Are Ankle Boots Better For Hiking?

brown hiking books on rocks

The question we will be answering today is, are ankle boots better for hiking? Well, it depends on a lot of factors that we can discuss. First, let’s explain the 3 main types of hiking shoes/boots.

#1. Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoe

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Low-cut models with flexible midsoles are excellent for quick day hikes. Ultralight backpackers might choose trail-running shoes for long-distance journeys. These are a little firmer than regular tennis shoes. I prefer these over trail running shoes because they don’t give your feet enough support in the soles and you could end up with Plantar Fasciitis.

#2. Day Hiking Ankle Boots

Hiking Boot

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These ankle boots range from low cut models to high cut models and are made to wear short hiking trips with light loads. They usually flex easily and require little break-in time, but they don’t have the same support and durability of backpacking boots. The true benefit of high- or mid-cut versus hiking shoes is in the way they can protect from the elements.

#3. Backpacking Ankle Boots

Backpacking Boot

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These are built to carry heavier loads on long hiking trips deep in the backcountry. These would be considered ankle boots because they have a higher cut that wraps above the ankles for support.  They have stiffer midsoles than lighter footwear, and are suitable for all terrain.

Are Ankle Boots Better For Hiking?

Ankle boots are better for hiking because they provide more support, allow you to travel on and off path, and can provide your shins and ankles relief from annoying pebbles and bugs that may try to sneak into your shoes on your hike.

Be advised that ankle boots are not better for people with preexisting ankle support issues. One study found that shoes with higher ankle collars can have detrimental effects on ankle joint stability.

So, the overall answer is yes ankle boots are better for hiking but that is not always the case. It really varies by opinion but ankle boots are great for serious hikers going on long trips.

ankle hiking boots

Need more ankle support?

If you read this article hoping to find that ankle boots are better because they provide more ankle support, well I’m sorry. I would highly recommend buying some ankle support bandages from amazon. Hiking requires a lot of ankle joint stability so buying an ankle wrap can help improve your hiking experience. You may also want to check out our article on Hiking poles because those can take some tension off your lower body and feet.

A person hiking with a backpack in the mountains.
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