Hiking In Running Shoes – Can You Do That?

Yes, you can definitely hike in running shoes. Experienced hikers often recommend that you hike in trail running shoes. Although road running shoes can still work but will not perform excellently as trail running shoes. However if you are considering longer hiking where the terrains are rough; I will advise you go for a proper hiking shoes.

What are Hiking Shoes?

It is known that footwear for hiking is more of a shoe or boot. Hiking shoes are usually larger and heavier in size. They are made of the rigid and very tough outsole and they also typically have an ankle collar. Hiking shoes are majorly utilized for 

Hiking boots are specifically utilized for adverse weather condition, steep altitude, and long-distance hikes. If you are lugging around heavy pack, hiking shoe is the best option for you.

Contrastingly. hiking shoes are moderately smaller than the boots. The shoes are regarded to be light in weight ant their outsoles is far more flexible. They also have a mid-cut ankle.   

Infrequent hikers that wish are looking to hike only for a day or are looking forward to buying camp shoes, you can go for theses. When you purchase a hiking shoes, you get an advantage of breathability.

What are Running Shoes?

Our normal road running shoes can be used excellently on the roadway and for infrequent forays onto tightly packed surfaces with little roughness. Shoes used for running are most times extremely flexible and are known to be very light in weight. Additional, another essential benefit of a running shoe is that it stabilizes and cushions the feet, particularly during repetitive steps on hard and smooth surfaces. Approximately, the durability of a typical running shoe is between 400-500 miles or can last for about 3-4 months of steady utilization. 

Categories of Running Shoes

Different Running ShoesFeatures
Everyday running shoeMost versatile optionCan handle all the running that most people doMost durable
Lightweight running shoeBest for faster workouts or racesLess durable than everyday shoes
Trail running shoeBest for running on the dirtLugs on the bottom provide better gripTypically have a more durable upper

Running Shoes For Different Type Of Feet

Runner TypeShoe TypeExplanation
Over PronatorMotion Control ShoesThese put emphasis on medial support by having double density midsoles, roll bars or foot bridges. This medial (inside support) support slows the rate of over pronation. An example of a motion control shoe would be the Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12.
Neutral PronatorStability shoesThese integrate cushioning features and support features into its design. An example would be the Asics GT 2170 running shoe.
SupinatorCushioning shoesThese lay emphasis on enhanced shock dispersion in its midsole and/or outsole design. A lot of shoe companies add materials to the heel and forefoot areas to improve the cushioning properties of the shoe i.e. air, gel, hydro flow etc. An example of a cushioned running shoe would be the Nike Pegasus.

Are Running Shoes Good For Hiking?

Let us consider some factors that can be used to judge if a running shoe can fit well for hiking.


Durability is simple a significant property all high-quality shoes should possess. A high-grade hiking shoe is specially built to face terrain that is rough and uneven. These shoes can last hundreds of hikes and do not wear and tear easily. There are some specific hiking shoes that have the ability to last more than 1,000 miles.

As stated earlier in this article, the maximum miles a running shoe can go is about 500. In addition, these shoes are not specifically built to withstand the rough and irregular topography that a hiking shoe is being built for. However, it is sure to an extent that wear and tear can occur.


In any shoes, weight plays a very vital role since the fact is known to many of us that the heftier a shoe is, the more effort you put up in raising your foot. 

Pace by pace   this might not seem to amount for much, but over the course of double-digit miles, excess weight can be fatiguing. On this ground, it is highly significant to select a shoe that will perfectly lessen your energy consumption. 

It is however obvious that hiking shoes will be greatly heftier when compared with a running shoe. The added weight on hiking shoes is a as a result of support features and its durability we discussed earlier which can sometimes be compromised.

In order to conserve more energy, running shoes are designed to be light in weight.


Hiking shoes are firmly built to make it strong and durable. So, it is very important you do breaking-in for these kind of shoes. If you refuse to do this, it will result in blisters which will definitely lead to a painful hike. How you break into hiking shoes is very simple. You will have to practice for days or maybe weeks in advance. You can wear them for few hours per day within the house or around the neighborhood. Repeat this practice for some weeks, and your hiking shoes will be well broken in.

However, running shoes are built not to be as sturdy as hiking shoes which means you can easily break in your running shoes easily. You might decide to break into your running shoes a day or two prior to your programmed activity. Breaking into high-end running shoes might not even be necessary.


It is a fact known to many hikers that hiking shoes goes long way in ensuring your feet are well protected. Hiking shoe’s soles are built from thicker materials, which makes them last longer and rugged, particularly when you are walking on dead trees and hilly environment.

If you are settling for hiking shoes, be rest assure that they will offer you an additional bonus of supporting your ankles and protecting them against any form of ankle injuries.

On the other side, running shoes are not heavy in weight, their soles are lighter and are far less durable when compared with hiking shoes. Also, take note that as maintaining relatively low weight is crucial, there will be significantly less protection and support for your ankles and feet.

Waterproof Feature

Quality of being waterproof is another vital feature of hiking shoes. Almost all hiking shoes are built with material that prevent water from leaching in. this feature allows the shoes to get dry very fast. However, higher percentage of running shoes does not have waterproof properties. This completely depend on the shoe type. Normally, high-end running shoes possess some simple waterproofing properties. Despite the fact that running shoes does not come with this properties, they tend to dry very fast because they are built from a lighter materials.

When Running Shoes Are a Bad Idea

I will not be in support that running shoes are not good for everybody. Based on our discussion, individuals hike in all types of footwear. Nonetheless for running shoes, if you have no othere better options and you wish to hike with them, they might be okay most of the time. If you must wear road runner shoes, you must be extra careful when it comes to grip. When climbing the mountain here, steeps rocks are in abundance and they can get slippery. I will definitely not put on road running shoes for this terrain.

To conclude whether running shoes are not bad for hiking: no. Well…define “hiking.” A little distant walk in the woods? Running shoes will always be the best option. Longer trips with weightier packs and rougher tracks? Do not suffer your feet by going for an appropriate hiking shoe. There are no rules that stop you from using your running shoes for hiking, but you will be making yourself vulnerable to injuries. These shoes are not designed for the demands. If you are the type that enjoys hiking frequently, purchase a nice pair of hiking boots or shoes to protect yourself

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