can running shoes be used for hiking

Can Running Shoes Be Used for Hiking? (Solved & Explained)

When it comes to outdoor activities, the right gear can make all the difference. As an avid adventurer, I know how important it is to have suitable footwear. The keyword “Can Running Shoes Be Used for Hiking?” raises an intriguing question about whether one can interchange these two types of shoes.

I vividly recall a time when I faced this very situation during a spontaneous hiking trip. Having forgotten my trusty hiking shoes, I reluctantly opted for my running shoes instead. The experience left me wondering if using running shoes for hiking was a good idea.

To find some clarity, I research the topic. In this article, I will share my findings and insights, helping you understand whether running shoes can be a reliable alternative for hiking. For an in-depth analysis, read on to discover the best footwear options for your outdoor excursions.

Are running shoes good for hiking?

No, running shoes are not good for hiking. Running is a single-directional motion sport while in hiking, you have to change the direction and motion of your feet as required.

can running shoes be used for hiking

So, you have to buy a new pair of hiking shoes. If you want to hike a few times, you can wear running shoes but if you use the same shoes more than 3 to 4 times, it can be dangerous for you.

Hiking shoes have some specifications that are important for hiking like the sole of the shoe, the weight of the shoe, comfort, etc.

Hiking is forceful support that needs energy and a foot grip on an uneven surface. These shoes are made according to these requirements.

That is why we should use specific hiking shoes for hiking.

You can wear tracking shoes while hiking because these two have a lot of similarities like sole, protection of toe, design, weight, durability, etc.

So if you don’t have a hiking shoe, can wear a tracking shoe but still, if want to take hiking as a professional, you have to buy a pair of hiking shoes.

It is because health and protection always come first so if you won’t pursue your dream of hiking without any loss, you should hike in hiking shoes.

If you are having a heavy bag pack, it will be very difficult to walk in running shoes because on muddy, pointy, and icy rocks you have to need hiking shoes that have a firm grip on these conditions.

These shows will also prevent your feet from wetting. And the warmth of the shoes will help you to be untired and your feet will be relaxed. 

Why are running shoes not good for hiking?

There are some factors that cease us to use running shoes for hiking. The following are these factors:

  • The sole of the shoe
  • The midsole
  • Rock plate
  • Protection of toe
  • Design of shoe
  • Higher tops
  • Ankle support
  • Weight
  • Durability 
  • Warmer 

1. Sole of the shoe

Running shoes have almost a plain sole that is good for smooth ground. Because running is a forward and simple motion sport, it does not need any grip on the ground.

It is not designed to be used on muddy or unpaved surfaces. 

While hiking is complex and the mountains are not a plane surface. The sole of hiking shoes is very good in muddy and uneven places.

It has lugs under the sole that helps to grip the ground easily.

2. The midsole

Hiking shoes are stiffer than running shoes. the midsole gives you support and comfort. The midsole of hiking shoes is wider than that of running shoes.

It absorbs the shocks and pressure produced by hiking. It helps you to prevent injury to the knees and ankle. 

3. Rock plate

Some hiking shoes also have a rock plate in the middle of the shoe. It protects you from climbing on pointy rocks or bids on trials.

It’s like a hurdle between the upper and the base sole of the shoe. While in a running shoe absence of a rock, the plate will let you feel these particles. 

4. Protection of toe

There is no need to use anything in your running shoes that protect your feet because running is a very simple sport. That is why running shoes are not designed for hiking.

There are no measurements used for toe protection in running shoes while hiking shoes have some rigid material in front of the shoes that prevent from striking the toe into rock.

5. Design of the shoe

On hiking, the shoes will be wet, muddy, scratched, etc. To prevent these things the hiking shoes are made from rubber or rigid nylon material upper that does not get affected by these things.

While running shoes are designed with parashot or cloth that can be affected by these things easily.

6. Higher tops

Higher tops prevent from entering the rain, dust, and small rocks on the foot while hiking.

These things can irritate you from hiking and you can lose your attention.

This facility is not present in running shoes which is why running shoes are not suitable for hiking.

7. Ankle support

The mid and high-cut boots prevent ankle injury during hiking. It absorbs the pressure and stress during hiking.

It gives additional ankle support. While running shoes typically allow less ankle support.

8. Weight

The weight of hiking shoes tends to be heavier because heavier shoes give more support and are less slippery while running shoes are lighter than hiking shoes.

The heavyweight keeps you aware of putting your foot in a stable place.

9. Durability

If you are using running shoes more than 3 to 4 times, it will surely break down and you have to purchase a new pair of shoes.

When you have to buy new shoes then why not the shoes that are more durable and good for hiking?

10. Warmer

The weather is extremely cold in the mountains. So, hiking shoes are designed to keep your foot warmer while in running shoes temperature cannot be controlled.  Warm feet will keep you moving and prevent you from tiredness. 

Is it really bad to wear running shoes for hiking?

 If you are a person of rules and regulations, you would never use running shoes for hiking. If you want to hike a few times, maybe running shoes can be useful but not more than 3 to 4 times.

You should wear specific hiking shoes for hiking because it is more protective and useful. It will protect you from unpaved mountains, hills, and rocky grounds.

If you really want to enjoy hiking, you should invest some money and should purchase a pair of hiking shoes. The difference between hiking shoes and running shoes are more cushioning, durable, heavier, and have more grip.

These differences make a huge impact on hiking. That is the reason, I would never recommend running shoes for hiking.

Health should be our first priority. So, if alternation in anything is costing you, you should change that. And using running shoes for hiking can risk you more. Permanent leg, toe, ankle pain, etc. can be dangerous for you.

So instead of saving some money, you should buy new pair of shoes, which are specified for hiking.

Are running shoes good for volleyball?

Can running shoes be used in the gym?


So, hiking is really difficult in running shoes because hiking really needs some comfort, prevention, and limitations. Without these parameters, it can cost you, your health, and other problems.

Hiking shoes give you all the benefits you need for hiking like a heavyweight, ankle support, higher top, and lugs that support your step. You can fall down while hiking in running shoes which can cost you a lot more.

Are running shoes good for nurses?