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Hiking boots with good ankle support?

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#2
Any recomendations on hiking boots with good ankle support? The shoe world seems like such a jungle !
Good fitting boots are something that takes trial and error. Someone's choice may not be the best for you. The season, terrain, your hiking experience and fitness level factors into selecting a footware best suits your need. So very difficult to give you a straight answer.

If you are new to boots, why don't to look at the review/comparison of hiking boots by outdoorgearlab.
You might want to read up on how to choose hiking boots advice.

Personally, i always end up with a simple leather boots, that breathes, provides good ankle support and harder sole. This is something hard to buy off the shelf these days. Merrell and lowa still make some plain old leather boots. They require some breaking in but the most comfortable and supportive. My current pair is limmer lightweight.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012); Camino del Norte (2013 and 2014); Portuguese Way (Lisbon) 2015; Camino de Levante (in planning April 2017).
#3
Any recomendations on hiking boots with good ankle support? The shoe world seems like such a jungle !
It is true. The fit of a boot is highly personal. That said, try out the Salomon GX40. Light, very well made and easily good for 500 miles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
#4
Any recomendations on hiking boots with good ankle support? The shoe world seems like such a jungle !
There has been lots of discussion around this, and never a clear and consistent result. Further, making specific recommendations over the web is fraught with difficulty, because so much will depend on how you feel about this when you are fitted.

Remember that on the Camino, you will not be carrying heavy loads, so the heavier duty hiking boots are going to be over specified for your needs. A good salesperson will know this, and should not attempt to sell you up into a more substantial boot than you really need. I have had good results from both Scarpa and Asolo, and recently bought a pair of Merrells, but have not had sufficient time in them to form a view on how they might go on longer walks.

You probably need to discuss lacing techniques as well. It won't matter what support is offered if the boot isn't laced properly to fit around the ankle. I have seen people walking in boots where the lacing is so loose they might as well have been wearing shoes. Again, sales staff at good outdoor outfitters should be able to demonstrate how to get the boot to fit snugly around the foot and lower leg.

Good luck on your search :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
From Le Puy to Santiago (2016)
#5
thanks for the many good advice. I was at REI and thinking how it is hard to go out and buy a two to three hundred dollar boot if it doesn't work with your feet, but then again, I guess ultimately one has to make a choice and roll with it. When I was younger and hiked around in the Alps I preferred leather boots but I am afraid they are too inflexible for my aging bones. This is a great web site with so much super support and research on the Camino journey :0)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#6
I am forced to wear boots because I suffer from neuropathy in my right foot. I walked in a pair of Merrell's last year which performed very, very well, however by the end of the Camino they were shredded inside so I contacted Merrell and they replaced them with a new pair. Can't beat getting a new pair of boots every year.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#7
thanks for the many good advice. I was at REI and thinking how it is hard to go out and buy a two to three hundred dollar boot if it doesn't work with your feet, but then again, I guess ultimately one has to make a choice and roll with it. When I was younger and hiked around in the Alps I preferred leather boots but I am afraid they are too inflexible for my aging bones. This is a great web site with so much super support and research on the Camino journey :0)
Yes those traditional midweight hiking boots are stiffer and purposefully designed for mountaineering and heavy backpacking. You don't need those for the camino. Boot technology has evolved. I got a lowa boots and was on the Adirondacks the next day. No break in. And hiked two caminos with it. So, the experts at REI should give you the right advice and fit you with something good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
#8
Any recomendations on hiking boots with good ankle support? The shoe world seems like such a jungle !
I really enjoy questions like this one. It reminds me somewhat of taking a small tin-can, stuffing it full of hyper-active worms, putting a lid on it, shaking it very vigourosly and then taking the lid off again.:rolleyes:

That said my friend, you might find a boot to suit your needs if you look at the Scarpa range. Used them for nearly 40 years over all types of terrains,with all types of packs, and never had a foot problem.

Buen (ankle-supported) Camino.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#9
I am forced to wear boots because I suffer from neuropathy in my right foot. I walked in a pair of Merrell's last year which performed very, very well, however by the end of the Camino they were shredded inside so I contacted Merrell and they replaced them with a new pair. Can't beat getting a new pair of boots every year.
Both sets of Merrell's I wore on my Caminos the soles looked great when I finished (still wear them), but the lining inside had rips and tears as well. Which is understandable with the abuse they got, but I did not know Merrell would have spotted me a new pair. Nice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#10
Both sets of Merrell's I wore on my Caminos the soles looked great when I finished (still wear them), but the lining inside had rips and tears as well. Which is understandable with the abuse they got, but I did not know Merrell would have spotted me a new pair. Nice.
Now you owe me a bottle of wine and your thanks for a new pair of boots;).
 
Camino(s) past & future
From Le Puy to Santiago (2016)
#11
I am forced to wear boots because I suffer from neuropathy in my right foot. I walked in a pair of Merrell's last year which performed very, very well, however by the end of the Camino they were shredded inside so I contacted Merrell and they replaced them with a new pair. Can't beat getting a new pair of boots every year.
Good service is wonderfull. I'm sure if I schreded a pair of boots from REI they would replace them also. Since my plan is to walk all the way from Le Puy, I need some strong boots that will hold up to the abuse :0)
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#12
Why keep us guessing, could you please tell the specific model of the boots you had success with. Which Merrel? Scarpa????
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#14
Both my Merrell's were shoes not boots, but I believe they also make both models in a boot as well. Also, both sets were non-waterproof.
Moab Ventilators on my first Camino and Yokota Trails on my second.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#16
Both my Merrell's were shoes not boots, but I believe they also make both models in a boot as well. Also, both sets were non-waterproof.
Moab Ventilators on my first Camino and Yokota Trails on my second.
The Moabs are the most comfortable i tried. But, how do you deal with rain. My concern is for those rainy days these will absorb so much water and make the walk very uncomfortable, i cannot stand wet feet. I went through 4-5 days of rain on the norte.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#17
Ah, the footwear question! Worms and cans comes to mind. Doesn't really matter too much if you get the wrong backpack, or rain gear, hats, poles, etc - you can suffer and get used to it - but get the footwear wrong and it is misery - and each of our feet (pairs of feet) are unique so it is trial and error.
The problem I have with footwear is that I have really wide feet (clowns ain't in it!) and I have yet to find an outdoor stockist that is aware that some humans have wide feet, nor a manufacturer who makes their footwear in different widths - you try larger and it is from the same lathe and just longer - not good at all .. I used to go Hi-Tec because they tend to be wide ... and am fairly happy with my current boots but they are much too heavy .... so ... I have moved from Merrell sandals - wide! - to Keens as they are also wide but with better shaped support .. but would quite like to find some wide and light fabric shoes or half boots - not the Victorian "I say chaps, the Matterhorn, just let me light my pipe" leather things - it is just a long walk, after all .. so, to add to the footwear Q's - anyone know of lightweight soft super-wide brands that I may have missed so far? (UK based)

and my clown feet are big too - 12 or 13 uk - and you know what they say about men with big feet - don't try and buy shoes in France.
 
Last edited:
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#18
The Moabs are the most comfortable i tried. But, how do you deal with rain. My concern is for those rainy days these will absorb so much water and make the walk very uncomfortable, i cannot stand wet feet. I went through 4-5 days of rain on the norte.
Zero rain on the 30+ days that was my first Camino (I know, lucky huh? ;)). So my Moabs never got a water workout.
My second Camino I had one really rainy day where my shoes got soaked. I wore thin synthetic running socks with my Yokota's and the wet shoes didn't bother me. It didn't seem to me the shoes or the socks absorbed a lot of water. They got muddy, but I washed them out with a hose at the albergue and by morning they were pretty dry and dried off completely on my feet as I walked.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#19
Ah, the footwear question! Worms and cans comes to mind. Doesn't really matter too much if you get the wrong backpack, or rain gear, hats, poles, etc - you can suffer and get used to it - but get the footwear wrong and it is misery - and each of our feet (pairs of feet) are unique so it is trial and error.
The problem I have with footwear is that I have really wide feet (clowns ain't in it!) and I have yet to find an outdoor stockist that is aware that some humans have wide feet, nor a manufacturer who makes their footwear in different widths - you try larger and it is from the same lathe and just longer - not good at all .. I used to go Hi-Tec because they tend to be wide ... and am fairly happy with my current boots but they are much too heavy .... so ... I have moved from Merrell sandals - wide! - to Keens as they are also wide but with better shaped support .. but would quite like to find some wide and light fabric shoes or half boots - not the Victorian "I say chaps, the Matterhorn, just let me light my pipe" leather things - it is just a long walk, after all .. so, to add to the footwear Q's - anyone know of lightweight soft super-wide brands that I may have missed so far? (UK based)

and my clown feet are big too - 12 or 13 uk - and you know what they say about big feet - don't try and buy shoes in France.
I have never owned a pair, but I heard the Keens have a wide toe-box, which I need and I may switch to that brand for a third Camino. That brand didn't work well with you?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#20
Ah @JohnMcM you are so right about the worms - and mine worm is that Scarpa boots caused me hideous pain! They were the right size but too inflexible for my feet. I need a sole that is very flexible, one of the reasons I wear lightweight joggers. Each to their own.

Ankle support? Get trekking poles! They do more to keep your feet untwisted than any boot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#21
Mark Lee - my Keen sandals are marvellous, super footbed support shape that keeps the instep high, great deep grip sole, and big wide toe box, covered with a great slab of rubber - ok, they are the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and make children giggle uncontrollably when they see me in them, but after a few minutes I am not even aware I am wearing them, they are so comfortable. Just that I am in the market for shoes/boots for when it is too dull to wear sandals.
Keen Newport H2 - like this - I used to rave about the Merrell Kahunas but these are the best sandals I've ever bought. (I have absolutely no idea why there is an exclamation mark in a warning triangle on them!)

Newport H2.jpg
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#22
Mark Lee - my Keen sandals are marvellous, super footbed support shape that keeps the instep high, great deep grip sole, and big wide toe box, covered with a great slab of rubber - ok, they are the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and make children giggle uncontrollably when they see me in them, but after a few minutes I am not even aware I am wearing them, they are so comfortable. Just that I am in the market for shoes/boots for when it is too dull to wear sandals.
Keen Newport H2 - like this - I used to rave about the Merrell Kahunas but these are the best sandals I've ever bought. (I have absolutely no idea why there is an exclamation mark in a warning triangle on them!)

View attachment 17848
I was thinking along the lines of their Voyageur hiking shoe. Non-insulated.
MDNAV.jpg
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#23
The Moabs are the most comfortable i tried. But, how do you deal with rain. My concern is for those rainy days these will absorb so much water and make the walk very uncomfortable, i cannot stand wet feet. I went through 4-5 days of rain on the norte.
My shoes "walk dry" being just mesh. For the Norte I'm trying sandals as an alternative, but am also taking Sealskinz socks which are supposedly waterproof. I don't want waterproof shoes that don't breathe, but this gives me the option of putting on the waterproof socks when needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
#24
anyone know of lightweight soft super-wide brands that I may have missed so far?
@David, I use ASICS as a trainer/competition shoe, and have done so for about a 15 years, with one unsuccessful deviation with a competitor. Their Australian range includes both 2E and 4E widths, although not all retailers regularly stock the wider sizes. They also make sizes up to UK 13, although only three of their shoes are available here in that size. I generally use them for relatively flat surfaces - as shoes, none have the ankle support for the more demanding bush walking that I do. That said, the Caminos that I have done had relatively few sections where extra care would need to be taken with a shoe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#26
My shoes "walk dry" being just mesh. For the Norte I'm trying sandals as an alternative, but am also taking Sealskinz socks which are supposedly waterproof. I don't want waterproof shoes that don't breathe, but this gives me the option of putting on the waterproof socks when needed.
Kanga,
Sealskin socks get wet inside because they do not breathe. They are hard to your skin so do take a pair of thin socks inside.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) SJPDP-SDC
Camino Norte 2018
Pilgrims Office Volunteer 2018
#27
Mark Lee - my Keen sandals are marvellous, super footbed support shape that keeps the instep high, great deep grip sole, and big wide toe box, covered with a great slab of rubber - ok, they are the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and make children giggle uncontrollably when they see me in them, but after a few minutes I am not even aware I am wearing them, they are so comfortable. Just that I am in the market for shoes/boots for when it is too dull to wear sandals.
Keen Newport H2 - like this - I used to rave about the Merrell Kahunas but these are the best sandals I've ever bought. (I have absolutely no idea why there is an exclamation mark in a warning triangle on them!)

View attachment 17848
Here's a good review on the shoes you have (Keen Newport H2). They sound worth trying.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Sandals-Reviews/Keen-Newport-H2
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#28
We have used Hi-tec and our 'new' boots are Hi-Tec again. However having noticed that they seemed smaller overall than previously we made sure to buy in person from an independent stockist who is very helpful. We have each had to buy a size up to get both the length and width needed. The shop told us that boots these days are so variable, even with same make and style, that they always recommend trying them on and not relying on mail order.
Hi-Tec - lightweight, waterproof leather with good ankle support but fairly low, inner sole has arch support. We have wide feet and high arches and these boots suit us well.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#30
@ranthr never fear, the Sealskinz we regard as galoshes - only to be worn in teeming rain or through rivers. We have no intention of keeping them on if our feet get too sweaty. We see them as a substitute for plastic bags. If the rain is continuous we'll just get wet feet - and spend a lot of time in bars. I'm taking my usual fine merino socks (2 pairs) for normal use and some ridiculous lightweight fluffy pink bed socks - having warm dry feet at night means a lot.
I also intend walking sock-less in sandals a lot.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#31
Tia, which Hi-Tec model did you go for?
Ladies Altitude IV, now replaced by Altitude V which look virtually the same. Terry had walked in the Men's version but it was unavailable at the time, so he too is wearing the ladies version.

We keep them reproofed with a light coat of Renapur (available on-line from Renapur or at some agricultural shows)
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#33

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#34
My shoes "walk dry" being just mesh. For the Norte I'm trying sandals as an alternative, but am also taking Sealskinz socks which are supposedly waterproof. I don't want waterproof shoes that don't breathe, but this gives me the option of putting on the waterproof socks when needed.
Does the Sealskinz sock stretches? I took this gore-tex socks with me once and never able to use it because it took time just getting into those. They don't have any stretch. I am tempted to try a gore-tex sox with a trail runner as this combination may be more comfortable than any plastic bag.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May (2019)
#35
Mark Lee - my Keen sandals are marvellous, super footbed support shape that keeps the instep high, great deep grip sole, and big wide toe box, covered with a great slab of rubber - ok, they are the ugliest sandals I have ever seen and make children giggle uncontrollably when they see me in them, but after a few minutes I am not even aware I am wearing them, they are so comfortable. Just that I am in the market for shoes/boots for when it is too dull to wear sandals.
Keen Newport H2 - like this - I used to rave about the Merrell Kahunas but these are the best sandals I've ever bought. (I have absolutely no idea why there is an exclamation mark in a warning triangle on them!)

View attachment 17848
 
Camino(s) past & future
May (2019)
#36
I wore the crap out my Keen Newports. I hiked them to death so I intend to bring a pair along. I may also wear my slightly heavy Limmer lightweights. They are leather and I hiked them to needing new soles. I've been wearing them as my daily shoes to see if they can be worn in heavy rotation. So far they are very comfortable. After all they are form fitted to my feet for 10 or so years.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#37
@Don Abodeely this is a very old thread - the post before yours was in 2015. I see my comment that I intended to take sandals on the Norte - they were great and every since I have worn sandals - so on six long Camino routes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#38
I am glad it is revived - Lazarus ain't in it! - as it is a perennial question. Pal of mine made the VDLP his second Camino and did the whole thing in Crocs - no problems whatsoever.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May (2019)
#39
@Don Abodeely this is a very old thread - the post before yours was in 2015. I see my comment that I intended to take sandals on the Norte - they were great and every since I have worn sandals - so on six long Camino routes.
I found some "next-to-the-skin" inner socks, bought them and struggled to get them on my feet. Once I got them on I understood what they do. They grip your feet so tightly that nothing slides or produces friction within your shoes. These are also meant to be worn as the inner socks of a two sock combo. My old Limmers should be fine, if a bit heavy. They fit my feet so well though and I've worn lightweight boots in the past but I always go back to these superb old leathers from North Conway, New Hampshire.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#40
Any recomendations on hiking boots with good ankle support? The shoe world seems like such a jungle !
Most people don't need that much ankle support (yes, replying to a 2015 question !!), but to those who really do, you are the only people who I would ever recommend army boots to.

They can be the difference between spraining an ankle every ten days or so, or almost never.

Yes they're heavy -- but they're also the go-to choice for the best ankle support for hiking purposes.
 

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