Are Ankle Boots Better For Hiking? (My Experience)

We love ankle boots. We wear them all year long and they’re great for hiking. But do you know what’s not so great about ankle boots? 

They can be a bit heavy to carry around in your backpack on days when you have a full load of gear and supplies with you. This is where hiking shoes come in handy! Shoes made specifically for hiking are lightweight, breathable and comfortable. 

And because they’re designed to fit into backpacks easily, they take up less space than boots or other types of footwear do while still providing plenty of comfort while out on the trail.

Shoes vs Boots? Which footwear is best for hiking? – YouTube
Ankle boots and full-height boots have different advantages based on hiking conditions and personal preferences.
Ankle boots offer more flexibility and lighter weight, while full-height boots provide better ankle support and protection.
The choice between ankle boots and full-height boots depends on factors such as terrain, weather, and the level of ankle support required.
It’s important to consider the specific hiking needs and preferences when selecting between ankle boots and full-height boots.
Trying on and testing both types of boots before making a decision can help determine the most comfortable and suitable option.

Are Ankle Boots Better For Hiking?

Ankle boots are better for hiking than shoes because:

They’re more comfortable on your feet and ankles. No matter how good of a shoe you buy, it’s just not going to be as comfortable as an ankle boot. 

This is because the upper part of an ankle boot is made out of leather or another type of material that stretches with your foot as you move, while a stiffer material like plastic will not stretch at all (or only slightly). 

Ankle boots also have more room inside the boot itself which means they won’t press against your toes and cause blisters.

They’re more durable over time compared with shoes because they don’t wear out as easily due to their thicker sole material; additionally there are no parts where water can get between the sole/upper and cause rust or decay through corrosion (something that can happen very easily with shoes). 

This makes them ideal for long hikes where you might be walking through mud or getting wet from water crossings along the way without having any issues later down the road when things dry out again!

When it comes to hiking, having the right footwear is crucial. Our article on the benefits of hiking boots for walking explains why investing in a quality pair can enhance your walking experience on the trails.

Do Ankle Boots With Laces Get Loose On The Trail?

An ankle boot with laces can get loose if you don’t adjust them properly before your hike. If you tie them tightly enough, they should stay in place but if they don’t, you may want to consider loosening them so that your foot doesn’t slide around too much.

If they do loosen on the trail and get stuck on something like a rock or tree root (which can happen), it can be difficult to remove without taking off your boots entirely. 

However once again this is something that could easily happen with any other type of hiking shoe as well so if you prefer ankle boots with laces I wouldn’t let this deter me from wearing them during my hikes!

AspectAnkle Boots with Laces
SupportModerate to High
Fit and AdjustabilityCustomizable
Risk of Laces Getting LooseMinimal
Brand RecommendationSalomon X Ultra Mid GTX

Should I Wear Ankle Boots With A Hiking Pack?

As mentioned previously, ankle boots are not designed for use with hiking packs. They’re not designed to carry heavy loads and they don’t provide the same level of support as more structured boots do. 

Ankle boots also cannot be relied upon to keep your feet comfortable on uneven terrain (e.g., unpaved trails), which can lead to blisters and similar problems if you’re not careful. 

So while they may be more comfortable than other types of shoes in some situations, they’re not ideal for long hikes or those that require any sort of physical effort beyond walking around in a city park or along a flat trail.

How Long Is The Break-In Period For Ankle Boots?

If you have a pair of boots that fit you well, the break-in period should be about three days. If your ankles are swollen, or if you’re wearing a pair of ankle boots that are too loose, it might take longer. 

Your feet go through a lot during a hike: they hit every step with impact and they’re also subjected to heat, cold and humidity (and sometimes rain).

It’s important to keep in mind that while the break-in period is important for comfort and durability, this doesn’t mean your boots need to be broken in before taking them out on the trail. 

In fact, many hikers prefer their footwear new because it gives them freedom of movement and lets their feet breathe naturally without sweat getting trapped inside their shoes.

Planning to travel with your hiking gear? Wondering if hiking backpacks are allowed as carry-on? Find the answers in our comprehensive guide on hiking backpacks as carry-on to ensure a hassle-free journey.

Are Ankle Boots Good For Walking On A Hill Or Mountain?

Indeed, ankle boots are good for walking on a hill or mountain. If you’re hiking steeply uphill or downhill, you’ll want to make sure that your shoes have enough grip to keep from slipping and sliding. 

Ankle boots can provide both comfort and stability for this purpose, especially when combined with sturdy soles (such as Vibram rubber).

If you’re still not sure if ankle boots are the right choice for your next hike, check out our guide on how to choose between lace-up and buckle styles of booties (or other types of shoe).

AspectAnkle Boots
Ankle SupportModerate
Brand RecommendationMerrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof

Why Do People Wear Ankle Boots On Hikes?

Ankle boots are comfortable and practical: The most obvious benefit of ankle boots is that they’re comfortable to wear. 

They fit snugly around your ankles without being too tight, which can cause blisters or discomfort over long distances. Ankle boots also come with sturdy soles, which protect your feet from rocks, roots and other trail debris.

Ankle boots are waterproof and durable: If you’re wearing a pair of heavy-duty sneakers or hiking shoes on the trails, you may have noticed that after an hour or so of walking through mud or puddles (or even just rain), your feet start to get wet. 

This is because breathable materials won’t be able to withstand water for long periods of time before they begin leaking through into the shoe itself – this can lead to blisters because dryness becomes compromised inside each shoe as soon as it gets wet enough outside at first contact point where skin touches fabric directly above foot’s surface area.

Hiking in snowy conditions requires specialized gear, including suitable footwear. Discover why hiking boots are good for snow in our informative article and learn how they can provide the necessary traction and insulation.

Do You Have To Wear Socks With Ankle Boots While Hiking?

Socks are an important part of hiking gear, and ankle boots are no exception. If you’re wearing regular athletic socks with ankle boots, then keep in mind that the sock won’t be able to protect your foot as well as a dedicated hiking sock would. 

For example, if your feet get wet and cold while hiking in regular athletic socks, it’s possible that they’ll stay cool or even get frostbite over time.

This is why we recommend wearing hiking socks with ankle boots instead of just any old cotton pair of athletic socks

They provide better protection against hot surfaces (like pavement outside), cold surfaces (like snow), cuts on rocks or other sharp things underfoot the list goes on!

What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Ankle Boots While Hiking?

Ankle Boots are lightweight, compact and easy to pack. They’re comfortable and good for walking on all types of terrain. With ankle boots, you get the protection of sturdy material around your ankles while still being able to move freely as needed. 

And they’re easy to put on and take off because there’s no laces or buckles that can get stuck when you’re hiking in a hurry.

BenefitAnkle Boots
Ankle SupportProvides stability
ProtectionShields ankles from injury
TractionEnhances grip on terrain
DurabilityWithstands rugged conditions
Brand RecommendationColumbia Newton Ridge Plus

Do You Need To Break In Your Ankle Boots Before A Long Hike?

Break-in time is important for any shoe, but especially for hiking boots. If you have a pair of boots that are too tight, they will restrict your range of motion and make it difficult to move around with ease on the trail.

Some people may think that breaking in is not necessary if they wear thick socks with their ankle boots, but this is not always true. 

The best way to ensure comfort without having to break in your new ankle booties is to try them on with different types of socks until you find one that works best when wearing them around the house for several hours or days at a time!

Maintaining balance and stability while hiking is essential to prevent falls and injuries. Explore our practical tips on how to keep from falling when hiking to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Leather Ankle Boots While Hiking?

Leather boots are more durable than synthetic materials. They’re less prone to tearing, punctures, and leaks; they’ll last longer under heavy use; they’re easier to clean; and they’re not as easily damaged by water as synthetic materials are (but should still be kept away from puddles).

Leather boots are more comfortable and breathable than synthetic materials. They breathe better in hot weather because of their ability to absorb moisture from your skin or sweat without letting it evaporate quickly (as this would happen with a waterproof lining). 

In cold weather, leather boots retain body heat better than synthetics do–so if you have cold feet but still want something waterproof enough for hiking through snow or slushy terrain…leather’s the way to go! 

Plus when it comes time for break-in period: leather is much easier on your feet while breaking them in because its natural oils provide extra cushioning during the process.

Leather boots are more flexible than synthetic materials. This makes them significantly lighter weight than any type of canvas shoe or sneaker which can make big difference when hauling heavy packs up steep trails at high altitudes where even

Why Do People Wear Leather Ankle Boots While Hiking?

Leather ankle boots are the best choice for hiking because they’re more durable, they’re more comfortable, and they’re more water resistant.

A leather boot can withstand a lot of wear and tear, so you don’t have to worry about them wearing out as quickly as some other types of footwear. 

They also provide great traction and support when you’re going up or downhill on rough terrain, making it easier for you to get where you need to go without falling or doing any damage to your feet or ankles.

Leather boots are breathable too! This means that even though the upper part of your foot may get sweaty from all that physical activity outdoors in warm weather (or cold weather), moisture won’t build up inside your shoe like it might with other materials like canvas or canvas-like materials.”

Curious about the average time it takes to hike a 5 km trail? Our article on hiking 5 km provides insights and factors to consider, helping you plan your hiking adventures more effectively.

Are Rubber Soled Shoes Good For Walking On A Hill Or Mountain?

If you’re looking to walk on a hill or mountain, rubber soles are the best option. They provide traction and grip on slippery surfaces like snow and ice and will keep your feet warm. 

They also give you better grip when walking up hills or mountains because they provide more friction between your foot and the ground than leather or fabric uppers do.


If you’re looking for a new pair of ankle boots, consider the benefits of wearing them while hiking. They are designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable while also providing some extra traction on the trail. 

Ankle boots with laces are great for long hikes because they allow you to adjust the size of your shoe so it fits perfectly around your foot. 

You should also consider buying leather ankle boots if they are available in your size! These shoes provide excellent support while also looking stylish on any occasion (even at work).

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic of hiking boots and shoes:


Are ankle boots better for hiking than full-height boots?

Ankle boots and full-height boots serve different purposes based on hiking conditions, terrain, and personal preference. While ankle boots offer more flexibility and lighter weight, full-height boots provide better ankle support and protection in rugged terrain.

Can I use hiking shoes instead of boots for short hikes?

Yes, hiking shoes can be a suitable alternative to boots for shorter hikes on less demanding trails. They offer increased comfort, breathability, and flexibility, making them a popular choice for day hikes or light backpacking.

Do hiking boots/shoes require a break-in period?

Yes, many hiking boots and shoes require a break-in period to allow the materials to mold and conform to your feet, reducing the chances of blisters and discomfort. It is advisable to wear them on shorter walks or around the house before embarking on long hikes.

How often should I replace my hiking boots/shoes?

The lifespan of hiking boots and shoes depends on various factors, including the frequency of use, terrain conditions, and the quality of materials. On average, hiking footwear can last between 500 to 1,000 miles, but signs of wear and tear, loss of traction, or reduced support indicate the need for replacement.

How can I properly care for my hiking boots/shoes?

To prolong the lifespan of your hiking boots or shoes, it’s essential to clean them after each hike, remove debris, and allow them to dry thoroughly. Applying waterproofing treatments and storing them in a cool, dry place can also help maintain their durability and performance.