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:


SaleBestseller No. 1
Fox Outdoor Products Vietnam Jungle Boot, Black, Size 11
  • Genuine leather upper vulcanized to panama sole and heel
  • Cotton Canvas shaft and Tongue
  • Nylon webbing trim on sides and collar
  • Steel shank reinforced sole for added support and durability
  • Removable foot bed with comfort features
Bestseller No. 2
Bruno Marc Men's Motorcycle Combat Boots Casual Zipper Biker Boot, Black, Size 11 M US, PHILLY-3
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 3
FREE SOLDIER Men's Tactical Boots 8 Inches Lightweight Combat Boots Durable Suede Leather Military Work Boots Desert Boots (Tan, 10.5)
  • 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
Dr. Martens unisex adult Lace Fashion Boot, Black Wyoming, 11 Women 10 Men US
  • Crazy Horse is a heavyweight leather with a tough, textured appearance — designed to look worn in from the first step
  • Made with a comfortable, durable cemented construction
  • Crazy Horse - a natural-type oil finished leather, with a worn, distressed appearance.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Nike SFB B1 Military Lightweight Combat Boots (12), Coyote
  • IMPORTANT: Customer feedback indicates this style runs small. We recommend sizing up a half-size.
  • OCP AUTHORIZED AR 670-1 Compliant for US Army OCP and MultiCam
  • AFI 36-2903 Compliant for US Air Force OCP
  • Lightweight
  • Ventilation Ports for Cooling


SaleBestseller No. 1
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. 2
Amazon Essentials Women's Lace-Up Combat Boot, Black, 11
  • COMFORT AND FIT: These lug-sole combat boots have a padded insole with high-quality memory foam for added comfort, lace-up closure for adjustability, and an inside zipper for easy entry.
  • MATERIAL: Amazon Essentials shoes are made from high-quality alternative leather materials. This style has a faux buffalo grain leather upper and is lined in faux leather.
  • STYLE: These ankle boots have a back pull tab, metal eyelets, heavy weight stitching throughout, and a lug-sole.
  • DETAILS: 1.25 inch heel with a flexible non-slip sole. Shaft height measures 6 inches from where your heel sits to the top of the shaft.
  • DESIGN: These versatile boots take you anywhere and can be paired with your favorite Amazon Essentials outfit.
SaleBestseller No. 3
DREAM PAIRS Women's Terran Black Mid Calf Built-in Wallet Pocket Lace up Military Combat Boots Utilitarian - 8.5 M US
  • Design in USA
  • 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: 11.5" (approx)
SaleBestseller No. 4
DREAM PAIRS Black Strong-5 Lace-up Platform Combat Boots Ankle Booties for Women Size 8.5
  • The ankle boots have a Rubber TPR sole: These combat boots are constructed with a non-slip rubber sole to deliver traction, safety, and durability.
  • Combat boots platform Measures:2 inches (approx) The height of the booties is about 5 inch
  • Classic design: Classic booties combat style lace-up front with metal eyelet, the must-have in autumn and winter wardrobes
  • Easy on and off & perfect fit: The side zipper is convenient to wear on and off without untying the shoelace; Adjustment of shoelaces to suit different foot shapes; Making the boots fit the foot perfectly.
  • Perfect for daily walks, hiking, camping, traverse rugged landscapes, outdoors.Four seasons trend items, multiple choices, burring decoration for people with special requirements for warmth, simple style, and versatility.
Bestseller No. 5
Soda FLING Women Chunky Lug Sole Lace up Fashion Combat Ankle Boot w/Side Zipper (BLACK PU, numeric_7_point_5)
  • Latest Fashion and Trend for Stylish and Sexy look
  • Shaft measures approximately Ankle-Calf from arch, Platform measures approximately 1.4", 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

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!

Leave a Comment