General Question

GentleDiplomat's avatar

What kind of shoes are ideal for hiking and running?

Asked by GentleDiplomat (76 points ) February 27th, 2012

I recently started hiking, but the shoes that I have been using are not the right shoes. So, I would like to know what kind of shoes are best for hiking and running.

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17 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

If you want one pair of shoes, you might try trail runners. Something like this. (Note that I don’t have any connection to these shoes at all. I just googled trail runners)

WestRiverrat's avatar

A lot depends on the terrain you will be hiking and running in. Where I hike, I want boots that will offer some high ankle support as well as protection from snakebite, so I tend to get leather lace up work boots.

RocketGuy's avatar

I’ve gone synthetic. My heavy duty leather boots were too much for the hiking I do.

rooeytoo's avatar

I like trail running shoes for on or off road but I don’t like them for hiking. I want a high top for hiking, I have goretex and leather, which I wear depends on the terrain and weather.

Gemma_rose's avatar

Depends on the terrain. Since I hike in areas where trails are not well-developed, I prefer boots with high ankle support. The trade-off is they are heavier, but it’s well worth not having a sprained ankle even when I lose my balance because of hidden, unstable rocks underfoot.

janbb's avatar

I think you need different shoes for each. Check out the L.L. Bean catalogue for day hikers and running shoes.

robmandu's avatar

I’ve run a trail race wearing Vasque Sundowner boots. While it went okay, I don’t really recommend it.

Like everyone else so far, I would recommend trail running shoes. Besides Vasque, you’ve got lots to choose from including Nike, New Balance, Asics, Reebok, Saloman, Merrill, etc.

Rarebear's avatar

@RocketGuy What did you get? By the way, are you coming backpacking with us this year?

Smashley's avatar

These are two different pursuits, requiring different tools. Some people have pointed to trail runners, because they fit both keywords, but in all likelihood, these are not what you need, unless you really are trail running. I recommend two different pairs of shoes.

In general, hiking boots are built towards durability, weatherproofing and support, and trail runners are built to be lightweight, and allow motion, while still being somewhat durable, basically a beefed up running shoe. If you’re hiking with any kind of weight, or through anything but the most gentle and dry trails, a trail runner is not the ideal shoe for you. Running shoes typically will serve you better for most running endeavors, and a trail runner would be beefier than you need, and you’ll pay extra for the specialization.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Merrel has what you are looking for @GentleDiplomat. These are all my husband uses for all of his fitness needs (hiking, jogging, walking-etc). I have them for hiking only, as I prefer to do other fitness barefooted.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I used to have really good leather runners, but my daughter advised me to get the kind with the mesh-looking sides that are more lightweight. They work much better.

RocketGuy's avatar

@Rarebear I’ve had my Vasque Goretex/leather boots for years now. Can’t go backpacking this year, though. We have four $300 Alaska Air vouchers to use up, so will be flying to WA in late summer instead.

Rarebear's avatar

Which model of Vasque? I’m looking for new boots.

RocketGuy's avatar

The one with breathable nylon+leather trim uppers and Goretex within the nylon. I bought it a long time ago, so best to check REI for their current model. I wore them the last time we went backpacking.

Rarebear's avatar

@RocketGuy Do you have the low cut or the medium cut ones?

RocketGuy's avatar

Meduim cut for the slight ankle support.

wallabies's avatar

When I first started hiking I used running shoes. Now I use trail runners. They are slightly higher cut than the kind of shoes you’d use for running marathons for more ankle support. They generally have a more rigid sole than running shoes and I think this makes them more comfortable over long distances. Basically I see trail runners as a great compromise between the best aspects of running shoes and hiking boots in terms of functionality (comfort, stability, volume, weight, etc). The type of hikes you are doing would make a difference, but a trail runner is the most versatile I think.

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