13 Best Hiking Boots for Ankle Support
When it comes to outdoor adventures, having the right gear is essential, and a reliable pair of hiking boots tops the list. Hiking boots not only provide protection and comfort for your feet but also play a crucial role in supporting your ankles, which can be prone to twists and sprains on uneven or challenging terrain. Whether you’re hiking in Colombia’s Cocora Valley or exploring the jungles of Thailand’s Chiang Mai, wearing a supportive footwear goes a long way because it helps prevent injuries that can keep you from going on your adventures.
What to look for in hiking boots?
Height of ankle collars
Tall ankle collars are crucial for maximizing ankle support, particularly in steep or off-camber terrain. Opting for boots with 8 or 10-inch height provides additional stability and helps prevent ankle twists.
Rigidity of ankle collars
Look for boots with thick collar, preferably around 2.6mm or thicker. Leather is preferred but not essential. This robust material aids in supporting the ankle and providing the necessary rigidity for traversing challenging trails.
Sturdiness of boot soles
Pay attention to the stiffness and sturdiness of the boot soles. A boot with a stiff shank, rated at least “3” out of “5” in terms of stiffness, will prevent the sole from twisting underfoot. This feature enhances overall stability and minimizes strain on the ankle. Moreover, opt for boots with rockered soles, as they maintain an efficient walking stride, ensuring you don’t waste unnecessary energy. Boots may feel stiffer in the store, but they tend to flex and soften over time, especially after adding a heavy pack and logging some break-in miles.
A secure and adjustable lacing system allows you to customize the fit around the ankle, providing optimal support and preventing slippage. Look for boots with multiple eyelets or hooks that enable you to lace up tightly for enhanced ankle stability.
Design and grippiness of outsoles
Deep lugs and a tread pattern that provides reliable traction on various terrains, including loose gravel, wet surfaces, and rocky paths are essential. A robust outsole ensures a secure footing, minimizing the chance of slips or falls that could potentially harm your ankles.
Best hiking boots for ankle support
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot
Oboz is widely recognized for creating hiking boots that can withstand the test of time, ensuring you’re ready for any adventure. This pair is by all means not lightweight, but it makes up for it in terms of support, price, and quality. For these, Oboz Bridger has been a favorite among serious hikers. Thanks to additional reinforcements under the forefoot and nylon shanks in the midsole, these boots provide remarkable stability that prevents any unwanted ankle rolls even on rugged and uneven terrain. With these boots, you can hike with confidence, knowing that your ankles are well-protected.
- Oboz is known for producing long-lasting boots, and the Bridger Mid is no exception.
- The nylon shanks and forefoot plates ensure excellent stability, minimizing the risk of ankle injuries.
- The O Fit insole with its medium-height arch and cupped heel enhances overall comfort.
- The boots are available in regular and wide sizes, catering to a broader range of foot shapes.
- The beefy toe caps offer reliable protection, making these boots suitable for rugged tasks or manual labor.
- The all-leather construction with a waterproof coating keeps your feet dry in wet conditions.
- Despite their sturdy build, the Bridger Mid boots are relatively light, reducing fatigue during long hikes.
- The boots have a sturdy construction, which means they require a longer break-in period to achieve optimal comfort.
- While excelling on rocky surfaces and loose gravel, the outsoles may not perform as well on flat trails or slick rock, and they can clog up in muddy conditions.
Salomon Quest 4
The Salomon Quest 4 is a hiking boot that excels in ankle support and stability, making it an excellent choice for backpacking and hiking on challenging terrains. The lacing system wraps up past the ankle, allowing for a customized fit using lace locks. The padded cuff offers flexibility without compromising ankle protection. With a sturdy chassis and strong torsional rigidity, these boots resist side-to-side twisting on ankle-busting rocks and roots. The Quest 4 also boasts exceptional water resistance, making it ideal for travel in wet weather climates. However, there are concerns about the durability and craftsmanship of the boots. Reports of cracking, peeling toe caps, and leaking Gore-Tex liners have been noted, especially for individuals with narrow feet. The boots are on the heavier side, which may affect comfort during long hikes. Additionally, the hard rubber soles, while providing slow wear, offer less grip on smoother and slicker rocks. The Quest 4 is wider than previous models and provides average arch support. Overall, these boots offer great ankle support and protection, but their durability and grip compromises warrant consideration.
- Among the best ankle support available, with padded cuff wraps going a bit above the ankle without compromising on ankle mobility
- Customizable fit with lacing system and lace locks provide additional compression required, reducing the probability of rolling one’s ankle
- Excellent water resistance for wet weather climates
- Suitable for backpacking and hiking on challenging terrains
- Good overall support and feel
- Reports of cracking and peeling toe caps
- Leaking Gore-Tex liner
- Durability and craftsmanship concerns after several months of use, which compromises waterproofing
- Heavier compared to other alternatives
- Reported to have less grip on smoother and slicker rocks
- Average arch support
- warm boots especially for summer
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
The Scarpa boot is a purpose-built footwear option designed for serious hikers and mountain climbers who require precise footwork, stability, and traction in challenging terrains. Constructed with durable Perwanger leather, these boots are built to last and can be resoled. The boot features an extended ankle design for added support and a balance of stiffness and flexibility, allowing for side-hilling, descending slopes, and climbing steep trails. It weighs only 2 lbs, making it a lightweight option suitable for technical trails. It is heavier than Merrell Moab 3, Keen Targhee III Mid, La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX, but lighter than Salomon Quest 4 Gore Tex.
The Gore-Tex liner provides excellent waterproofing, allowing the boot to be used for snowshoeing and winter activities while still offering breathability. Comfortable out of the box, the Scarpa boot has good midsole cushioning and provides excellent traction, even on sketchy scrambling routes. However, the suede leather may require aftermarket treatment to maintain its water resistance.
Overall, the Scarpa boot is a durable and supportive option for those who prioritize stability and traction in mountain terrain.
- Designed for precise footwork, stability, and traction
- Durable construction with Perwanger leather
- Extended ankle for added support. It’s stiff enough to help safely descend tricky slopes while providing flexibility for full ankle and foot mobility when climbing steep trails
- Surprisingly lightweight for technical trails and high-mileage hikes
- Excellent traction on various terrains, even for scrambling
- Gore-Tex liner provides waterproofing and breathability, making it good even for winter hikes
- Versatile for snowshoeing and winter activities
- Sustainable because it can be resoled again
- Suede leather may require aftermarket treatment for maintaining water resistance
- Not as comfy as other alternatives, but it makes up for top-notch stability
Merrell Moab 3 Mid
The Merrell Moab 3 Mid boot is a versatile option that offers a great balance between comfort, performance, and affordability. It is a perfect choice for someone new to hiking, while also providing value for seasoned adventurers. The boot is comfortable right out of the box, with no break-in period required. It features a large toe box with ample toe protection and impressive padding around the collar and tongue, ensuring a comfortable fit. The boot utilizes in-house waterproofing (not Gore-Tex liner), offering protection for the occasional rain. However, the extensive use of mesh in the construction raises durability concerns, particularly for those who cover extensive trail miles or engage in scrambling. The traction provided by the boot is good, although it may not match the nimble feel of some modern alternatives and may struggle on smooth surfaces when clogged with mud. Despite these limitations, the Merrell Moab 3 Mid boot offers a standout price for a proven and extremely comfortable day hiking boot, making it a suitable choice for general hiking needs.
- Comfortable fit with no break-in period necessary
- Large toe box with good toe protection
- Impressive padding for ankle and tongue comfort
- Good traction for most trail use
- Standout price for a proven and comfortable day hiking boot
- Durability concerns due to extensive use of mesh that may tear up after long miles of hiking
- There are reports of the waterproofing failing after only months of use
- Middling traction compared to premium alternatives
- Less nimble and sticky on steep rock surfaces
- May struggle on smooth surfaces when clogged with mud
- Not suitable for rougher terrain or heavy pack hauling, requiring an upgrade to sturdier boots
Hoka Kaha 2 GTX
Hoka is a brand renowned for its thick marshmallow-like soles that are built for comfort, so it’s no surprise that the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX hiking double down on both support and comfort. The rigid ankle protection ensures that your ankles stay secure and protected, minimizing the risk of rolling on uneven terrain. With Hoka’s focus on stability, the CMEVA midsole and Hubble heel provide a new level of underfoot stability, giving you the confidence to take on even the most challenging backcountry terrain. While there are some concerns about durability and grip, these boots offer comfort, protection, and a customized fit that your ankles will thank you for.
- The rigid ankle protection and stable base offered by the aggressive 5mm lug pattern and its unique wide base design provide excellent ankle support.
- The Gore-Tex membrane and waterproof leather upper ensure that your feet stay dry during wet hiking conditions.
- The 2-inch footbed offers unparalleled cushioning, keeping you comfortable on long hikes and protecting you from rocks and roots.
- These boots perform well on a variety of terrains, from polished boulders to desert sandstone.
- With a height of over 5 inches, the boots prevent water from entering through the top, enhancing water resistance.
- Some users have reported issues with broken eyelets and delamination of the Vibram soles, indicating potential durability concerns.
- The tongue being slightly short can make the uppermost lacing lugs difficult to use, potentially affecting the overall fit.
Altra Lone Peak Mid 2
Altra, a beloved brand in the running footwear industry, is well-known for its zero-drop shoes that conform to humans’ natural barefoot position. This design philosophy ensures that your feet can relax and move naturally without any tightness or discomfort. When it comes to the Altra Lone Peak Mid 2 hiking boots, they excel in providing excellent ankle support. These boots feature a mid-top design and a reliable traditional lacing system that allows you to achieve a snug and protective fit, keeping your ankles secure on even the most challenging terrains. However, let’s dive into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
- Outstanding ankle support with a mid-top design and secure lacing system.
- Altra’s signature wide foot shape provides a comfortable and unrestricted fit.
- Enjoy a comfortable walking experience on moderate terrain, thanks to the soft and springy midsole.
- Lightweight design, making them one of the lightest hiking boots on the market.
- Reliable traction with bidirectional lugs and additional forefoot traction for climbing.
- Some durability concerns have been reported, with occasional delamination of materials over time.
- Not recommended for heavy backpacking or carrying significant weight.
- Traction may be less effective on extremely technical and rocky terrains.
- Over extensive use, the lugs and traction may lose effectiveness.
- A few users have reported a narrow fit and occasional snapping sounds while walking.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is an excellent choice for ankle support due to its well-designed features. The mid-height design provides added stability and support to the ankles, making it suitable for hiking and outdoor activities. The boots offer a snug fit with various width options available, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit for different foot sizes. With its fully gusseted tongue and minimal toe cap, the Renegade GTX Mid provides additional support and protection for the ankles. The boots also excel in traction, with a grippy outsole that performs well on different terrains, including uneven ground. Overall, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid offers reliable ankle support, making it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.
- Wide range of width options available
- Fully waterproof with a nubuck leather upper, making it breathable
- Excellent traction on various surfaces like gravel, sandstone, granite, loose dirt, and even tree roots
- Versatile for all-year-round use in various weather conditions.
- Provides lateral stability for added support
- Premium construction and design
- Snug without being too squishy, providing or enhanced comfort
- Lacks a toe cap, making cracks possible.
- The 3 hooks for lacing can be finicky
- The boots can be warm overall, especially in hotter climates
- Lacks a toe cap, making cracks possible.
Asolo Falcon GV
Asolo is widely recognized for its commitment to providing excellent ankle support for trekkers, and the Falcon GV exemplifies this commitment. Designed to prioritize stability and protection, these boots offer a high ankle collar that snugly wraps around the ankle, effectively reducing the risk of rolling or twisting on challenging and uneven terrains. This enhanced ankle support enables hikers to confidently navigate rough trails and tackle steep inclines without compromising their balance. The Falcon GV’s ankle support is complemented by its soft and pliable construction, allowing for optimal ankle articulation while maintaining the necessary stability to tackle rugged landscapes. However, this comes at a compromise when it comes to traction. It’s great as an approach shoe, performing well on sloped rocks but not on loose or wet terrain.
- Lightweight and comfortable right out of the box. It can feel like wearing slippers!
- Offers great breathability, even during strenuous activities.
- Ample toe protection for off-trail scrambling.
- Gore-Tex lining keeps feet dry during stream crossings and muddy conditions.
- Ideal for daily walks and hut tours with a moderate backpack load.
- Traction on wet and loose surfaces may be lacking.
- Limited heel cup structure and underfoot stability for those with over-pronated feet.
- Some users have reported durability issues, including stitching failure and sole cracking.
- The included insoles are of lower quality.
- Treads may wear down quickly, reducing the lifespan of the boots.
La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX
Ankle support is one of the standout features of the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX hiking boots. Designed for mountainous terrain, these boots offer excellent stability and protection for your ankles. The reinforced midsole and high-cut design provide the necessary support to minimize the risk of ankle rolls and instability, even on challenging and uneven surfaces. Additionally, the lacing system allows for a secure and customized fit, ensuring that your ankles are well-supported throughout your hiking adventures. With the combination of a supportive structure and reliable traction from the Vibram sole and impact brake system, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX boots inspire confidence and provide the stability needed for tackling various terrains. Best known for its mountaineering and climbing equipment, La Sportiva uses uses its expertise to deliver light hiking boots that offer stability and protection suited even for the trickiest terrain.
- Sustainability: Can be resoled, increasing the longevity of the boots.
- Foot protection: Offers midsole protection, stability, and toe box coverage.
- Breathability and waterproofing: Features Gore-Tex Surround waterproofing for breathability and water vapor escape.
- Comfort: Supportive, lightweight, and zero to minimal break-in period. No blisters after hiking on them.
- Sole: Grippy Vibram sole with an impact brake system, which is great for mixed rock, snow, and even ice.
- Design: Some users find the lacing system awkward.
- Limited color options
- Price: Considered pricey for on-trail use.
KEEN Targhee II Mid
The KEEN Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots are known for their comfort and durability, which are qualities that Keen footwear is renowned for. These boots are particularly suitable for light to moderate hiking, making them a great option for those on a tighter budget.
The boots offer excellent out-of-the-box comfort with good cushioning and flexible uppers that require minimal breaking in. However, one drawback is that the tread tends to separate from the shoe quickly, affecting the overall durability. The blocky forefoot design can hinder precise foot placement and weight transference, especially during scrambling on difficult talus. Additionally, the boots can be slippery when wet, posing a risk on inclines, rocks, and logs.
The lower cuff height of the Targhee II results in less ankle stability compared to taller boots, and the shank, while providing some torsional rigidity and load-bearing support, is not as stiff and stable as other models.
The proprietary waterproof membrane used by Keen helps keep the price down but compromises breathability, causing the boots to be less breathable and potentially warm. While the boots offer good value and have features like molded rubber toe bumpers and adjustable lacing for improved comfort and stability, it’s important to note that the waterproofing may not last as long as desired. Furthermore, the boots may take a long time to dry when wet.
Overall, the KEEN Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots are a comfortable and durable option for light to moderate hiking but have some drawbacks related to tread durability, traction on wet surfaces, ankle stability, and breathability.
- Comfortable out of the box
- Large toe box for unrestricted movement
- Good value for those on a budget
- Molded rubber toe bumpers for added comfort
- Adjustable lacing for improved stability
- Tread separates from the shoe quickly
- Blocky forefoot design hinders precise foot placement
- Slippery when wet, particularly on inclines and rocks
- Lower cuff height reduces ankle stability
- Shank is less stiff and stable compared to other models
- Less breathable due to proprietary waterproof membrane
- Waterproofing may not last as long as desired
- Boots can take a long time to dry when wet
- Can become warm during use
Vasque Breeze AT GTX
The Vasque Breeze AT GTX is a durable hiking boot that offers excellent foot protection and premium features. With a hefty tread and solid construction, these boots are designed to withstand various terrains and provide reliable performance. The inclusion of a Gore-Tex liner, Vibram outsole, and nubuck leather upper enhances the quality and functionality of the boots. The generous rubber toe cap and thick nubuck leather effectively shield the feet from rocks and trail debris, ensuring a safe and comfortable hiking experience. However, it’s important to note that the Breeze AT GTX stays very stiff even after extended use, requiring a considerable break-in period. Some users have experienced discomfort and blisters during this process. Additionally, the ankle fit can be tight, leading to discomfort during uphill hikes. On the positive side, the boots offer excellent waterproofing with the Gore-Tex liner and have proven to be durable and sturdy. However, breathability can be an issue due to the Gore-Tex liner and substantial leather upper. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the boots have been reported to be narrow or run small in terms of sizing.
- Good grip on steep and rocky trails due to hefty tread
- Premium features, including Gore-Tex liner and Vibram outsole
- Excellent foot protection with generous rubber toe cap and thick nubuck leather
- Sturdy and waterproof design
- Durable construction for various hiking conditions
- Stays very stiff, requiring a lengthy break-in period
- Some users experience discomfort and blisters during the break-in process
- Tight ankle fit, causing discomfort during uphill hikes
- Breathability can be disappointing due to Gore-Tex liner and leather upper
- Reported to be narrow or run small in sizing.
Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid
Salewa is renowned for producing high-quality outdoor footwear, and the Mountain Trainer Lite Mid lives up to this reputation by providing outstanding ankle support. The boot excels in stability and offers ample support through the ankle, allowing hikers to confidently navigate uneven terrains. Its unique combination of stability and flexibility ensures maximum ankle articulation, enabling natural movement during outdoor activities. The Mountain Trainer Lite GTX incorporates a stiff heel stabilizer and a rubber toe cap, further enhancing ankle stability and providing the necessary protection. These features make it an excellent choice for those seeking reliable ankle support and stability on their outdoor adventures. Whether you’re traversing rocky trails or challenging terrain, the Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite GTX is designed to keep your ankles secure and well-supported throughout your hiking journeys.
- Great grip and traction, even in wet conditions.
- Stable and supportive through the ankle while being flexible enough for full ankle articulation.
- A well-designed lacing system that stays secure.
- Comfortable and almost break-in free.
- Suitable for cool temperatures and rugged terrains.
- Provides good toe mobility during steep descends
- Not recommended for very cold winter conditions, since there are reports of waterproofing issues
- Limited availability of wide-width options.
- The laces are slightly too short to get a good knot
Scarpa Rush Mid GTX
Scarpa is a brand that is renowned for its climbing gear, and they’ve used that same expertise to offer exceptional ankle support through Rush Mid GTX. The boot’s Dynamic Stabilizer Torsion (DST) frame, a rigid plastic that wraps around the heel, impressively prevents ankle rolls, ensuring rear-foot stability on challenging terrains. The spacious toe box offers ample room for wider feet and allows for comfortable toe movement. The padded tongue and collar, along with the soft molded foam, provide a plush and supportive fit around the ankle. With excellent shock absorption, particularly in the back half of the foot and heel, the Rush Mid GTX boots offer reliable protection and cushioning for your ankles. Although there have been some reports of durability concerns and a slight adjustment period, the benefits of the Scarpa Rush Mid GTX boots, including their stability, traction, and waterproof performance, make them an excellent choice for hikers seeking reliable ankle support.
- Rear-foot Stability: The Dynamic Stabilizer Torsion (DST) frame effectively prevents ankle rolls, providing exceptional stability and support on the trails.
- Comfortable Fit: The spacious toe box and padded tongue and collar ensure a comfortable and supportive fit for your feet and ankles.
- Shock Absorption: The boots offer excellent shock absorption, reducing impact on your ankles and joints, enhancing overall comfort during hikes.
- Versatile Traction: The deep and aggressive lugs provide confidence-inspiring grip on various terrains, including wet rocks, mud, gravel, and sand.
- Waterproof Performance: The Rush Mid GTX effectively seals out moisture, keeping your feet dry when crossing streams, bogs, and snowy areas.
- Protective Design: The rubber toe cap and protective sides offer reliable protection against rocks and technical ground, enhancing confidence and safety on the trails.
- Lateral Support: The design of the boots provides impressive lateral support without limiting your range of motion, allowing for agile and stable movements.
- Durability Concerns: Some users have reported fraying stitching connections between the ankle cuff and the boot after minimal use, indicating potential durability issues.
- Proprioceptive Feedback: While the Rush ankle cuff provides proprioceptive feedback to warn against off-balance situations, some users may find it takes time to adapt.
In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best hiking boots for ankle support, several standout options deserve your attention. Brands like Oboz, Lowa, and Scarpa have engineered boots that prioritize stability, protection, and comfort for your ankles, ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Whether you’re traversing rugged terrains, tackling steep trails, or navigating challenging conditions, these boots offer the support you need to keep your ankles stable and reduce the risk of injuries. Remember, investing in quality hiking boots with proper ankle support is an investment in your safety and well-being on the trails. So lace up, hit the trails, and embark on your outdoor adventures with confidence, knowing that your ankles are well-protected by these top-notch hiking boots.