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#205505 - 04/23/21 10:15 PM Why Not Road Runners?
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 290
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Yesterday I went to REI, thinking I would get a new pair of Altra Lone Peak trail runners. My current pair has lasted well over a thousand (relatively easy) miles, and are patched inside and out with Shoe Goo, barge cement, and fabric.

Somewhat to my surprise, I came home with a pair of Altra Riveras, which are road-running shoes. I may yet get new Lone Peaks, but the Riveras are for my daily walks as well as everyday normal wear.

I walked about three miles in them today, and I noticed I could actually feel the difference in weight (18 oz. vs 24 oz.)

So why not road runners for backpacking? I've only backpacked in "regular sneakers" once, and they worked fine, but conditions were pretty undemanding.

I recall in "Beyond Backpacking," the shoes Ray Jardine suggests are just ordinary running shoes. I think that may have been before "trail runners" became available.

Also, at one time there was concern over lug-soled shoes (mostly boots) damaging fragile alpine areas. I haven't heard much about this in recent years, but I may be a bit out of touch smile

Anyway, it seems like a logical place to save weight. Your thoughts?
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#205506 - 04/24/21 12:32 AM Re: Why Not Road Runners? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
aimless Online   content

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3167
Loc: Portland, OR
They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I haven't yet tried road runners, so I have no news to report one way or the other. Could be great. Could be so-so. Could be awful. Beats me.

On the other hand, you clearly have a golden opportunity to blaze a new trail in backpacking footwear experimentation! Report back here when you come to a conclusion about your success of lack of it. grin

#205508 - 04/24/21 07:49 PM Re: Why Not Road Runners? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Arizona Offline

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 158
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Every make and model are different enough that I have to test how much stability for my gait and how stiff the sole is. Doesn’t matter what they call the shoe. It has to perform over rocky trails and cross country terrain to be useful for my travel. Those would be top questions that I’d have.

Maybe they could work.

#205509 - 04/25/21 02:38 PM Re: Why Not Road Runners? [Re: aimless]
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 290
Loc: Portland, Oregon
More like re-blazing an abandoned trail smile
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#205511 - 04/26/21 09:17 AM Re: Why Not Road Runners? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
4evrplan Offline

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 872
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I've walked a lot of miles on and off the trail in street shoes, and none of them were as nice or as expensive as your new Altras. Most of the time, I just made due with what I had, and my feet were just fine. My wife has run in Altras (street), but I could never bring myself to pay that much for trail shoes. These days, I do use trail runners (Saucony Cohesion TR), but only because the price is right, and they work for my feet. I guess my point is that street shoes and even non running "lifestyle" shoes can work.

Side note, does anyone else despise the term "lifestyle shoes"? It makes it sound like they're all for show and there's no practical aspect to them. Ugh.
The journey is more important than the destination.

#205512 - 04/26/21 11:58 AM Re: Why Not Road Runners? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1093
Loc: Madison, AL
First and foremost: every foot and everyone's hiking preferences are unique. Use what works for you.

What might you be missing out on with a street running shoe? Depth of grip and (possibly) ability to handle sharp rocks sticking up out of the trail.

The kind of grip you need can be very dependent on where you hike. In England, hiking around in bogs with soft ground, hard nubs are preferred, but those hard nubs suck on wet slick rock. Hiking on dry, groomed trails don't need much grip at all. The soft nubs preferred on many trail runners are nice, but they sure wear off pretty fast.

If you regularly hike in areas with lots of rocks on the trail, street runners may leave your feet bruised pretty badly. Of course, many lightweight trail runners won't help you much either. Trying to find trail runners with an honest to gosh rock plate is getting more and more difficult.

Lots of people use street runners hiking. If they work for you, why not?


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