7 Best Running Shoes For Hiking in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Running Shoes For Hiking in 2023
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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 50+ 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.

Best running shoes for hiking overall

What makes it the best?

Versatile and reliable, the Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 is an unmatched road-to-trail hybrid shoe. It is lightweight, cushioned, and grippy–making it the perfect companion for wandering on trails and going on off-road adventures. It is our pick for the best running shoes for hiking.

The Pegasus Trail 4 only weighs 272g (9.59 oz), notably lighter than the average of trail running shoes which is 296g (10.44 oz). We really appreciated the weight difference especially when running or hiking up the hills and mountains. The lightness made us feel like we were flying through the terrain.

We measured the Pegasus Trail 4’s heel stack at 35.5 mm and it really is a welcome wonder how it has more midsole material while keeping the weight down. For context, the average heel stack height of trail running shoes is 31.7 mm. We absolutely loved how this generous midsole keep our feet protected.

Traction is very good in the Pegasus Trail 4. Its 3.4 mm lugs are almost on par with the average (3.5 mm), providing the shoe with traction on diverse terrain. Great grip is present even in wet conditions. 

However, runners looking for shoes to tackle uber technical terrains could look for shoes with beefier lugs.


  • Efficient road-to-trail
  • Well-cushioned
  • Stable ride
  • Excellent, secure fit
  • Very breathable
  • Great traction
  • Unexpectedly light
  • Reasonably priced


  • Not for muddy areas
  • Not for wide feet
  • Could be more stylish
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 4

Running shoes for hiking with best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is a reliable hybrid shoe with plenty of cloud-like cushion. It boasts a thick, buttery-soft stack, a grippy outsole, and a flexible midsole. It delivers consistent support and protection — from roads to mountains — making it our best cushioned hiking-running shoe.

It has a thick slab of dual-density Fresh Foam X that provides exceptional comfort and protection from landing impact and rocky terrains. It rises 6.8/7.3 mm above average in the heel and forefoot and measures 45.6% softer than average. It’s one of the trail shoes that spoiled our feet the most with its bouncy ride.

Armed with a grippy outsole and 5.0 mm lugs, it clings with grit onto soft dirt, mild mud, and wet roads. We can confidently cruise through most paths, knowing we won’t slip or fall.

Its midsole gives a good amount of flexibility, allowing us to maneuver through light to moderate trails. Our flex test confirms it's 11.4% more malleable than average, promoting a more natural running feel.

More foam means more weight. At 10.6 oz (301g), it’s heavier than the 9.5 oz (268g) average of running shoes.


  • Insanely protective even without a rock plate
  • Soft cushioning without feeling mushy
  • Solid amount of bounce
  • Incredibly stable
  • Plush and airy upper
  • Roomy fit
  • Good grip on mild to moderate trails
  • Durable outsole
  • Light on the run
  • Really smooth ride
  • Best for easy days and long runs
  • Sustainable


  • Upper could use more support
  • Not great for technical trails
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3

Best running shoes for hiking for wide feet

Altra Olympus 5

What makes it the best?

The Olympus 5 from Altra is a premium shoe all around. It provides comfort for days with its spacious toe box, amazing cushioning, and excellent breathability. The Altra Olympus 5 is the best running shoe for hiking for runners with wide feet.

We measured the toe box of the Altra Olympus 5 at 103.4 mm, which is 4.7 mm more spacious than the average trail running shoe. The width, in combination with the squared shape of the shoe, kept our feet splayed out and kept blisters and black toenails at bay.

At the heel, it is just above the average stack height (33 mm vs 31.7 mm). But having a forefoot stack height of 31 mm, it massively eclipses the average forefoot stack height of 24.1 mm. The shoe definitely gives a cushioned and comfortable ride on the trails.

Airflow is admirable in the Altra Olympus 5. Ventilation throughout the shoe’s upper is present and provides a lovely amount of breeze on the feet, especially in hotter conditions. We gave it a respectable 3 out of 5 in our breathability test.

Durability is the main issue with the Olympus 5. It is not very well built, as the outsole started peeling away after only a few runs.


  • Grippy on wet and dry trails
  • Protective muscles
  • Comfort is a 10/10
  • Toe box welcomes wide feet
  • Gives out energy
  • Breathable
  • Stable ride
  • Heel lockdown is terrific!
  • Easy on and off


  • Durability couldn't be worse
  • Annoying lace bites
  • It's a splurge
Full review of Altra Olympus 5

Best waterproof running shoes for hiking

What makes it the best?

Our pick for the best waterproof running shoes for hiking is none other than the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX. Its outstanding cushioning, fantastic grip, and superb flexibility—wrapped in the superb Gore-Tex fabric—make it a top-of-the-line waterproof shoe.

The Pegasus Trail 3 GTX possesses an outstanding midsole. In the lab, we measured it at 32.5 mm, 0.8 mm higher than the average heel stack of trail running shoes. It is also 58.3% softer than average. This heavenly combination of a tall and soft midsole helped our feet stay comfortable and protected during our trail runs and day hikes. 

We also found the grip levels on the Pegasus Trail 3 to be excellent. Its lug depth of 3.3 mm is below the average of 3.5 mm, but the outsole clings to most surfaces we ran or hiked in—ranging from pavement, grass, mud, sand, dry, or wet.

The shoes also feel very flexible—our feet were nice and free during our runs. It offers a great natural ground feel and at the same time, it is not intrusive on the stride or gait cycle. Our lab tests verified that it is 33.12% more flexible than the average trail running shoe.

The Gore-Tex fabric in the Peg Trail 3 GTX offers top-notch waterproofing, but not much on the breathability side. Runners looking for a breathable shoe may find other shoes more appealing.


  • Fantastic waterproofing
  • Grips on everything dry and wet
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Also for hiking
  • Responsive
  • Stable on rocky terrain
  • Supports moderately flat feet
  • Straight-out-the-box comfort
  • Lighter than other GTX shoes
  • Locked-in heel
  • Worth every penny


  • Lacks durability
  • Not for summer runs
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX

Best lightweight running shoes for hiking

What makes it the best?

Endorphin Edge is a lightweight marvel that is super fast, super grippy, and super comfy. It delivers all the support needed to take on the mountains with confidence. This pair feels like a breath of fresh air, making it our top lightweight hiking-running shoe.

It boasts a 9.5 oz (269g) build, 9.1% lighter than the average trail shoe. It’s as light as a road-running shoe but holds the traction of a trail shoe. With lugs 3.4 mm deep and a rubber outsole that our durometer measured to be 13.0% softer than average, it clings to almost any type of terrain. We can easily maneuver the shoe on loose dirt, muddy puddles, and rocky paths.

Endorphin Edge surprisingly has generous cushioning for its airy weight. Its stack rises above the average, measuring 27.7% softer than the average trail shoe, as per our durometer. This mutes the landing impact on our legs.

Its stiff carbon plate provides high energy return with every step and its rockered structure launches us off smoothly. It consistently shows high performance on any distance and terrain. Our flex test in the lab confirms it’s 76.9% more resilient than average.

We don’t recommend this pair for easy runs as it may feel unstable. Endorphin Edge performs best at high speeds.


  • Fast as hell
  • Comfort written all over it
  • Super smooth ride
  • Light AF
  • Protection can't be more awesome
  • Breathable under warm temps
  • Toe box is ready for ultras
  • Carbon plate is not harsh
  • Grippy on wet, loose, and soft trails
  • Also great for the roads


  • Unstable at slow paces
  • Loose heel
Full review of Saucony Endorphin Edge

Best grippy running shoes for hiking

What makes it the best?

Lone Peak 7 allowed us to explore the trails with ease because its traction is beyond compare! Its perfect balance of plushness, responsiveness and flexibility made us comfortably agile. Our actual hikes and lab tests all point to this pair as the grippiest hiking runners.

We felt safe running on any slope or pavement since the shoe's lockdown and traction felt very solid. We measured its lugs to be 3.4 mm deep, preventing mud slips. What also helped is the lugs' arrangement in the forefoot and heel area, acting as brakes during steep descents.

The shoe’s flexibility added to the traction, moving naturally with our feet on uneven terrains. This gave us more control and a confidence boost to run faster in the wild. Upon checking with our lab flex test, it came out 20.8% more flexible than the average trail shoe. This confirms why we felt more agile in this pair.

We could keep going all day with its comfortable fit. Its balanced cushion was plush enough to keep our legs fresh and firm enough to protect our underfoot from rocks.

Scoring 3/5 on our breathability test, this pair falls below the average score of 3.4. This means its upper may lack ventilation for some trail runners in tropical seasons.


  • Very wide toebox
  • Protective midsole
  • Superb lockdown
  • Super grippy outsole
  • Excellent for fast runs in the mountains
  • Added heel cup provides stability
  • Super comfy
  • Easy to clean


  • Colorways might be a downer
  • A bit pricey
Full review of Altra Lone Peak 7

Running shoes for hiking with the best durability

What makes it the best?

One word describes Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX best — heavy-duty. It’s extremely protective all around with its firm midsole, durable outsole, and non-penetrating upper. This pair has one of the toughest builds in the market. Backed up by all the test that we did in the lab and all the test runs that we performed outside, it offers the best durability among hiking running shoes.

The firm midsole is composed of dual-density EVA foam, which focuses mainly on underfoot protection and stability. Our durometer shows the cushion is 42.3% firmer than average, making sure we don’t feel sharp rocks and roots. Meanwhile, the 85.1 HC outsole is at par with average, making up for a thicker 3.0 mm rubber to ensure it will last long.

This shoe is one of the best waterproof shoes we’ve tried thanks to its full Gore-Tex membrane. In our smoke test, it scored a low 1/5. Even smoke couldn’t escape the upper, which shows that water and other debris pose no threat to the mesh upper.

Further adding protection is its gusseted tongue and lacing system that locks down our foot securely. With a thick toe bumper and suede overlays, this shoe can withstand anything.

We discovered that XA Pro 3D is better suited as a hiking shoe since it’s too stiff and heavy for fast and technical trail running.


  • Outstanding waterproofing
  • Highly durable
  • Stable platform
  • Solid grip
  • Also great for hiking
  • Roomy toebox
  • Convenient lacing


  • Heavy
  • Stiff sole
  • Narrow midfoot
Full review of Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX

Comparison of the 7 best running shoes for hiking

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How we test running shoes

Here at RunRepeat, we 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 even segment the shoes in half so we are given an in-depth view of what we are working on.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
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.