Do Combat Boots Weaken Ankles During Training?

Combat boots are essential for any soldier in training. They provide the support and stability needed to complete the strenuous activities required in boot camp. However, some experts have argued that the boots’ weight and the soles’ rigidity can weaken ankles during training.

So, are they right or not? Do combat boots weaken ankles during training?

Combat Boots do not weaken ankles. A lot of effort and research has gone into ensuring boots provide sufficient ankle support. It is very rare to buy a combat boot that does not support your ankles.

Something has to give, though. I mean, if it’s not combat boots, something else must be the culprit. So, what is weakening ankle during combat training among military recruits? Read on to find out!

Do Combat Boots Weaken Ankles During Training?
Old Combat Boots

What Weakens Ankles During Military Training?

In a 2014 Nurses and Physicians Within War report, ankle sprains were among the most common injuries among athletes and recruits. As you’d expect from these professionals, they conducted a study to determine the cause of this phenomenon.

They found several -important- risk factors. Here are some of the factors listed in their report:

  • High BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • History of ankle injuries
  • Poor muscle strength or previously damaged nerves
  • Proprioceptive disorder
  • Range of motion (ROM) limitations
  • Balance

As you can see, they did not list combat boots as one of the risk factors for ankle sprains. Combat or military boots are designed to protect the ankles from injury.

They have special padding that helps to absorb the impact of a fall or a blow to the ankle. The boots also have a higher heel that helps to support the ankle and prevent it from rolling over.

In addition to risk factors, the Nurses and Physicians within War report outline strategies to prevent ankle sprains and injuries. If interested, check the link above for the strategies.

Did You Know?
According to MSD Manuals, ankle sprains:
1. Commonly occur when we twist feet.
2. Don’t show up in X-rays (Though doctors may need X-rays if they think you have broken some bones)
3. Are treated by Protecting the area, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (PRICE)
4. Most heal without medical intervention. In severe case, you may need surgery

Check out this page for more quick facts about ankle sprains!

Do Combat Boots Hurt Your Feet?

Combat boots should feel comfortable around your feet. They are not meant to hurt you at all. I repeat, it is not normal for combat boots to hurt your feet every time you put them on. If they do, it is probably due to one or more of the following reasons:

New Boots

New boots feel snugger than they are supposed to when new. That’s why we have to break them in before we can put them to good use.

It is normal for boots to hurt feet while breaking them in. You might earn a blister or two, but it’s worth adapting the boots to your feet!

Shopping for new boots
Shopping for new boots

Too Tight or Too Loose

Yes, properly fitting boots feeling very snug at first is normal; feet hurting even after wearing the boots for a week or two isn’t.

Make sure boots fit you properly before taking them home. Otherwise, since there is no remedy for ill-fitting boots, you’ll have to return them or give them to someone else.

Heavy Boots

Heavy boots are often associated with durability and performance. That’s a peddled misconception with severe consequences.

Heavier boots quickly tire out feet, ankles, knees, hips, etc. Tired muscles force larger muscles to overcompensate. In time, the overcompensation is a health hazard with severe injury implications.

It’s time you hang those bad boys in favor of lighter, breathable boots. If you need a sign, here it is!

Arch Support

With every step taken, feet withstand a lot of impact from the ground as a counter to the force we exert on it. Ground Reactive Force (GRF) is the name of this reactive force from the ground!

Our arches need enough support to hold their own against GRF. Lack of which can cause serious health problems such as plantar fasciitis and tendinitis. Simply put, hurting feet!

Do Combat Boots Weaken Ankles During Training?
A man fitting Orthopaedic Insole – they are good support for arches in boots or shoes.

As you can see, you need to ensure your feet have all the support they need in all critical areas. When all things are said and done, lack of support is a leading cause of hurting feet.

Consider custom boots to cater to your feet’s structure. If that is a stretch for you, ensure any boot you buy has all the support you need!

Can I Work Out in Combat Boots?

Ideally, we want to work out with the least weight on our bodies. Who can blame us? A lighter body is much easier to work with than a heavier one.

A man working out!
Can we work out with combat boots?

However, you can work out in combat boots. Most soldiers prefer running in boots to specialized running shoes. Lightweight combat boots reduce your workload while giving you access to all their added benefits.

Fortunately, we are spoilt for choice with lightweight combat boots. You can pick and choose the best one for you.

Bonus Section

Since you’ve made it here, let me reward you with a quick list of the top 5 best-selling (ankle-supporting) combat boots on Amazon today! Here you go:


Bestseller No. 1
Rothco 8'' GI Type Jungle Boot, Black, 9
  • With an Overall Height of 8”, the Military Combat Boot Gives You High Ankle Support When Securely Tied with the 9 Eyelet Lacing System (Desert Tan Eyelets Are Made of Aluminum) | Boots run a size large
  • With an Overall Height of 8”, the Military Combat Boot Gives You High Ankle Support When Securely Tied with the 9 Eyelet Lacing System (Desert Tan Eyelets Are Made of Aluminum)
  • Thick Vulcanized Rubber Cleated Panama Outsole Provides Enhanced Traction While You Are on the Move
  • Steel Shank Reduces Strain on Your Heel and Calf so You Can Endure Long Days on Your Feet, and the Dual Vent Holes Increase Breathability to Keep Your Feet Cool and Dry
  • Jungle Boots Run a Size Larger, Which Have Been Designed to Wear with Two Pairs of Wool Socks
SaleBestseller No. 3
FREE SOLDIER Men's Tactical Boots 8 Inches Lightweight Combat Boots Durable Suede Leather Military Work Boots Desert Boots (Tan, 11)
  • DURABLE & PROTECTIVE - This mens military boots upper made of suede leather with 1000D Cordura fabric, which is durable and scratch-resistant. EVA midsole, lightweight and flexible, supply excellent cushioning for hiking or working. All terrain outsole, great grip with geometrical pattern design, non-slip tactical boots for men. Strengthened toe cap and heel provide full protection, anti-collision and ankle support. Suit for tactical, military, combat, hunting, motorcycle boots
  • BREATHABLE & COMFORTABLE–The middle part of This mens combat boots made of thin Lycra fabric, durable and breathable. The vented holes in the side to aid in ventilation and drainage of moisture, make this military boots especially comfortable in summer. Removable and shock-absorbing insole, breathable lining make this tactical boots more sweat releasing and quick-drying, keeps your feet dry and all day comfort
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & FIT - This combat boots made with US size, fit true to size. If you are hesitate to choose size, please confirm your feet length with our size chart. This combat boots for men weigh about 2.4 lb / 38.4 ounce, super lightweight and won’t feel fatigue. Gusseted tongue prevents pebbles, sand, dirt and other debris entering this hiking boots. Ergonomic design makes it easy to put feet into this army boots. Durable metal eyelets and lace, fast on and off
  • FASHION & PRACTICAL - This work boots are designed with tactical features as well as urban fashion look, satisfied people live in city or have outdoor activities. Heel is approx 1.6 inches, shaft is approx 8 inches high from heel, better to protect your ankle. Long lasting and lightweight breathable design make this duty boots work great in hiking, work, tactical, army, hunting, riding motorcycle and other outdoor activities
  • PERFECT INDOOR & OUTDOOR BOOTS FOR MEN - Designed for Spring Summer Autumn and Winter, offers all day comfort for outdoor activities and daily life. Ultralight style of hiking shoes, also can be wore as working boots, hiking shoes, tactical shoes, motorcycle shoes, police boots, airsoft boots, duty boots, outdoor boots, etc. A good choice as valentines day gifts for him. WHY CHOOSE US: High quality and If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us
Bestseller No. 4
Bates Men's GX-8 Waterproof Boot, Black, 14 XW US
  • Breathable waterproof GORE-TEX membrane with moisture wicking lining
  • YKK side zipper for quick on/off
  • Slip resistant rubber outsole
  • Waterproof full grain leather and performance nylon upper with protective panels
  • Removable cushioned insert
SaleBestseller No. 5
Bruno Marc Men's Philly-3 Black Military Combat Boots - 11 M US
  • Premium synthetic leather for comfort
  • Heel tab and zipper for easy on and off
  • Platform measures approximately 0.5 inch
  • Combat motocycle boot featuring classic vintage design
  • Stylish, flexible and comfort ankle boots


Bestseller No. 1
DREAM PAIRS Women's Sdab2227w Platform Chelsea Combat Boots Lace Up Lug Sole Ankle Booties Shoes,Size 7.5, Black
  • Smooth Upper: The silky-smooth PU upper of these women's ankles boots is easy to maintain and clean.
  • Chunky Outsole: These comfortable boots for women feature a chunky TPR outsole that is slip-resistant & showcases your edgy vibe.
  • Comfortable Design: The thick PU footbed provides cushioning for all-day support and the padded collar keeps you warm on cold days.
  • Easy To Wear: With a smooth side zip closure and lace-up design, these combat boots are easy to put on & adjust for a perfect fit.
  • Versatile Style: Pair these stylish boots with your favorite jeans & coat for a casual chic look. Suitable for shopping, commuting, or everyday wear
SaleBestseller No. 2
Soda FIRM - Lug Sole Combat Ankle Bootie Lace up w/Side Zipper (Black, numeric_7_point_5
  • Synthetic Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately 5.5" from arch
  • Shaft measures approximately 5.5" from arch
  • Boot opening measures approximately 3.5 around
  • Fashion Ankle Bootie with approximate 1.75” height
SaleBestseller No. 3
Forever Link Womens Round Toe Military Lace up Knit Ankle Cuff Low Heel Combat Boots, 7, Black
  • ESSENTIAL SHOE FOR YOUR CLOSET: This perfect combat boot silhouette with on-trend detailing pairs effortlessly with your casual, everyday outfits, making it a must for Fall and Winter!
  • EASY ON/OFF: Slip-on style with adjustable laces and functional inner zip; outside zip is superficial
  • 100% VEGAN PU OR SUEDE FABRIC: Eco-friendly and in control. Buy these guilt-free, knowing your purchase is making no dent in the environment! Eco-friendly and in control. Buy these guilt-free.
  • CLASSIC COMBAT BOOTS: You can't go wrong with effortless zip up combat boots! Simple combat lace up boots are an everyday essential to complete your look. This revolutionary trend has become a modern wardrobe staple from the shopping to the streets. Made from vegan faux leather and a manmade outsole, you can strut in style with these eco-friendly walking shoes.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Soda TUNDRA ~ Women Lug Sole Lace up Fashion Combat Ankle Boot w/Side Zipper (10, BLACK, numeric_10)
  • Ankle Bootie With Heel (approximate 2.25” height) , Platform measures approximately 0.75", Shaft measures approximately 6”
  • Latest Fashion and Trend for Stylish and Sexy look
  • Combat Boot with Lug Sole Platform and Chunky Heel
  • Functional Inside Zippers for easy in and out the boot
Bestseller No. 5
Amazon Essentials Women's Lace-Up Combat Boot, Green, 7.5
  • Get ready to conquer the world in the Amazon Essentials Women's Lace Up Combat Boot! A variety of colors to dress up or down for all occasions! Pair with jeans, leggings, dresses & more for every day wear.
  • Modern classic combat boot with inside zipper for easy access
  • Matte finish faux leather upper with breathable jersey lining and waxed laces
  • 5mm latex and memory foam padding for superior insole comfort.
  • High quality TPR outsole for exceptional flexibility and traction. 1 1/8” heel height.

Wrapping Up

As you have seen, combat boots have all the support ankles need. Modern technology has another win by making all that possible.

You don’t have to look any further than the military itself. Soldiers openly talk about how they love running and training in lightweight combat boots. They often choose them over shoes dedicated to such activities (e.g., running shoes).

What does that tell you? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below!

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