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!
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
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.
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:
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!
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 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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- 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
- Protection & convenience: Ankle-high protection wraps & supports the ankles.YKK side zipper with hook-loop strap closure is easy to take on/off.
- Durable & breathable：Breathable fabric keeps your feet cool and dry. And high abrasion-resistant leather provides full protection. This combination structure offers maximum comfort and ensures breathable and long-term protection at the same time.
- Dynamic 3-sole system: (1) Removable, shock-absorbent cushion in-sole offers supportive all-day comfort. (2) Flexible EVA mid-sole reduces foot fatigue and absorbs shock; (3) Slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant rubber out-sole is a flexible response to various outdoor terrain.
- Perfect for outdoor & indoor: Designed for both daily work and outdoor sports like camping, climbing, cycling, fishing, jungle, running, mountaineering, traveling, and so on.
- What you get: our worry-free warranty and friendly customer service, NORTIV 8 is an American brand that aims at providing high-quality outdoor shoes.
- Durable rubber sole and artificial leather upper
- Heel measures approximately 1 inch
- Platform measures approximately 0.5 inch
- Combat motocycle boot featuring classic vintage design
- Stylish, flexible and comfort ankle boots
- Goodyear welt stitching
- Good abrasion resistance
- Slip resistance
- Two tone synthetic leather upper
- Leather-like material with soft and smooth touch
- 5mm latex and memory foam padding
- An Amazon brand
- Latest Fashion and Trend for Stylish, Sporty & Sexy look
- Functional Inside Zippers for easy in and out the boot
- Combat Boot with Lug Sole Platform and Chunky Heel
- Fashion Ankle Bootie with approximate 1.75” height
- made in usa or imported
- synthetic rubber sole
- shaft measures approximately calf high from arch
- boot opening measures approximately 9.05 around"
- man-made upper material
- Imported. Pocket zipper only go down half way.
- Rubber TPR outsole, Faux fur lining
- Heel Height: 1", Platform Measures: 0.5"(approx)
- Military-inspired combat boot with built in pocket wallet for keys, credit cards and cash
- Top opening circumference: 12.5" (approx)
- Latest Fashion and Trend for Stylish and Sexy look
- Shaft measures approximately Ankle-Calf from arch,Platform measures approximately 01.4", Shaft measures approximately 5.5”
- Lace-up style with functional side Zippers for easy in and out the boot
- Platform Combat Boot with Chunky Lug Sole Platform and Chunky Heel with Welt Stitching
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!
Jesse is the main author of Tactical Angle. He’s also an avid survivalist, backpacker, and fishkeeper. He spends time setting up/maintaining my fish tanks, hiking, hunting, and climbing mountains.