Can You Run In Hiking Boots? Answered + My Favourite One!

You might have a pair of hiking boots sitting around but your next hike is a while away so you’re wondering to yourself, can you run in hiking boots? 

The short answer is YES, you can run in hiking boots but it’s not without its risks. 

After all, hiking boots are so named because they serve a particular purpose – to hike. 

They are built to protect your feet as you traverse rocks, branches, and uneven terrain on hiking trails while allowing you to move around freely and nimbly in nature.

But you may have just brought your hiking boots along on a trip and suddenly decided to go for a run, or you may not have access to hiking routes readily back home but don’t want your hiking boots sitting unused till your next hike.

Well, trust me, I’ve sat in my hostel room on my travels and wondered the same, can I run in hiking shoes?

Read on to find out whether you can, the things you need to take note of, and what types of hiking shoes are best if you’d like the flexibility to do both hiking and running with a single pair of hiking boots!

me in spain running on top of a hill wondering can you run in hiking boots?

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Can You Run In Hiking Shoes?

I’ll cut to the chase and say, yes you can absolutely run in hiking shoes! 

Hiking shoes are built for a much more rigorous purpose and if they can support you on rough terrain, they can surely tide you through a run. 

That said, hiking shoes are so named for a reason – hiking – and their ultimate purpose isn’t to run. You have running shoes for that. 

But I absolutely understand why you might be thinking, can you run with hiking shoes? Sometimes it’s just not practical to bring along too many pairs of shoes on a trip. 

Or you might be strapped for cash and you can only afford one or the other. 

I’ve been there, and I understand that not everyone has the resources or the money to buy shoes for every new activity you might wish to embark on. I get it.

But you also don’t want to be hurting those precious feet or legs of yours by wearing hiking boots outside of their purpose.

 You can wear them interchangeably for short hikes and runs, but you must first understand the fundamental differences between hiking and running shoes. 

Differences Between Hiking Shoes And Running Shoes 

The key difference between hiking shoes and running shoes is that hiking shoes are typically built to be more durable, robust, and sturdier than running shoes, which is understandable as a hiking route is often more unpredictable than a running trail. 

The key differences between both hiking shoes and running shoes are:


Hiking shoes are generally heavier than running shoes. Running shoes are designed to help you stay light on your feet so you can run further for longer. The more lightweight running shoes are, the less impact and fatigue you’ll experience when using them. 


Hiking shoes are undoubtedly more durable than running shoes. On average, running shoes should be replaced after four to six months of use, or if you’ve clocked about 300 to 500 miles

For hiking shoes, however, you can wear them for about 500 to 1,000 miles, depending on the type of boots you have, the type of terrain you’ve exposed it to and how you care for your shoes after.

3.Breathability & Water Resistance 

Because running shoes are designed for more regular wear and runners may encounter rain, puddles, or just wet conditions, running shoes are usually very breathable and dry quickly.

On the other hand, hiking shoes are designed to repel water (no one, I repeat, no one likes hiking with wet soggy socks) on trails and so they tend to be highly waterproof, less breathable, and dry slower if they do get wet. 


Most running shoes offer some, but minimal grip. Whereas you can be absolutely sure that hiking shoes offer superb grip to ensure you don’t go slip-sliding on any smooth rocks and surfaces on your trail. 

Hiking shoes often have thick lugs that provide greater traction and grip across a wide variety of terrains. However, there is a go-between – trail running shoes do provide a little more traction than average running shoes. 

But if you have a choice of hiking vs trail running shoes for hiking, then go with hiking shoes for more secure peace of mind. 

5.Foot and Ankle Support

Hiking boots are known for their excellent ankle support because of how rocky and uneven hiking terrain can be. That doesn’t mean that running shoes don’t have ankle support – they do but it’s just not as robust as a hiking shoe’s level of support. 

3 Things To Take Note Of When Running With Hiking Shoes 

If you’ve read the above and understood the differences between hiking shoes and running shoes before you strap those shoes on, here are three quick things you should most certainly take note of when running with hiking shoes:  

1. You should be running for a short distance

Hiking shoes are not purpose-built for running, so running in them could be uncomfortable and extremely tiring given the weight of hiking shoes. You should either be running short distances or breaking your route into shorter, more manageable chunks. 

2. You should be running in cool weather

Hiking boots are not the most breathable, we’ve established that. They can also be quite warm if you’re wearing them for long periods. 

If you absolutely must wear your hiking shoes when you run then make sure the weather’s cool enough so your feet (and you) can breathe, and so that you don’t perspire excessively when running.

3. You should be prepared for some blisters

Running shoes, compared to hiking shoes, have next to no break-in time. Hiking boots, on the other hand, take some walking and breaking in before they become seasoned enough for wear. 

So if you’re thinking, can you run in hiking boots, I’d say yes, but you should always be prepared for some discomfort. And if you’ve adhered to my points above about making sure you’re doing short distances in cool weather, you should be alright. 

What Are The Right Shoes For Both Hiking And Running 

Now if you really don’t have a choice because you need to do both running and hiking quite a bit and you’re now thinking do you need hiking boots at all? Is it better to get running shoes and hike with them?

Fret not, because there are shoes specially built for this dual function known as trail running shoes. Phew, right? I can almost hear your sigh of relief! 

Trail running shoes are designed for more support when you go on uneven and rocky terrains, have more cushioned support and even protect your feet against wetter and colder road conditions. 

I was travelling Australia previously with my trusty backpack and I knew there was no way I’d give up on my regular runs or hiking. 

While I contemplated just running with my pair of good, sturdy Australian hiking boots, eventually I found a good pair of trail running shoes to serve both functions and they worked well. 

Let me share with you a few pairs that I think could make their way into your backpack for your next trip! 

5 Recommendations For Hiking Boots You And Trail Running Shoes You Can Run In 

1. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 GTX Low Hiking Shoes

Undoubtedly, Anaconda hiking boots are some of the trustiest hiking boots for all types of hikes and top of Anaconda’s range are Merrell hiking boots. The Merrell Women’s Moab 3 GTX Low Hiking Shoes get my vote for being a versatile pair that can take you hiking and some light running.

Unlike regular hiking shoes, these Merrell shoes hardly require a break-in period (there’s a reason why this is called Moab – mother of all boots!), which means that if you do use them for runs, you are unlikely to get bad blisters. 

It’s also extremely lightweight, making it a versatile shoe even for regular wear! 

2.  Altra Lone Peak 6 Trail-Running Shoes

The Altra Lone Peak 6 is great if you’re doing a bit more running and hiking. It has good cushioning that protects your feet from the uneven and rocky terrains you might encounter. 

I love that it also doesn’t require much breaking into and doesn’t bite your ankles even after extended wear. 

If you’re like me and struggle to find shoes that might accommodate your feet (flat feet, wide feet or bunions, you name it), Altra shoes are extremely forgiving and its spacious toe box accommodates different types of feet pretty well. 

3. La Sportiva Women’s Bushido II Trail Running Shoes 

Conversely, if you’re someone with normal to narrow feet who prefers your shoes a little snug, then the La Sportiva Women’s Bushido II Trail Running Shoes would be great for you!

They’re one of La Sportiva’s most lightweight trail running shoes, weighing in at a mere 8.8oz so they keep you nimble and agile on your runs.

While it has excellent traction, it however isn’t as waterproof as a regular pair of hiking boots (just water-repellent) so you might want to steer clear of puddles and rainy weather if you decide to use these for a run. 

4. Salomon Sense Ride 4 Trail Running Shoe

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 Trail Running Shoe is perfect if you’re a fan of highly-cushioned running shoes. It takes you on your running trails with ease and you’re less likely to experience muscle fatigue with its trail-specific features like anti-debris mesh and a grippy sole.

It’s also inexpensive and doubles up great if you’re doing more walking and hiking. Lacing on this, however, is a little tricky, so make sure you get that sorted before you head out on your run!

5. Salomon Women’s Outline Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes

If you want to know can you run in hiking boots because your intention was to stick with a pair of hiking boots then the Salomon Women’s Outline Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes are perfect for you.

It may be 10.5oz but feels lighter than that when you wear it and breeze through your trails. The shoes are incredibly lightweight, water-proof, and downright comfortable. 

It’s a hiking shoe that doesn’t quite feel like one. I can’t put a finger on it (or should I say toe?) but it just works amazingly well as both a hiking shoe and a running shoe. You have to try the shoes to know! 


Can Hiking Shoes Be Used For Running?

Yes, hiking shoes can be used for running, if you only do so from time to time, but hiking shoes shouldn’t be used if you run regularly and clock a significant amount of mileage each time you run. 

If you do run quite a bit, then you’d be better off getting a separate pair of running shoes to serve its specific purpose.

Can I Go Running In Boots?

Yes, you can run in hiking boots, but it is not advisable if you’re clocking a long distance as running in boots is undoubtedly more stressful than running with running shoes or sneakers.

If you have no choice but to run in hiking boots, whether it’s the only pair of footwear you have, or you need to do so in training, then start off by clocking short distances first in your boots. Thereafter, slowly increase the distance as you get more comfortable with how you feel running in your boots.  

Can You Wear Hiking Shoes As Regular Shoes?

Yes, hiking shoes can be used for running, if you only do so from time to time, but hiking shoes shouldn’t be used if you run regularly and clock a significant amount of mileage each time you run. 

If you do run quite a bit, then you’d be better off getting a separate pair of running shoes to serve its specific purpose.

Are Hiking And Running Shoes The Same?

No, hiking and running shoes are not the same. Hiking shoes are made to help you trek through uneven, rugged terrain for longer hours. Running shoes or trail shoes are designed to help runners be light on their feet and typically comprise lightweight materials, which may affect their durability. 


So if you’re sitting there with your phone in hand, hiking boots in the other, frantically searching, can you run in hiking boots?

I’m here to tell you, of course, you can! You can even use your hiking boots for regular day-to-day use, hiking boots can serve a myriad of purposes. 

So if you were thinking of packing light for your upcoming hiking trip, I hope you’re now more at ease because you know that it is perfectly fine to run with hiking shoes. 

That said, hiking boots are not meant for excessive running and you’d be better off bringing a pair of trail running shoes for that, or you might risk ankle injuries and blisters! 

And if you’ve settled on getting a pair of trail running shoes, I sure hope my list of recommended shoes has helped you out!

If you find my tips useful, feel free to tag my handle @aishapreece on Instagram when you’re out and about on your runs or hikes. 

Stay safe, champ! 

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