I try to discourage people from hiking with a load on low-tops, but I understand the appeal. Its more comfortable. But you have to remember: No low-top will "support" your ankle. I dont like trail runners because they all have EVA midsoles, which in my view are too soft to support a hiker and 30 pounds worth of gear, especially on tough terrain.
The Vento Mids
How about a mid-height? Theyre about as comfortable as low-tops, but typically have tougher, more supportive construction. Case in point: Lowa's Vento Mid hikers ($160). Breathable leather/mesh uppers, comfortable fit, and a polyurethane midsole that can take a load. Vasque's Kota Mid ($130) have EVA midsoles, but a dual-density type for a bit more heft. Like the Ventos youll find that the Kotas make you feel a bit more stable on the trail.
If you must try a trail runner, try Kayland's Dragonfly ($120). A tough shoe, with a sturdy midsole and construction that can take some trail abuse. Or La Sportiva's FC 2.0 GTX ($140), which is really a light boot minus a top. Very tough, and comfortable.
Come talk to me again when your ankles fold under on you.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.