Hiking is one of those activities that is not just great exercise, it is great for the soul. It is a fun escape into nature and an accessible physical activity for a wide percentage of the population.
Before you begin your trek on the trail, it is important to consider your gear. Proper footwear is crucial to having an enjoyable and safe hiking experience. A solid hiking boot or sturdy shoe is the foundation, but what else do you need? For example, should you wear an ankle brace for hiking?
There are some benefits to wearing an ankle brace for hiking.
Benefits of Wearing an Ankle Brace for Hiking
Added support. The main advantage to wearing an ankle brace for hiking is to add support to your ankle. What sets hiking apart from an everyday walk is the terrain. You could be encountering uneven ground, climbing rocks, and steep inclines. These hiking obstacles can really challenge the strength of your ankles.
An ankle brace provides an added amount of support to your ankles. This can be especially helpful if you are new to hiking, before your muscles have adapted to the common motions.
Flexibility. The reason that many hiking boots are high tops is to provide support to the ankle. While that is appreciated support, many hikers find the stiff material of common hiking boots to be too rigid.
Combining an ankle brace with a lower topped shoe, like a sneaker or trail shoe, can provide support to the ankle with greater flexibility.
Prevent injury. Support and flexibility of the ankle brace both help prevent injury. It is very easy to slip and sprain an ankle while out on a hike. A sprained ankle becomes quite dangerous if it leaves you stranded out in the wilderness.
Comfort. Not only does the support and stability of an ankle brace help prevent injury, it can also make your hikem more enjoyable. When the muscles don’t have to overexert themselves to keep you steady on uneven terrain, you may find you have more endurance. Less exertion can also help you avoid soreness during and after the hike.