Good trail runners for hiking too

edited April 2013 in Running Shoes - General
Hey all. I'm looking into getting a pair of trail running shoes (recently moved and found a few good parks nearby). I also do a bit of hiking (a few trips each summer), and have usually used beefier trail runners for that. Any advice on using minimal trail runners for hiking? Would it be better to just buy boots for hiking and trail runners for running?


  • Your prayers have been answered:

    Merrell Proterra
  • Inov8 roclite make good hikers
  • Thanks for the quick responses, guys. I'll have to look more at the roclites (just wish there was a store by me that sells them). I've looked at the Proterra before, and its exactly what I want in a hiking shoe. I'm just not sure if they skew too far away from running. I run much more than hike so if I'm going to spend around $100 on shoes I'd rather they be better for running. I'll have to try them out, though. 
  • The Merrell Mix Master is something I've been using.  I started using for my winter runs with the intention of using for hiking and trail running.  You may have already looked into these if you looked into the Proterra - but figured I would throw it out there. 
  • Thanks, Kagule. I've been looking at those too. I just chatted with a Merrell rep (a nice website feature) and she suggested the trail glove. I think the Mix Master might be more in the sweet spot for running and hiking though.

  • Did some quick research on the Mix Master and it looks to be the shoe I'm aiming for. Will have to try it on this weekend, but it seems ideal. I would really like to wait until the Ascend glove comes out, but I've got two trips in the next month that I need hiking/trail shoes for, so I can't wait until July. 
  • Personally, I didn't like the fit of the Mix Master, as its toebox is a little too pointed for how I'm currently fitting shoes.  YMMV, of course.
  • I'm not sure why hiking requires something much beefier than running. Why not just use trail running shoes for hiking? If they're stable enough when you're running and leaping between rocks, surely they'll be stable enough when plodding along. I'm sure an experienced hiker will be able to help out my ignorance here.
  • There's at least one person who agrees with that supposition...I honestly have no opinion (I would probably err towards the trail runner argument because I hate heavy shoes).
  • I'm not a very experienced hiker, Harbourboy, so I can't really say. It's a good point. My thinking is that running in minimal shoes, like Trail Gloves, forces you to pay attention to each step so you can avoid things like roots and rocks. When I'm hiking, though, I don't want to be bothered to do that all that much. I just want to walk and avoid the scenery. I guess it's sort of like wanting minimal shoes for short runs but cushioned shoes for long runs. I'm looking for something in the middle.

    I've been hiking in an old pair of Adidas Canadias (which I wore for trail running before getting into minimal running) and they've been fine (though I did tweak my achilles on a hike yesterday). I'm only looking for new trail shoes now because the toe box on those is too small. 
  • Also, I wish the Skechers GoBionic Trail shoes were coming out sooner. I'd love to try them. The Kinvara TR2 might also be worth a shot. They should be out any day now.
  • The reason you would really want a beefier shoe when hiking would really be when you are doing multi-day backpacking. When you start putting a few days worth of food, clothing, water, and gear onto your back you want a little more support underfoot than many shoes offer. Or that was what the general idea was back when I did more backpacking. These days the lines have gotten blurry between hiking shoes and trail runners.

    But for a dayhike or overnight trip, most trail running shoes would be fine.
  • That's what the Merrell rep I chatted with said about the Trail Gloves - that'd they'd be fine for day hikes. I'll try them too, but right now the Mix Master 2s are what I expect to go with (won't know until I try them on). I found some good deals on the Kinvara TR yesterday, but I'm concerned that the tread on them won't do well on rock surfaces. I've read that its a pretty hard material, so I'm not sure it'd grip well.
  • You could also look into saucony peregrine
  • edited April 2013
    I've been day hiking in my normal minimalist shoes - FiveFingers and Minimus Trail - but then on very soft forest ground. For this summer's week long hike with medium heavy backpacks I plan on walking in my NB MT110's; the have enough cushioning and traction for walking, and the thin rock plate can handle some tougher terrain.
    It drains very easily too, should the need for crossing rivers arise. Still it is a calculated risk since there is quite a difference between running for a few hours and spending 6-8 hours in them every day for a week. Will probably bring a pair of MT10's to rotate with when the terrain allows it.
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