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Is Mid-Cut Better than Low-Cut Hiking Shoes?

What is the first thing you look into when searching for a pair of hiking shoes to buy?

Some might say a hiker should focus on the footwear’s outsole, material, and waterproofing technology. While it is important, one must also consider the height of the shoes.

Any footwear comes in various heights, which includes high-cut, mid-cut, and low-cut. High-cut shoes are taller, on the other hand, mid-cut rests above the ankle but less tall than the former. Meanwhile, low-cut shoes rest below the ankle.

So, what’s the difference between these height variations? 

Most hikers believe that mid-cut shoes are the best choice when hiking. It is said to provide more stability, balance, and better ankle support compared to low-cut shoes. However, high-cut shoes are too uncomfortable and heavier, which are not ideal for off-trail hiking and going on tough terrains. Therefore, your choice is between the mid-cut and low-cut hiking boots.

But here is the big question; is mid-cut a better option than low-cut?

The Truth Behind Ankle Support 

It is a popular belief among hikers that higher footwear is better. But the reality is this; though height offers better ankle support, it does not entirely mean low-cut shoes are unable to provide such benefit.

Footwear’s ankle support depends on the sole. A stiff sole adds balance and stability, especially when stepping on uneven ground. Moreover, it helps you carry a heavy backpack without being wobbly on your feet, or putting too much pressure on your ankle.

Therefore, if mid-cut shoes have a soft sole, it won’t offer much stability and balance. The same goes for low-cut hiking boots.

Conditions when to Choose Low-Cut and Mid-Cut Hiking Shoes 

There are certain situations wherein low-cut is a better option compared to mid-cut, and vice versa; for instance:

  • Choose Low-Cut Hiking Boots When… 

It is better to choose low-cut hiking shoes when traveling on maintained trails and even ground. If you have great balance, stability, and ankle strength, you can use this type of footwear.

Low-cut shoes are also good for long-walking but only if you’re not carrying a huge load on your back.

  • Choose Mid-Cut Hiking Boots When… 

Mid-cut footwear is best for hiking in tough terrains and going off-trail. It can provide the stability and ankle support you’ll need when hiking on uneven grounds and snowy trails. It is also a good choice for climbing and high landing.

When you are carrying a heavy backpack, a mid-cut hiking boot adds more balance. Likewise, it allows your feet to stay comfortable despite trekking on a difficult trail.

One of the best examples of excellent mid-cut hiking boots is found here at

More Thoughts 

As you have read from above, height is only one factor you have to consider when searching for hiking boots. Ask help from reliable online sources like the Hikers Shop to find out more information on what to look for in good hiking footwear.

Also, the above online source offers honest reviews of best seller hiking gear. They will serve as your complete and friendly guide towards a safe and fun hiking experience.