Did you know that trail runners make really great hiking shoes? They’re super lightweight, comfortable and they have excellent, high -grip soles, design specifically for rough terrain.
If you can do without the ankle support of traditional boots, trail runners could be the way to go. Designed for speed, they offer maneuverability which cannot be achieved with normal running shoes but they are much lighter and less cumbersome than heavy hiking boots.
It’s the perfect balance between the comfort and agility of a running shoe with the performance and grip of a hiking boot.
We carefully reviewed the best trail runners for hiking and discover why each one has its own unique strengths.
Top Rated Trail Runners for Hiking
1. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4
Salomon is a leading designer of trail running shoes. They have all the right attributes and features that make them simply the best in the industry.
The shoe features an anti-debris mesh preventing sand granules or small stones and other dirt from entering the shoe. It is also water resistant to keep moisture and wet from penetrating the interior fabric of the shoe.
The Salomon Speedcross 4 features an aggressive grip with deep penetrating knobblies on the Contragrip rubber sole. The mid-sole is made of EVA rubber to offer a soft cushion without losing stability. They weigh a total of 310 gram! Now compare that to heavy hiking boots and realise what a difference that will make on a long hike in the mountains.
The minimalist lacing system finishes it off perfectly, making it a winning choice as a hiking shoe.
2. Adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe
The Adidas outdoor men’s hiking shoe was designed primarily as an approach shoe for hikers who are planning a climb or summit with more technical equipment. For example, this shoe would be ideal to wear in the first part of a trek or hike where ultimately, you will need heavier mountaineering boots to complete the trek. This way you don’t spend the approach in heavy boots, keeping your feet comfortable and unstressed.
Made of lightweight materials, the Adidas is super comfortable with its molded sock liner and EVA midsole. The outer sole is made high traction rubber which is super grippy even in the wettest conditions.
This shoe is a bit heavier than most trail runners, but its comfort makes it the perfect shoe for average hikes and for everyday use.
3. Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker
One for the girls! The Merrel women’s Siren Edge hiker has been created specifically for ladies with extreme comfort and quality that go into this design ensuring that your feet get pampered along the hiking trail.
This shoe features a breathable mesh ling and also a bellows style tongue to keep dirt and debris from finding its way into your shoe.
The Vibram sole offers ultimate traction without sacrificing cushion comfort. An air cushion heel ensures that your heels stay comfortable over long distances and hikes.
This shoe is not for men and is definitely designed for ladies feet. Merrel is great quality and can be trusted completely with regards to workmanship and comfort. Definitely a great buy.
4. ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
The shoe boasts a removable sock liner, making it perfect for hikers or runners who need an orthotic liner to get a comfortable fit. This feature sets it apart from others in our list.
A gel cushioning system in the heel of this shoe offers you superb comfort keeping your feet fresh and comfy for the duration of a hike. The outer sole is trail specific and features multidirectional lugs that keep traction on ascents and steep descents. The outsole also features specifically placed high abrasion rubber portions that offer grip where it’s most needed. All in all, the Asics Gel-venture is a brilliant shoe that will provide you with utmost comfort and stability on any hike.
5. New Balance Men’s 510v3
The 510v3 from New Balance is a versatile trail runner that can conquer the most technical trails with ease, yet is equally efficient on the tarmac for a run.
The upper of the New Balance 510v3 is constructed of a leather and mesh combo offering breathability combined with stability and support. The AT outsole, which stands for All-Terrain outsole, has been designed with a layout that allows for grip and balance covering a wide range of conditions.
A full length EVA midsole ensures cushioned comfort throughout the journey. All this combined with its light weight of 340 grams makes the Ne Balance 510v3 a definite winner in this list.
6. Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR9
Another one for the ladies here, this time from Saucony, a trusted household name in running shoes.
The Saucony Grid Excursion TR9 has been built to offer ladies much needed comfort, support and stability on any trail that they tackle. A breathable mesh upper with leather supports and mesh panels on the sides will keep your feet cool and fresh for the length of your hike.
The XT 600 carbon rubber outsole provides ample traction on most terrain and features aggressive lugs that penetrate and grip on loose or soft substrate. A specially designed grid system heel cushion completes the sole of this shoe, making it one of the most luxurious shoes for a hike available. They also come in a fabulous range of colors.
Trail Running Quick Guide
You have to bear in mind that trail runners don’t offer the ankle support that hiking boots do. The advantages are many.
In our experience, having hiked countless trails, trail runners are ideal for easy to mid-range hikes. They have been designed with dirt and rocks in mind and they are rugged and tenacious.
Even for more technical hikes where heavier boots may be called for, trail runners are light enough to sling over your backpack ready to be changed when the terrain doesn’t need a full-on technical mountaineering boot.
There is nothing worse than doing a 15 mile hike in a day wearing boots that weigh you down and punish the feet. Do yourself a favor and make a change, you won’t be disappointed.
All the shoes featured here are available in both men’s and women’s variation. When you’re checking the price on Amazon, simply navigate to the desired option.