Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/10/2011 19:13:33 MDT Print View

I'm about to buy a pair of Merrell trail-runners since I don't like the weight and restrictive nature of the traditional hiking boots. I'm used to running shoes and wear them exclusively when not at work. I plan on buying a pair of Merrell NTR Seismic

I was considering using my running Mizuno's but their mesh will not hold up to october cold or to trail demands.

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - F
Re: Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/10/2011 19:21:54 MDT Print View

I believe that most on the forums use running shoes rather than boots. Some are even using extremely light racing shoes with moderate tread and little extra protection, even when compared to a road running shoe. Both group backpacks I have been on with people from BPL everyone wore running shoes. We will see if this holds true for the October Trinity trip since we seem to have about 30 people.

Edited by mtblack on 10/10/2011 19:32:03 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/10/2011 19:27:59 MDT Print View

I actually wear running shoes inside my hiking boots! I like the extra protection. That, and I hike like a girl..... (and if Kat reads this I'm in serious trouble...... No hitting Kat!).

carlos martinez
(gokyo) - F

Locale: west coast
shoes on 10/10/2011 19:54:09 MDT Print View

running shoes.........and after seeing what Sherpa wear in Nepal. i realized it's a matter of letting your feet and legs adapt to the terrain.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/10/2011 20:14:43 MDT Print View

Running shoes here.

Almost any shoes will work for long as they are big enough.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Hmmm on 10/10/2011 20:50:08 MDT Print View

This makes me wonder if I just should use the Mizuno Nexus 4 - which has very thin, breathable mesh.

They are not new, but for 3 days....they should hold up. Maybe a bit cold in the evenings... but definitely light for moving during the day.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Hmmm on 10/10/2011 21:01:18 MDT Print View

If they're in decent shape they should hold up for more than 3 days. And they should be fine as long as you're moving. For hanging around camp in colder weather there's nothing like a pair of Nunatak or WM or GooseFeet down booties.

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - F
Re: Hmmm on 10/10/2011 21:17:53 MDT Print View

My first attempt hiking in running shoes went well. I had an old pair of Saucony's which looked much like your shoes. They were extremely comfortable and had adequate traction for groomed trails. The fabric lining did not hold up particularly well after exposure to fine grit and the smooth synthetic leather parts got badly chewed up after a while but they were very inexpensive. The mesh allows a lot of fine grit through the shoe but I never found it that hard on my feet.

I have switched to trail runners to address durability and improve traction and will not go back. I even wore a pair of Montrail runners up Mt. Whitney in 2010.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots?" on 10/10/2011 21:19:01 MDT Print View


fwiw, Mizuno are notorious for overbuilding shoes, within the running community they make some of the most aggressive shoes in terms of heel height and various stability and motion control additions to their shoe designs. Their whole approach to running shoes is that everyone has problems with their feet and there is a shoe in their lineup that can fix it. I'd suggest you look for a more neutral trail shoe for starters that will allow your feet to get some sensory feedback from the trail yet still provide protection, as well as move more naturally with your body. Not saying you need to go all "barefoot" or minimalist, just something less aggressive than a pair of Mizuno Wave Nexus. General rule of thumb, if the shoe fits, feels good, works for your feet and intended conditions/activity, and doesn't give you troubles, then stick with that. Try some shoes out and see what works.

There are thousands of people running ungodly distances through the same trails and mountains people are walking up and down in. Do trail running shoes work for hiking? Absolutely. Are trailrunning shoes right for everyone? Nope. It's all about perspective and preference, in backpacking circles the idea of not using boots is still a new concept to some, which is silly really. Hiking is walking, it is a low impact, low intensity activity, it rarely requires any real 'technical' footwear, despite what the REI salesperson will tell you.

Edited by Eugeneius on 10/10/2011 21:26:30 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/10/2011 21:38:57 MDT Print View

I still do love boots, but it's just too expensive for me to try to find a good set of boots that will fit right for the kind of miles I want to do. Trail running shoes are cheap enough that a less than perfect fit isn't a big deal. In any case, I believe I can walk faster and further with trail running shoes than with boots. I might prefer boots in the spring snow though because their harder soles will kick steps better and will isolate Microspikes as well.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: "Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots?" on 10/10/2011 21:41:03 MDT Print View

Eugene, excellent comments. Probably most "lighweight" backpackers use some kind of running shoe for 3 season hiking, and some use them in snow too.

Mizuno's aren't all overbuilt. This one fairly nuetral with a 3mm heel to toe drop. Weight for a US size 12 is 139 grams or 4.9 ounces. Longevity... ?

mizuno wave universe 4

But many Mizunos are overbuilt.

As Eugene said, look for a nuetral trail running shoe to start with.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Do most use trail-runners vs hiking boots? on 10/12/2011 15:44:42 MDT Print View

trail-runners for sure.

I did a 220 miler in them, the only issue I had is that when they're made too aggressively they'll cut out the shoe protection on the front of your side toes, so that spot lends itself to shredding. If you get a non "race-shoe" you'll be fine, and heck even better! I used to hate big boots but wear them anyways, since switching to trail runners my feet are much happier.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Boots on 10/12/2011 16:29:22 MDT Print View

I used to wear genuine, stereotypical big boots that were essentially big Raichle knock-offs. Then I went to actual Raichle Eco-Lights and ditched big boots forever. I now HIKE in light trail boots and trail running shoes for the most part.

However, I BACKPACK in lightweight boots, in this case the Salomon Quest 4d, because I prefer the ankle protection from thorns, bugs, wild raging cougars and rocks, along with the firm, stable footbed when walking over such things. My Salomons weigh 1.5 times more than my New Balance trail runners but work way better for the task at hand.

Finally, when line dancin' like John Travolta, it's Tony Roma or Dan Post. 'scuse me wall I polish up mah lift kit.