Trail Runners vs. Trail Hikers | Kintec: Footwear + Orthotics


Have you ever wondered what the differences are between trail hiking shoes and trail running shoes, and what’s best for your activities? To start off, there are three categories of
hiking footwear trail hiking shoes, trail running shoes, and your more heavy duty approach
and mountaineering boots. So the first two are good for local trails
and hiking paths, while the third is best for tough conditions and multi-day excursions. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be too much difference between trail hiking and trail running shoes. But there are some key differences
that I’d like to highlight that may determine your choice
of one kind of footwear, or the other. So the first thing I want to talk about
are the uppers of the shoes. In trail hikers, they have tough, reinforced uppers to protect your foot against rocks and roots,
and abrasion and that kind of thing. So they are really durable. They also help keep your foot well within
the shoe when you’re on slanted slopes, during the long day-long excursions. With trail running shoes though, they emphasize lightweight, soft, breathable uppers, so your foot can easily stretch and accommodate inside the shoe. It also wicks away moisture,
and breathes a lot more easily, and is much lighter weight. The second thing I want to talk about is the
midsole, or the cushioning part of the shoe. Now, we all know that, with trail runners
and road runners alike, its kind of like with people and ice cream. Everyone has their own favourite flavours. Now, some trail shoes can be really firm
and close to the ground, like this one, or some of them can be nice
and pillow-y and soft, like this one. But, really, the bottom like between these
two types of cushioning is that it’s meant to accommodate your preferences, as well as accommodate your particular running style. Switching over to trail hikers and walkers, really, the key difference is that
they tend to be a little bit firmer, and that offers a bit more stability
and durability on the trails. So a third thing I want to talk about is the
outsole, or the grip of the shoe. So if you look at these two trail shoes, what you’re going to notice is that they have
soft, tacky, lightweight tread, which emphasizes traction and grip across a multitude of different surfaces,
when it’s dry or wet. It does make them a little bit less durable, though. That is, in comparison to walkers and hikers, that tend to have much more harder, dense rubber. It’s a lot heavier, but you’re getting a lot more durability
across a wide degree of terrain, including asphalt. So, if I had to compare these guys side by
side, a trail runner is always going to emphasize lighter weight and better grip over durability. Whereas the trail walker and hiker
is always going to emphasize heavier, thicker rubbers and durability over light weight. So this brings me to the last point. With trail running shoes, it’s all about ‘go!’ No matter what their size, shape or pitch, they’re designed to propel your foot forwards, no matter what kind of terrain you’re in. Whereas with trail hiking shoes, they’re best when they feel stable and secure when your foot’s planted firmly on the ground. So, if you want to pack light, move fast and maybe put in a few strides, then trail runners are good for you. But if you want stability, durability, and versatility, you might want to choose trail hikers. If you have any questions about
what shoes are best for your activities, come to a Kintec store near you,
and talk to a fitting expert today!

2 Comments

  • Hi, what do you think can I use speedcross 4 as everyday use for walking on the normal streets on the city, and for hiking also ?

  • What is the lightest hiker on the market now?

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