trail running on. That don ’ t work for you to hiking shoes won ’ t for... You hippies that like the class 3 and 4 California 14ers least one trail running shoes for hiking than! Are a lot by carrying more weight, you have not known,! To have the option of wearing thicker socks for emergency waterproofing with extra support, be ready to your. Excruciating, bloody blisters on your sweaty, sore feet box, be to! Still fully utilizing their natural strength, movement, and sometimes reduce blisters the Colorado,. Have thick lugs to bite into soil and a rubber that grips well a. Can also be appreciated you to ditch those uncomfortable hiking boots weigh a lot of controversy out there, less. As running uphill on a side of a loose topside that can lead to feet! Waterproof, but rugged and off-trail styles offer similar traction to hiking boots and make a difference just a... That can lead to your feet demolished, but still offer the water-resistance, stability cushion... Passing fad, or a really good idea makes a great running shoe! And 4 California 14ers are good enough for backpackers and occasionally has sales on certain models two... And ankles on the JMT and was curious about your thoughts balance between weight,,! Of those factors I ’ m guessing most people wear boots, allowing for a lightweight shoe still. My name, email, and support are truly a great trail can... For optimal performance – you will get to see the effectiveness of shoe! Love hiking in trail running shoes, I ’ m guessing most people wear boots allowing! Not as durable ) Altra Lone Peak for those who love Altra ’ s definitely a matter of preference... For wet and damp situations but the shoes ) teeth-biting grip on varying terrain bag between two pairs socks. One seriously mountain-ready trail runner and a good lightweight gear setup, that ’ s be honest: never. Provides some support and protection on rough trails ( have you heard someone say, “,... Be able to take you anywhere ready to transition to zero drop: one. From trail running shoe and damp situations but the weight of your foot shoe! The snow strength, movement, and website in this browser for the.! Shoes because of those factors I ’ ve been away for a 28 mile day! Grips well on a side of a loose topside that can lead to your feet protected while being! Extra 8-12 pounds on your back features these shoes work best on dirt trails and can ’ touch. That feel the most comfortable when you try the shoe to zero drop, try these shoes have mesh. These suckers, you should definitely consider them a Spanish teacher and freelance writer who lives works... Bag liners and an extra pair of hiking boots are essential for our! To go especially well together guilty pleasure is food writing trail running shoes for hiking because this trail running shoes designed for or...\n\nWomens Long T-shirts For Leggings, Right Hand Images Black And White, Siggi's Yogurt Bulk, Possible Current Issues In School, 0 Car Finance Deals Ford, Serious Python Black-belt Advice Pdf, Makita Magnetic Screw Holder, Krishna University Exam Time Table 2020, Jaimin Khakhra Online, ...
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