Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support: Top 5 of 2021

If you plan on trekking across uneven terrain, wearing the right hiking boots is essential. The undulating nature of hiking off trail could spell disaster for your ankles without the proper support.

Despite appearing to use a shape that protects your ankle joint, many hiking boots offer little in the way of support. Finding a pair that are sturdy enough to cope with a heavy pack can be a challenging if you don’t know what features to assess.

In this guide, we aim to make your life easier by reviewing and comparing the best hiking boots for ankle support. Our aim is to make trail safety simple, allowing you to maximize your time outdoors.

Ranking The Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

  1. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
  2. Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
  3. Asolo Fugitive GTX
  4. Zamberlan Vioz GTX
  5. Vasque St. Elias FG GTX

Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support Comparison

Name

Price

Overview

Exceptionally supportive and stable backpacking boot that can handle any terrain

Superb stability and traction that's perfect for winter hikes on alpine slopes

Incredibly durable and protective boots that will support your ankles on any trail

Super supportive backpacking boots with the durability to last for many years

Strong and supportive backpacking boots that offer great value for money

Best For

Overall

Traction

Protection

Durability

Budget

Pros

Supportive, stable, comfortable, waterproof, good traction, feels nimble, protective

Supportive, stable, great traction, comparatively lightweight, waterproof, durable

Durable, supportive, protective, waterproof, good traction, stable

Durable, supportive, stable, waterproof, protective, good traction

Supportive, stable, cheap, durable, waterproof, protective, comfortable

Cons

Could be more breathable

Expensive, suede shows wear over time

Heavy, expensive

Very heavy, very expensive

Not breathable, feels bulky

Overall Rating

Material

Nubuck, Textile

Suede

Suede, Nylon

Full-Grain Leather

Full-Grain Leather

Weight

2lbs. 13.2oz (1281g)

2lbs. 6.4oz (1089g)

3lbs. (1361g)

3lbs. 8oz (1588g)

2lbs. 15oz (1332g)

Why Do I Need The Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support?

Hiking can be inherently hard on your ankles. It involves walking across uneven surfaces that can cause serious damage without adequate protection.

In addition, anyone heading out for more than a day-hike will often be carrying a heavy pack. The added load can put serious strain on your ankle joints if they’re not being properly supported.

Getting the best hiking boots for ankle support is the most reliable way to ensure outdoor safety. It will allow you to attack tough terrain without worrying about the consequences.

Every hiking boot offers a different level of ankle support. It can be greatly affected by the shape, material and design used; so putting some serious thought into assessing the key variables is essential.

Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
Make sure you get boots that are sturdy enough to support your ankles

How To Choose The Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Style

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are the lightest and often the most comfortable type of footwear. Using a design that closely resemble sneakers, they are preferred by day-hikers sticking to well-trodden trails.

The low-cut style of hiking shoes makes them unsuitable for anyone requiring ankle support. If you have weak ankles, often carry a heavy pack or plan on trekking across uneven terrain; these are not the boots for you.

Day-Hiking Boots

Using a mid to high-cut design and a moderate amount of support, day-hiking boots are exceedingly popular. The design lends itself to anyone heading out with a relatively lightweight pack and sticking to marked trails.

Most hikers find the mid-range level of ankle support to be sufficient for their needs. However, those looking for serious ankle support might still be left disappointed.

Backpacking Boots

If you’re serious about ankle support, you should be looking at backpacking boots. Using a high-cut design that wraps around your ankles, they will make you feel secure on any terrain.

Backpacking boots are generally made from stiff fabrics, using a heavyweight design that maximizes stability. The added weight can make them overkill for most day-hikers, but they are essential for thru-hikers carrying a heavy load.

Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
Different styles of hiking boot offer different levels of support

Material

Full-Grain Leather

Full-grain leather is the thickest and heaviest hiking boot material you will find. It’s often used for backpacking boots due to its outstanding durability, weather-resistance and support.

The downside to full-grain leather lies in its lack of breathability and extended break-in period. However, it offers supreme ankle support that can cope with your thru-hiking and off-trail ambitions.

Split-Grain, Nubuck and Suede Leather

Each of these types of leather are incredibly popular with every style of hiking boots. Every one is a thinner and lighter version of full-grain leather, offering a moderate amount of durability and weather-resistance.

The level of ankle support offered by these leathers can differ depending on the thickness and flexibility. It’s generally enough to keep most day-hikers content, but serious backpackers may require the added stability of full-grain.

Synthetic Nylon and Mesh

Synthetic materials have become increasingly popular in modern hiking boots. Nylon and mesh are both incredibly lightweight, relatively durable and generally cost-effective.

It’s common to see synthetic fabrics combined with leather to reduce weight without sacrificing durability. However, adding synthetics can often reduce the natural support a hiking boot offers, making it most popular with day-hiking boots and shoes.

Stability Features

Hiking boots generally use a ‘shank’ to add support and stability. It’s a hard piece of plastic that sits between the midsole and outsole to give the boots a stiffer feel.

Stiffer boots generally have a longer shank that stretches across the full length of the sole. It gives them maximum stability on uneven surfaces, while it can also reduce calf fatigue on steep alpine ascents.

Lightweight boots tend to use a shorter shank that sits under the arch of your foot. It gives them a comfortable and flexible feel, but only provides limited stability.

The best hiking boots for ankle support generally have a stiffer shank that maximizes stability. It’s important to keep the boot stable if you want to limit ankle injury, with heavy backpacking boots often using the toughest shank.

Weight

It’s no secret that heavier boots generally offer the most support. Many backpacking boots can weigh upwards of 3lbs, while some lighter options could weigh half that amount.

The advantage of heavy boots is their tendency to use thicker materials and a heavy-duty design. The overall weight increase usually leads to improved support, stability and durability.

Of course, it’s always beneficial to minimize boot weight when possible. If you don’t require the robust support of a 3lb backpacking boot, it will benefit your energy levels to wear something lighter.

If you feel like the boots we have listed here are just too heavy for your feet, we have also reviewed the best lightweight hiking boots. Despite offering reduced ankle support, they are great for speedhiking across flatter surfaces.

Water-Resistance

Anyone that enjoys hiking during winter knows the importance of dry feet. If you plan on heading out in the rain or regularly crossing rivers, waterproof hiking boots are essential.

Waterproof hiking boots use an inner ‘membrane’ that is designed to keep feet dry. The most common method is Gore-Tex, although some brands use their own ‘in-house’ design.

The important thing to note here is that water-resistance usually means reduced breathability. Modern membranes are pretty good at allowing hot air to escape, but they can still run warm during summer.

Anyone hiking in hot weather might be better served by prioritizing ventilation. If you regularly hike on hot and dusty trails, it might be worth checking out our review of the best hiking boots for desert conditions.

Best Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
Water-resistant boots are extremely useful during the winter

Best Overall Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Weight

Support

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Comfort

Overall

Finding a hiking boot that is suitable for tough day-hiking and longer backpacking trips isn’t always easy. However, the well-rounded performance and ankle support offered by the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX stood head and shoulders above the rest during our review.

The Quest uses one of the highest cuffs on the market, making them an obvious choice for anyone seeking ankle support. The high-cut shape is also coupled with an innovative chassis system that provides exceptional stability on uneven terrain and can accommodate the heaviest loads.

The upper combines nubuck leather and textile to give the boots a comfortable feel that reduces excess weight and maintains durability. Salomon’s ‘Contagrip’ traction outsole also feels reliable on any surface, while the Gore-Tex membrane and high-cut upper makes sure your feet stay dry in any weather.

Overall, we firmly believe that the complete performance offered by the Quest 4D 3 GTX makes it the best hiking boot for ankle support. It feels stable in any situation, can withstand any weather and is built to last for many years.

Pros

  • Stable chassis
  • High-cut ankle support
  • Durable
  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Comfortable
  • Reliable traction
  • Protective
  • Well cushioned

Cons

  • Not very breathable

Best Traction Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
  • Material: Suede Leather
  • Weight: 2lbs. 6.4oz (1089g)
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • Midsole: Polyurethane, EVA
  • Outsole: Vibram Drumlin
  • Retailers: Amazon, Backcountry
  • Alternate Versions: Zodiac Tech GTX

Weight

Support

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Comfort

Overall

If you frequent alpine environments and slippery slopes; it can be difficult to find a hiking boot that provides the perfect combination of traction and ankle support. However, that’s where the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX comes into its own, performing exceptionally well across snow covered surfaces that are beyond the capability of most boots.

The outsoles are produced by the ever popular manufacturer ‘Vibram’ and provide standout grip when heading off-trail. The stability offered is also more than capable of coping with uneven surfaces and rocky terrain.

The Suede upper offers plenty of ankle support and natural weather-resistance, while also contributing to these boots being the lightest in our review. The solid foot protection provided will also give you confidence during tricky descents.

Anyone looking for a lightweight and reliable mountaineering style boot will be impressed with the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX. Its incredibly stable and supportive with enough traction for serious ascents and multiday adventures.

Pros

  • Supportive stiff upper
  • Standout traction
  • Durable design
  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Comfortable
  • Great protection
  • Decent breathability

Cons

  • Suede can show visible wear over time
  • Quite expensive

Best Protective Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Asolo Fugitive GTX

Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
  • Material: Suede, Nylon
  • Weight: 3lbs. (1361g)
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • Midsole: Polyurethane
  • Outsole: ‘Syncro’ Rubber/PU
  • Retailers: Amazon, Backcountry
  • Alternate Versions: Fugitive GTX Wide

Weight

Support

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Comfort

Overall

Anyone looking to prioritize foot protection on challenging trails will be well-served by the Asolo Fugitive GTX. It’s a heavyweight backpacking boot that focusses on support, stability and durability in any situation.

The stiffly constructed suede and nylon upper offers exceptional durability and weatherproofing that can handle the harshest climates. It also provides superb ankle support that is capable when carrying heavy loads during the most demanding treks.

Underneath the boots, you will find a PU midsole that is solid enough to protect you from sharp roots and rocks and durable enough for any thru-hike. We also found Asolo’s ‘Syncro’ outsole to provide excellent grip across a range of wet and dry surfaces.

The outstanding durability, protection and ankle support offered by the Asolo Fugitive GTX made it an obvious recommendation upon review. We are confident that it can fulfil the needs of any serious backpacker looking for a reliable boot that feels stable on any surface.

Pros

  • Stable high-cut design
  • Stiff and supportive upper
  • Highly durable
  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Breathable for a heavy boot
  • Standout protection
  • Great outsole grip

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Best Durable Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Zamberlan Vioz GTX

Zamberlan Vioz GTX Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Weight

Support

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Comfort

Overall

In a world where lightweight and synthetic boots are starting to flood the market, Zamberlan continues to buck the trend. The Italian brand are still famed for their ‘traditional’ style of hiking boots, with the Vioz GTX being their most supportive product on the market.

The Vioz GTX is constructed using a ‘hydrobloc’ full-grain leather upper that is exceptionally durable and weather-resistant. The super stiff material also contributes to the superb ankle support offered and makes them capable of handling any terrain.

Zamberlan have used a midsole that combines PU with TPU to isolate your feet from any jagged rocks that might cause injury. The sole protection is also supplemented by a Vibram ‘Zamberlan 3D’ outsole that is perfect for rough terrain and steep ascents.

The beautiful craftsmanship used to create the Zamberlan Vioz GTX was evident during review. It’s exceptionally well-made design offers second-to-none durability and is stiff enough to support your ankles on seriously tough backpacking trips.

Pros

  • Incredibly durable design
  • Stiff upper is supportive
  • Excellent stability
  • Soft interior
  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Standout protection
  • Grippy on any surface

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Very heavy
  • Overkill for most hikers

Best Budget Hiking Boots For Ankle Support

Vasque St. Elias FG GTX

Vasque St. Elias FG GTX Hiking Boots For Ankle Support
  • Material: Full-Grain Leather
  • Weight: 2lbs. 15oz (1332g)
  • Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
  • Midsole: TPU Shank, EVA Cushioning
  • Outsole: Vibram Frontier
  • Retailers: Amazon, Backcountry
  • Alternate Versions: N/A

Weight

Support

Breathability

Cushioning

Water Resistance

Durability

Stability

Traction

Foot Protection

Comfort

Overall

If you’re a ‘budget conscious’ hiker looking for ankle support that won’t break the bank, we highly recommend the Vasque St. Elias FG GTX. It’s a high-cut backpacking boot that provides stability and quality that exceeds its sensible price tag.

The full-grain leather upper provides all the weather-resistance and durability you should expect from a top-notch hiking boot. Its high-cut design also provides excellent ankle support, especially when combined with the stiff underfoot TPU shank.

As you might expect from a ‘heavy-duty ‘boot, the 360-degree foot protection offered by the St. Elias is superb. It’s also one of the most comfortable options upon review, with the comparatively soft material offering reduced break-in time.

The Vasque St. Elias FG GTX offers all the features you should look for in a supportive boot for a reasonable price. It’s stable on any surface, incredibly durable and protective enough to satisfy your backpacking ambitions

Pros

  • Durable full-grain upper
  • Supportive high-cut design
  • Great underfoot stability
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
  • Good protection
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Lacking breathability
  • Not the most nimble boot
  • Heavy

Summing Up

The best hiking boots for ankle support are ideal for anyone trekking across treacherous trails. Despite being inherently heavy, they are vital for thru-hikers carrying a heavy load.

Every pair of boots on this list is designed with quality in mind. Each option is best suited to a different hiker and has its own unique benefits.

Assess the pros and cons of each option to find the one that suits your style. Once you have supportive boots on your feet, you will have the confidence required to attack any trail.