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Should you replace your hiking boots with running shoes?

  • Sep 15, 2016

Uncomfortable shoes can make any event a miserable one, and when considering what to wear for your next hike,  it may be worth passing up your usual hiking shoes. You may have bought them specifically for outdoor adventures, but the truth of the matter is that these may be ill-prepared for maximizing comfort and utility out on the trail. In fact, the next time you grab your PRG300-1A2 Pro Trek Triple Sensor watch and head out for an excursion, you may want to stick with your running shoes.

The cons of hiking boots
Though there are many benefits associated with wearing shoes designed for the trail, Clever Hiker found that there are serious drawbacks as well.  One of the main considerations is weight. Even a sleek pair of hiking boots can be rather heavy, which will ultimately slow you down or limit you when out on the trail. This is only made worse if your boots get wet, as few if any are as waterproof as advertised.

Hiking boots are useful because they can keep your feet warm and protected, but this also means it takes a bit of time to break in a new pair. Because they are more bulky, they may also be less flexible than other shoes. As a result, hiking boots can be stiff and lead to blisters and discomfort.

The pros of running shoes
Outside of an icy winter day, running sneakers may be a better choice for your hike than traditional boots. Gizmodo stated that trail runners and approach shoes offer a good middle ground, but if you are being safe and know the terrain, running sneakers can work just fine. 

Running sneakers can be much less expensive than shoes or boots specifically designed for hiking, which can be an important factor for many outdoor enthusiasts. Likewise these are light and simple, which means you can explore faster and for longer. Most running shoes are also flexible without sacrificing grip, which means you can navigate difficult trails easily and safely. Running shoes also dry faster than hiking boots, which can be important in eliminating odors and foot fungus.

Each hike will demand a different style shoe, and this can also be informed by the weather forecast. Outdoor enthusiasts should do a bit of research about their adventure before making a selection about what to wear.