“Can I wear trail running shoes for hiking?”
We get it – you want to keep things simple when hiking. If you could wear just one pair of shoes for trail running and hiking, all the better… Right?
Well, the answer to that question depends on certain factors. Surely, you don’t want to compromise your safety and comfort by wearing the wrong footwear.
Yes, especially when hiking. A long and tedious hike.
So before you hit the trail and leave your proper hiking shoes at home, here is a helpful guide for you. Learn all about essential requirements when hiking, so you will not end up compromising your safety in the outdoors.
Can I Wear Trail Running Shoes for Hiking?
Trail running shoes are versatile. You can wear it while grocery shopping, running errands, and doing your workouts.
It is lighter and cheaper, too, compared with your conventional hiking boots.
But then again, you want to make sure that these are really safe to use when hiking. After all, people’s feet vary. Just because your friend can get by hiking with trail running shoes, it does not mean the same would work for you.
Here is the rule of thumb, though:
No matter what shoes you wear, you need to make sure it is not too tight on you.
Hikers do not necessarily need to wear boots. Yes, you want your footwear to be tough, with excellent water protection, and proper ankle support.
Yet, you will be surprised to know that running shoes can be just as good as hiking boots. The section below will prove to you why.
Why Trail Running Shoes are Good for Hiking
In case you have not known yet, trail running shoes work well for hiking.
Why? Here are surprising reasons that might get you to ditch those uncomfortable hiking boots and make a quick switch to running shoes.
1. Lighter is Better
It is a no-brainer that by carrying more weight, you consume more energy. When hiking, the last thing you want to do is to expend a ton of energy getting from point A to point B.
This is why we recommend lighter shoes during hiking. You are definitely better off with 1-pound running shoes than bulky and heavy 3-pound boots. Just imagine how much weight you are eliminating overall. Pretty simple, right?
2. Waterproof is Not Always Waterproof
You might have heard of many boots marketed as “waterproof.” While this may be true, it is not always the case. These boots do not exactly keep you completely dry, that is for sure.
For instance, your feet tend to sweat a lot in those boots. These are thick and usually not-breathable types of footwear. They only function by protecting your feet from the rain and moisture from the outside. But no, they don’t necessarily prevent your feet from sweating.
It is also worth noting that waterproof boots will end up having small holes as time goes by. Wear and tear will not completely make them waterproof anymore.
And here is the nasty part – once your “waterproof” boots are not so waterproof anymore, it gets even more uncomfortable. Think about having to endure wet feet stuck inside thick boots. Not very fun, isn’t it?
3. Save Yourself From Blisters
Boots often come with hard soles. Although these are very sturdy, they are simply quite rigid.
There is no way that the soles will flex and help your feet breathe.
So, your tootsies may only end up soaking wet and crammed inside. Blisters may soon form, which is the bane of many hikers wearing the wrong pair of shoes.
4. Breaking In is a Chore
You cannot simply buy a pair of hiking boots and expect them to be comfortable right out of the box.
There simply is no such thing.
You will have to break them in, wear them for a few times, before they will fit your feet to a T.
This is just the way hiking boots are.
But if you wear trail running shoes, they are pretty much ready to go immediately. They are lighter, softer, and just more comfortable overall. This spares you from having to wait before you can go on a hike because your shoes are still unavailable for use.
5. Ankle Support… Just a Myth?
Well, there is the issue with ankle support that is worth noting, too.
How many times have you heard of boot brands claiming that their product offers ankle support? Far too many times? We assume so.
It has been embedded in consumers’ brains that boots are the way to go for ankle support. However, it is not always the case.
In fact, there is no real science that proves it to be true. If you want to prevent painful ankle injuries, you need to strengthen and stretch your ankles. This is just the way to do it.
If you are active, healthy, and fit, you should not even worry about ankle support from your shoes. You can just hike wearing lighter and grippy shoes without any problem at all.
Want to know what to look for in the best trail running shoes? This video should help you pick out the right pair for you:
Final Thoughts on Trail Running Shoes for Hiking
Hiking boots are without a doubt costlier, heavier, and bulkier than trail running shoes.
While these are good for hiking in the cold, frigid weather, they are not necessarily better during normal hiking days when you’re not battling with ice and snow.
This is why we recommend that you look for better-fitting and trail running shoes that suit you best for hiking. You can do away with these shoes for a more comfortable hike without enduring sweaty feet.