Wearing hiking shoes with ankle support can make all the difference between a successful and enjoyable hike versus an exhausting one where your friends may need to carry you. This is something I learned the hard way when I was a novice hiker.
In the meanwhile, I switched to more supportive boots, which I love and recommend to any hiker who wants to tackle a more difficult trail.
Even more, our team has taken the initiative to test some of the highest-rated ankle support hiking boots on the market and handpicked the best 11 models for 2023.
So, let’s delve into their features and see what they have to offer.
Our Top Picks for Hiking Boots With Ankle Support
1. Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot
The Oboz Mid hiking boots feature one of the most performant outsoles on the market, the Granite Peak, which doesn’t only have an aggressive pattern but is made from a strong type of rubber that doesn’t bend when trekking on rocky surfaces.
As we tested these hiking boots on technical terrain, we observed that the Granite Peak technology works great. The nylon shank in the midsole supports the heel, while the single-density EVA cushioning increases comfort for long distances.
Plus, the Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry is among the few hiking shoes with ankle support that come with high-quality insoles, something we appreciated.
Oboz boots also rank the highest when it comes to ankle protection. With a mid-cut design and soft ankle cuff to keep the ankle from rubbing, you will enjoy superior ankle support even if you go off-trail hiking.
- High-quality hard outsoles absorb shocks on rough terrain
- Less foot fatigue with the EVA midsole
- Provide excellent ankle support
- Great for crossing creeks
- Durable nubuck leather uppers
- They run a little narrow
2. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
Weighing only 1,85 pounds per pair, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX are among the most lightweight hiking boots with ankle support on the market and a good option for rough trails.
Starting with the protective molded rubber toe cap and ending with the gusseted tongue that keeps leaves out, these ankle-support hiking boots won’t let your feet suffer on backpacking trips.
We appreciated that they come with a Gore-Tex lining, which is very efficient in keeping your feet dry. Their synthetic upper also dries fast and keeps you warm in cold weather.
However, during our tests, we found the boots to be quite thick for the summer when they can give you sweaty feet. They do have very good laces, though, that don’t permit foot slippage.
- Plenty of padding to reduce fatigue and prevent blisters
- Excellent waterproofing with the Gore-Tex membrane
- Great ankle support
- Deep-penetrating lugs for wet terrain
- Can make your feet sweaty in hot weather
3. Vasque Breeze at MID Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
With 100% leather and mesh upper and top-notch water protection, we might just call the Vasque Breeze at MID the best waterproof boots for hiking with ankle support.
They also have some of the highest ankle cuffs in this category, so the protection is double.
While there are some opinions on these leather hiking boots being too heavy, our findings showed that they offer a good balance between weight and comfort.
They have a dual-density EVA footbed and a molded rubber toe cap designed to keep your feet protected and reduce fatigue when tackling harsh terrain.
Additionally, these hiking boots for ankle support also come with Vibram outsoles, offering maximum traction in all weather conditions.
- No leaks with the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane
- Stiff sole makes them efficient on rugged terrain
- Ultra comfortable fit
- Solid rubber toe box offers great toe protection
- The break-in time may be longer for some users
4. Asolo Falcon GV Hiking Boot
Although the Asolo Falcon GV looks more like a trail running shoe instead of a traditional leather boot, our tests revealed that it provides excellent ankle protection on varying terrain.
With a water-resistant suede upper and high-quality Asolo-Vibram soles, this lightweight hiking boot holds well in bad weather and will not slow you down.
You have nylon panels, a plush tongue, and a comfortable collar for each shoe designed to provide great support and keep your feet warm. The boot also has a heel pull loop that allows you to easily get it on and off.
We loved that it has a GTX waterproof membrane, which is very efficient against getting wet feet, while the suede leather also kept the moisture on the outside.
The Asolo Falcon GV doesn’t have a very thick sole for off-trail adventures, but they are among the best lightweight hiking boots for recreational hikers.
- Lightweight and comfortable for everyday hiking
- No break-in time
- Good cushioning with the EVA footbed
- The mid-cut design helps prevent ankle injuries
- Not supportive enough for very rocky terrain
5. KEEN Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots
The KEEN Targhee II Mid feature quite a non-traditional lacing system, with three eyelets, allowing you to chinch your heel down in the heel cup and obtain good ankle support from the start.
Based on our firsthand experience, these boots absorb shock and provide great traction, which makes them suitable for rocky and uneven terrains.
The non-marking outsole with 4mm multi-directional lugs offers good traction, making it easier to traverse different types of terrain.
Moreover, the nubuck leather upper and rubber-reinforced heel of these walking boots provide excellent durability and ensure that your feet stay protected while on the trail.
While the boots may run slightly small, sizing up is an easy solution to this issue.
- The padded collar and tongue provide great ankle support
- Aggressive outsole easily bites into any type of terrain
- Strong toe cap and heel that protect your toes from rocks
- Require a break-in period
- These leather backpacking boots tend to run slightly small
6. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is a set of top hiking boots for those in need of boots with ankle protection and arch support. The boot features a GTX waterproof membrane and a durable waterproof cover that will keep feet dry even in wet conditions.
Additionally, the boot is made with high-quality full-grain leather, ensuring longevity, while the good grip offered by the Vibram outsole makes it a great option for hikers looking for a reliable shoe that can handle various terrains.
Although the Lowa Renegade Mid Hiking Boot is a bit stiffer than other boots on the market, this is due to its design for increased ankle support, and from our experience, the stiffness is expected to ease up over time as the boots break in.
- Extremely comfortable for long hikes
- Stable platform reduces the risk of rolled ankles
- Long-lasting even when worn regularly
- According to some users, the boot is too stiff
- Relatively heavy compared to other hiking shoes
7. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof is a supportive shoe that absorbs shock and wicks moisture away from your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable during long hikes.
Its reliable traction, thanks to the Omni-Grip technology, ensures that you can confidently tackle any terrain.
Made with high-quality materials such as leather and rubber, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof is built to last.
Its cushioned footbed and TECHLITE lightweight midsole provide ample comfort and support, making it one of the best hiking boots for ankle support for long hikes.
Unfortunately, even if these backpacking boots are described as being waterproof, our investigation demonstrated that they can get wet in bad weather.
- Omni-Grip technology ensures good traction on muddy portions
- This lightweight shoe is comfortable and supportive
- No rolled ankles with its mid-cut design
- Not suitable for extreme weather
- Limited breathability
8. NORTIV 8 Ankle High Waterproof Hiking Boots
Designed to provide the necessary support for hikers traversing muddy areas, the NORTIV 8 hiking boots are yet another top contender for the best hiking boots with ankle support.
The ankle-high design provides extra shielding and stability for those with a previous ankle injury or prone to ankle sprains, while their rubber outsole offers exceptional grip, even on slippery rocks.
After trying out these boots, we’ve also established that they have great durability and can withstand day hiking without compromising their integrity or comfort.
However, some users pointed out that this pair of hiking shoes tends to be slightly narrow, so we recommend carefully measuring your feet’s dimensions before ordering.
- Good ankle support for long walks and hikes
- Comfortable, with good arch support
- Can handle heavy-load hikes
- The sizing is a bit off
- Reduced breathability in the summer
9. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX is an excellent trail running shoe that provides the perfect combination of stability and comfort.
The mid-cut design offers more ankle support and protection from debris, making it an excellent choice for runners who have experienced ankle injuries in the past.
Additionally, the shoe’s well-constructed upper is designed to provide as much cushioning as possible without sacrificing quality.
Our investigation demonstrated that the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX offers superior traction on various surfaces, thanks to the grippy Frixion XT 2.0 outsole with deep lugs. However, if used for running, these shoes may seem too inflexible, especially on extended lengths.
- Mid-cut design offers extra ankle support
- Wide toe box and ample cushioning for shock absorption
- Deep lugs provide excellent traction on wet rocks and loose dirt
- Some users may find the shoe to be heavy
- Not flexible enough for runners who need more foot mobility
10. Foxelli Hiking Boots
One of the standout features of the Foxelli Men’s Boots is their ability to provide support for bad ankles. Although rather bulky, the boots are designed with maximum support in mind, which can be a game-changer for hikers with ankle issues.
And, of course, the KingTex waterproof feature is essential for anyone who enjoys hiking in wet or muddy conditions.
We determined through our tests that these boots are a reliable choice for hikers who need a sturdy and durable option. The boots are made with suede leather and have a well-padded collar, which helps keep your feet in place while walking on uneven terrain.
Additionally, the self-cleaning lugs on the bottom of the boot prevent mud and debris from getting stuck, making these boots low-maintenance and practical for outdoor activities.
- Sturdy rubber sole bites well into uneven surfaces
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Leather upper offers exceptional durability
- The sizing of these hiking boots is inconsistent
- Some users found these boots to be too bulky
11. Dannto Men’s Mid Ankle Hiking Boots
For casual walks or light hiking activity, the Dannto Mid Ankle is a top pair of hiking boots for ankle support. This model is lightweight – under 1.5 pounds per pair – and is equipped with a high-quality EVA midsole, so it is up for long trips.
However, while this backpacking boot features a high-quality rubber outsole, based on our observations, the sole is too thin for difficult terrain.
Also, the cotton upper is extremely breathable, but it allows dust and water to get inside the shoe, so the Dannto Mid Ankle may not be the best hiking boots for rough hikes in the great outdoors.
- Nicely cushioned ankle cuffs provide good ankle support
- Your feet won’t get hot in the summer with the cotton upper
- Versatile design – ideal for light hiking, trekking, and backpacking
- Great for long walks with the EVA supportive midsole
- These boots for ankle support don’t work well on a wet hiking trail
- The sole is thinner than in other hiking boots
Things to Consider When Buying Hiking Boots With Ankle Support
In our search for the best hiking boots with ankle support, we took into account a series of strict criteria that led us to the models on this top.
Since we know it is difficult to find a pair that fits you perfectly, we decided to share these criteria with you. So, here they are:
1. Ankle Collars
When investing in a backpacking boot, ankle collars are essential as they are the ones that wrap around your ankle and keep it from spraining.
Among the best hiking boots with ankle support, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX has the most comfortable ankle cuffs and a very soft tongue, as well.
Cushioning is an important feature in hiking boots with ankle support because it helps to absorb shock and reduce the impact on the ankles during a long hike.
The Salmon model is once again a favorite, with its thick sole offering great protection and the best ankle support.
3. Boot Cut
The ideal boot cut in a backpacking boot is what makes it super comfortable and prevents blisters.
With their mid-cut design, the Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot is the best hiking boot for mountain trails.
While a lightweight boot will give you more freedom of movement, heavier models offer improved balance.
That’s why we recommend the Vasque Breeze at Mid as the best hiking boot for ankle support with a reasonable weight instead of the more breathable running shoes from Asolo.
5. Sturdy Material
You should choose a high-quality backpacking boot that combines longevity with comfort.
The Vasque Breeze at MID Gore-Tex has a leather and synthetic mesh upper that can handle heavy use.
Moreover, this pair of hiking boots feature a solid rubber sole, ideal for rugged areas.
If you are looking for the best ankle support, you should choose a solid sole with a heel stabilizer. Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boots are by far the best hiking boots for ankle support that also offer a good grip.
And while they do come with a stiff sole, they compensate through a comfortable midsole.
7. Good Lacing System
A good lacing system can also contribute to obtaining the best ankle support.
For instance, if you choose a great boot like the KEEN Targhee II Mid, you can adjust the fit, so your feet no longer slide inside the backpacking boots.
Finally, a waterproof boot is essential if you are heading out in bad weather, as it will keep your foot from slipping.
The Vasque Breeze at Mid is our recommendation for the best hiking booth with a waterproof liner, as they use advanced GTX technology.
Is Ankle Support a Myth?
The ankle joint is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body, so the fact that you need good ankle support during hikes is not a myth.
High-cut or mid-cut boots reduce the risk of ankle sprains when you are walking in a fast rhythm and help distribute your weight more evenly.
You also need adequate ankle support when hiking on uneven ground, as having your ankle braced makes it less probable for you to slip and fall.
Plus, when carrying heavy loads, if you keep your ankles protected, you will be able to hike more without getting tired.
Do High-Cut Hiking Boots Provide Better Ankle Support?
High-cut hiking boots are designed to provide more ankle support than low-cut hiking boots or trail runners.
The higher collar of the boot helps stabilize the ankle, which can reduce the risk of injury during physical activity such as hiking on rugged trails.
When the ankle rolls, the high-cut hiking boot helps limit the range of motion of the ankle joint, which can prevent the ankle from twisting too far and causing injury.
The boot also provides additional cushioning and support, which can help absorb impact forces and reduce the stress on the ankle joint.
Do Lacing Techniques Provide Better Ankle Support in Hiking Boots?
While not the most important element for ankle support, some lacing techniques combined with a set of high-cut hiking boots can provide better ankle protection.
For example, the heel lock technique, which involves creating an extra loop around the ankle, provides a more secure fit and prevents slippage inside the hiking boot.
The surgeon’s knot is also effective. It works by tying a double knot around the ankle to enhance support, and it is a great option for hikers with weak ankles who need to customize their fit.
Studies on Hiking Boot Ankle Support: What the Research Says
The effectiveness of ankle support in hiking boots is still a topic of debate among researchers. However, current scientific evidence suggests that using high-cut boots or ankle braces can affect the response of leg muscles during physical activity.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports demonstrated that uphill hiking while wearing high-cuff boots activates certain muscles in the front of the lower leg, resulting in increased stability.
However, the same study also revealed that high-cut boots decrease the activity of a series of muscles in the back of the lower leg, which can hurt ankle stability.
Furthermore, another study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that choosing footwear with an ankle collar can delay the activation of ankle evertor muscles, ultimately decreasing ankle support in certain conditions.
When researchers tested various bracing mechanisms to evaluate their effectiveness in high-risk sports, the results varied depending on the specific testing conditions.
Our No. #1 Pick
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Hiking Boot
Of all the models we’ve tested, the Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry remained my favorite hiking boots. With their extra cushioning and rigid Granite Peak outsole, I haven’t felt a rock, not even when we got off the track to see a more hidden waterfall.
These boots are made of genuine leather and waterproof, so your feet will stay dry even if you come across some heavy rain.
And the piece of resistance – the Oboz Bridger boots have some of the most comfortable insoles you’ll find in hiking boots, which was a big plus for me.
Other hiking footwear we reviewed:
- Top Hiking Footwear for Flat Feet With Arch Support
- Top Hiking Footwear and Boots for Wide Feet
- Top Barefoot Hiking Footwear
- Top Lightweight Hiking Footwear
- Top Hiking Water Shoes
Does a Boot Help With Ankle Pain?
Wearing a boot can help with ankle pain by immobilizing the joint and reducing stress on the affected area, allowing for the healing of injuries such as sprains or fractures.
What Is the Difference Between a Boot and an Ankle Boot?
A boot typically covers the entire foot and extends above the ankle, while an ankle boot ends at or just above the ankle bone and does not cover the entire foot.
Is a Boot Better Than an Ankle Brace?
Last update on 2023-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API