Best Running Shoes for Hiking in 2018

Advances in trail running shoes continue to add features like 3D printed cages and impossibly lightweight cushioning. The latest running shoes for hiking strike a balance between protecting your feet from rocks and debris, cushioning your run, and remaining lightweight and flexible.

It’s a delicate balance, but brands are delivering on their promises in new and innovative ways. Finding your best running shoes for hiking depends on your running habits and fit preferences, but rest assured, there’s a show for every runner and every terrain.

Here are our picks for the best running shoes for hiking:


Top 3 Products Section

Best for Wet Trails

Salomon Speedcross 4

Most Cushioned

Hoka One One Stinson ATR 4


1. Brooks Cascadia 13

 

The Brooks Cascadia 13 has all of the features runners have come to expect from Brooks, like an internal saddle system to keep them snug on your feet, and an Ariaprene tongue that both cushions and breathes. Brooks promises SUV-like stability, with features that protect your feet from rocks on the trail.

The Cascadia’s durability is its most enduring feature. Brooks has taken great care to make sure these shoes stand up to the elements. The 3D Rubber Print Mud Guard protects the shoe from trail debris, while the Pivot Post system creates stability akin to your car’s suspension system.

With a neutral footbed that supports medium to high arches, the Cascadia is best for runners who prefer a cushion-like experience. The shoe weighs 12 oz, with is at the upper end of the weight scale for a running shoe designed for hiking.


PROS:

  • The Cascadia has solid trail protection features, like its 3D Rubber Print Mud Guard.
  • This model has increased softness underfoot.
  • Runners report little to no break in period.

CONS:

  • Some runners report that the Cascadia runs small.
  • At 12 oz, this shoe is one of the heavier shoes on this list.

2. Altra Lone Peak 4.0

Altra’s Lone Peak 4 is the natural evolution in their line of trail shoes. It keeps features that runners liked in the previous model, as the integrated tongue, but adds a new upper with static webbing for improved cinching.

Like its competitors, the Lone Peak 4 boasts breathability and flexibility—features important to all running shoes for hiking. However, Lone Peak 4’s new skeletal structure moves with your foot naturally as you run uphill.

The Zero Drop feature adds to Lone Peak’s stability as it keeps your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, ensuring a low-impact run. The 4-Point Gaitertrap keeps debris from building up on the bottom of your shoe as you run.

Altra’s Lone Peak 4 focuses on stability and support rather than ruggedness. With Trailclaw to provide traction at toe-off, Maxtrac to grip the ground, and Stoneguard’s flexible protection against rugged terrain, the Lone Peak 4 is one of the most stable trail running shoes on this list.


PROS:

  • The lightweight design weighs just 10.2 oz.
  • The shoe is flexible, with added metatarsal, heel, and forefoot support.

CONS:

  • Lone peak has limited color options.
  • One runner reported toe cap separation at 2.5 miles, but this seems like an anomaly.

3. Salomon Speedcross 4

 

\The latest version of Salomon’s Speedcross is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It features an aggressive grip to keep you running through rugged terrain, and lightweight protection, so you don’t feel every rock on the trail.

Salomon Speedcross 4 is lightweight at just 10.89 oz. Salomon notes that it is best for wet and dirty terrain, as its most redeeming features are for protection rather than stability. It’s designed to be a high-use shoe with tests proving its durability at more than two runs per week.

With a rounded toe box, many runners will find the Salomon Speedcross 4 more roomy and comfortable, but only in the toe. The shoe is narrower than its predecessor, which may prove challenging for some trail runners to find a perfect fit.


PROS:

  • The lightweight design and rounded toe box provide a comfortable run.
  • The anti-debris mesh is easy to clean.
  • Salomon has many color options.

CONS:

  • The Speedcross 4 is narrower than the past version.
  • The anti-debris mesh hampers breathability.

4. Hoka One One Stinson ATR 4

If you are looking for a brightly colored trail running shoe, the Hoka One One Stinson ATR 4 offers a variety of see-you-coming styles. It features a wider flare than the Stinson ATR 3, designed to improve fit for those with a neutral footbed.

Stinson ATR 4 has tightly-packed, 4mm lugs, designed to add stability on challenging terrain. The podular outsole design provides further stability. For vegan runners, the cements are water-based and unlikely to contain animal by-products.

The Stinson ATR 4 has a moderate weight of 11.85 oz, so it’s not as light as many trail running shoes. Its upper is an open mesh with a breathable design.


PROS:

  • The wide toe box allows your toes to spread out comfortably.
  • The well-balanced design keeps the foot stable during your run.

CONS:

  • Hoka One One notes that this shoe will start to show deterioration around 300 miles.
  • Reviewers note that the shoe is not as cushioned as previous models.

5. Altra Timp Trail

With moderate cushioning, the Altra Timp Trail is the shoe of choice for runners who do not like a super-cushioned running shoe. The Timp Trail features a 29mm stack height and 4mm outsole lugs to increase comfort on long runs.

The Footshape toe box allows the big toe to stay straight, providing extra support for stability on rough terrain. It provides a natural-feeling run, moving with your foot so that every stride feels as close to barefoot running as possible.

Like with other Altra running shoes, the Zero Drop platform keeps the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground. Weighing in at 11.1 oz, the Altra Timp Trail’s moderate weight is reflective of its moderate cushioning.


PROS:

  • The 360-degree reflective upper supports safe running practices.
  • Some runners report that moderate cushioning is a nice middle between Altra’s Lone Peak and Olympus.

CONS:

  • Some runners report deterioration starts as low as 120 miles.
  • When the inside of the shoe is wet, the insole may move, causing friction and blistering.

6. Saucony Peregrine 8

If speed is your goal, the Saucony Peregrine 8 won Gear Patrol’s 2018 “Best for Speed” award. It has a top sole designed to maximize energy return and provide a lasting, cushioned run. Its lightweight design weighs in at just 10 oz.

With 6.0 outsole lugs and a PWRFOAM midsole, the Peregrine 8’s design is for a smooth run with added rebound. It is designed for traction, and Saucony markets the shoe for hiking as well as running.

The 4mm heel-to-toe offset helps your feet to do more work without relying on Peregrine 8’s cushioning and stability features, though it has plenty of those, too. EVERUN cushioning is responsive for smooth landings and strong takeoffs.


PROS:

  • The design is very lightweight.
  • The rubber sole provides traction and abrasion resistance.

CONS:

  • Some runners report a long break-in period of 80 miles or more.
  • Its design is not water resistant.

7. Salomon Ride

If you are looking for an extremely lightweight shoe, the Salomon Ride weighs in at 9.7 oz. Ride’s design is for mostly dry terrain, but it has enough durability for training and racing. As one of Salomon’s most cushioned running shoes, its design is for runners who enjoy a cushioned run.

The EndoFit system gives runners a custom fit that hugs the foot in a stable position. The cushioning compound, called Opal, pairs with EnergyCell+ to form a high-rebound system. It minimizes vibrations for a responsive run.

Even though Salomon Ride’s design is for dry terrain, it still features the Contragrip outsole for excellent traction. Runners report that the EndoFit system keeps the shoe from coming off, even in muddy conditions.


PROS:

  • The QuickLace system means less time spent lacing your shoes for every run.
  • Opal cushioning compound is lightweight but highly cushioning.
  • The Saloman Ride is the lightest shoe on our list.

CONS:

  • Some runners report deterioration after three months of use.
  • The shoe may not accommodate wide feet.

8. Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Speedgoat 2 is designed to handle any surface, including extremely rough terrains. Its inspiration is athlete Karl Meltzer, whose nickname is Speedgoat. The shoe has many upgrades over the original Hoka One One Speedgoat, all to improve the rugged abilities of the shoe.

With an overall weight of 9.8 oz, the Speedgoat 2 is lightweight for all of its durability. It features an oversize EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning and a wide platform for a stable base on rugged terrain. Its lugs measure 5mm and are designed for grip on technical trails.

Speedgoat’s upper features mesh construction for maximum breathability. Most runners report that it runs true to size and provides good traction, as it’s designed to do.


PROS:

  • Speedgoat’s traction features receive very high ratings.
  • The lightweight design balances against the rugged features.

CONS:

  • Some runners report that the shoe runs narrow.
  • Runners who do not wear socks report debris entering the shoe on especially rocky terrain.

9. Nike Zoom Wildhorse 4

At a retail price of $110, the Nike Zoom Wildhorse 4 is an inexpensive and popular trail running shoe designed to protect your feet yet provide comfortable support. The shoe features a protective plate that keeps your feet stable even on the rockiest surfaces.

Nike uses Flywire cables to wrap the arch and provide both comfort and stability. This creates a strong upper that still manages to have the breathability we expect in a good running shoe. Plush foam cushions the ankle for extra support.

The Zoom Wildhorse 4 uses Nike’s Zoom Air unit for added cushioning without adding a lot of weight.


PROS:

  • Runner reviews report that the shoe is snug without being too tight.
  • Most reviews state that Zoom Wildhorse 4 is very comfortable.

CONS:

  • Runners report durability issues when using the shoe for daily or aggressive runs.
  • Some runners find that the shoe runs small.

10. Columbia Montrail Rogue FKT II

 

A 3D printed cage that eliminates the need for seams and glue tops the list of features for Columbia’s Montrail Rogue FKT II. Columbia boasts that the FKT stands for “fastest run time.” Even with a mix of lightweight features, the shoe weighs in at 11 oz.

Montrail Rogue FKT II features 6.5mm lugs for traction and stability on rough terrains. Columbia’s FluidFoam midsole gives it high cushioning that remains flexible yet supportive. The sole has perforations to further enhance flexibility and transition during gait cycle.


PROS:

  • The 3D printed cage provides durability and limits toe separation issues.
  • The shoe is very flexible.

CONS:

  • Reviews state the Montrail Rogue FKT II runs small.
  • The shoes have a high 10mm drop.

Summary

Finding the best running shoe for hiking is about defining your goals and finding the shoe that best meets them. If you’re looking for the best of all worlds, the Altra Timp Trail is a good place to start since it’s not over-cushioned, not too light or too heavy, and has good runner reviews.

If you’re looking for a shoe that can tackle the most rugged terrains, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 has some of the most rugged features on the market. Of course, if speed is your goal, the Saucony Peregrine 8 boasts awards for speed thanks to its lightweight, responsive construction.

No matter what your goals, there’s a shoe on this list that can help you reach them.