Hiking is a wonderful and interesting physical activity that I love doing, especially with friends and family.
Hiking calms your mind because of the amazing views you see atop a mountain, your worries seem smaller, you get a chance to observe the beauty of nature, and it has been proven to have a lot of mental benefits like boosting your mood and clearing your mind.
But after some time, hikers like me get bored after walking and doing the same thing for hours and months.
Eventually, hikers would want to change things up and shift to other related physical activities like running. But hikers usually only have a collection of hiking shoes and not running shoes due to months or years of hiking.
So, can I use hiking shoes to run? Is it a good idea? Are There Any Benefits? What Are The Drawbacks? Let’s talk about it.
Is It A Good Idea To Run In Hiking Shoes?
For short periods, then yes, you can use it. They are a good option and it’s what I use if the route I’m running has rough surfaces like cobblestone or gravel. But it is not recommended to use for regular running. Be sure that your hiking shoes fit well to at least provide more comfort when running.
Are There Any Benefits?
Hiking shoes are designed to be very durable to last longer because of the environment that you will walk in. It has extra layers of the sole that are harder and thicker than your regular running shoe to protect your feet in rough terrains.
Running with hiking shoes is usually fine if you have a slow pace. But if you want to run long distances, then buying a running shoe is your best bet.
What Are The Drawbacks?
Hiking shoes are not made and are designed for running. Yes, it does offer better protection and it is more durable than running shoes, but it is considerably heavier. Which provides discomfort and is not suitable for running long distances.
It also restricts your movement because of the added padding which can limit your running performance.
When To Wear Hiking Shoes?
People might think that you can only wear hiking shoes for long and extreme hikes. But you can still wear them even if it’s just a casual walk or hike. Especially with bad weather like snowing or rain, it is better to wear it as hiking shoes provide good traction whether the terrain is slippery, wet,
rough, or muddy.
Also Read: Do You Wear Underwear With Running Shorts?
Things To Think About Before Running With Hiking Shoes
If your friends invite you to a run, well if you have some, be sure to know beforehand on what kind of terrain you’ll be running at. Solid and soft surfaces like grass, dirt, and gravel are the kinds of terrain that you would want to run at especially with hiking shoes on.
Hard surfaces like concrete pavements and asphalt roads impact your feet and legs harder which is not good in the long run as it is one of the factors of getting injuries.
Checking the weather beforehand will prepare you whether you’re running in wet and slippery terrain, hot terrain, or cold and freezing terrain.
Waterproof and breathable hiking shoes are a must to use especially on rainy days.
It can block the water from getting inside your shoe and which is a win for me as I hate wet feet.
3. Warm Up
The very purpose of warming up is to not surprise your muscles when doing any kind of exercise. It is recommended before running to prepare your body by increasing your heart rate and flowing more blood and oxygen to your muscles.
It also reduces the chance of injury, and soreness, and increases your body temperature.
Jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, light jogging, and jump rope are one of the few exercises you can do to warm up.
4. Run At A Slow Pace
Running at a slow and steady pace can lessen the impact on your feet and legs. If you feel comfortable enough, then build your pace up slowly to not injure yourself, especially when wearing hiking boots that restrict movement due to the extra cushioning.
5. Everyone Can Get Injured
I’ve lost track of how many times I have said this but I’ll say it again, everyone is at risk of getting injured while running, even David Goggins can get injured. Especially not wearing the right equipment, which is the situation you could be in, wearing hiking shoes.
It’s good to listen to your body to know if you can still keep moving, if not, then it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Rest is key to recovering your body and keeping going the next day.
What Are The Differences Between Hiking And Running?
One of the major differences between hiking and running is the terrain and intensity that you’re on.
Hiking mostly has more harsh environments like rocky rivers, and wild encounters, and has a higher chance of getting injuries like sprains, cuts, dehydration due to lack of supplies, sunburn or hypothermia depending on the weather, and many more.
Running, on the other hand, can be as difficult as hiking, but is simpler and easier due to the environment and conditions that you’re in.
Running can be fun if not more fun than hiking as it can be boring sometimes. And running builds more endurance because of the longer distance that you travel.
Hiking Shoes Vs Running Shoes
Comparingly, hiking shoes are built to last longer and to withstand rough, hard terrains. It offers more padded and cushioned layers to protect from abrasive and rocky surfaces.
Which can feel more heavy and bulky but they’ll provide more durability and stability in rough terrain.
On the other hand, running shoes are much more comfortable and can be mobile to run in due to the lightweight materials but sacrifice durability. Additionally, running shoes can’t go through muddy and wet terrain as easily as hiking shoes do.
Recommended Shoes For Hiking
1. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Wide Hiking Shoe
FEATURES: It is made out of waterproof full-grain leather and durable materials for breathability. This waterproof hiking boot provides style and durability while still protecting your feet from rough environments.
GRIP: It is a multi-terrain boot which means it is very versatile depending on the terrain you are in. A winter tread pattern will guarantee a solid grip on ice and snow.
It is comfortable, supported with extra cushioning, and very grippy rubber soles, and is ready for long distances over rocky surfaces, gravel, grass, and wet terrains. Visit the Columbia Store.
2. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
The materials are 100% leather and have a waterproof membrane that seals out water and lets moisture escape. It is pigskin leather and mesh upper, traditional lace closure, and bellows tongue that keeps out debris. Visit the Merrell Store.
3. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Is it 100% leather with a kinetic fit, advanced removable contoured insole with reinforced heel cushioning for medium support? Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs the shock and adds stability. It has a lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort. Visit the Merrell Store.
Recommended Shoes For Running
1. Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 9 Running Shoes
Its materials are leather, rubber sole, and lightweight mesh that provides comfort and breathability. Durable leather overlays for greater stability that locks in your midfoot for better running performance. Visit the Under Armour Store at Amazon.com.
2. New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Roav V1 Running Shoe
It provides a stylish look without sacrificing comfort and is cushioned for your feet to sink in. A fresh foam midsole and you’ll be walking in the air. It is cushioning made to deliver a lightweight feeling. Visit the New Balance Store At Amazon.com.
3. Nike Running Shoe
It is a classic Nike running shoe that is 100% comfortable and easily recommended among beginners as their starter running shoe.
So, are hiking shoes good for running? Yes, but not for long distances and I recommend doing it only from time to time. If you are serious about running then consider buying a running shoe instead of the hassle of using hiking
Although if you’re in the middle of a hike and thought about running a little, then go for it, it would not be the end of the world. If you’re gonna run after a hike, then consider bringing a pair of running shoes if you have enough storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I Need Hiking Shoes?
If you’re covering ground through soft, smooth, and dry terrain then you certainly don’t need hiking shoes. However, you absolutely need hiking shoes when going over rough, abrasive, rocky, and muddy roads to protect yourself from injuries.
Q: Can I Wear Hiking Shoes For Walking?
If you want extra durability, stability, and support for your feet when walking over terrains like gravel and cobblestone, then wearing hiking shoes for walking is fine.
Q: Can I Run With Hiking Shoes?
You can use it for brief periods of time, so yes, you can run with it. They are a wonderful choice if the running path you are using has unforgiving surfaces like gravel or cobblestone. However, it is not advised to use it for everyday and long-distance running.
I’m Ramona, a specialist in Crossfit and functional training. I am passionate about helping people reach their fitness goals, and I have been actively involved in the CrossFit community for over eight years. I’ve trained with some of the best coaches in the world, traveled to many different countries to learn from different experts, and completed numerous certification courses. Regardless of your fitness goals, I am committed to helping you achieve them through comprehensive, challenging, and effective workouts tailored to your lifestyle.