Trail running shoes for light hiking

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
retire14
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:27 am

Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by retire14 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:53 pm

We will be doing some hiking - moderate trails. I have a Merrell hiking shoe, but it is a big heavy compared to my running shoe. So a compromise may be a trail running shoe for hiking since our hikes are not strenuous. Please recommend a lightweight and waterproof trail running shoe. Thanks.

Bfwolf
Posts: 1962
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Bfwolf » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:07 pm

I think you’re best off going into the store and just trying a bunch. This sort of thing is super personal.

I have some Brooks Caldera trail runners that I use for hiking and I love them. But they’re definitely maximalist shoes with lots of cushioning. If you like the minimalist feel, you’d hate them. I honestly have no idea if they are waterproof. I don’t think so.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8473
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:12 pm

I gave up on Merrit and other "heavy" shoes that make my legs tired too soon. What's available to you is dependent on what shoe size you need. So many brands are trending narrow and squishy up front. Sizing in everything is going wacky. A size 11 4E of old is no longer that. And, the same size between brands have no continuity of fit.
So, you have to try a whole bunch, perhaps not limited to a water resistant liner (makes feet sweat more).
Find an online vendor with a free return shipping policy (amazon (not 3rd party)) and keep trying.

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

livesoft
Posts: 68598
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:19 pm

I believe that folks do NOT recommend waterproof trail runners because once water gets in, then it never comes out. People prefer to have a breatheable shoe that drains water quickly and thus dries quickly. And one can just hike right through creeks and streams without taking off their shoes. That's what I do. Waterproof shoes also make your feet sweat and get hot which may lead to blisters.

Feet are personal, so shoes are personal. There are many, many trail runners to consider. I have a set of cheap shoe inserts that make all my shoes feel the same to me because I just move the inserts as needed. I am obliquely suggesting that you get some inserts to go with any shoes you use now and in the future.

Brands: Altra, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Salomon, Brooks, and on and on. There are almost as many different shoes as there are people. I buy New Balance trail runners on sale for $50 to $60. They have been used in the Sierra, the Cascades, the Grand Canyon, the Adirondacks, and many other places including in snow. I would not wear a heavy boot unless forced to by glacier travel and crampons.

If you are into zero-drop shoes, then Altra is the go-to brand with wide toe-boxes on all their models. But they can have durability issues depending on your style of hiking.

One more thing: Your current running shoe is probably all you need. That's what my kids use when they go with me.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
yukonjack
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Rocky Mountain West

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by yukonjack » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:42 pm

I made this same decision several years ago and have been pleased with trail running shoes. I would recommend getting one of the higher quality brands since trails can be tough on shoes. I personally have had good luck with la sportivas but they do run fairly narrow. I would agree with the earlier post to try on several brands. Try REI or a running shoe store for a wide selection.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8473
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:12 pm

I've had these Dunham Cloud's for many years and still going strong.
They might be a bit heavier than you want but nothing like the Danners which I also have.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
Replace the factory cheap thin soles for those aftermarket squishy ones. Much better.
I usually wear these higher cut shoes for more ankle support.

j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by HawkeyePierce » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:19 pm

I'm currently wearing a North Face Hedgehog as my usual hiking shoe. Fairly light weight. Waterproof, which is usually not my preference but I'm now hiking more in a region where it's useful.

For years I loved the Merrell Moab but recent changes have sent me looking elsewhere.

Have you looked into Scarpa's approach shoes? They make great light hikers. I used to love the Margarita model but again, recent changes make it a poor fit for me. Doesn't mean it won't fit you though. I love them for travel because they don't scream "I bought this at an REI!!!" so they're stylish enough in an urban setting but still hold up as a light hiker. I wouldn't want to use these for any long or overnight hikes though.

https://www.zappos.com/p/scarpa-margari ... /color/401

Also, check out Outdoor Gear Lab's reviews. For footwear I don't put a ton of stock in their ranking because it's so personal but if you just use them to eliminate shoes based on the negatives they unearth I think there's a lot of value: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/s ... ning-shoes

A few years ago I finally learned the trick for buying hiking shoes that fit well: walk at least five miles that day before going to the shoe store. Feet can expand quite a bit over the course of a day and if you try shoes on in the morning you could easily end up with something too tight once you're out on the trail.

Another tip: I now replace the insoles in all my shoes with Superfeet inserts. These make a huge difference for me.

victw
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:07 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by victw » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:48 pm

I am wearing the on-running trail midtop. But it looks like they have discontinued it.

https://www.on-running.com

+1 On LiveSofts comments. Skip the waterproofing. I bring extra socks. And swap socks if necessary. Did a backpack with 30+ stream crossings this spring. Waterproof would not have worked. And the folks that like to change their shoes were tired of it. Great trip. Great night sky.

I tried Alta's - I loved the zero drop. But I thought the durability was low.

I have read good things about La Sportiva Bushido. I will try it next.

Check out REI. Or a good local running store. They should be able to help point you in the right direction.

I don't know where livesoft is finding New Balance for 50-60 bucks. I'm jealous. I spend too much on my trail shoes.

Vic

User avatar
TxAg
Posts: 1550
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by TxAg » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:50 pm

Comfort is important. I am fond of Altras. Wide toe box and zero drop from heel to toe. Their trail models have an aggressive tread and can be found for reasonable prices online.

ralph124cf
Posts: 2368
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:41 am

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by ralph124cf » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:31 am

Many people have seriously different definitions of light hiking.

Please tell us more about what YOU mean by light hiking. Mountains? Snow/glaciers? Down and up the Grand Canyon trail?

Yes, there are many people that would consider all of this light hiking. While hiking down into the Grand Canyon, we were passed by a pair of trail runners going down. An hour or so later, while we were still going down, they passed us again on the way up, still running. They were wearing trail running shoes.

Ralph

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by HawkeyePierce » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:42 am

ralph124cf wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:31 am
Many people have seriously different definitions of light hiking.

Please tell us more about what YOU mean by light hiking. Mountains? Snow/glaciers? Down and up the Grand Canyon trail?

Yes, there are many people that would consider all of this light hiking. While hiking down into the Grand Canyon, we were passed by a pair of trail runners going down. An hour or so later, while we were still going down, they passed us again on the way up, still running. They were wearing trail running shoes.

Ralph
This is a good point. I define it by some combination of the load you're carrying, terrain you're hiking and distance you're covering. In that order.

I think light hikers are almost always usable if you're carrying a light load (< 10 lbs) and hiking any terrain short of glaciers or mountaineering. A fit hiker can reasonably cover 8+ miles and a couple thousand feet in elevation gain with light hikers if they aren't carrying too much on their back, IMO.

livesoft
Posts: 68598
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by livesoft » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:25 am

Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim is all light hiking because the corridor trail is practically paved (i.e. hard packed dirt) the entire way from over use. People use trail runners for the entire Appalachian trail, the entire Pacific Crest Trail, and almost all other short and long distance trails.

This is why with just taking a day pack that one can just use normal trainers or running shoes for light hiking and one does not need any special shoes.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Sconie
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:23 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Sconie » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:04 am

+3 on the Altras.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Alan Greenspan

3Fund4Life
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat May 04, 2019 10:53 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by 3Fund4Life » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:12 am

+4 on Altras

halfnine
Posts: 986
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by halfnine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:27 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:19 pm
I believe that folks do NOT recommend waterproof trail runners because once water gets in, then it never comes out. People prefer to have a breatheable shoe that drains water quickly and thus dries quickly. And one can just hike right through creeks and streams without taking off their shoes. That's what I do. Waterproof shoes also make your feet sweat and get hot which may lead to blisters.

Feet are personal, so shoes are personal. There are many, many trail runners to consider. I have a set of cheap shoe inserts that make all my shoes feel the same to me because I just move the inserts as needed. I am obliquely suggesting that you get some inserts to go with any shoes you use now and in the future.

Brands: Altra, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Salomon, Brooks, and on and on. There are almost as many different shoes as there are people. I buy New Balance trail runners on sale for $50 to $60. They have been used in the Sierra, the Cascades, the Grand Canyon, the Adirondacks, and many other places including in snow. I would not wear a heavy boot unless forced to by glacier travel and crampons.

If you are into zero-drop shoes, then Altra is the go-to brand with wide toe-boxes on all their models. But they can have durability issues depending on your style of hiking.

One more thing: Your current running shoe is probably all you need. That's what my kids use when they go with me.
All this +1

Cycle
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Cycle » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:32 pm

I wear Solomon speed cross. They are probably 8 years old at this point. Over a thousand miles on them.

No issues with stability, even when portaging canoes.

I sold my waterproof asolo hiking boots this year. Too heavy.

You want something that is quick dry. Definitely not waterproof, which never dry.

Start with your current jogging shoe. It may be fine.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

mesaverde
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:14 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by mesaverde » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:49 pm

This summer I've hiked/backpacked/run approx. 600 miles in the U.S. & Canadian Rockies.
When hiking & backpacking I use retired running shoes, putting 200-300 additional miles on them. Of course you could use new running shoes.
I know that a lot of Appalachian Trail/Continental Divide/Pacific Crest trail through hikers wear Brooks Cascadias. I have a pair myself & like them a lot.
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

User avatar
vitaflo
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by vitaflo » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:07 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:19 pm
I believe that folks do NOT recommend waterproof trail runners because once water gets in, then it never comes out. People prefer to have a breatheable shoe that drains water quickly and thus dries quickly.
This. My wife learned the hard way how waterproof shoes perform if you accidentally dunk your foot in the stream. I'd steer clear of them.

As noted by others, I love my Altras, but they do take a while to get used to if you're not used to zero-drop shoes. I had to put about 50 miles on them before my feet stopped barking at me (almost returned them). But shortly thereafter my body got used to them, and now I can't go back. Every other shoe seems so restrictive and like walking on stilts compared to Altras.

If you're an REI member, their return policy is wonderful if whatever shoe you choose doesn't work out for you.

SCV_Lawyer
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:24 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by SCV_Lawyer » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:49 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:32 pm
I wear Solomon speed cross. They are probably 8 years old at this point. Over a thousand miles on them.

No issues with stability, even when portaging canoes.

I sold my waterproof asolo hiking boots this year. Too heavy.

You want something that is quick dry. Definitely not waterproof, which never dry.

Start with your current jogging shoe. It may be fine.
Second on the Solomon Speedcross. Very comfortable, great tread and very light. I've done 14ers in these.

jeroly
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:07 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by jeroly » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:16 am

By one definition above, hiking To Everest Base Camp would be considered ‘light hiking’ as the daily mileage and elevation gains are on the low side. Would the shoes mentioned above ( Solomon Speedcross, Brooks Cascadias ), perhaps coupled with mini-crampons, do the job? I’m headed there in October.

Winston19
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:42 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Winston19 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:51 am

jeroly wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:16 am
By one definition above, hiking To Everest Base Camp would be considered ‘light hiking’ as the daily mileage and elevation gains are on the low side. Would the shoes mentioned above ( Solomon Speedcross, Brooks Cascadias ), perhaps coupled with mini-crampons, do the job? I’m headed there in October.
I think you could get by with a pair of Birkenstocks and some wool socks.

GAAP
Posts: 955
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:41 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by GAAP » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:03 pm

jeroly wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:16 am
By one definition above, hiking To Everest Base Camp would be considered ‘light hiking’ as the daily mileage and elevation gains are on the low side. Would the shoes mentioned above ( Solomon Speedcross, Brooks Cascadias ), perhaps coupled with mini-crampons, do the job? I’m headed there in October.
I've used running shoes for backpacking since the 1980's -- they are more than sufficient for the task.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ― Bruce Lee

ohai
Posts: 1137
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by ohai » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:16 pm

I think you only need the reinforced hiking shoes when the terrain is uneven to the point that it causes the sole of normal shoes to twist and flex in a potentially damaging way.

TallBoy29er
Posts: 768
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by TallBoy29er » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:17 pm

Go to an outdoor store and find their low top trail running/hiking shoes. Some will fit, other's will be uncomfortable. I used to wear Salomon's. They don't fit like they used to for me. I now use La Sportiva's.

Go. Try on.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm

GAAP wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:03 pm
jeroly wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:16 am
By one definition above, hiking To Everest Base Camp would be considered ‘light hiking’ as the daily mileage and elevation gains are on the low side. Would the shoes mentioned above ( Solomon Speedcross, Brooks Cascadias ), perhaps coupled with mini-crampons, do the job? I’m headed there in October.
I've used running shoes for backpacking since the 1980's -- they are more than sufficient for the task.
I'm not a big hiker or backpacker, but I am slightly puzzled about the love here for running shoes when backpacking (or just hiking over rough terrain). I love running shoes, and I use them for running, walking around on asphalt, etc.

But when I'm hiking over rough ground (rocks, tree roots) I really really want the ankle support my hiking boots give me. And I like waterproof boots myself, even if I'm hiking in humid 90 degrees plus (my feet get hot in that situation no matter what I'm wearing, unless I can wear sandals). In cooler weather I especially like the hiking boots.

Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?

GAAP
Posts: 955
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:41 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by GAAP » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:41 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
For boots to really give me much ankle support, they need to be quite rigid and extend well over my ankles -- my adventure motorcycle boots and ski boots will do that, but none of my other boots.

Good trail running shoes have excellent rock plates that work fine for protecting my feet from any trail (or off-trail) conditions that I've found. I honestly haven't found that I get better bottom protection from my boots.

YMMV, but I would suggest that you first evaluate just how much ankle support you are really getting from those boots. Then, try some good trail runners on uneven surfaces (or just drop your keys on the ground and walk on them a few times). You may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then by all means stick with the boots.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ― Bruce Lee

cherijoh
Posts: 6357
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by cherijoh » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:43 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:12 pm
I've had these Dunham Cloud's for many years and still going strong.
They might be a bit heavier than you want but nothing like the Danners which I also have.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
Replace the factory cheap thin soles for those aftermarket squishy ones. Much better.
I usually wear these higher cut shoes for more ankle support.

j
Did you mean insoles? I wouldn't recpommend messing with the soles.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:06 pm

GAAP wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:41 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
For boots to really give me much ankle support, they need to be quite rigid and extend well over my ankles -- my adventure motorcycle boots and ski boots will do that, but none of my other boots.

Good trail running shoes have excellent rock plates that work fine for protecting my feet from any trail (or off-trail) conditions that I've found. I honestly haven't found that I get better bottom protection from my boots.

YMMV, but I would suggest that you first evaluate just how much ankle support you are really getting from those boots. Then, try some good trail runners on uneven surfaces (or just drop your keys on the ground and walk on them a few times). You may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then by all means stick with the boots.
I'm very confident the boots are giving me a lot more ankle support. It probably doesn't help that both ankles were sprained a lot when I was younger.

That said, if the trail runners have good rock plates, they might work better for me than lo-cut hikers, which don't have the ankle support, if I was in a situation where I didn't care about the extra ankle support.

researcher
Posts: 1154
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by researcher » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:17 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:07 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:19 pm
I believe that folks do NOT recommend waterproof trail runners because once water gets in, then it never comes out. People prefer to have a breatheable shoe that drains water quickly and thus dries quickly.
This. My wife learned the hard way how waterproof shoes perform if you accidentally dunk your foot in the stream. I'd steer clear of them.
I'm surprised at all of the recommendations against waterproof trail running shoes, especially when the OP only intends to do light, non-strenuous hiking. I've worn North Face trail running shoes with Gore-Tex waterproofing for ~15 years and would never consider purchasing a non-waterproof version.

A few points...
- I often encounter heavy dew on the ground in the mornings/evenings. Without waterproof shoes, my shoes/feet get completely soaked within minutes, and stay that way. This doesn't happen with waterproof shoes, allowing me to stay much more comfortable.
- If any type of trail running shoe (waterproof or non-waterproof) gets wet inside, they will NOT dry out if you keep wearing them. The socks, insole, ec. are going to STAY WET. I've never had my wet socks/insole of a non-waterproof shoe dry out during a hike.
- Shoes made from Gore-Tex & similar materials ARE breathable. Although I do think they are a bit hotter, your feet are going to get sweaty no matter what type of trail running shoe you are wearing.

User avatar
Hector
Posts: 1199
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Hector » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:18 pm

I hiked in boots once and hiking boots are not for me. Ankle supports that comes with boots bugs me specially when I am on steep terrain.

About shoes, Brooks Cascadia is my favorite shoes when it comes to trail running and hiking. They are not the lightest, but works great on most terrain which I have been so far. Works great on trails with roots. Gives ample protection when running to rocky trails. Traction is great when it comes to slippery trails. Dust get inside because it has breathable mesh, but I prefer it over sweat. I think Scott Jurek had some input in designing Cascadia and Brooks nailed it.
Last edited by Hector on Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Hector
Posts: 1199
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Hector » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:27 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:19 pm
I believe that folks do NOT recommend waterproof trail runners because once water gets in, then it never comes out. People prefer to have a breatheable shoe that drains water quickly and thus dries quickly. And one can just hike right through creeks and streams without taking off their shoes. That's what I do. Waterproof shoes also make your feet sweat and get hot which may lead to blisters.

Feet are personal, so shoes are personal. There are many, many trail runners to consider. I have a set of cheap shoe inserts that make all my shoes feel the same to me because I just move the inserts as needed. I am obliquely suggesting that you get some inserts to go with any shoes you use now and in the future.

Brands: Altra, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Salomon, Brooks, and on and on. There are almost as many different shoes as there are people. I buy New Balance trail runners on sale for $50 to $60. They have been used in the Sierra, the Cascades, the Grand Canyon, the Adirondacks, and many other places including in snow. I would not wear a heavy boot unless forced to by glacier travel and crampons.

If you are into zero-drop shoes, then Altra is the go-to brand with wide toe-boxes on all their models. But they can have durability issues depending on your style of hiking.

One more thing: Your current running shoe is probably all you need. That's what my kids use when they go with me.
I wore few Altra road running shoes. Love zero-drop and wide toe box. But they never snug the way most shoes do and I am not buying Altra anytime soon.

User avatar
Hector
Posts: 1199
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Hector » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:30 pm

mesaverde wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:49 pm
This summer I've hiked/backpacked/run approx. 600 miles in the U.S. & Canadian Rockies.
When hiking & backpacking I use retired running shoes, putting 200-300 additional miles on them. Of course you could use new running shoes.
I know that a lot of Appalachian Trail/Continental Divide/Pacific Crest trail through hikers wear Brooks Cascadias. I have a pair myself & like them a lot.
I use my used/retired trail running shoes for hiking.

livesoft
Posts: 68598
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by livesoft » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:34 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
Clearly, you are not the only one. But some folks make the argument that boots make one's ankles weak. If one had strong ankles, then one wouldn't need ankle support. Presumably, one's ancestors from thousands of years ago did not have ankle support. Also many people who don't use shoes much at all, don't seem to need ankle support (Kenyan runners, for instance).
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Wilderness Librarian
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:35 pm

"Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?"


No you are not the only one. Admittedly never had a pair of trail running shoes because I have no interest in running. But had a pair of soft lugged light hikers (probably bought when I lived in Tacoma in the late 90s they have worn out through use & I threw them out). These worked great on well built well maintained trails but not on much else. Even on trails I want sturdy support and some comfort / confidence in short spontaneous off trail side ventures (scrambles up rocky ridge line or difficult vegetation to viewpoint etc.)

livesoft
Posts: 68598
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by livesoft » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:38 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:06 pm
That said, if the trail runners have good rock plates, they might work better for me than lo-cut hikers, which don't have the ankle support, if I was in a situation where I didn't care about the extra ankle support.
Not all trail runners have rock plates, but one can put in hard plastic inserts under the insoles that then act as rock plates.

An anecdote: I've had ankle surgery for a sports injury and I still prefer trail runners. But this just helps confirm that shoes are personal and everybody's feet & ankles are personal, too. You do you.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Austintatious
Posts: 873
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:01 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Austintatious » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:43 pm

TxAg wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:50 pm
Comfort is important. I am fond of Altras. Wide toe box and zero drop from heel to toe. Their trail models have an aggressive tread and can be found for reasonable prices online.
Yep, the tread gripping capacity is amazing on my Altra Lone Peaks, and the wide toe box is a real comfort plus for me. Light weight, too. I consider them to be an excellent "light hiking" shoe. I do not recommend them for hiking with a heavy load on very irregular and/or rocky ground, where I prefer a relatively rigid (for support) and ruggedly lugged (for traction) sole.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:47 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:34 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
Clearly, you are not the only one. But some folks make the argument that boots make one's ankles weak. If one had strong ankles, then one wouldn't need ankle support. Presumably, one's ancestors from thousands of years ago did not have ankle support. Also many people who don't use shoes much at all, don't seem to need ankle support (Kenyan runners, for instance).
Well, I only wear high-top boots on the relatively infrequent occasions I'm hiking on rough terrain, so I don't think they are making my ankles weak.

life in slices
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by life in slices » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:51 pm

My goto shoes for hiking

For smaller mountains, I use Merrell Men's Trail Glove 4 Runner
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D5PX89X/
super comfortable, have a great grip and don't cause blisters, etc. I probably use these more often - caveat is they are not waterproof, don't have ankle support and definitely have a very small sole thickness so you will feel the ground more than other choices
It is a zero drop shoe which I find most comfortable to me.

For a thicker sole I use the hiking boots from inov-8
They are light and waterproof - have good traction as well (but I think the Merell's above are better)
I have both the boot (Roclite 345 GTX) and the sneaker (Roclite 315 GTX)
While the boot seem pretty lite to me compared to others, the sneakers seem heavier than normal sneakers - I have run up and down a couple of smaller mountains with the 315 GTX and it has done well

Across all three, I grab the Merrell's most of the time.

User avatar
vitaflo
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by vitaflo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:57 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
For me, boots are worse on my ankles because they do not offer the same range of motion as trail runners, especially when pointing my toe out. Some people see this as ankle support, but I see this as lack of agility. If I'm doing a lot of ascending and descending, boots are going to get in my way. They're also way too heavy.

stoptothink
Posts: 6518
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by stoptothink » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:15 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:57 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Anyway, my main question/point, am I the only one that likes the extra ankle support (and sometimes better protection on the bottom of the shoe) that hiking boots give you?
For me, boots are worse on my ankles because they do not offer the same range of motion as trail runners, especially when pointing my toe out. Some people see this as ankle support, but I see this as lack of agility. If I'm doing a lot of ascending and descending, boots are going to get in my way. They're also way too heavy.
+1. And if "ankle support" is a genuine concern, get a brace. We hike a lot, we're doing the ~15 mile Mt. Timpanogos on Saturday, and I'll never purchase another pair of hiking boots after transitioning to trail runners a few years ago. Currently using Merrell Avalaunch.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8473
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:52 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:43 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:12 pm
I've had these Dunham Cloud's for many years and still going strong.
They might be a bit heavier than you want but nothing like the Danners which I also have.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
Replace the factory cheap thin soles for those aftermarket squishy ones. Much better.
I usually wear these higher cut shoes for more ankle support.

j
Did you mean insoles? I wouldn't recpommend messing with the soles.
In soles
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by HawkeyePierce » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:10 pm

Since they were mentioned, don't underestimate hiking sandals. I have a pair of Tevas and love them, I have no problem doing a five mile hike in those.

xb7
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:13 pm
Location: WA State, USA

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by xb7 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:32 am

Apologies in advance for the length of this post; don't read if you're not really interested in the topic!

I'm impressed by a lot of the comments in this thread. Not so much, however, with the ones that say "I like this particular brand", because as some of the first posts said --- getting the right shoe (or boot) is very much an individual issue. The vast majority of long distance backpackers these days use trail runners for a variety of reasons; I've backpacked about 15,000 miles over the past decade plus, in dry dusty conditions, over a lot of snow (have to do that if you want to through-hike the longer trails), whatever. And trail runners do it for me, but I'm not going to say that they're right for everyone. If you're sure that you need ankle support from boots and are happy with boots --- well, literally no one can "walk in your shoes" like you do.

A surprisingly high percentage of the total count of bones in your body are in your feet, I think I read something like 25% (?). With a concomitant number of joints, muscles, tendons, etc. Some of us are overweight, some have high or low arches, some pronate while others supinate when walking. Our gait, pace, etc is individual. So for me, a comment like "Shoe brandX is just the best" reveals not just preference, but ignorance --- it's just best for you. Except it might well not be best for you, as few (almost certainly none) of us does rigorous testing of all trail runner brands and models out there, and as someone pointed out, shoes change from year to year. If you love your "brandName modelName 4's" this year, with the 5's come out of the same model from the same manufacturer, you can't be certain they'll be perfect for you. The "last" (the foot-shaped mold around which the shoe is designed) can change, various other features get tweaked in the same way that car models do from year to year.

I have bunionettes (little toe side bunions). Rather than have surgery, I just get a wide toe box and look for shoes that ideally bulge out on the outsides of the toe box --- so for me, to be really really certain that a pair of shoes is going to work for long distances, I have to hike about 50 miles or so, and ideally all in the same trip. If a particular shoe doesn't work for me, I know it because after some tens of miles of hiking my feet start to ache more and more. So this makes it a PITA to replace shoes. Like some other long distance hikers, I thus buy maybe 6 to 8 pairs at once when I find something that I'm sure works for me, to include a decent amount of durability.

There are so many factors here; for backpacking, footwear is THE hardest gear item to dial in, bar none.

And it will always be a controversial issue (lots of those in the backpacking world). Key for me is that you just have to educate yourself a little and then find ways to try out a lot of shoes. The salesperson in REI or whereever MAY really be knowledgeable in a way that connects with your needs. Or they might just SOUND knowledgeable, or be knowledgeable but not sufficiently wise and experienced to make the right recommendation for you personally. Out of, I would add, quite a small selection of shoes, with one presumes a bias to sell you something out of their current stock/selection.

One thing that people have done in the past --- I won't guarantee this is still true, but Zappos.com at least used to let you return a shoe if you only wore it indoors to try it out. It also shows you various rotated views of a shoe; I always look carefully at the top-down and bottom-up view to see the shape of the sole, again for me so I can see how big the toebox looks and the shape of the shoe at that point.

I very much agree with staying away from waterproof trail runners. Waterproof light hikers (lightweight hiking boots) are another matter for relatively light use, short trips --- they can be great for that. But shoes are low cut, too likely to get water over the top when they're fairly new, and as they wear, you can wear little holes in your waterproof protection and then you have a shoe that lets water in, but doesn't dry out very well.
A big benefit of trail runners over boots is just recognizing that boots tend to create a kind of sauna-like microclimate; shoes should breathe. And be lighter weight. If you're a backpacker, however, you do need to think of the total weight --- both your body plus everything you're carrying. If you're carrying quite a heavy total load, then you might indeed want more foot support.

This is already an essay and could become a modest book ... lots to talk about in keeping feet happy on the trail. The key piece of information IMO is that there's no sort of "one size fits all" here, just pay no attention at all to recommendations about specific brands or shoe models, other than to think "sounds like a good choice for him/her".

But I really like my ASICS Gel Ventures ... :-)

livesoft
Posts: 68598
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by livesoft » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:35 am

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:10 pm
Since they were mentioned, don't underestimate hiking sandals. I have a pair of Tevas and love them, I have no problem doing a five mile hike in those.
I have some Teva sandals that I wear whenever not hiking. I can never keep bits of rocks, pebbles, twigs, acorns, pine cones, plant debris from getting between my foot and the sandal. I know people use sandals for hiking, but I have no idea how they do it.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Hayden
Posts: 1259
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:13 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Hayden » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:59 am

I absolutely love Scarpas. they fit my feet perfectly. Fit is so personal, i think you need to visit a good hiking store and try some on.

User avatar
MNGopher
Posts: 445
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by MNGopher » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:23 pm

I'm not a runner, but an avid hiker. A few years ago I discovered Hoka One One (pronounced own-A) for light hiking.

https://www.hokaoneone.com/on/demandwar ... rce=google

I have one pair (with the most cushion) for street/pavement walking, and another for dirt/grass/uneven hiking. They are super comfortable if you have any kind of foot or leg pain. I wouldn't use them for extreme rocky or mountainous hiking, as the grip and stability could be better.

Colorado13
Posts: 962
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Colorado13 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:15 pm

I have heard great things about La Sportivas, but haven't tried them myself.

Deltoid
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:07 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Deltoid » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:24 am

life in slices wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:51 pm
My goto shoes for hiking

For smaller mountains, I use Merrell Men's Trail Glove 4 Runner
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D5PX89X/
super comfortable, have a great grip and don't cause blisters, etc. I probably use these more often - caveat is they are not waterproof, don't have ankle support and definitely have a very small sole thickness so you will feel the ground more than other choices
It is a zero drop shoe which I find most comfortable to me.

For a thicker sole I use the hiking boots from inov-8
They are light and waterproof - have good traction as well (but I think the Merell's above are better)
I have both the boot (Roclite 345 GTX) and the sneaker (Roclite 315 GTX)
While the boot seem pretty lite to me compared to others, the sneakers seem heavier than normal sneakers - I have run up and down a couple of smaller mountains with the 315 GTX and it has done well

Across all three, I grab the Merrell's most of the time.
+1 for the Merrell Trail Gloves

User avatar
Picasso
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Trail running shoes for light hiking

Post by Picasso » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:34 am

This is it. The thread that finally motivated me to my first post. I have to express how much I love my ON Cloudventures for walking/running on dirt trails.

Post Reply