Can You Use Trail Running Shoes On The Road? Fact!

Trail running shoes are a highly popular choice for athletic footwear. You may be thinking, “Can I use trail running shoes on the road, too?”

Trail shoes, although built for off-road running, are often safe to use while running on a road or sidewalk.

Actually, it’s not ideal to wear trail running shoes on the roads. The lugs on the bottom of trail shoes are made to hold the dirt. That’s why trail running shoes have less traction on roadways.

Let’s take a deeper look at all aspects of running in your trail shoes on the road.

Can you use trail running shoes on the road?

 trail running shoes on the road

Using trail shoes on the road will shorten their lifespan and make the rubber lugs abrasive. To make up for the softer terrain you encounter on trails, trail shoes often have less padding than road shoes.

Yes, but trail running shoes aren’t the best choice for road running. However, if you don’t have any other shoes in great shape, go ahead and utilize your trail shoes instead of a worn-out pair of shoes, which might result in an injury.

Some shoes can be worn both ways (Crazy, I know, but I have used them). To make the best decision, you must first grasp the basic aspects of your shoes and the elements to consider.

You should only wear trail running shoes on the road for brief periods. Your trail runners may sometimes replace your ordinary road running shoes, depending on their style and the running you perform.

Furthermore, the lugs on your trail running shoes will wear down far more rapidly on the road surface, reducing their effectiveness the next time you go trail running.

Overall, running on the road in road shoes is significantly more comfortable than running in trail shoes.

What is the difference between road running and trail running shoes?

road running vs trail running shoes

1.  Outsole

Well! The outsole of your Trail running shoes on the road prioritizes traction and protection.

Going through tree roots, pebbles, dirt, and uneven terrain without the proper footwear increases the risk of slipping and falling.

More tread implies better traction. Consider comparing the tires of a rally vehicle to those of a Formula One car. The same idea applies to running shoes:

  • The sticky rubbers and deeper lugs of trail runners assist your feet in holding slippery tree roots and damp pebbles.
  • Road runners use flatter soles and shallow lugs to reduce friction and increase speed.

2.  Cushioning

The portion of the shoe that is between the insole and the outsole is called the midsole. 

Since they are designed for hard ground, road running shoes are usually more cushioned than trail running shoes.

3.  Heel-to-toe drop

The term “heel-to-toe drop” describes the variation in midsole thickness from heel to toe. The drop is often greater in road running shoes to protect your legs from the crushing impact.

In contrast, the heel-to-toe drop is often lower in trail shoes on road footwear, bringing the foot closer to the ground.

4.  Upper

The top of trail running shoes is built of stronger, more durable materials to cover your feet and handle trail conditions and dangers far better than any road shoe.   Most uppers include fabric that repels water to prevent water from entering.

The top-of-road running shoes are typically light and thin, offering excellent ventilation. Nowadays, most companies provide one-piece uppers with strategic stretch and support.

5.  Lacing

The lacing and tongue for running in trail shoes may be built with a stone guard to prevent tiny fragments of rock, grit, and plants from the shoe. At the same time, A tongue and lacing of a road running shoe region should be cozy and simple to adjust while providing enough support.

However, road running is more uniform and repetitious than off-road running and requires much less foot and ankle movement. Thus a highly complex tongue and the lacing system is not as necessary.

6.  Price

Due to the increased necessity for research and development and stronger technical design and features to enhance footwear’s durability when exposed to the tough terrain of trails, trail running shoes are often more expensive.

Due to a simpler design, road running shoes will often be a little less expensive.

However, results will vary depending on the brand and the process used to conceive, design, and produce the trail and road running shoe.

When to wear road shoes?

Road shoes are specifically designed for road cycling and should be worn during road cycling activities. They are optimized for smooth and efficient pedaling on hard, paved surfaces.

They often have a lightweight, stiff sole to maximize power transfer and a snug fit to keep the foot in place. They are unsuitable for off-road or mountain biking, requiring a more durable and protective shoe.

Additionally, if it’s particularly hot and humid outside, you may choose lighter road running shoes over trail running shoes to prevent your feet from overheating.

Lastly, a particular shoe is required for track training. For track training, some runners use a road shoes, although track shoes (with or without spikes) are also available.

Avoid wearing lightweight road shoes on very rough or slippery areas. Lack of traction will increase your risk of slipping and falling.

When to wear trail shoes?

Trail shoes are designed for mountain biking and other off-road cycling activities. They are typically more durable and protective than road shoes, with reinforced toes, ankle support, and a grippy sole to handle rough terrain.

Typically, rocky, muddy, and uneven ground call for trail shoes. Your ankles will be kept steady, your feet will be safeguarded, and your body will be kept secure from falls on trails thanks to the durable construction.

Trail shoes are also typically more flexible than road shoes, allowing for a more natural feel and better traction while riding over uneven surfaces.

You can wear them during mountain biking, gravel riding, and other off-road cycling activities where the rider may encounter rocks, roots, mud, or other obstacles.

Are Trail Running Shoes Good for the Road

Yes, you may use them for road jogging, but they won’t be as efficient as road-specific shoes. Trail running shoes are often made with stronger protection and are stiffer to survive the weather.

Trail running shoes that are less forceful are appropriate for road running and work well on both surfaces.

You may wear your trail running shoes for road running as long as they provide your feet enough support on the rougher surface of the road.

Additionally, you should avoid trail-running footwear with excessive traction or large lugs. Several trail shoe designs perform well on both terrains.

Can Trail Running Shoes Be Worn Casually?

Wearing trail running shoes for non-running activities can cause them to deteriorate differently since your feet fall differently than when you use them for running, which might lead to running-related problems.

However, the trail running shoes you’ve replaced or retired make great regular shoes. At the same time, you can wear trail running shoes more casually.

I wouldn’t dress casually in brand-new trail running shoes. Instead, I will save my trail running shoes for casual usage as they have already covered their maximum amount of trail miles.

The difference in how my foot strikes the ground when running vs. running in trail shoes casually causes the shoes to wear out far faster while strolling. It’s preferred not to have my fine pair of trail running shoes have uneven wear from walking that might lead to an injury later.

Can You Run On The Pavement With Trail Running Shoes?

Absolutely, Many brands provide trail running shoes that are suitable for both the

  • The surface of highways and trails.
  • So that you can walk while wearing trail running shoes on pavement, in addition, to your hand, you need the appropriate type.

Smaller lugs on shoes like those made by Brooks Cascadia, Agravic, Adidas Terrex, and Nike Pegasus Trail make walking more comfortable on paved surfaces.

Additionally, they often have cushioning similar to that seen in road shoes. Although different trail running shoes have different amounts of cushioning in their midsoles, most have a lower stack height.

Trail Running Shoe Tips

If you’re planning to use trail running shoes for road running, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be mindful of the extra weight: Trail running shoes are typically heavier than road running shoes, so be prepared for the added weight.
  2. Check the grip: The aggressive lugs on trail shoes can be a problem on pavement, so make sure to check the grip before using them on the road.
  3. Consider the mileage: Road running can wear out the shoes faster, especially if you’re putting in a lot of miles. Keep an eye on the wear and tear and replace your shoes as needed.
  4. Ease into it: If you’re not used to running in trail shoes, start with shorter runs and gradually increase the distance to avoid injury.

Remember, while trail shoes can be used on the road, they’re best suited for rough, uneven terrain and may not be the best choice for road running.


Regarding versatility, trail running shoes are a terrific option if you sometimes like running outdoors. However, there are a few situations when wearing trail running shoes on the road is acceptable.

You may want to limit yourself to just one pair of shoes to save money and reduce the number of shoes you possess.

However, finding the features that fit perfectly for you is the most crucial element. No matter where you decide to run, you are more likely to remain motivated and finish running if you are enthusiastic about your activity and feeling well.

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!