High vs Mid vs Low Ankle Hiking Boots

All hiking boots have a specific purpose to deliver, but you can’t get it right unless you know the difference. When you are at the shoe shop, you must have seen the variety of their respective types.  However, if we specifically talk about hiking boots, the primary comparison is always between mid vs low vs high hiking boots.

The main difference between mid, high, and low hiking boots is the ankle covering part of the boot.  For instance, the mid hiking boot covers just above part of the ankle whereas the low hiking boot doesn’t cover the ankle and the high hiking boot covers a few inches above the ankle bone through its cuff.

But there are many more differences as well. Each hiking boot has its dedicated terrain to work on. So, without further ado, let’s dig deeper to know the boot diversion.

What is a High-Cut Hiking Boot?

The high-cut hiking boots mainly cover above ankle-foot area. But some high-cut boots can be higher than that and cover the shin (halfway between the ankle and calf). Moreover, the best kind of high boots are more breathable and offer enhanced protection against sudden impact or an abrasion from the ankle area. High-cut hiking boots are usually more durable than any other.

What is Mid Cut Hiking Boot?

The mid cut hiking boots do not cover the ankle area thoroughly, but they fall between the low-cut and high-cut hiking boots. These boots are designed to sit just above the ankle area but not more than that. A mid-cut hiking boot is ideal for protection against cuts or abrasion while ensuring the breathability factor is efficient.

What is Low Cut Hiking Boot?

The low-cut hiking boots are the same. It’s lower in the ankle area. Thus, there is minor support for the ankle. The low cut hiking boot is ideal for lifting a load or carrying a heavy backpack during a strenuous ascending. Mainly a low-cut hiking boot keeps the ankle area exposed and works best for summer hiking; however, there is support, flexibility, and breathability.

So, now you know what each boot is, let’s see the comparison of each boot with the other as mentioned below:

Comparison of Mid vs Low Hiking Boots

Down below, I have given the comparison of low-cut vs mid-hiking boots so you can easily know the differences at one glance:

FeaturesMid hiking bootLow hiking boot
SupportMid hiking boot covers just above the ankle bone areaLow hiking boot doesn’t cover ankle area
BreathabilityLess breathableMore the breathable
WeightMid-hiking boots are heavierLightweight and promote faster walking
ProtectionEnhanced protection from elements and abrasionsLess protection against impacts, abrasion, or jerks
PerformanceSturdy, warmer, and stable for ascendingFlexible and dries quicker
UsabilityMore waterproof, provide precise lacing, and is best for ankle and shank support, but becomes heavy when wetQuick to wear and put on makes it preferable for summers

Comparison of Mid vs High Hiking Boots

Down below, I have given the comparison of mid-cut vs high-cut hiking boot so you can easily know the differences at one glance:

FeaturesMid Hiking BootsHigh Hiking Boots
SupportMid hiking boots only cover just above the ankle area of the foot. Doesn’t provide extra supportHigh hiking boot covers a few inches above the ankle or shin (below the knee). Provide extra ankle support.
WeightLess weighty than high cut bootsLittle bit heavier 
PerformanceBest for lifting loads and heavy backpacksBest for climbing, hiking, walking, and rubbing on rough terrain
MaterialA mix of both hybrid of leather and rubber materialLeather to a mixture of leather and rubber
WaterproofWaterproof and more flexible to walkWaterproof and best for ankle protection
PerformanceSturdy, warm, and stableSupportive and protective for vulnerable joints
UsabilityWork best for proper grip on abrasive groundsWork best for snowy terrain and serve best mostly in muddy and watery conditions

Comparison of High Ankle vs Low Ankle Hiking Boots

High ankle and low ankle hiking boots have some differences both in style and performance.

Down below I have given the comparison of high cut vs low cut hiking boots so you can easily know the differences at one glance:

Features  High Top Hiking BootsLow Top Hiking Boots
ProtectionCove the ankle a few inches above the area, and protect it from abrasion, impact, etc.It keeps the ankle exposed and less protected from impact and abrasions
Material used Mostly high-cut hiking boots feature a mixture of leather and rubberMostly of synthetic
FlexibilityLess flexible but sturdy and warmerMore flexible and breathable
Heaviness Heavier and plus around ankle Lightweight and think overall 
 BreathabilityIt keeps feet warm but lesser breathable Best for keeping feet ventilated and dry 
 Best suitableSuitable in muddy conditions, rainstorms, or on snowy trails   Best for mid-temperatures, summer, trailing, and moderate hiking
Grip and outsoleBest grip on slippery ground or during ascending Moderate  gripping but best for abrasive ground 

Details of High vs Mid vs Low Hiking Boots

Let’s take straightforward details on differences among all three boots, i.e., high, mid, and low hiking boots mentioned below:

1. Ankle Support

High-top hiking boots are known for providing better ankle support; hence, they efficiently protect the ankle and the below-shin area. The cuff of the high boot is what protects from impact and abrasion, whereas the low ankle boots do not provide better ankle support.

However, the mid-cut or mid hiker’s boot is something that readily falls between high and low-cut hiking boots for its ankle support.

2. Material Choice

The material choice of hiking boots depends based on their manufacturing style. High-ankle boots usually come in a variety of materials. For instance, it features leather, a mixture of leather and rubber; however, different brands use different materials. On the contrary, the low-cut hiking boot uses material that blends synthetic leather.

3. Weight and Heaviness

The weight of a high-cut boot is obviously more than that of mid-cut and low-cut boots. However, the high-cut boot for hiking has a sturdy and durable material choice, making it somewhat heavier than the other two boots.

4. Waterproofing and Breathability

Low cuts boots are exceptional in breathability and waterproofing properties. On the other hand, the high-cut boot offers a warmer and sung interior that’s best for wearing in snowy or colder outdoor hiking.

5. Flexibility and Functionality

Low-cut hiking boots are superb for quick functionality due to their lightweight design. However, in contrast, the high-cut boots are less flexible but provide a comfortable interior.

Likewise, the mid-top boot would be flexible if you intend to walk on an abrasive route with a rough path. Mid-cut would not be the best for challenging hiking, especially in winter.

 6. Usability

The cutting and cuff support for the hiking boot is something that always matters for their dedicated terrain. That said, the low-cut hiking boots are suitable for well-maintained walking routes, whereas the high-top boots are better suitable for rough and uneven terrains with better support.

On the contrary, the mid-cut boots are suitable for the terrain, which is rocky, uneven, and rough. In short, mid-cut hiking boots mostly suit best when you want something between high-cut and mid-cut footwear for trailing and hiking.

Here is the helpful video to understand each boot comparison and which kind of boot you will need:


Tim Campbell

I am Tim. Getting the inherited hobby from my father when I was a child to the fully grown individual I always loved boots. I live in hilly areas and love to explore the world at heights. That's where my profound hobby of boots collection comes in. I have tried a lot of boots and now helping my community to do better when having fun in different conditions like hilly areas, work, or farming. In this very blog, I have covered some awesome reviews and information that you may get hard otherwise. All of my self-experience and expert advice I have incorporated in this blog.

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