7 Best Running Shoes For Hiking in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Running Shoes For Hiking in 2024
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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 many 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.

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.

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 manoeuvre 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
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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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 top waterproof running shoe for hiking is none other than the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX. Its outstanding React foam, reliable grip, and superb flexibility — wrapped in the protective Gore-Tex fabric — make it a top-of-the-line water-resistant shoe.

The upper has several TPU layers and a Gore-Tex membrane for protection from unwanted elements. It incredibly resisted the force of our Dremel, receiving a remarkable 4/5 durability rating.

The React foam is a star as it blends lasting comfort and energy return. In the lab, we measured it at 37.7 mm, 5.5 mm higher than the average heel stack of trail-running shoes. It is 29.0% softer than average. This heavenly combination of a tall and soft midsole protects our legs during trail runs and hikes. 

We find Peg’s grip effective on uneven terrains and slippery surfaces. Its lug depth of 3.5 mm latches on any surface, helping us stay in control on steep ascents/descents and fast corners. 

We felt free in our runs as the midsole offers non-intrusive flexibility for a natural feel. Our lab test verifies that it’s 29.0% more flexible than the average trail running shoe.

The tall heel is paired with a modest forefoot, leading to a 12.8 mm drop. Those of us who are mid-to-forefoot strikers found this too steep.

Pros

  • Versatile road-to-trail performance
  • Grippier than the standard version
  • Surprisingly light for a GTX shoe
  • Accommodates wide feet with ease
  • Delivers a really stable ride for neutral runners
  • Upper showcases remarkable durability
  • Fantastic option for heel strikers

Cons

  • Non-gusseted tongue allows water and debris to enter the shoe
  • Not suitable for technical terrain
  • Excessive drop for midfoot or forefoot strikers
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 4 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 manoeuvre 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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

Best zero drop running shoes for hiking

What makes it the best?

Staying true to Altra’s core, Lone Peak 8 delivered the most seamless zero-drop experience among hiking running shoes. Even our lab proves its minimalist build drives an agile yet stable ride, allowing us to manoeuvre through unpredictable trails with ease and control.

We have a heightened sense of the surface we’re tackling thanks to the low configuration of the shoe. Other than its below-average 22.7/21.3 mm build, it has a minimal 1.4 mm heel drop that essentially feels like none. The cushion feels protective enough and allows for more longitudinal flexibility. It was easy for us to be in control since the midsole barely fought back, showing 27.1% less resistance than average in our bend test.

The platform is composed of a dense EGO foam which gives a nice rebound and a hint of stability in our strides. Our durometer reveals it’s 11.4% firmer than average, ensuring it won’t bottom out even as we’re loaded with heavy backpacks. There are even raised sidewalls on the sides of the midsole, further contributing to a well-planted feeling.

Unfortunately, the weak spot we found is the lack of grip in wet and muddy conditions. For treks over tricky terrain, it's wise to swap out for a better-equipped shoe.

Pros

  • Responsive midsole
  • Natural barefoot feeling ride
  • Low to the ground and stable
  • Doubles as a reliable hiking shoe
  • Breathable and durable ripstop upper mesh
  • Secure midfoot lockdown
  • Accommodating toebox
  • Generously padded and comfy
  • Dries quickly
  • Gaiter attachment ready

Cons

  • Not so grippy in wet conditions
  • Subpar outsole durability
Full review of Altra Lone Peak 8

Running shoes for hiking with the best durability

What makes it the best?

Salomon XA Pro 3D v9 epitomises protection, standing out as a heavy-duty option. Its solid midsole, 3D chassis technology, and sturdy yet breathable upper collectively deliver exceptional protection throughout. Extensive lab testing confirms it's the most durable hiking running shoe.

The midsole strikes a perfect balance between cushioning and ground feel, boasting a 31.7/19.2 mm stack. This design effectively absorbs impact upon landing and shields the foot from potential debris thanks to its dense foam composition, which proves to be 17.9% more resilient than the average. This firm cushioning promotes confident strides, even when carrying heavy loads, as it remains resistant to bottoming out.

Adding to its stability is the 3D chassis, a rigid TPU layer between the midsole and outsole, reducing excessive lateral movements on demanding terrains. This feature ensures our safety on rocky and uneven ground. Moreover, the shoe's longitudinal flexibility enhances comfort, surpassing average flexibility by 18.8% in our 90-degree test.

When it comes to the upper, our lab tests affirm its impressive breathability and toebox durability, earning ratings of 4/5 and 5/5 respectively. This combination of airflow and protective features is truly remarkable.

However, the XA Pro 3D's robust design is better suited for hiking than fast and technical trail running, as it may feel too stiff and heavy for those activities.

Pros

  • Tank-like foot protection
  • Incredibly stable and supportive ride
  • Excellent traction on mixed or rocky trails
  • Great hiking/backpacking companion
  • Relatively flexible despite 3D chassis
  • Effectively dampens landings
  • Generously padded and comfortable
  • No chance of lace bite
  • Durable and high-quality construction
  • Eye-catching design

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Stiff upper needs breaking in
  • Cushioning on the firm side
  • Not nimble enough for technical trails
Full review of Salomon XA Pro 3D v9
Author
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.