It is normal for a hiker to eventually expand his horizon and hiking skills by doing other related activities such as trail running. This transition always happens with people who finally tried trail running after being a true hiker and backpacker for some time.
But the biggest question is actually on the running gear, particularly on the hiking shoes. To be very specific, can you run in hiking shoes? Yes, you can run in hiking shoes occasionally, but it is not recommended. Do you want to know why? Keep reading this article and be informed.
Running in a Hiking Shoes: Is it Possible?
If you are a hiker and asking if it is even possible to run on the trail in hiking shoes? The answer is affirmative. You can run a hiking shoe but only occasionally. You can use a normal hiking shoe should you decide to go for a normal training regimen.
The reason behind the statement is that hiking shoes are not built to run longer distances. If you try to consider regular trail runners, these people are putting in the works regularly, running up to 40 kilometers a week.
Meanwhile, your hiking shoes do not come with features that will make them last longer with this distance. When you are running, the impact of your foot when it hits your shoes is different when you are running, or you are just hiking.
So, it is essential for you to use the appropriate trail running shoes. You can still use your regular hiking shoes but only on an occasional basis. In other words, you will need to have a separate train running shoe if you want to run on the trail.
Trail Running Shoes is Different Than Hiking Shoes
There are many factors that differentiate trail running shoes from regular hiking shoes. First is the weight difference, where a trail running shoe is usually lighter than a traditional hiking shoe.
When it comes to durability, a hiking shoe is more durable compared to its running counterpart for the simple reason that a hiking shoe is built to last. Also, trail running shoe usually has a lifespan of four to six months approximately.
When it comes to breathability, trail running shoes are usually more breathable than standard hiking shoes. The simple reason is that running shoes usually come with synthetic mesh. This feature will let your feet breathe especially when running difficult terrain.
You will also expect that a hiking shoe provides a rougher grip because it usually comes with a thicker sole. Meanwhile, the trail running shoes will give a lesser grip because they typically have a narrower sole when they are made.
When to Use a Hiking or a Trail Running Shoes?
As mentioned earlier, it will be better if you only use hiking shoes for the purpose of hiking. It can be used for running but only on an occasional basis. A hiking shoe is best used when your weight is heavier, and your pace is slow.
However, if you have really had the intention to switch to trail running, my suggestion is to look for a trail running shoe. They are built to fit in this type of activity. This shoe is lightweight, which will help in enhancing your agility while running on the trail.
Using hiking shoes when running on a trail can be done, it is not advisable. This shoe will restrict your movement, especially in the foot and ankle area, limiting your ability to run. Meanwhile, the trail running shoes provide an excellent grip towards the ground to help you with the running.
Can I Use Trail Running Shoes on the Road?
The first part of this article shows the limitations that a hiker has when it comes to using his hiking shoes in the running on the trail. But what about the other way around? Can trail running shoes be used on the road?
The answer to this question is affirmative. Yes, you can run a trail running shoes on a regular road. Even if trail running shoes are designed for off-road usage, it is generally safe to use them for regular road running activities.
In fact, there are types of trail running shoes that are less aggressive which can be used on the trail and on the regular road. Always remember that the shoes should provide enough support on your foot when running on the trail or on the normal road. If it happens, then you will be fine.
Of course, the road running shoes are still the best when running on the road because they are built for it. However, trail running shoes also come with versatility, which can be used in different road conditions.
Trail Running Shoes Hitting on the Road
Trail running shoes takes pride in having more grip and stability when being used on the trail. However, these features do not limit trail shoes from being used on the regular road. They are safe to wear if you need them with their versatility and ability to survive in different road conditions.
The only issue when you use trail running shoes when used on the road is its weight. It is usually harder and heavier when compared to regular road running shoes. So, somehow it can affect the comfort of your foot, especially with shoes that are built with lug soles and rock plates.
It is not right to assume that it might destroy or wear out the shoes, but they will be harder to run on the road. But it can be done, so expect a slower pace when doing the same level of effort during your running activity.
In addition, trail running shoes can be used on the road, but the efficiency is different when they are performing on the trail. Do not expect them to be as efficient when they hit on the road. I would still suggest looking for a good pair of road running shoes that fit your feet well when hitting on the road.
Can you run in hiking shoes? Yes, you can, but my suggestion is to do it occasionally. There is no better way to run on a trail than using trail hiking shoes. On the other hand, trail hiking shoes can be used on the road, but the efficiency and effectiveness are different compared to their performance on the trail.