pair of black-white-and-brown Nike basketball shoes

Can You Wear Running Shoes for Hiking?

I didn’t mind a lot about my footwear for hiking. I was happy as long as I had something to protect my feet from the rocks and other hazards; and as long as it had a good grip.

This was me when I started hiking. But as I gained more experience in hiking, I couldn’t undermine the importance of proper shoes.

Running shoes are okay to wear on a hike. But they usually don’t offer the toe protection and ankle support needed for hiking. Also, running shoes aren’t usually waterproof. Thus for a better hiking experience, you should buy a proper hiking shoe.

Also, don’t forget. Hiking shoes a size bigger than your normal ones can be more comfortable.

Disclosure: I may earn a small share of sales if you buy something using the links in this post. But it doesn’t affect your price or what we pick to recommend.

The difference between running shoes and hiking shoes

The no-brainer here is that they’re made for different purposes. Running shoes are catered for tracks and pavements. On the other hand, hiking shoes are specially designed for difficult paths.

Hiking shoes have some features that make them different and more suitable for hiking.

Check out running shoes and hiking shoes on Amazon.

1. Toe Protection

The first thing that I check in a hiking shoe is toe protection. A good hiking shoe will have a rubber cap or rand overlaying the toe box. This protects your toes from being stubbed on rocks or roots.

2. Traction

Traction is very important for hiking shoes as you’ll be walking on different surfaces – slippery, wet, muddy, icy, and so on. A good hiking shoe will have a lugged outsole made of rubber. The deeper the lugs, the better the traction will be.

3. Ankle support

Ankle support is also an essential feature of a hiking shoe, as it provides stability to your ankles and reduces the risk of rolling your ankles.

4. Waterproofing

Most running shoes are not waterproof. But many hiking shoes come with Gore-Tex or other waterproofing membranes to keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

So, if you’re starting to get serious about hiking, it’s time to invest in a good pair of hiking shoes. They will make a world of difference to your hikes!

How to choose the right hiking shoe for you?

Now that you know the difference between running shoes and hiking shoes, it’s time to choose the right hiking shoe for you. Here are some things to consider:

1. The terrain

The first thing to consider is the terrain. You’ll need a shoe with good ankle support if you are doing a lot of off-trail hiking or bushwhacking. If you are doing a lot of rock scrambling, you’ll need a shoe with good toe protection.

2. The weather

Another thing to consider is the weather. If you hike in wet conditions often, you’ll need waterproof shoes.

3. Your hiking style

Your hiking style is also an essential factor. If you are a fast hiker, you’ll need light shoes. But if you are a slow and steady hiker, you don’t have to worry much about weight.

4. Your budget

Finally, consider your budget. Hiking shoes can be expensive, so choose a shoe that fits your budget.

What to do if you don’t have the right shoes?

If you don’t have the right shoes, there are a few things you can do:

1. Wear trail runners

If you don’t have hiking shoes, you can wear trail runners. Trail runners are similar to running shoes but usually have more toe protection and traction. However, they don’t offer as much ankle support and waterproofing as hiking shoes.

Check out trail runners in Amazon.

2. Wear gaiters

Another thing you can do is to wear gaiters. Gaiters are essentially a piece of fabric that covers your shoes and ankles. They help to keep out water, dirt, and debris.

Check out gaiters on Amazon.

3. Wear guards

Toe guards are a simple and efficient way to prevent injuries. Toe guards are excellent for hiking and a variety of other use cases. You can find different types of toe guards ranging from pouches pads to gel toe caps. Simply wear them before you put on your shoes.

Check out toe guards in Amazon.

Some tips on taking care of your hiking shoes

Once you’ve invested in a good pair of hiking shoes, you’ll want to take care of them so they last long. Here are some tips on taking care of your hiking shoes:

1. Clean them after each hike

One of the most important things you can do is clean your shoes after each hike. This will remove any dirt, grit, and salt that can damage your shoes.

2. Store them in a cool, dry place

Another thing you can do is to store your shoes in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

3. Use shoe trees

Shoe trees are also a great way to take care of your shoes. They help to absorb moisture and keep the shape of your shoes.

Check out shoe trees in Amazon.

Final thoughts

Hiking shoes are a necessary investment for anyone who wants to get serious about hiking. They offer better traction, toe protection, ankle support, and waterproofing than running shoes. So, if you’re starting to get serious about hiking, it’s time to invest in a good pair of hiking shoes.

One last thing to consider–shoe manufacturers are designing better shoes nowadays. Some running shoes offer many of the features you’d normally find only in hiking shoes. Thus, with this knowledge, you could make a wise decision.

Thanks for reading, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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