Running vs. Trail running shoes vs. Hiking shoes : Main Difference

When you go hiking around the world, picking up the right footwear becomes an essential aspect to consider. While 10 to 15 years back, the trend was to choose a hiking boot, in recent days, trail running shoes are getting more prevalent.

Hiking boot, running shoes, and trail running shoes have their own kinds of benefits in different situations. That is why there are a certain amount of questions that you need to ask before choosing the perfect footwear. We will be talking about all these in the later section of this article. For now, let us start with the characteristics of a hiking boot.

Running vs. trail running shoes vs. hiking shoes

Running vs. Trail running shoes vs. Hiking shoes

Hiking shoes

  • First of all, hiking boots are durable and stable to protect your foot and ankle in any severe condition.
  • Second of all, hiking boots will keep away dirt, moisture, snow, and sundry that you might face on the trail or while hiking.
  • Hiking boots tend to have a longer lifespan than a trail runner's shoe.
  • The breathability of hiking boots is not that satisfactory.

If you are looking for convenient hiking boots to explore the impossible, Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe and Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot ought to be the most convenient hiking boots to consider.

Trail running shoes

Trail running shoes are more versatile and are available in multiple ranges. One of the main reasons people choose trail running shoes over hiking boots is the lightweight feature. All these shoes tend to have much lighter weight than hiking boots.

  • Trail running shoes are more breathable, keeping your feet dry and comfortable in every weather condition.
  • Some trail running shoes have the potential to be extremely durable and convenient to protect your foot and ankle from severe injury.
  • Trail running shoes will last less long than compared a hiking boot.

The two most popular trail running shoes on the market are ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe and New Balance Men's 481 V3 Trail Running Shoe.

Running shoes

  • The most common feature that a running shoe would provide is enough traction.
  • This kind of shoe tends to come with an inside cushioning to enhance the comfort zone of running.
  • Like the trail running shoes, running shoes are also going to ensure extreme breathability, making them suitable for any casual or sport-related purposes.
  • If you use a pair of running shoes gently, it may last longer than a pair of trail running shoes.
  • On top of that, the lightweight construction with maximum flexibility makes this category an ideal choice for any weather situation.

The two most popular running shoes on the market are Brooks Ghost Men's 13 Running Shoe and Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe.

If you find Most supportive shoes for work see our another post.

Hiking boot

Trail running shoes

Running shoes

Hiking boots are durable to last for a long time.

Trail running shoes are durable but not that much as a hiking boot.

Running shoes have mid-range durability.

Hiking boots are not breathable enough.

Trail running shoes have enough breathability.

Running shoes are breathable as well.

Hiking boots would last for more than 2000 miles.

Trail running shoes would last around 400-600 miles.

Running shoes would last around 500-700 miles.

Hiking boots tend to be heavy.

Trail running shoes are lightweight.

Running shoes are lightweight.

Hiking boots tend to come with heavier sole construction.

Trail running shoes come with lightweight sole construction and cushioning.

Running shoes have a lighter sole design as well.

Hiking boots are Suitable for hiking in snowy terrain.

Trail running shoes are suitable for hiking in the desert.

Running shoes are Suitable for hiking in ambiguous places.

How to choose the right footwear?

Choosing the right footwear is not the most intimidating task that you should fear if not easy. Ask yourself these three questions to find out which of the types is going to be the ideal choice for you-

  • What is your objective?
  • What's the weather going to be like?
  • What the terrain would look like while hiking or trailing?

The most authentic way to find out the appropriate footwear is to consider it as a tool instead of mere clothing. As you need the right tool to do the right job, you need the right shoe for a certain environment. Now that we have the questions let us find out the answers-

  • If you are hiking in a desert, where the temperature would be very high, choosing a trail running shoe should be ideal. The high-breathability of the shoe with the lightweight feature would ensure comfort throughout the whole journey. Using a hiking boot in that kind of situation may create blisters or pain in your foot.
  • If you are hiking in a snowy place, where the temperature would be very low and terrain slippery, you should prefer hiking boots over trail running shoes. Because of the lower breathability of the boot, it would keep your feet warm and comfortable. On top of that, the flexibility of the boot would protect your leg from getting ankle or foot injuries. 
  • Finally, if you are hiking in ambiguous situations where the terrain tends to be both dry and wet, you can consider choosing a pair of running shoes to have maximum leverage. Running shoes would dry out quickly, keeping your feet protected all the time. Many people does not know differencc of walking shoes and boots, it is not possible to normal walking shoes to works good with boots.

Why are trail running shoes getting more prevalent?

In recent days, trail running shoes are getting more popular than hiking boots. People are giving more concentration on comfort than the features that every shoe comes with. As trail running shoes are more breathable and lighter than hiking boots, they are getting more widespread. Some of the other reasons that hiking boots are losing their popularity are-

  • As hiking boots are less breathable, after wearing the boot for a long time, it is pretty common to create blisters, which can be painful.
  • Most of the hiking boots claim to have a water-repellent feature. In reality, wearing the boot for a long time can generate sweat and odor, making your feet uncomfortable.
  • The high-end price range can be another reason why hiking boots are losing their popularity.
running vs. Trail running shoes vs. Hiking shoes chart

Final words

A guideline is more than necessary when you are thinking about having something special. If you love to roam around the remote places of the world, choosing the right attire becomes a must. For hiking, trailing, or other kinds of stuff, the three most common categories of footwear that we would notice are boot, trail running shoes, and running shoes. If you are fluctuating among these three, scan through the whole article to have a complete roadmap.

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