It’s all about multitasking these days, and that includes footwear. As a result, consumers are left wondering what activities are best suited to particular shoe types. The vast majority of people who own a pair of running shoes never actually use them for their intended purpose. They wear them because they’re comfortable and versatile all-purpose sneakers. The lack of traction and support means they’re best suited for use on paved surfaces. But can you run in hiking shoes?
Hiking boots or shoes will be useful here. The lugged outsole provides grip on the trail, and the shoe is more supportive than a regular pair of running shoes.
You invest in a pair of hiking shoes, which serve double-duty as both hiking footwear and everyday footwear.
Is it possible to run in hiking shoes? In a nutshell, yes, you can run in hiking shoes. It is dependent, to give a longer answer. When did you start running for so long? What footwear are you using on your hike? In what kind of terrain are you running?
Find out the qualities of a good hiking shoe and how they translate to running so you can tell if your hiking shoes are suitable for running.
Come on, we need to get started.
Can You Run In Hiking Shoes?
Hiking shoes, or any other type of shoe, are fine for running. Take a look at the armed services. They’re wearing combat boots and running with full packs. However, despite the high risk of injury, they continue to perform these activities.
Both have low tops and lugged treads to improve traction. Hiking and trail running shoes can be thought of as being on a spectrum, with the most rigid hiking shoe on one end and the lightest trail running shoe on the other.
Lightweight construction is a priority for running shoes as opposed to hiking boots. Because you’re able to raise your feet higher and more quickly, you’ll use much less effort running.
Because the tibial muscles don’t have to do as much work, the lighter shoe is also easier on the shins.
The lighter your shoes are, the better they will feel to wear, and that’s before we even talk about the performance benefits. Lightweight footwear has a buoyant, invigorating effect.
The more material that can be used in the construction of a hiking shoe, the heavier it will be.
The extra material in the uppers and the soles of the shoes contributes to their longevity.
Unlike hiking boots, running shoes tend to wear out quickly.
Hiking shoes have a more rigid midsole to better support your foot on rough terrain.
The soles of your feet will be shielded from sharp objects like rocks and roots.
While some trail running shoes include a rock guard for protection, others aim to keep the forefoot flexible so that the runner’s feet can move more normally.
Unless you’re part of the ultra-running community, you’ll probably spend more time on foot than on foot. Because of this, hiking shoes are typically better equipped to withstand wet conditions than trail running shoes.
The upper can be made more water resistant, or a membrane-like Gore-Tex can be used for complete waterproofing.
Mesh, which allows air to circulate and keeps feet cooler in the summer, will be used in the upper of running shoes.
How About An Approach Shoe?
Hiking and trail running shoes have been discussed; an additional type of off-road shoe is the Approach shoe.
These are made specifically for hikes to rock climbing areas that involve easy climbing or scrambling.
The soles are made of sticky rubber, providing traction on the rocks, and have smooth areas around the toes, maximizing the foot’s surface area in contact with the ground.
Since you probably won’t go rock climbing when it’s raining, the lugs on your climbing shoes probably won’t be as aggressive as those on your mud shoes.
Some models have a lot of cushioning despite having a lower profile and thinner midsole.
Both the La Sportive TX series and the Scarpa Mescalito are great options for versatile approach footwear, and either would work well for light to medium trail running.
The Variations Between Hiking and Running Shoes
There are some key distinctions between hiking shoes and trail running shoes that you should be aware of if you’re thinking about making the switch.
These two things are not the same in several essential respects.
Most trail runners tip the scales at around 2 pounds, give or take a few ounces. Hiking boots and shoes, even the lightweight varieties, can weigh more than 2 pounds and up to 3.5 pounds.
Airflow is the deciding factor for trail runners. Synthetic mesh is commonly used to make running shoes because it allows the foot to breathe and dry quickly, which is especially important if you plan on running through water or in hot, humid conditions. On the other hand, hiking footwear is typically constructed from tougher materials. Also, they frequently feature a waterproof exterior or interior lining. They dry more slowly than running shoes but are more breathable than hiking boots.
If you need a sturdy, long-lasting pair of shoes, hiking boots are the way to go. Normal wear and tear can shorten the lifespan of trail running shoes to between four and six months. You can thank the use of superlight components for this. No resoling options exist for trail running or hiking footwear.
Sole And Ankle Cushioning
On rugged backcountry trails, you may want more ankle support than what you get from trail runners or regular hiking shoes. Some brands do offer options that reach up to the ankle, but you may have to look around to find them. Hiking boots provide more support for your feet than regular shoes. These have extra padding in the footbed to keep you comfortable while hiking with a heavy pack. In models with a thicker sole or cushion, trail running shoes provide a certain amount of support. Some of the lighter and more minimalist designs do not even have a heel cup.
Consistent With The Current Weather Conditions
In wet or chilly weather, hiking boots perform better. In mild to hot climates, trail runners excel.
The soles and lugs of hiking shoes are typically thicker and more gnarled to provide better traction in rugged terrain. Certain footwear designed for trail running does include traction enhancements. However, they typically lack the traction necessary for traversing certain sections of the trail.
At the same time that people can become highly specialized, we also see a rise in generalization. You can find shoes that are designed to be effective in a wide variety of settings, as well as those that are optimized for a specific environment.
If you’re in the middle of a hike and feel like breaking into a quick run, don’t hold back because you don’t have the perfect shoe.
The same holds if you’re hitting the trails. You saved your hiking boots by not using them for running, so they should be fine.
Okay, but what about running? Can you do that in hiking boots? In a word, yes.
The most important thing is to have fun outdoors without getting hurt. If you get shin splints from running in your hiking shoes, you shouldn’t run. Instead, keep on hiking. To better navigate uneven terrain on your next hike, invest in a pair of trail running shoes.