Are Hiking Shoes Good for Running? An Expert Opinion!

By Sophie Williams
Updated: September 8, 2023
Featured Image of Are Hiking Shoes Good for Running?

Do you realize there is a significant difference between a hiking boot and a running shoe? If you look closely at the features of hiking boots and running shoes, you will notice that they are basically opposite of one another. The question now is, are hiking shoes good for running?

This is a common question I get. When people ask me about it, I advise them that hiking shoes work better for hiking and running footwear is better for running. Many people want to kill two birds with one stone.

They may wish to utilize their hiking shoes as running shoes, but they are always hesitant. Are hiking boots suitable for running? Is it safe to run in hiking boots? Or will it be a bad idea to run in hiking footwear?

Trail running boots, in my opinion, are the most suitable option for anyone who wants to combine both hiking and running. Because trail running shoes developed from traditional running shoes. A flat outsole and traction, or grip, are the most significant elements of road shoes.

That is, running shoes should provide a solid grip on flat surfaces as you go along, preventing you from slipping and injuring yourself while running. Trail running shoes, on the other hand, combine the best elements of hiking and running shoes. That is, trail running shoes are a hybrid between hiking shoes and running shoes.

Is It Good to Run in Hiking Boots?

is it good to run in hiking boots?

There are many opinions on whether hiking boots are good for running. Some say it will be fine, no problem. Many people do not support this. If you want to cover a short distance, you can run in hiking boots.

A short distance means close to one kilometer or less. But hiking boots are not recommended if you plan to run on the road for three kilometers or more for exercise. In this case, normal running footwear is sufficient.

If you choose hiking boots for running, the footwear must fit your feet well. You need to make sure that they are broken very well, as broken shoes will give you much more comfort. There will be no chance of blisters on your feet. And if your hiking boots are not broken in well, you can read our detailed article on how to break in hiking boots, written specially for hiking boots.

A proper fit, the right socks, and the flexibility of your boots are some of the most important features for running comfortably. You can choose hiking boots that are lightweight, flexible, and have good traction support for running on flat road surfaces.

Now I want to mention below some of the necessary reasons why I am not in favor of choosing hiking boots for running.

1. Hiking Boots are Less Flexible

hiking boots are less flexible

Hiking boots are typically stiffer than running shoes, and for this reason (lack of flexibility), these shoes are totally uncomfortable for running.

2. Hiking Boots are Heavier than Typical Running Shoes

Hiking boots are heavier than typical running shoes

Hiking boots tend to be heavier than normal running shoes, and this added weight can make running less efficient and more tiring. For running, light-weight shoes are recommended by boot experts, and they do not recommend hiking footwear for running because hiking footwear can place extra strain on the joints and muscles.

3. Increased Risk of Various Injuries

Running in hiking boots typically increases the risk of various injuries. Those possible injuries can include shin splints, ankle sprains, and blisters. This happens due to the mismatch in design and function between hiking boots and running shoes.

Hiking Boots vs. Trail Runners: What Are the Differences?

Hiking Boots vs. Trail Runners

1. Flexibility

Trail running shoes are flexible and more comfortable than hiking boots. These boots always allow natural foot movement while running; on the other hand, hiking boots are made with rugged materials and have less cushioning compared to trail running shoes. That’s why when people run wearing heavier shoes like hiking boots, they face blisters and injuries to their feet.

2. Weight

Lightweight boots allow you to run more effortlessly, whereas heavier boots provide traction on slippery areas. Hiking boots often weigh more than 2 pounds, and they can weigh up to 3.5 pounds because they are built of tough materials. Trail runners are lighter than hiking footwear, weighing no more than 2 pounds.

3. Traction

Hiking boots typically offer more traction. Trail running shoes feature outstanding grip as well, but they are designed with a focus on weight reduction. As a result, the soles of these shoes are made of lightweight materials. Because of this, the soles of these shoes are thinner than those of hiking boots.

4. Ankle Support

Hiking boots provide superior foot and ankle support. Trail runners have them also, but you will find this feature more on hiking boots. Hiking boots are designed with hefty backpacks and tough terrain in mind. A typical light-weight trail running boot generally does not have this feature. You can also find the same problem in hiking boots, which are cheap and lightweight.

5. Breathability

Synthetic mesh and more breathable fabrics are used in the production of running shoes. Hiking boots are often composed of durable materials, and they are waterproof. As a result, most hiking shoes on the market are less breathable than trail runners.

However, Gore-Tex hiking shoes have this breathability feature. Breathable shoes allow your feet to breathe freely and dry rapidly. Gore-Tex hiking boots are advised if your feet sweat a lot.

We reviewed some of the best hiking boots and updated the list with more breathable, light-weight, and well-gripped shoes. You can choose your shoes by glancing at the list of features.

6. Durability

Hiking shoes are much more durable than trail-running shoes. The life span of trail runner shoes ranges from 6 months to usually around 1 year. However, this depends a lot on how exactly you use and care for the shoes. On the other hand, shoes for hiking can be durable for more than two years.

7. Weather Compatibility

For cold and wet weather, hiking shoes are perfect, but in hot weather, trail runners are the best. Because hiking shoes generally have waterproofing features to keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

In warm weather, feet sweat a lot, and to keep them dry and provide comfortability, manufacturers use more breathable material for trail runners. That’s why trail runners become more comfortable and compatible in extremely hot weather.

8. Price

Typical trail running shoes tend to be less expensive than hiking shoes. You can find many trail running shoes for between $90 and $160. Good-quality hiking shoes generally start at $140 and go up to $450.

If you are on a tight budget, you can also use hiking shoes for running for under $100. With your problem in mind, we have featured a blog about the top hiking boots under $100. If you’re really on a tight budget, you should definitely check out this list.

Hiking Boots vs. Trail Running Shoes: A Comparison Table

FeaturesHiking BootsTrail Runners
FlexibilityLess flexibleFlexible and more comfortable.
TractionMore tractionLess traction
Ankle SupportSuperior foot and ankle supportComparatively less ankle support
BreathabilityLess breathableMore breathable
DurabilityDurableLess durable
Weather CompatibilityGood for cold and wet conditionGood for warm or hot weather

Also here I’m share with you a YouTube videos so that its would be help you to know more details about Hiking Boots vs. Trail Running Shoes

Our Recommended Hiking Shoes for Running for Men and Women

In this section, we’ll go over two good hiking shoes that are also good for running. One is for men, and the other is for women. These boots are appropriate for hiking as well as going outside to workout. Let’s check out the shoes that are good for running.

1. The North Face Activist Mid Futurelight (For Men)

The North Face Activist Mid Futurelight

If you want sneaker-like comfort while running or hiking on the trail, The North Face’s Activist Mid Futurelight can be the best option. This shoe has a nice waterproofing function and proper breathability features.

This mesh-upper hiking boot will keep your feet dry in the hot weather thanks to the super-breathable Futurelight waterproof membrane. This boot is designed specifically for men. If you find an affordable option, this can be a good one to go with.

2. Outpulse Mid GTX W (For Women)

Outpulse Mid GTX W (For Women)

The well-cushioned, Gore-Tex-manufactured, and rubber outsole qualities of this hiking shoe made it ideal for exercising and jogging, particularly for women.

If you have plantar fasciitis and are looking for suitable shoes, this one will just surprise you with its ease. This shoe also has excellent ankle support. The Outpulse Mid GTX W from Salomon can be a fantastic, inexpensive option.

Frequently Asked Question

Can You Run in Hiking Shoes?

Hiking boots can be good for running on the road if you want to cover a short distance. For long distances, running shoes are the best.

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, the idea is to buy a pair of trail running shoes. This will be comfortable and beneficial to you.

Are Hiking Shoes Better than Running Shoes?

If you think about durability, then hiking shoes are better than running shoes. But for running, trail runners can be a substitute for hiking boots and running shoes.

Because light weight, proper traction on the surface, and breathability are the main features of trail runners, So for a comfortable running experience and hiking on the trails, choose trail running shoes.

Can You Wear Hiking Shoes as Regular Shoes?

Yes, hiking shoes can be used as regular shoes, but they will wear out faster. But why would you want to use your costly hiking boots on a regular basis? I believe that wearing regular shoes on a daily basis is a good idea.

Can You use Hiking Shoes for The GYM?

Yes, you can use your hiking shoes for jogging and working out. If your hiking boots are lightweight and breathable, you can simply wear them to the gym.

When Should You Wear Hiking or Trail Running Shoes?

Hiking boots are ideal if you want safety for your feet, adequate traction assistance when walking uphill and downhill, and if you are overweight. Hiking boots provide excellent ankle protection and grip, as well as long-lasting sturdiness and features appropriate for cold and rainy conditions.
However, if you enjoy running or exercising and want to do some hiking as well, you can get a trail runner.

Wrap Up

I have written this long article for you. Now you can tell yourself if hiking shoes are good for running or not. Those who want to hike and exercise at the same time can easily buy our recommended shoes. These shoes are perfect for hiking, running, and trail running.

I hope this blog, rich with my long experience, will benefit you a lot. As I have added my past experience of hiking to this blog, I have also added a lot of information from reliable sources so that you can make the right decision. Be sure to share the blog on your timeline if you like it.

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Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams is popularly known as a dynamic and creative footwear specialist, and she sharpened her skills and developed a strong foundation at College for Creative Studies, especially in design principles, boot and shoe materials, and boot construction techniques.

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