And are they the only shoe designed to do this? At least the only shoe for walking in the wilderness designed to do this?
Any high-top aids in the prevention of sprained ankles. But it just adds a little more support. It’s not an immobilizer or anything. I dont think there is such a boot that does that.
Keep in mind that to really prevent sprained ankles, you need a lot of support there. Like having your ankle taped up, or wearing a brace. But this prevents the ankle from moving the way it should and it actually puts undue stress on the knees. Prophylactically treating a sprained ankle is really bad for your knees. You can end up causing knee problems to prevent ankle injuries that you never got.
A lot of athletes have their ankles taped up to prevent sprained ankles. And then they wonder why they have such problems with their knees. . .
But the only hiking boots I’ve worn are military issued, so maybe there are some hiking boots out there that do prevent sprained ankles. But if you ankles are not absorbing those lateral movements, your knees are. Only your knees aren’t supposed to bend that way.
No. I have weak ankles and the only boots that I don’t twist my ankles are the ones that are over the ankles, whether they are work boots, hiking boots, or shit-kicking, cockroach-squishing cowboy boots.
Well ok not the last ones. I had a pair of work/hiking boots that I nearly broke my ankle in. They were comfortable but they didn’t provide ankle support. Haven’t had the same problem with the higher boots. (There are other dis/advantages to hiking boots but that’s not what you’re asking about)
The higher ankle support offers some protection, but is no guarantee.
There are a great many hiking boot designs, ranging from heavy boots for carrying large loads, to light shoes with high ankles to keep out dirt and foilage.
About the only thing that will prevent a twisted ankle is a climbing boot, but those are not made for recreational hiking (they are like plastic alpine ski boots).
Since you are just getting into hiking, you will probably be on prepared trails with a light load, so start with a light hiking boot or all-terrain walking/running shoe.