11 Tips For Finding The Best Trail Running Shoes For Hiking

trail running shoes for hiking

11 Tips For Finding The Best Trail Running Shoes For Hiking

Category: Trail Running & Hiking Gear

These 11 Tips For Finding The Best Trail Running Shoes For Hiking will help you find the right shoes that makes your hiking experiences more comfortable and fun.

Trail running shoes for hiking are popular footwear, which makes a lot of sense since trail running and hiking have a lot in common. Both activities require participants to travel over the same types of terrain and in some cases travel over the same exact paths or trails. In fact, many trail runners actually hike as a way of improving their stamina and strengthening their leg muscles for trail running.

Furthermore, both trail running and hiking gets you out among some beautiful scenery where you can really feel at home with nature.


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Trail Running Shoes vs. Road Running Shoes

There are a couple of differences between trail running and road running shoes. Road running requires runners to run on flat, hard surfaces such as cement or concrete. Road running shoes tend to be very lightweight with minimum tread and either thin soles or extra soles.

Road running shoes also tend to have thick cushioning to help to absorb some of the impact of the feet pounding on hard surfaces.

Trail running shoes are more rugged than road running shoes and tend to have a heavier tread with wider soles. The soles of trail running shoes may be extremely thin and light to help runners run faster or thicker to better protect the feet from sharp sticks and stones.


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Trail Running Shoes vs. Hiking Shoes

Although many hiker choose trail running shoes for hiking there are some differences between trail running shoes and hiking shoes.

Hiking shoes tend to be heavier weight than trail running shoes, and tend to be exceptionally rugged with a thicker tread on the bottom. These shoes tend to be more like hiking boots than running shoes.

Trail running shoes tend to be lighter than hiking shoes and are normally lightweight and breathable. Trail running shoes and hiking shoes tend to both have wider soles and good treads to grip the different types of terrain.

While trail running shoes may not be as rugged hiking shoes they are ideal for hikers who hike longer distances especially those who carry a lighter backpack.


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trail running shoes for hiking

11 Tips to Help You Find The Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

If you are a hiker and thinking about switching to the best trail running shoes for hiking then here are a few tips that may help you find the right shoes for you.

1. Actually Fit

Different shoes will fit different shaped feet differently. You need to choose a trail running shoe that actually fits your foot both in width and length and allows for the wearing of socks with these shoes. This means you are going to have to try on several pairs of shoes to ensure that the shoes fit correctly on every part of your foot. Get a fit assessment by a professional to ensure the best fitting shoe you can find.

2. Consider the Type of Terrain You Tend to Hike

If you tend to stick to well groomed hiking trails then a lightweight running trail shoe for liking may work well and be the most comfortable. If you do a lot of rugged trail or off trail hiking then you are going to want a more rugged trail running shoe.

3. Look for a Comfortable Durable Shoe

Look for shoes that say “trainer” while avoiding shoes that use words like “racing” or “long distance.” Look for trail shoes that tend to be a little bit on the heavier and beefier side so they can withstand the rigors of hiking long distances.

4. Look for Trail Running Shoes for Hikers with Moderate Cushioning

If you choose a trail running shoe for hiking with too little cushioning then you will feel every root and stone you step on. If you purchase a trail running shoe with too much cushioning hiking for any distance may cause your feet to sweat uncomfortably.

5. Chose a Trail Running Shoe Designed for Rugged Terrain

Trail running shoes are designed for different terrains. If you are choosing trail running shoes for hiking then you want a pair with better lugs and good tread so that you will have the traction you need to protect your feet.

6. Choose a Trail Running Shoe that is Highly Breathable

Hikers often experience blisters that are caused by their feet sweating and remaining damp. Choosing a trail running shoe that is highly breathable for hiking will help prevent the blistering of your feet and heels. If you do a lot of hiking in cold or wet areas then you may prefer a trail running shoe that is at least water resistant.

7. Look for Trail Running Shoes for Hiking that Have Flexible Soles

If you choose trail running shoes with flexible soles you will be able to maintain a more natural gait, which simply feels good when you are hiking.

8. Consider a Zero Drop Profile

Many hiking and trail running shoes have heels that are higher than the rest of the shoe. A zero drop profile shoe is the same height across the entire length of the shoe, which can result in less stress on your Achilles tendon.

9. Consider Shoes with a Rock Plate

Rock plates are thin plastic plates in the shoe that allows for a better feel of the ground and more precise foot placement, which is needed for hiking on rocky terrain.

10. The Weight of the Shoe

The whole reason that you are considering changing from hiking boots to trail running shoes is to have a shoe that is lighter on your feet to help prevent tiredness. Keep in mind that even the sturdiest trail running shoe will weigh far less than a pair of hiking boots, so choose the weight of trail running shoes for hiking that are the right weight for you.

11. Cost

Don’t go into shoe shopping thinking that the more expensive the shoe the better. Instead concentrate on those trail running shoes that meet your needs regardless of the price.


We hope you find these quick tips for finding the best trail running shoes for hiking useful as you enjoy the vast American outdoors


You can browse here for more Best Women’s Running Shoes, Best Men’s Running Shoes, Best Women’s Trail  Running & Hiking Shoes or Boots, and the Best Men’s Trail Running & Hiking Shoes or Boots.


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Last updated on November 29, 2020 1:35 pm

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