I have a connective tissue disorder that makes my joints extra bendy, and my ankles are the worst. I wear bilateral Ankle-Foot-Orthoses (think a prescription orthotic with an attached custom-molded ankle brace).
I need hiking boots that I can put my AFOs into (they need to open up wide & not have tongues that are attached to the boots all the way up), OR I need hiking boots that have REALLY good ankle protection.
I always hike with hiking poles, so new boots that have great ankle protection might be enough.
I recommend looking at "tactical" boots rather than regular hiking boots. They tend to be heavy, but they also provide more protection and support. They're generally sold in uniform shops catering to first responders.
Also, if you can find a decent cobbler, they might be able to modify boots to meet your needs. For that matter, I think I'd call a few of the manufacturers, especially Keene and Vasque, and ask if they can do something for you. If you can get to someone above the frontline customer service people, they might be willing to work with you.
Good luck! And kudos to you for trying!
Hi @BeccaHD - Thanks for reaching out!
Because it can be difficult to make precise suggestions online without knowing more about your feet and AFOs, we suggest talking with one of our footwear experts in a free virtual outfitting session.
With that, there are some boots that we suggest as a good starting place for your search. Because orthoses vary from person to person, we cannot say for certain whether these options will work in your specific instance. The following do all offer a high level of ankle support, so may work well for you with or without your AFO on, depending on your comfort level and how they fit/feel:
If you are interested in a hiking boot that is made specifically for AFO accommodation, Apis Footwear has a Mt Emey Hiking Boot lineup, including a Men's Outdoor High-Top Boot and a Women's Added-Depth Walking Boot.
Hopefully this helps! If you're keen to share, we'd love to hear what boots you end up deciding on. Happy hiking!