I realize this is heresy against the footwear in my blog’s logo, but a post at Uncooped the other day reminded me I ought to throw this out there and see what sticks. When I was auditioning footwear awhile back I did try a few pairs of boots, but the rubbing against the skin above my ankles was such an annoyance that I looked elsewhere.
As I’ve noted a few times around here, trail-running shoes (Montrails especially) have bulked-up padding below the ankles that provides a lot more support than you might suspect.
The conventional wisdom used to be that you needed boots for hiking with a heavy pack; I suppose it’s still true, but does anybody hike with heavy packs these days? (I’m guessing I’d have to pay somebody to haul away my 7-pound Dana Designs Terraplane.)
One thing I will cop to: the romance of breaking in a nice pair of leather boots, wearing down the soles and taking them to a cobbler to get resoled. I’ve heard tell of people using the same boots for years this way. The right boots can be like an old friend. Nobody ever thinks of running shoes that way: you just beat ’em up and throw ’em out (which is not exactly sustainable, come to think of it).
So what you think, folks, above the ankle or below?