Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

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Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 10:38 am

I had intended to purchase a pair of Roclite G 315 GTX V2 Walking Shoes, but seeing that Wild Earth has Salomon Thundercross trailing running shoes (in an, ah, interesting colour) going for $99.95, I thought that they might be worth a shot. What is the current thinking on bushwalking (mostly on track nowadays) with trail runners? Are there any durability issues?
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby tassietramper » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 11:09 am

I've used both in recent years and find the durability differences to be minimal. The only reason I've gone back to a boot (mid height) in recent times is that I've found the soles to be much more forgiving when it comes to walking on many Tas tracks that include small stones and roots. The impact on the soles of my feet being minimised. Currently wearing La Sportiva and [rather surprisingly] loving them.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 11:19 am

tassietramper wrote:I've used both in recent years and find the durability differences to be minimal. The only reason I've gone back to a boot (mid height) in recent times is that I've found the soles to be much more forgiving when it comes to walking on many Tas tracks that include small stones and roots. The impact on the soles of my feet being minimised. Currently wearing La Sportiva and [rather surprisingly] loving them.


Thanks for the feedback. I hadn't considered how the soles would impact the experience. The Roclite apparently provides "extra protection' from rocks."
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Biggles » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 12:13 pm

For uncomplicated walking, trail runners of any flavour will do, and look at the variety! Some however are ridiculously priced for what they are (yes Bogong, I'm pointing at you!).

For the majority of bushwalking I wear bushwalking boots where ankle support and stability over uneven ground is required, along with a much more robust sole and overall construction; my walking isn't necessarily on tracks or trails, but over rocky terrain, through creeks and rivers, mud and gunk etc., where "trail runners" will be bashed about to the point where they are pretty much money wasted. For everday casual use, go for it, but leave serious bushwalking to the boots.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 1:40 pm

Biggles wrote: For everday casual use, go for it, but leave serious bushwalking to the boots.


Well, I guess all these years of bushwalking haven't been serious, as I stopped wearing Scarpa boots years ago (early 2000's I guess). I prefer my Scarpa Approach shoes to boots, but now my load has lightened are pretty harsh when walking on tracks.

BTW, when we walked the Larapinta Trail way back when, there were walkers doing fine in DVs and KT26s (?) whilst I was walking in my Scarpa boots. That was around the time I decided to move from wearing boots. I haven't looked back.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Biggles » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 2:00 pm

The key is ankle support, not vanity or supposed enhanced mobility or stability etc., as proposed by "trail running shoes".
What's good for one person may not necessarily be good for anybody else, at any time or all the time.

Shoes with pink stripes...? :shock:
I think I'll pass on that. :lol:
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Casparvitch » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 2:05 pm

In my experience having some boot wrapped around my ankle has not provided any support, other than protection from scrub.

I do prefer to go with proper Vibram sole lightweight shoes. In agreement with the above I find the extra protection from rocks, durability etc is worth the additional weight.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 2:09 pm

[quote="Biggles"]The key is ankle support, not vanity or supposed enhanced mobility or stability etc., as proposed by "trail running shoes".
What's good for one person may not necessarily be good for anybody else, at any time or all the time.[/qoute]

That is not what you said previously and I guess each to their own. I, like @Caspervitch, have not found the lack of 'ankle support' an issue.

Anyway this is not relevant to my opening question which was trail runners v hiking shoes such as the Roclite.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Casparvitch » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 2:14 pm

If durability is your major concern Aushiker, I have found soles similar to those on the Salomons to wear out noticeably faster than vibram soles.

For $99 do you really care though?
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 2:20 pm

Casparvitch wrote:If durability is your major concern Aushiker, I have found soles similar to those on the Salomons to wear out noticeably faster than vibram soles.

For $99 do you really care though?


Thanks ... yeah the price is good if I can get over the colour. I do like the look of the Roclites but I am guessing not Vibram soles.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby sandym » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 3:22 pm

I haven't worn proper hiking boots for nearly 25 years. Switched to either approach shoes or trail runners and would not go back to heavy clumpy boots on my feet and I am off trail 85 to 90% of the time. Some brands seem better than others for durability but there's also so much variety within brands it's hard to say. At $99, if they have your size you can't lose.

What I am curious about is who convinced a generation of people that they needed "ankle support?" I guess the same people who convinced us that we need to walk with our heels lifted rather than in a zero drop shoe.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 3:33 pm

My personal opinion is that it is important to look stylish while in the bush, and those Salomon's look extremely stylish. I'm rather disappointed they don't have them in my size.

For what it's worth, I used to wear trail runners, now I usually wear light hiking boots. I've found the soles wear out just as quick on the boots as they did on the shoes. Where the boots do better is the tops. The runners always got holes in the tops from sticks or rocks or God knows what. The boots never. Not sure if you can extrapolate those findings to hiking shoes.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby ofuros » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 4:15 pm

At the moment, I'm rocking a pair of Inov's with the graphine sole/tread...so far they've outlasted the Speadgoat5's which died @ 500km. Durable. Uppers are fine.

Unloved lurid colours & superseded sales are the best way to pick up some cheaper runners... :wink:

Next up, I have some Flouro red altras just biding their time for some off-track punishment. Sale bargain. :D
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby north-north-west » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 5:10 pm

sandym wrote:What I am curious about is who convinced a generation of people that they needed "ankle support?" I guess the same people who convinced us that we need to walk with our heels lifted rather than in a zero drop shoe.

It goes back more than a generation, although I don't wear leather boots for ankle support, I do it for the durability and protection from scrub.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby EGM » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 8:47 pm

Trail runners will never last as long as boots but I wouldn't be worried about them breaking down mid walk.

It's also a very broad category, some of the Italian offerings are very sturdy and will rival boots in many factors. And some other runners from Nike etc are basically road runners with lugs.

Trail runners are king jf you have a light pack.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 9:58 pm

ofuros wrote:At the moment, I'm rocking a pair of Inov's with the graphine sole/tread...so far they've outlasted the Speadgoat5's which died @ 500km. Durable. Uppers are fine.


That is good to know, as the Roclite 315 GTX V2 have 'Graphene enhanced' soles.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 24 Apr, 2024 10:00 pm

JohnnoMcJohnno wrote:My personal opinion is that it is important to look stylish while in the bush, and those Salomon's look extremely stylish. I'm rather disappointed they don't have them in my size.


:D
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby crollsurf » Thu 25 Apr, 2024 4:28 pm

Traditionally hiking shoes were more durable, gave better protection, and had better grip across a wide variety of terrian. Trail runners were a lot lighter and gave better cushioning under foot, but not better protection under foot from sharp rocks. Those destinctions have been blurred now for well over a decade.

Inov8 was one of the first, if not the first, to combine the best of both worlds.

I'm a trail runner type of person, YMMV but one thing I've noticed with trail runners, is that you end up with dirty feet/socks, most notably around the toes. So while they dry a lot quicker, the dust gets through the mesh of the upper. No big deal but my old Invo8 approach shoes don't do that.

I'd go the Inov8 option.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Thu 25 Apr, 2024 6:00 pm

crollsurf wrote:
I'd go the Inov8 option.


That is my thinking too.

I may have, however, solved my problem for now, at least, as I found a pair of Inov-8 TrailRoc 285, which I have had since 2019, apparently at the back of the cupboard, and they still have some life left in them. I had forgotten I had them as I haven't been trail-running for a couple of years. So will give them a try on my next overnight in June and then replace them in due course with Inov-8 Roclite G 315 GTX or Roclite G 315 GTX or hiking boots. I found a couple of informative reviews at Wild Walking UK. One on the Roclite G 315 GTX and one on the Roclite G 345 GTX.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Tue 30 Apr, 2024 5:19 pm

We wear low-cut NB trail shoes or joggers for the bush (no boots), and low-cut NB trail runners on our morning flat fire trail runs. Both are nice at their tasks.
So I thought I would try our NB trail runners in the bush. They have what are called 'FreshFoam' soles or inners, and they are soft.
They were NOT a success!

The reason was that while the FreshFoam soles are indeed very comfortable when pounding along on a flat fire trail, they are far too soft and WOBBLY when scarpering around on Hawkesbury sandstone rock. My feet were not getting the required feedback from the terrain - no proprioception. Most unsatisfactory.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Wed 01 May, 2024 11:00 am

Thanks, Roger, for your input. I have a very old pair of New Balance hiking shoes which were fine at the time, but comparing them to my Inov-8 trail runners today, the Inov-8 have a much more robust sole. The only issue with my pair is that they are about 1/2 size too small. I must have missed the memo from Inov-8 to size up 1/2 size when I brought them.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Wed 01 May, 2024 2:40 pm

The only issue with my pair is that they are about 1/2 size too small.
Or your feet are still growing - which they do. (Despite claims otherwise.)
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Thu 02 May, 2024 1:39 pm

rcaffin wrote:The only issue with my pair is that they are about 1/2 size too small.
Or your feet are still growing - which they do. (Despite claims otherwise.)


That may explain why I am pretty sure they where comfortable when I used them as trail runners. I stopped trail-running about two years ago.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Thu 02 May, 2024 3:03 pm

Yeah, feet grow.
20 - 30 years ago I took size 7 shoes. Last year I was wearing size 10. This year I have had to go up to size 10.5.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Kickinghorse » Thu 02 May, 2024 10:16 pm

Roger, surprised to see you’re not still wearing the Dunlop KT 26’s you always used to express confidence in.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Thu 02 May, 2024 10:21 pm

Kickinghorse wrote:Roger, surprised to see you’re not still wearing the Dunlop KT 26’s you always used to express confidence in.


Can you still buy them?
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Kickinghorse » Thu 02 May, 2024 10:44 pm

Not sure Andrew but found this on the Net.

Cost pressures saw the production of the KT26 moved offshore to China in the late 1990s and moved between Chinese factories for the next decade to find the cheapest per unit production price. As a result, the quality of the KT26 suffered and the famed fit/last shape varied depending on the factory at the time.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Fri 03 May, 2024 7:42 am

And in the moves between factories, the last used for the KT-26s suffered, and the construction suffered. They ended up with a different and uncomfortable fit, which did not suit my very wide feet. So the several pairs I had bought were of no use to me. Then they went out of production anyhow, because 'they' had trashed the product and people weren't buying them any more. Greed, greed, greed.

I gave the 3 pairs I had to my grandson: they fitted him, and he does endurance races.
The Volleys are still available, and my wife loves them, but only as casual shoes at home, not in the bush.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Kickinghorse » Fri 03 May, 2024 10:17 am

Yes the Volleys have progressed from when I used to play tennis as a kid. As an athletic/tennis shoe they were it.

https://volley.com.au/products/safety-c ... ack-136765

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Penguin » Fri 03 May, 2024 4:42 pm

north-north-west wrote:
sandym wrote:What I am curious about is who convinced a generation of people that they needed "ankle support?" I guess the same people who convinced us that we need to walk with our heels lifted rather than in a zero drop shoe.

It goes back more than a generation, although I don't wear leather boots for ankle support, I do it for the durability and protection from scrub.


A few years back (six in fact) I did a literature search on whether leather boots provided increased ankle support in rough terrain compared to shoe style of cut. Apart from a couple of low level articles that were written as a result of research funding from the American Army in the 1960's, I could find NO evidence to support that contention that leather boots reduce the risk of ankle injury. Has anybody else done a lit survey and found any interesting scientific articles on this.

As pointed out above, boots offer very good protection from abrasion.

So writes a very happy Vibram Five finger hiker that has worn canvass putties to protect delicate ankle during off track walking, much of it in Tasmania. Sadly after 30 years my rheumatoid style arthritis has limited my walking rather than my choice of footwear.
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