Trail Hiking vs. Trail Running Shoes

Trail Hiking vs. Trail Running Shoes

Before committing to a pair of hiking boots, consider this.

Many recreational hikers often think that in order to enjoy the trails, they need to invest in a pair of hiking boots.

Although hiking boots protect the feet and ankles from uneven trail surfaces, they are often too heavy and cumbersome for the average recreational hiker.

There are three main ways trail runners differ from hiking boots: weight, upper, and terrain.

When to use hiking boots:

  1. Use hiking boots when you are hiking on unstable, technical terrain that requires a sturdy shoe and more ankle support.
  2. Hiking boots offer protection for your feet over long or multi-day excursions.
  3. A heavy pack can throw off your balance and a stable shoe can protect you from injuring yourself.

When to use trail runners:

  1. For shorter hikes on less technical terrain, such as Quarry Rock in Deep Cove.
  2. When you would like a lighter weight shoe with better agility for powering up the Grouse Grind.
  3. If you have a wider foot and can’t fit into traditional hiking boots, a good alternative is to trail runners because of their less rigid structure and variable styles and shapes.

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