Are Trail Running Shoes Good for Hiking?

Are you a fan of hiking with a serious shoe dilemma? This article will help you decide between hiking boots and trail running shoes.

Many people are curious whether they may utilize their trail running shoes that double as hiking shoes instead of spending money on specialized hiking boots. But are they good for hiking?

Yes. Trail running shoes are great for hiking and can be used for various terrains. They are a better alternative to hiking boots since they are more comfortable, lighter, and stable.

This post will discuss why trail running shoes have become a better option among hikers. We will also cover the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing trail running shoes for hiking so that you better understand their significance.

So, without wasting any time, let’s get started!

Why are Trail Running Shoes Good for Hiking?

Trail Running Shoes Good for Hiking

Because of their purpose-built nature, hiking boots are unrivaled in the field. However, if you don’t want to spend money on hiking shoes, trail running shoes are another suitable alternative for hiking.

Hiking in trail running shoes is a pleasant experience because they are lightweight and supportive. They’re built to handle sloppy, rocky, or muddy terrain easily.

Also, they are typically composed of harder materials than standard hiking boots and feature a more aggressive tread pattern, making them perfect for hiking.

Trail Running Shoes VS Hiking Boots

Comfort and breathability are the major features that differentiate trail running shoes from hiking boots. However, there are only a few distinguishing elements between trail running shoes and hiking boots. A few of these are:

1- Protection 

When contrasting trail running shoes and hiking shoes, protection is an important factor to consider. Uppers of trail running shoes are often lightweight, and so are the soles.

Hiking boots, on the other hand, have a harder sole and a thicker upper to keep your entire foot safe from injury.

Above all, what distinguishes hiking boots from trail running shoes are the high ankles, which offer lateral support and keep your ankles from spraining or twisting.

2- Breathability

Waterproof or water-resistant features are common in hiking boots, intending to prevent wet feet when it is damp outside. But what if the inside of your shoe becomes moistened?

Waterproof footwear prevents moisture from evaporating, making feet hot and unpleasant and even causing blisters if worn for long periods.

However, the uppers of trail running shoes are typically made of a breathable mesh that allows sweat to leave, keeping your feet cool and dry.

3- Durability

Compared to trail running shoes, hiking boots have a longer lifespan due to their sturdy construction and waterproof design. Unlike hiking boots, though, trail running shoes don’t weigh as much and have a more compact structure.

4- Versatility

Trail running shoes are a more versatile option than hiking boots. They’re comfortable and stylish enough to wear around town, on the trail, or in the mountains.

5- Comfort

As previously said, hiking boots are made of harder materials that provide little room for movement. Conversely, trail running shoes will feel more relaxed on your feet because of their more flexible design.

Additionally, the material is considerably more flexible and stretchy, allowing for a greater range of motion and flexibility.

To sum up, the primary quality of trail running shoes is comfort, which makes hiking trips incredibly enjoyable.

6- Speed

If you’re looking for speed, your best bet is to get a pair of trail running shoes than hiking boots. They allow you freedom of movement while also providing durable, high-quality protection.

Additionally, the bottoms of these shoes are great for preventing the common slips that occur during hikes.

7- Weight

Hiking boots are often heavier than trail running shoes because of the extra support features built into their design. As a result, those who are unable to put a lot of pressure on their feet can opt for a pair of trail running shoes.

Advantages of Using Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

The following are the main advantages of using trail running shoes while hiking:

  • The lightweight design of trail running shoes will make your hikes a breeze.
  • They dry quickly and enable air to flow, making them ideal hiking shoes.
  • Because of their low weight and excellent cushioning, trail running shoes are a wonderful hiking companion.
  • These light, breathable sneakers will keep your feet free from blisters.
  • These shoes provide excellent grip in a wide range of terrains.
  • They’re a cheaper option than hiking boots. As a result, trail running shoes are the best value for budget-conscious people.

Disadvantages of Using Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

Trail running shoes provide several advantages, but they also have some limitations.

  • Generally, trail running shoes are less supportive than hiking boots.
  • They are less waterproof than hiking shoes.
  • They are not very durable.
  • They are not warm, so not for winter.

Should I Get Trail Running Shoes for Hiking?

Right now, the only issue that needs to be decided is whether or not you should get trail running shoes for hiking. The choice is mostly dependent on factors such as your preferred hiking style like if:

  • You want to hike longer miles with extreme comfort.
  • You prefer lightweight shoes for hiking.
  • The weather is not too cold.
  • Most of the trails you use for hiking are well-established.

Important Tips for Hiking in Trail Running Shoes

Here are some crucial tips to consider while hiking in trail running shoes:

  • When hiking in trail running shoes, it’s best to get trail running shoes that are at least a half size larger than your regular footwear to avoid swelling.
  • Start with short hikes while wearing trail running shoes to allow your body to acquire strength and stability gradually.
  • Make sure to wear thin running socks with trail running shoes when hiking.

Top 3 Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

In today’s market, you can choose from a wide range of trail running shoes. Since there are so many options, picking the right pair of trail running shoes for hiking might be challenging. But don’t worry.

 This section will assist you in narrowing your choices and finding trail running shoes that are ideal for hiking.

1- HOKA One One Speedgoat 4 – Best Overall!

HOKA One One Speedgoat 4 

HOKA One One Speedgoat 4 

  • Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear.
  • Removable, foam padded insole for cushioning and support.
  • Durable Vibram Megagrip sole.
  • Breathable Gore-Tex textile upper with seamless synthetic overlays.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: HOKA
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Material: Mesh
  • Weight: 346 Grams
  • Lug Depth: 5mm
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Toe box: Medium

The Speedgoat 5 is the top-tier trail shoe from HOKA, a brand noted for its high standards of comfort and support.

This trail running shoe has a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole for superior grip and impact resistance.

The thick midsole provides superior shock absorption, while the softer, roomier top offers a comfortable, secure fit. Because of the soft nature the HOKA one one shoes are also best for Peroneal tendonitis patients.

Further, the cushioned midsole makes for an excellent ride over extended distances and varied terrain.

The upper is highly supportive and cushioned, but it is still lightweight and breathable thanks to its water-resistant design. Moreover, if you don’t like the additional padding in the insole, you can also remove it.

This additional layer of protection has some drawbacks, one of which is that it makes it more difficult to be accurate with your steps. Also, it is quite pricey. However, if cost is not a major concern for you, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is a wise choice.


  • Great traction
  • Secure fit
  • Breathable
  • Water-resistant
  • Comfortable


  • Little bit expensive
  • Less accurate steps

2- Saucony Peregrine 11 – Most Comfortable!

Saucony Men’s Peregrine 11 Trail Running Shoe

 Saucony Peregrine 11

  • Aggressive lugs made of PWRTRAC tacky rubber.
  • PWRRUN cushioning supplies a responsive feel.
  • The new ultralight, durable top layer.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Saucony
  • Material: Leather
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Midsole: PWRTrac Cushioning
  • Weight: 310 Grams
  • Drop: 4mm

If you are looking for the best trail running shoe with extreme comfort and great traction, look no further than Saucony Peregrine 11.

This trail running shoe features a sturdy construction with mesh material, which helps to keep the interior dry and comfortable at all times. It is also lightweight, making it best for long trips.

The PWRTRAC sticky rubber outsole provides great traction in all conditions. Furthermore, it incorporates PWRRun midsole cushioning, which guarantees a comfortable, quick, and bouncy run. Although it has a solid feel, this contributes to the shoe’s overall bounce.

Furthermore, a rock plate in the midsole absorbs pressure and maintains proper foot positioning to prevent injury.

However, be cautious while wearing it right out of the box, as it requires a break-in period. It is substantially more rigid than other footwear. If you don’t give your new trail running shoes an appropriate break-in period, you may experience painful blisters and abrasions.


  • Durable design
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Secure fit
  • Excellent traction


  • It needs longer breaking- in periods

3- Brooks Caldera 5 – Best Versatile

Brooks Caldera 5 

Brooks Caldera 5 

  • The Caldera 5 provides neutral support for runners.
  • Trusted traction and adaptable cushioning.
  • TrailTrack sticky rubber outsole and high surface-area lugs provides runners with outstanding traction.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Brooks
  • Outsole: TrailTrack
  • Weight: 300 Grams
  • Material: Mesh
  • Cushioning: BioGoMo DNA technology
  • Arch Support: Neutral
  • Drop: 4mm

The Brooks Caldera 5 is excellent for hikers who wish to invest in the best trail running shoes. Not only do these shoes perform exceptionally well, but they also look great.

The upper is constructed from a mono loop designed mesh that allows air to circulate while providing support and reducing weight. Besides, the foot is guarded against muck, water, stones, and other particles, thanks to the Mud Guard. It also strengthens the shoe to its maximum potential, allowing you to enjoy its benefits for longer.

The cushioning comes from the BioMoGo DNA midsole technology, which gives hikers a stable and supportive balance.

The rock plate offers sufficient defense against difficult, technical terrain, making the Caldera perfect for runners and hikers. Its TrailTack outsole outperforms many rival brands in durability and traction.

Our only complaint about these running shoes is their high price tag. But considering its many features, this shoe is not a deal breaker.


  • Great comfort
  • Protective midsole
  • Versatile shoe
  • Breathable mesh
  • Effective cushioning


  • Pricey

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I hike in running shoes?

No. Normal running shoes are not suitable for hiking because they lack the stability and protection necessary to prevent serious foot injuries.
Additionally, trail running and hiking shoes have unique characteristics that make them best suited for trails and hiking. These features are not found in casual running shoes.

Can you wear trail running shoes all the time?

Technically yes, but we don’t recommend wearing trail running shoes in places where you’d usually wear basic shoes or sneakers because their soles will tear away faster.

Wrap Up!

Trail running shoes are the best alternative for hiking as they perform similarly to hiking boots. Unlike hiking boots, you can also use trail runners for casual wear and to improve your running performance.

After reading this post, we hope you learn all the important points about trail running shoes and their scope in hiking. But still, if you have any queries or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you!

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