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These high-tech hiking boots use motion-sensitive pistons to protect your ankles

Man fastening Terrein boots
(Image credit: Terrein)

Ankle injuries are common when hiking, but there's now a hiking boot that actively reacts to twisting motions to save your joints from danger.

There's debate about whether you actually need ankle support when hiking, and whether hiking boots actually offer enough support to prevent twists and sprains. Many people prefer to strike out in their best hiking shoes instead, and enjoy a lighter feel when hiking.

The Terrein hiking boot (opens in new tab) goes much further than typical footwear, though. Rather than relying on rigid leather or synthetic material for stiffness, this boot has miniature pistons that respond to twisting forces within 30 milliseconds. When this happens, the boot stiffens to prevent your ankle moving any further, in a similar way to how a seatbelt prevents you moving forward when your car stops suddenly.

No more sprains?

When not protecting you from injury, the boot is light and flexible. The outsole is made using a rubber compound, with lugs to provide grip on smooth or wet terrain. Cushioning foam in the midsole absorbs shocks, and the upper is breathable with strategically placed water resistant panels to keep your feet dry.

The boot isn't available to buy just yet, but as Advnture's sister site T3 (opens in new tab) reports, they can soon be yours for the relatively modest price of £180 (about $220). While certainly not cheap, that's similar to many of the best hiking boots, which is perhaps surprising considering the tech involved.

If you want to learn more and get updates on when the boots are available to buy, you can sign up to Terrein's newsletter (opens in new tab).

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).