If you’re planning to dabble in the murky world of hiking or running the trails, why pay the price of two pairs of shoes when you can have just one? Yes, you read it right. There’s an array of options you can choose from when it comes to a responsive hiker and a fast trail-runner in one shoe.
We’ve provided a list of the best hiking running shoes for outdoor enthusiasts who are out looking for a reliable hybrid shoe. This gives anyone the versatility while being on the trails, and the convenience of packing only one shoe for weekend adventures in the countryside.
After testing 10+ pairs of these hybrid hiking-running shoes, we now give you our best selection of the top picks for your shopping convenience – from the stickiest hiker to the most protective trail-runner that offers the best bang for the buck.
Our goal here at RunRepeat is to provide you with the latest updates and no-BS reviews on the best hiking running shoes out there. The fantastic selections of the highly-rated models you see on this page are not random. They are specifically picked after a thorough review process done by our in-house professionals, to wit:
We buy hiking running shoes that offer versatility for running using our own funds.
We test them to see their actual performance on the trails in various conditions.
At the lab, we put each model through a battery of tests. This includes gauging the responsiveness, protective capability, stickiness of the outsole, and many more.
We gather reviews from actual users (regular hikers and trail-runners) and expert opinions from professionals.
We use our proprietary CoreScore system from 0 to 100 to compare these options based on our tests and other crucial factors. As a result, we get the ranking of the highly-rated hiking running shoes for the buyer’s final consideration. This will give them the best clarity when it comes to choosing the right hybrid shoe for them.
The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make you run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this shoe will bite its way through them!
Brooks updates their venerable trail crusher in this 16 version of the Cascadia. If you demand stout grip, a stable platform, and bright colors take a look at the Cascadia 16. It’s true to size, durable as hell, and packed with features like a ballistic rock plate, lace loop, and enough upper lacing eyelets to ensure a custom fit. These aggressive kicks are ready for adventure!
At an affordable price, the Asics Gel Venture 8 does a fantastic job on the trails! It's extremely grippy even on wet and muddy sections, comfortable, and secure. And all these come in a light and durable package! The Gel Venture is a shoe we'd consider for anything short to mid-distance.
The Corescore is a score from 0-100 that summarizes opinions from users and
experts. Below shows the distribution of scores for all running shoes.
This shoe has a 10% penalty on its user ratings because it has fewer than 50 ratings. It
also has a 10% penalty on its expert reviews because it has fewer than 5 reviews. This is
to avoid that shoes with few ratings unjustly receives high scores.
The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 remains the brand's staple lightweight and nimble trail running shoe fit for mid to high-mileage runs. It offers a protective and responsive ride that's perfect for moderate to fast paces on almost all trail surfaces. Overall, if you want to up your speed may it be on training or race days, the Terra Kiger 8 will deliver without fail.
The Pegasus road series just holds a special place in our feet, we just had to see it in trail action. And voila! 50 miles later, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 won us over with its uber plush landings! It's stable and comfy and will make your run cloud-like. When faced with slick surfaces, however, it shows its limitations.
A beast in all our trail runs, the Saucony Peregrine 11 was more than confidence-inspiring! It's a tank that mutes out all the harshness of the trails while eating up everything you throw at it! From slick mud, snow, dry, and rocky stream crossings, this shoe just bites hard and deep into the ground. It's also built to run fast, and we got exactly that in the Peregrine!
The Salomon Alphacross 3 is a trail running shoe that's perfect for long-time runners and newbies alike. Its affordable price doesn't dim its shine as an all-rounder that delivers ground-digging traction from on soft and semi-technical trails. Even more, it's a fun and lively ride that's perfect for easy days. Although packed with ample ground feel, the Alphacross 3 won't hurt the feet.
Looking for a versatile trail shoe? Take the Altra Olympus 4.0! From gravel path, dirt single track, beat-up forest roads, and technical rocky climbs, this shoe just made us run with confidence! And since it's billed as a long-distance trail shoe, we had to see for ourselves that it delivers. And deliver it did! It gave our feet all the protection and comfort they could ask for.
For us, the Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a surefire winner in the trail running scene! It's a beast that has INSANE grip, loads of underfoot protection, and a fun, lively ride. Now, that's a combo you don't get every day from a dedicated trail shoe! It can eat up anything you throw at it, for sure, but where it shines is during steep climbs, telling you so much of its ground-digging traction!
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.