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Hiking shoes vs. trail runners

I'm having a hard time deciding on what kind of shoe I want to bring.  I'm going on a NP tour next month - we're going to Zion, Death Valley, Great Basin, Grand Canyon, and then flying to Washington and going to Olympic and Mount Rainier.  I'm already bringing a pair of boots (Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP) but I'm not sure if I bring hiking shoes or trail runners.  I'm tossed between the Oboz Sawtooth II WP and the Altra Lone Peak 5's.  What would be more suitable or comfortable during these hikes?  I should mention that we're day hiking only.

14 Replies

The brand of the shoe, whether it is a boot or a trail shoe, depends on your feet and getting the proper fit (I trust REI to help me with fitting)! My feet fit better in Vasque boots and Vasque trail shoes. I wear the boots if the terrain is more rugged but for less rugged terrain, I wear my trail shoes.

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Any thoughts about the Hoka Speedgoats vs. the others here for backpacking?

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I did a 4 day backpacking trip with the Lone Peak 4.5's in April.  Covered 66 miles.  I loved it!  I do not think I would have faired as well with my Salomon hiking boots.  Just the extra weight on my feet would have done me in.

I'll add it was in soggy trail conditions, so the quick drying aspect of trail runners was an additional benefit over thicker, heavier boots.

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I recently broke & dislocated my big toe while hiking in trail running shoes. Never again. Thy don’t offer protection. I’ll save them for when I’m running 

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I have some Nike Terra Kigre's that I've used on the last couple hikes. Felt nice to wear light shoes and the grip was phenomenal. Either way would be good though. I think I'd still wear boots if I was carrying a heavier multi-day pack. Maybe not. Trail runners are so darn comfortable. 

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