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Size running shoes for hiking
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Koen Derks
(Pantalaimon) - M

Locale: Netherlands/Norway
Size running shoes for hiking on 05/24/2012 12:49:38 MDT Print View

Hi guys!
With my gear going lighter and lighter I am thinking of hiking with (trail) running shoes instead of hiking shoes. I wear my Lowa Renegade Mid's a lot(8th pair probably!) and have size EUR 42.5(US 9.5?). My Asics 'normal' running shoes are 43.5/10.
I tried my running shoes for a hike but found them too large. The front kept scratching over the road. It seems trail running shoes for hiking needs to be the same size as hiking boots right? But this means I can not use them for trail running.

And sometime I have been told one shouldn't walk on running shoes. What's the truth about that story?

I'm wondering what you experienced hikers have to say about this. Thank you very much!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Size running shoes for hiking on 05/24/2012 17:12:21 MDT Print View

I use Montrail shoes and I use the same pair for both hiking/backpacking and trail running- I retired the last pair w/ combined mileage of ~ 1000 miles

If the trail running shoes fit well they should be just fine for both activities, that's my experience

the only caveat I'll mention is some very minimal trail running shoes might not be suitable for backpacking, but the size shouldn't be a factor

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Sizing Up on 05/24/2012 18:02:31 MDT Print View

Honestly, and this is why trying on shoes is important, I'd get the biggest size that still feels comfortable to walk in, even if you think it's kind of silly. I usually wear an 8 (small feet, I know), but lately have been buying 8.5's because I think my feet swell a lot easier these days or something, so when I went to get hiking shoes, I kept thinking 8.5. But that ended up being "glove perfect", which means it was going to hurt like hell once my feet swell up. So I tried a 9, and that felt really great, but I still felt like I could use some extra room on down hills, so I went 9.5. The heel fit didn't change much for me, and it feels very natural, not too floppy.

I'm happy with them. My feet feel like they have room to breath and I NEVER hit the front of the shoe. FWIW, I wear Inov-8 295's.


Locale: South West US
Re: Size running shoes for hiking on 05/24/2012 18:28:00 MDT Print View

Keep in mind that shoes sizes are somewhat arbitrary between manufacturers . So your 42.5 Lowas and 43.5 Asics may actually be the same size.

You said " The front kept scratching over the road." I'm assuming you mean the toe area of your shoe would get snagged on the ground here or there. Easy fix, pick your feet up higher when you walk.

As suggested already, go with the biggest shoe that isn't too big. Too big means you experience excessive heel-slip while going uphill, and your toes slide and hit the front on downhill. Said another way, your foot should stay in place either uphill or downhill.

As for wearing running shoes for walking … I think the advice against it is just to prevent premature wear of the cushioning.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Brannock on 05/24/2012 22:54:33 MDT Print View

scale. -Before Roger comes in here and provides some of his ace advice, just get your feet properly sized on a Brannock scale and go up a half a size and wear a sock of your choice and you'll be good to go. I never swell more than a half a size, always still comfortable at the end of a walk. I use lightweight wool hikers and they are all I need for day hikes or fully-loaded backpacking. Also, go a half a size larger than your largest foot (mine are part of a size in difference and I think many or most folks are as well.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Brannock on 05/25/2012 04:07:24 MDT Print View

Curses! Beaten to the punch!


Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Cheers to you too Roger on 05/25/2012 19:14:08 MDT Print View

Learned a bunch from you.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Trying on shoes is important versus Brannock on 05/26/2012 05:30:19 MDT Print View

"Keep in mind that shoes sizes are somewhat arbitrary between manufacturers".

I recently had the experience of being measured for my shoe size with the Brannock scale during a dress shoe purchase and while it indicated one size it differed wildly from what I actually wear in my hiking shoes.

For example I have a pair of dress shoes that I have worn for many years. They are lace ups that are comfortable and I am able to slip them off without untying the laces. These shoes are a size 9.5 US.

The Brannock scale said that I should wear a size 10. The new dress shoes that I wound up purchasing turned out to be a size 10.5. On the surface this sounds like everything agrees with what was said in the posts above except for the older pair of size 9.5 shoes.

Here is the rub. I hike in Merrell Moab Ventilators size 11.5 and still find the front of the shoe on some downhill sections of trail. I may soon upsize to the size 12 Merrells.

Try them on before you buy them. The numbered sizes should follow the Brannock scale but they don't always. As far as the width of shoes goes, I have found some D widths confining in shoes made by some manufacturers. But when I tried on the "wide" version of my Merrells it was laughable how much side to side room there was in there.

Try them on before you buy them and if you even think for a moment that you might need just a little extra length, Do It!

Hammer toe ain't pretty and it doesn't feel good at all.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 05/26/2012 05:31:18 MDT.

Koen Derks
(Pantalaimon) - M

Locale: Netherlands/Norway
New shoes! on 07/17/2012 13:18:28 MDT Print View

Hi guys!
Thanks for your help. With your tips I bought Adidas Response Trail's. The problem of the scratching of the toes and the ground was probably caused because of the different designs of my normal running shoes and the trailrunners. The latter one are stronger at the front.

I will write a bit about my new shoes in case someone is interested in these.
The Adidas Response Trail 18 is a shoe with goretex lining. Apart from the discussion whether or not use mesh or goretex in trailrunners I have to say it wears very comfortable. Maybe because of the goretexlining it really wears more like a sock than any other shoe I'd wore. Other (running) shoes uses soft plastic materials (for shaping?) in shoes, this Response Trail lacks that and feels like a single piece. One downside is my model/color also has wide fluorescent yellow stripes on the sides (why? so you're more visible for cars on the trail?). I'm not yet able to tell something about the grip of the soles.

A note about the goretex versus mesh: I really think it depends on the weather condition which one I would prefer. In the humid colder climates I'm wearing them it helps to keep the first dew out of my shoes (whereas mesh shoes instantly wet my socks). The socks will get moist, but not cold and soaked. The lining keeps wind out and warmth inside. In warmer climates(>20c/68F) I probably would prefer mesh.

(However everybody speaks highly of Salomon, they didn't fit very well. Personal of course. I hesitated between Asics and Adidas)

Edited by Pantalaimon on 07/17/2012 13:24:07 MDT.

E. H. Clemmons
(sclemmons) - MLife
Inov8 on 07/18/2012 17:39:53 MDT Print View

I am on my third pair of Inov8 Roclite 295's and buy them 1/2 size larger than my Saucony running shoes, and a full size larger than my street shoes. I wear them with thicker socks than either of my others and they work great.

I used to wear Montrail and Lowa, but this Inov8 model fits best for me.

Edited by sclemmons on 07/18/2012 17:41:27 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Asymmetry on 07/18/2012 18:40:33 MDT Print View

> "Also, go a half a size larger than your largest foot (mine are part of a size in difference and I think many or most folks are as well)."

I read long ago that:

80% of people have a slightly larger left foot. This matches my experience selling boots in a BPing/ski shop.

80% of woman have a slightly larger left breast. This, too, I have confirmed in an informal sampling program.

80% of men's left balls hangs lower. 100% in my sampling, N=1. I don't have any plans to collect a statistical valid data set.

Yes, boots and undergarments should be sized accordingly.