What kind of hiking/gym shoes should I buy?
March 23, 2011 1:33 PM   Subscribe

What type of hiking/gym shoe magical combination should I buy?

I am also inspired by today's FPP, which I was scouring for amazing insight when I saw this question. Now I have to ask: What type of hiking/gym shoes should I buy?

I am looking for some new shoes. I spend 4-5 days a week at the gym (ellipitcal, recumbent bike, occasional weight lifting), and 1-2 days a week hiking (with a toddler strapped to my back in an Ergo). I don't have a whole lot to spend (upper limit ~$120), and thusly don't want to buy two separate pairs for each activity. Even before today's posts, I have been eyeballing Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove, which seems perfect for my low-impact gym habits... but I am just not sure if it would be more prudent to go with something a little more sturdy for hiking?

I am somewhat overweight and tend to some plantar fasciitis, particularly if I wear flip-flops too much (hence the concern about switching to something with less support). My current shoes, which I bought after being fitted at a running store, are just about dead and while I have no problems while hiking and working out in them, by the time I get home, my feet are killing me (the soles of my feet, specifically).

I generally hike in the rocky desert areas near where I live (Arizona). I don't run and I hate the treadmill. If I had a choice, I would hike every day and skip the gym entirely - but it is soon to be in the triple digits and my hiking time will be reduced in favor of the air conditioned gym.

So tl;dr: I need some recommendations for hiking shoes that are also good for the gym. Or gym shoes that are also good for hiking.
posted by LyndsayMW to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What do you mean by hiking? Technical trails with rocks and washouts, paved paths, or something in between?

For walking on paved or well-maintained paths, any sneakers would be fine. But if you need a bit more support, you enter the exact territory of shoes that are bad for the gym.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:52 PM on March 23, 2011

Does your gym have any rules about shoes? Some gyms specifically forbid shoes with dark soles, or shoes that have been worn outdoors.

Have your current shoes always been giving you pain at the end of the day? If not, you may just need to replace them with a new pair of the same model. My running shoes start hurting if I go too long without replacing them.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011

Oh oh oh! This looks like another opportunity for me to recommend my Salomon [looks down at foot] XA Comp 5 GTXs! (They replaced my previous pair, which I loved to death and wore nearly every day for three years.)

Many of the Salomons are similar and great, but be sure that if you want a waterproof and/or non-mesh one, you look very carefully to make sure the wind doesn't whoosh through. The ones I linked to are waterproof but great year-round.
posted by Madamina at 2:27 PM on March 23, 2011

If you love the shoes you have now, you might be able to eke some more life out of them with a good pair of insoles. Superfeet are awesome and come in many flavors.
posted by charmcityblues at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2011

Because I have arthritis-like damage to the big toe joint on my right foot, I prefer wearing a shoe with a rigid sole in the gym (where I fast-walk the treadmill and use the elliptical); for this I love my Merrell Siren Sport day hikers. For hiking I prefer a boot with ankle support, but if it wasn't for that, these Merrells would do double duty just fine.

Now, if you want or need ankle support as well, Merrell has lots of options to choose from. (My current hiking boots are a 13-year old pair of EMS backpacking boots that are just wonderful, but I think that they are too bulky and heavy for the gym.)

Overall I cannot speak too highly Merrells: apart from dress shoes for business, I almost never wear anything else on my feet.
posted by cool breeze at 3:05 PM on March 23, 2011

I was coming here to recommend trail running shoes, but I see others have beaten me to it. You should find out what your gym's policy is on shoe soles, first, though, because they may not allow shoes that will potentially (in their eyes) mark floors or equipment. I find that shoes intended for running and cross-trainers lack the grip you really want for hiking.

It's a bit hit-and-miss, but I buy most of my running shoes at stock clearance sales and usually pay no more than half-price. It may be worth some scouting around to see if you can buy two pairs of shoes within your budget.
posted by dg at 9:10 PM on March 23, 2011

1) Gym and running/hiking require completely different movements - don't use the same shoe for both, you'll find that you are not getting anything right in either way

2) using a shoe you use outside (hiking!) in the gym is gross (for the other people)

so please get 2 pairs, if you look for last year's models you can easily get 2 decent pairs for 60-70$ each. Especially for the gym, where no particular technology is required
posted by madeinitaly at 2:08 AM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: I must admit that it never occurred to me that certain shoes might be gross for other gym goers or that the gym might have rules about shoes, but it makes total sense!

It also makes sense that I should buy two pairs. I went hiking yesterday and realized that I probably do need more support than I do in the gym.

Thank you for the suggestions! I now have some direction. Off to get fitted!
posted by LyndsayMW at 7:54 AM on March 24, 2011

« Older Pictures for ebay   |   New scanner, same settings, PDFs 4x bigger. WTF? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.