Sitka Mountain Gear
Best boot for weak ankles for elk huntin
Contributors to this thread:
welka 26-Jan-12
Shaft2Long 26-Jan-12
huntingbob 26-Jan-12
TD 26-Jan-12
Dream Catcher@work 26-Jan-12
WapitiBob 27-Jan-12
T43 27-Jan-12
Elkhuntr 27-Jan-12
welka 27-Jan-12
ElkNut1 27-Jan-12
Stayfit 27-Jan-12
delmag1942 27-Jan-12
>>>---WW----> 27-Jan-12
Dream Catcher@work 27-Jan-12
gil_wy 27-Jan-12
joe H2o 27-Jan-12
Trial153 27-Jan-12
trophyhill 27-Jan-12
lawnboi 28-Jan-12
MJS 28-Jan-12
bigbulls6 28-Jan-12
300 Win Mag 28-Jan-12
Elkman99 29-Jan-12
Jwillman6 01-Feb-12
graythunder 18-Jan-18
Trial153 18-Jan-18
Vids 18-Jan-18
Mule Power 18-Jan-18
nvgoat 18-Jan-18
ElkNut1 18-Jan-18
Shawn 18-Jan-18
wild1 18-Jan-18
BOX CALL 18-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 18-Jan-18
ElkNut1 18-Jan-18
Gold Miner 18-Jan-18
c3 18-Jan-18
Huntcell 19-Jan-18
Mrwizard 19-Jan-18
Tundra Monkey 19-Jan-18
BIG BEAR 19-Jan-18
bad karma 19-Jan-18
ELKMAN 19-Jan-18
backcountrymuzzy 19-Jan-18
planebow 19-Jan-18
welka 28-Jan-18
houndy65 23-Feb-18
jims 23-Feb-18
GRB 24-Feb-18
bb 24-Feb-18
sheephunter2 24-Feb-18
painless 24-Feb-18
swampokie 24-Feb-18
wyobullshooter 24-Feb-18
jims 24-Feb-18
From: welka
I had a partially torn peroneus tendon(two tendons that go from calf to foot around outside of ankle) that fully ruptured while hunting last fall. Still have one left, but lost major strength on the outside of my ankle and it rolls A LOT easier. Hence the request for help - for those of you with weak ankles, what is the best boot for ankle support that can be used while elk hunting. Thanks a bunch for the help.

From: Shaft2Long
I've torn up the tendons in my left ankle twice and just like you, I have found that it rolls and sprains all over again with the SLIGHTEST mistep.

I think any 8 to 9 inch high boot, laced up tight, would help. I've used the Danner Pronghorn with good results.

From: huntingbob
It depends on cost. If you are willing to look at the higher end boots I'd look at Kennetreks or The Lowa sheep hunter or if you really want to talk to some experts look at the Han Wags. There boots well made that can be had for less. Sign up for the camo-fire alerts on there site they often have the Crispi boots discounted about half off.Bob.

From: TD
Russell Moccasin have great ankle support, I have the 8". They build the boot for you from your measurements and a couple of tracings. Exactly the way you want it with exactly the features you choose. They are pretty reasonable for a custom boot IMO. (i.e. I'm a cheapskate)

When I sent in my measurements they contacted me back two more times to double check before building them becasue my calf measurement and ankle measurement.... well they thought there was some mistake. I have skinny little ankles and fairly big calves.

They got it perfect. Hands down best boot I've owned. Only boot I've owned more than two years. I think I'm going on 5 or 6 years now. Had them resoled once.

A high boot should reduce the risk of injury. However, if you have a complete rupture and chronically rolling over with gross frontal plane instability you will be at risk of injury all of the time. The key is to prevent future rollover injuries and I would recommend a good lace up brace or possibly an Aircast to be used daily. They are light and a lot of ball players use them. With a good laceup you can use any boot!! Like I tell all my patients, "listen to your body" and you will know what feels right for you!! Best of luck!

From: WapitiBob
If it were me, i would be looking at a full leather boot, of the heavy duty variety. Crispi or Kenetrek perhaps.

From: T43
It sounds like Dream Catcher has a pretty good idea and knows what he's talking about. as for boots I have a pair of Zamberlan Vioz 1009 Hiking boots that when laced properly are the greatest things I have ever had on my feet.

From: Elkhuntr
the meindl canada model boot. it is all leather, 11" high, great lateral support. made in germany too.

you can buy them from cabela's.

From: welka
Thanks for all the input so far. I do use a EVO lace up figure 8 brace. Elk hunting would be over if not for its use! Thanks again.

From: ElkNut1

ElkNut1's Link
I'm in the same line of thought as Bob. Just remember heavy duty does not imply a heavy boot! My Son & I are wearing the 10" high Crispi GTX Hunter boot, they are lightweight & extremely durable & comfortable, we needed little break in period with them. They have awesome support as I too have one weak ankle I broke years back, with these boots I have zero issues no matter the ruggedness or steepness of the terrain.


From: Stayfit
In addition to the great boot advice. Work on the source of the problem by re-building the lateral muscles, tendons, ligaments that prevent ankle sprains. The best way is to run or walk on rocky trails that engage those muscles if you are fortunate enough to live in an area that has rough terrain. Another beneficial activity is to use the balance board in the gym - you can use it while lifting and just by standing on it. Start with two feet on and then build to one. A trainer can give you other plyometic exercises that will help you slowly rebuild since you had a severe injury. You can start with your boots on and then progress to trail shoes so the muscles and tendons are fully engaged. Good luck

From: delmag1942
I have bad ankles and utilize Meindl's (Perfekt/Denali)

I have weak ankles from repeated abuse. Just too many parachute jumps with and umbrella from the barn loft when I was a kid. Damn! I never did find an umbrella that didn't fold up!

Here is what I have found that helps the most, at least for me. I always wear a boot that has a wide heel. They seem to help to give a good wide and stable platform that requires alot less strain on the ankle to manetain your balance. No more rolled or sprained ankles.

I never buy a boot without looking at the heel first. I always make sure the heel is actually wider than the boot. I very seldom pay any attention to the amount of leather around the ankle itself. I can even get along in a low cut shoe as long as the heel is a good wide one.

Small narrow heels like the ones on insulated pacs like you see on Schnes and others are just plain weak ankle breakers for people like me.

The brand of boot doesn't matter to me so long as it has that important wide heel. Try it! I think you'll be pleasently suprised!!!

WW, you make an excellent point. Having the sole and heel wider will allow more support and help prevent roll-over injuries.

Women are the worse because they try stuffing their feet into small and too narrow shoes! It's not just the ankle and foot. When anyone wears a pair of shoes too narrow it works up the kinetic chair. d

From: gil_wy
I have bad ankles and I just purchased the zamberlan trekker... They, so far, are great on the ankle support... Not sure if it's specifically designed this way, but the sole design forces your foot slightly inward... Basically, i'm pretty sure i'll break my leg before I roll my ankle! Most stable platform I've ever used... And if they were made in Europe, I've used them!

From: joe H2o
One thing to remember is all new boots will be very stiff and feel like they have good ankle support. After 2 or 3 seasons the leather uppers will be broke in and will lose their rigidness. The best thing would be to plan on buying new boots every other year if your ankles are weak. The cheaper and better way to prevent ankle injury would be to buy ankle braces or learn how to tape your own ankles. I tape my ankles and it works great. I have seen some pretty cool slim line ankle braces too that I have been thinking about buying. YouTube has some really good instructional videos on how to professionally wrap ankles. Good Luck!

From: Trial153
Mendels/ Crispi/kentrecks

From: trophyhill
i have a weak ankle after tearing my achilles years ago. i'm liking my Meindl Canada's. i tried the Pronghorns when i started bowhunting. Junk. no ankle support when sidehilling steep terrain and my feet got wet.

From: lawnboi
iv got a smaller frame, and am always looking for more ankle support. A few boots iv tried that lock my ankle in good are meindl alaska's and lowa tibets. Look for a boot with a good lacing system also. I also tried on kennetrek and would reccomend those as well.

Imo any well made european mountaineering style boot will give you some support. Many good brands mentioned in this thread. I now prefer lowa, not only do they fit my feet better, but they have an outstanding lacing system, and seem a little higher quailty (just by a hair) than the other brands i mentioned.

From: MJS
I have two pairs of Canada Meindl's that have been through multiple AK hunts for goat and moose. They are a good combination of support and stiffness without feeling like you are wearing ski boots.

Still flexible enough to wear on a normal hike and still support weak ankles.

From: bigbulls6
Ive tried a lot and finally took the plunge and the Kentreks are great but they are stiff when you get them. Had Meindls sole came off but never tried crispi boots. Hunted in Kenetreks for two years... Lot sof good ones out there I also had good support with my Danner Pronghorns but they finally started leaking this year... Three years old.

Good Luck lot of great boots out there my .02 Cents

From: 300 Win Mag
I'm wth elkhunter and trophy hill. Check out the Meindle "canada boots" from cabelas. 11" high lets you cross some pretty good creeks. I jumped out of a boat and went about 40' very quickly in knee deep water and did not get any water in my boots because I had them laced tight. Great for mountain hunts and sidehilling, used in british columbia on Mt. Caribou hunt, great ankle support while packing heavy loads.

From: Elkman99
Ive had plenty of ankle injuries playing football and baseball. I use Danner pronghorn. I use them for deer, antelope and elk. Very comfortable light weight and affordable.

From: Jwillman6
I have sprained both ankles numerous times and I've had good luck with Lowa Sheephunters and Lowa Tibet GTX's. There are numerous brands of equal or maybe even better quality, but make sure they fit. Mendls, Kenetred, Hanwag, Crispi and Lowas are a few that will offer good support in the right model as long as they fit.

From: graythunder
I have pnueropathy in both feet. In addition to that, I had a disaster of a surgery, and to make a long story short, I have zero control of my ankles. Both are extremely weak. Anyone here dealing with pnueropathy? Im not diabetic, but diabetics are prone to have it. Walking in the woods is dangerous to me. No support whatsoever. I'm here looking for suggestions. Thanks!

From: Trial153
Kenetrek if your heels can take it p. I would also look at zamberlan, crispi and lowa. I have owns all four brands at various times. All quality

From: Vids
I do not have pneuropathy, but will share my experience. My left ankle is terrible, sprained it bad in 2010 and had to have follow up surgery in 2012 to fix some issues. It's weak and twists a lot.

I wear Kenetrek Mountain Extremes and they're great once you get past the long, painful break in period. I also bought a pair of Lowa Tibets last year and they work good as well. Between the two, the Kenetreks offer far more support. Basically for me, I need something that will give good support well above my ankle and then I'm good to go.

From: Mule Power
Greg for ankle support my Kenetrek Mountain Extremes are the best I’ve ever owned. The steel shank takes some getting used to. But they support my arches and ankles like a ski boot!

I've broken both of my ankles, so I understand your need for ankle support.. the two best boots I've worn for this were kenetrek mountain extreme and Crispi Idaho.. keep in mind, it's not just the height of the boot that determines support, the shank also plays a key role.

From: nvgoat
If your ankles are really bad, I would look into the Kenetrek Everstep boots with nylon staves in the lateral (outside) edge.

Personally, I simply put lace up ankle braces inside my boots. I have used these for years. For the cost of $50-60 they have changed my life in the mountains. In addition to big game hunting, I enjoy many days chukar hunting each year. My ankles are no longer sore after hunting and I have not injured an ankle in hundreds of days in nasty terrain. You will be surprised the difference this makes and it is a cheap fix compared to buying new boots.

From: ElkNut1
Wow, old thread! --- After many years of elk hunting every imaginable terrain I would have to say one boot that stands out for me is the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme! It's a 10" boot yet is the lightest 10" boot I've found with great ankle stability. It's unreal! My size 8 boot weighs 1lb- 14.oz each! That's a very light boot! Most boots in comparison will weigh no less that 2-lb 3.oz each!


From: Shawn
Elkhunters by Irish Setter are a great boot, 11"s high I believe and full leather can be had for 200-250 bucks. Shawn

From: wild1

wild1's Link
I'll tell you what I would do, regardless of what boot you choose - add an ankle support wrap. I wrecked an ankle the day before a DIY bear hunt and had my wife (a nurse) wrap my ankle before putting on the boot and it made a huge difference.

I don't elk hunt,but I have a broken arch and cracked bones in my left foot.a lace up brace helps hold everything together .

6 year old thread. If you have an unstable ankle, you should talk with your orthopedist/physical therapist about a brace specifically for hiking with boots.

From: ElkNut1
BOX CALL, good point! That's exactly what I have to do, it helps prevent roll over when side-hilling with & without a load!


From: Gold Miner
I have wore the kenetrek eversteps for 3 years now after breaking my leg and dislocating my foot while hiking for elk sheds! These boots are the reason i can go back in the hills. Worth every dollar. Fantastic support, wore them immediately after getting my cast off.

From: c3
A pair of low cut slipper sneaks the whole year will strengthen your ankles to the point boots are not needed ever. I never wear boots ever anymore after 35 years of running around in the hills in sneaks.

From: Huntcell
I can see were that might work for u.

The most successful archery turkey hunter ever ( just ask em) took it to next level and goes the off season bare foot, your sneakers will feel like indestructible heavenly lead weights come hunting season

That’s if you had access to the bone jarring flesh eating south central Alabama terrain that he subdues on a daily basis.

From: Mrwizard
Irish setter elk trackers most comfortable boot I’ve ever owned decent price and very durable . Walk for miles

Buy some pro wrap and athletic tape and learn to tape your'll be 100x's better than any boot you buy.

Then you can wear whatever boots fit you best.

There's a pair of used Lowa Tibet GTX on E-Bay right now for $125... it says they were used once for a 5 mile hike....

There are quite a few pairs of used Lowas on EBay if you are cheap like me.....

From: bad karma
I'll suggest you call Lathrop and Sons, and talk to them. They're an outgrowth of a podiatrist's office, and the two Lathrops are both podiatric orthopedists. Given your condition, relying on a bunch of folks on a hunting website is folly. When you ask "what's the best," you can expect to get a lot of "what I just bought." Better you talk to someone who knows foot problems.

Zamberlan Outfitter.

+1 for Zamberlan Outfitters. Once broken in they're hard to beat. With high boots laced tight you'll likely fall over before rolling your ankles.

From: planebow
Here is a boot made for your problem

From: welka
An old post, but still plenty of people with the same problem. Thanks to all for old and recent responses. Since original post, I have tried a bunch. Kene's, Crispi, Meindl, Danner, Lowa, lace up ankle straps (still not strong enough). Eventually had to go with a double upright AFO brace that costs about $200 to retrofit the boot. Still have trouble with ankle "rolling" with the boot. Brace prevents full roll over. About the only thing I haven't tried is wrapping tight with athletic tape and forcing ankle over a little so it rolls less. May try that this year. Current boot is the Meindl Ultralight. Weak ankles suck!

From: houndy65

houndy65's Link
I have been wearing Hoffman pac boots out of Wallace, Idaho for at least 25 years now, The new Explorer boot will be my next Hoffman boot.

From: jims
I have a pair of Lowa Tibets that have always worked great. Break in time is around 0 days! I tried Kennetrek Mtn Extremes and returned them the day after I tried them. The soles were so thick that it felt like I was on stilts. I stumbled all over loose rocks on steep slopes. One thing you will likely find with a tall, stiff, heavy boot with relatively thick heals is it is nearly impossible to stalk game quietly! It sounds like in your situation you are somewhat stuck....depending upon your style of hunting. My preference is a mid weight hiker that is a bit lighter, offers a little more comfort, and is a lot easier to negotiate terrain and stalk game. The only time I bring out the Tibets is if I hunt in deep snow. I just don't like hunting with stiff, heavy boots...especially while trying to cover miles each day while elk hunting.

From: GRB

From: bb
Another vote for Zamberlan. They offer quite a few selections that could fit the bill. I use the Sella NW

From: sheephunter2
I second the Kenetrek EverSteps. They are built for weak ankles, etc. They have fiberglass stays going vertically on the inside and outside of the boot that can be removed but I never have. The sole at the toe is turned up a little bit more to facilitate easier hiking. I have been wearing them since they came out and they are expensive but a real game changer. I have always worn my Kenetreks out of the box with no problem. I have worn ankle wraps as well and about every boot made in the last 30 years of sheep and elk hunting. These are the real deal IMHO.

From: painless
I can step on an acorn wrong and blow out either ankle. I'm on my second pair of Solomon Quest. Definitely some of the best boots I've ever worn in 50+ years of hunting.

From: swampokie
I don't think u will beat the kenetrek mountain extreme. U may have to sell your firstborn to afford a pair but I got mine on sale at midway for 360$ Love em

What’s “best” is all relative. If you’re hunting elk in fairly rough country, then you might benefit from a stiff boot like the Kenetrek’s. I tried the Mountain Extreme’s for a year and hated them. Felt like I had 2x4’s strapped to my feet. Tried Lowa Renegade’s and love ‘em. They give me plenty of support while I’m hunting and are very comfortable. I have to use trekking poles when packing meat, so I don’t have any issues with a heavy load either.

Keep in mind, what’s “best” for you may or may not be best for others, and vice versa. Try several different brands/models until your feet/ankles tell you “these are the ones”.

From: jims
I agree 100% with Wyobullshooter's post. Trekking poles could be a lifesaver...especially with hefty loads. If you use trekking poles while hunting you may want to wrap something around the tips so they don't clang on rock.

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