bad ankles....trail runners
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Jenn M
(jennm) - F
bad ankles....trail runners on 07/14/2011 11:08:40 MDT Print View

Not mine.....mine are fine, though I did tear two ligaments in my ankle once bp'ing....wearing heavy leather backpacking boots. Ever since then, forget it, trail runners.

My partner is coming backpacking with me for the first time in August....his enthusiasm varies. I'll be carrying most of the gear, so that his pack will be as light as possible.

He tends to get sore ankles hiking - he has Salomon boots, but is thinking of using runners, though I can't remember if he owns trail runners.

Any thoughts on trail runners with ankles that perform poorly on the trail? Should I tell him to stick to his boots, or will he be fine given he'll be carrying a light pack (I'm thinking - GG Murmur, torso pad, his clothes, his lunches, maybe a dinner, and a GoLite Ultra 20 quilt. IF he brings shoes for camp he's thinking his Zoots which are around 10oz apparently)?

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
"bad ankles....trail runners" on 07/14/2011 11:24:17 MDT Print View

He should be good with trail runners and the lightweight gear & pack combination. I have a bad ankle & knee on the same leg (lucky me!) and a pair of cheap WalMart hiking poles REALLY help. I tried on a pair of Vasque Mindbenders today - WOW, very nice! Good luck and have a great trip.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
runner plus adjustments on 07/14/2011 12:04:27 MDT Print View

Poles or a stick are helpful. Pre-taping instead of waiting till after a fall is a good idea. Depending on his feet he may want a more high top shoe like some of the larger Inov8 models. I underpronate, I discovered, and lacing a little higher up on the ankle seems to keep my foot from slopping around in the shoe as much.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles....trail runners on 07/14/2011 12:10:11 MDT Print View

Thanks guys!

I forgot to mention, I am taking trekking poles to put up the tarp I'm bringing in case of rain (holy luxury!). And I was thinking of getting him to use them.

I'm not sure if he'll want to buy another pair of shoes just for this trip, but perhaps I can sell it as good winter running shoes, though he'd have to get a pair with goretex. That's okay though.

I like the idea of the ankle wraps - the drug stores here sell what I can only describe as ankle sleeves - sort of light compression wear for the ankles - I think that would work well.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: bad ankles....trail runners on 07/14/2011 12:38:05 MDT Print View

The time to start hiking is now. Walk everyday in as minimal a shoe as possible. Build up the ankles and other body parts. Shoes cannot compensate for a lack of conditioning.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: bad ankles....trail runners on 07/14/2011 12:49:23 MDT Print View

When I watch people wearing boots walk I just cringe. My theory is they hurt their ankles because boots make them clumsy and careless. They crash into things without taking any care whatsoever where they place their feet. They ankle role about every 10 feet. It's painful to watch. I think people with bad ankles should wear simpler shoes and just take better care where they place their feet.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles....trail runners on 07/14/2011 12:50:52 MDT Print View

Thanks Nick - a very good point.

He is in good shape, though way over race weight at the moment (he's a triathlete), but he kind of sucks at hiking, which makes no sense, but there it is.

If I can convince him, I was going to have him do a hike with me this Sunday. :) I just have to convince him.... :yikes: He's in a pretty miserable mood ever since he pulled out of Ironman Canada, so I'm hoping this trip will distract him.

Piper, that's a point. I truly don't believe (through bitter experience) that they do much to protect the ankles, but like I said, I don't have 'problem' ankles either....so I wasn't sure.

Edited by jennm on 07/14/2011 12:51:48 MDT.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bad ankles on 07/19/2011 08:15:52 MDT Print View

I have 2 prior bad ankle injuries. After several wrong turns, I have finally found a solution that works for me: 1.low-profile shoes; basic engineering principles dictate better stability with a low-profile shoe and I really don't miss all that cushion;this was my most important change; 2. poles help stability, especially on downhills; 3. start walking in low profile shoes soon; its different; you will find yourself stepping around those ankle-turning rocks and roots instead of blindly walking on top of them. This has worked well for me. I hope it is of some help.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Bad ankles on 07/19/2011 09:45:39 MDT Print View

+1 on low-profile shoes! Of course, they require some adaptation too.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 12:07:10 MDT Print View

I think we're definitely going with trail shoes, but he's quite obstinate about using trekking poles. He says b/c he hasn't practiced with them....I'll see if I can get him out once before this trip and get him to use them.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
trail runners = GOOD! on 07/19/2011 12:36:32 MDT Print View

If the pack weights are kept VERY low, trail runners are far better than boots. From anecdotal evidence, boots seem to cause MORE injuries.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 12:52:51 MDT Print View

If the footing is mostly slippery and unsteady with mud, sand, or many loose rocks, then consider him or you carrying the poles on-pack. :) I don't like to use them unless I really need to use them myself, but some trail conditions indicate an obvious need for them.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 14:56:52 MDT Print View

Thanks both of you.

HIS pack weight will be light enough....I'm carrying most of our gear to keep his whinging to a minimum, plus to help with his ankles etc. I've carried heavy equipment and done winter trips in trail runners though, so I should survive. Luckily we're doing this trail way slower than I would normally so the days are shorter.


I don't generally use trekking poles outside of winter, but I have them and am going to bring them so that hopefully he will use them.

I've done this trail multiple times before - I love it, and he promised he'd do it with me once - and personally don't find poles necessary though I know lots of people who do use them.

I think he might come hiking with me once before we go, so he can try out the poles then and get comfortable with them. They aren't rocket science.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Re: Re: re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 15:03:33 MDT Print View

For years I wouldn't consider trail runners because I've always had ankle problems (bad sprain from skiing as a teenager left my right ankle, in particular, prone to turning). The main thing that convinced me to try trail runners was that I could not find any non-Goretex boots for women, and I had become thoroughly disenchanted with Goretex. So almost three years ago, I bought a pair of Montrail Hardrocks (unfortunately the last good year for that model) to try.

I tried deliberately to turn my ankles in the trail runners and could not do it! Nor have I had any turned ankles since, even though it happened to me several times per year in the boots. It appears that the supportive footbed and anti-pronation devices built into the Hardrocks work far better than that illusory chunk of leather around my ankles. The increase in comfort was fantastic! Unless it's deep snow, I'll never, never go back to boots!

The first long trip in the trail runners, I took elastic ankle braces just in case. I never used them, nor have I had any need of them since.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bad ankles on 07/19/2011 15:50:09 MDT Print View

I would agree with others that the low profile of the shoe is probably the most important thing.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 15:59:44 MDT Print View

Well, his trail runners definitely have a lower profile than his Salomon hiking boots! He's got Saucony trail shoes, I don't remember what kind, but I've compared them to his boots and they should be better.

I will report back how he does :)

Matt Mioduszewski
(water-) - F

Locale: pacific nw
respectfully disagree on 07/19/2011 16:16:56 MDT Print View

based on experience.. both my ankles are terrible after rolling them many many times while thru hiking. my knees are great however, I can run down hill very well.

i will hold out that there is some PT and strong regimen of exercises that may change them.

I wear low cut shoes and workout in low cut shoes, all week. But on surface more uneven than concrete or regular floors.. i absolutely roll my ankles a lot, weight on my back regardless. Thus, I do wear heavier boots a lot, including mountaineering boots for lots (such as 36 mile circumnavigation of crater lake that had about 15 miles of road walking). I do not roll my ankles in the boots and my ankles tend to feel better than if I wore lower cut shoes.

I don't personally see a reason to deal with excessive ankle rolling by trying to have lower-cut shoes for my outdoor pursuits.

Laural Bourque
(lauralbaby)

Locale: PNW
agree w/Matt on 07/19/2011 16:39:59 MDT Print View

My boyfriend got trail runners and his ankles roll constantly. He's had bad ones since high school though. Looking for mids without GTX is hard.

Jenn M
(jennm) - F
re: bad ankles.....trail runners on 07/19/2011 16:45:03 MDT Print View

Your guys insight is appreciated.

I should note....his ankles don't roll, they just MOVE a lot (or is that mini rolls?) and he's not used to that from a muscle standpoint being very road fit instead.

Edited by jennm on 07/19/2011 16:46:07 MDT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Another Option on 07/19/2011 17:06:31 MDT Print View

I have bad ankles. I use trail runners but bring along an ankle wrap in case I have problems.

Still less weight than boots, and more comfortable!