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
Anyway, it seems like a logical place to save weight. Your thoughts?