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Ankle Pain While Wearing Above Ankle Boots

I've had a pair of Vasque Breeze III GTX boots for a year now and in the past couple of months I've been experiencing pain in one of my ankles while wearing them. It started after I'd been wearing them every weekday for about a month, I wasn't hiking every day, they were just good for work. I thought that it might just be because I was wearing them too much, so I stopped wearing them for a few weeks. When I put them on a few days ago, my ankle started hurting pretty bad after walking for less than a mile. I've never had any problems with ankle pain in other shoes, it's just these. My boots don't look like they have any kind of damage and I hiked in them quite a bit before having this problem. Is there anything that I can do to make them stop hurting?

4 Replies

@LauraS Thank you for reaching out! I'm sorry that you're experiencing pain with a pair of boots that you have gotten so much use out of! Without being able to see the boots or look at your foot and ankle it will be pretty hard to diagnose what the issue might be. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with an outfitter  at your local REI who is a footwear expert. Given all the variability to fitting footwear it could range from the padding has compacted on the ankle part of your boot to needing an after market footbed to stabilize your foot in the boot. The expert at the store can take you through all the options and see if we can get you back out on the trail in comfort. I hope this helps and best of luck on your adventures!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@LauraS :


While I agree with REI-JohnJ, I had a similar scenario with a different company's boots. I tried several things with no relief until I replaced my insoles. 

Worth a thought if you like your boots. 


It might be that your boots have become softer and don't support your foot as they used to. When a shoe becomes softer and gives to the material, the foot position changes in your boot and your ankle might tilt a little bit towards the inside. This puts strain on your ankle, the joints and the tendons. Replacing the insole could solve the problem, otherwise I would recommend changing your boots. 

One more thought: While ankle boots naturally provide more support for your foot, they also tend to weaken your posture and the strength of your muscles and tendons, which can lead to fatigue, and with time to pain. This happens because initially, your boots do the work of supporting your ankle, and your muscles and tendons weaken. If your shoe gives with time, they are lacking support and could strain your foot up to your whole body.


@LauraS, looks like you're getting some great advice (and sorry your ankles are hurting). Because you posted on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, I wanted to make sure you knew that only replies from a user with the “REI Employee” rank should be regarded as employee-generated content.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.