Oof, thats a tough one. Its very hard to find footwear that is comfortable in hot, muddy climates, particularly if you need footwear with good support. My tendency is to break the problem into two components: footwear and ankle support. For footwear, the best choice is apt to be something that dries and drains quickly and that offers good traction, such as the Teva Sunkosi ($99; teva.com). These are essentially running shoes adapted for wet conditions, with synthetic materials that dont absorb water and lots of drain holes so water can escape. And, for low-cuts, theyre pretty supportive. You might also take a look at a light, waterproof hiker such as the Vasque Breeze Gore-Tex XCR boots ($145; vasque.com). But my feeling is that once theyre covered in mud and over-topped, theyre not going to feel that great.
For the ankles, get a pair of Swede-o ankle braces (various models, most around $40; swedeo.com). These are easily the best way to prevent ankle problems, even when wearing fairly heavy boots. Theyre light, comfortable, and fit under any shoe.
Rainwear is equally difficult. There simply is no such thing as a rain jacket that is comfortable" when its 90 degrees and raining. Id take a good-quality umbrella, then an inexpensive but effective rain jacket such as Marmots Precip ($99; marmot.com).
Happy anniversary! I think
Check out the new 2007-2008 Winter Outside Buyers Guide, packed with reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves. Its available on newsstands this month.