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[at-l] boot question - nylon vs. steel shank

In a message dated 4/14/2005 12:38:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
gregbrown@mindspring.com writes:

> If you are able, perhaps a U.S. Army Boot would be good for you.  They 
> lace up high and are very stabilizing.  Soldiers hike long distances in 
> them carrying very heavy packs, Rifle, Ammo, etc., and they last a long 
> time.

With all due respect to the US armed forces, someone is missing the point of 
ultra or lightweight hiking.  By lightening your load or pack you should be 
able to lighten your boot and/or begin to wear shoes.  What's the old adage, "a 
pound on the foot is like 5 on the back?"  

If weak ankles are a problem, strengthening them is probably best.  How do 
you do that?  Hike, slowly at first.  

If you ask me fear is the biggest factor, not weak ankles, when it comes to 
converting to trail shoes or sneakers.  

The only person I've ever heard of breaking an ankle on the trail (Mark from 
the Fox Iinn in Troutdale) did it with heavy duty all leather Fabiano Rio's, 
the same boot I started with.  Ooops!