Humans generally spend most of their time walking around on flat surfaces—floors, sidewalks, lawns, and the like. So when heading out into the great outdoors, where the world is not as smooth, it’s not uncommon to occasionally lose your footing. Sometimes, that can result in an excursion-ending injury: something the creators of the Terrein boot want to prevent with just a little engineering.
A good pair of hiking boots for genuinely rugged terrain (not a groomed trail) should go high enough on the foot to wrap around the ankle and provide additional support there. But unlike ice skates or Rollerblades, which feature very stiff ankle-support, hiking boots still need to be able to flex and feel comfortable for long excursions. The Terrein boot strives to offer the best of both those worlds with a unique upgrade.
A stiff collar wrapped snugly around a hiker’s ankle is attached to the boot’s upper body with a flexible material that still allows the foot to comfortably twist and turn when traversing rocks, roots, and other obstacles. The ankle collar is also anchored to a spot lower on the boot with what appears to be a thick rubber strap on the outside. But the collar itself is just a sheath for the real tech.
It’s not actually a strap, but a flexible rubber cover protecting and waterproofing a miniature piston inside. During the regular motions of the foot during a hike, the piston freely extends and compresses to support a wide range of motion, but during a sudden ankle twist, the piston reacts three times faster than a human and immediately locks up to prevent the ankle from twisting far enough to cause serious injury, while providing additional stiffness and support to help a hiker regain their balance.
The waterproof Terrein hikers also feature a cushioned sole for extra comfort paired with a proprietary high-grip rubber outsole on the bottom with a tread specifically optimized for ascents and descents on steep terrain. Pricing details haven’t been revealed yet—interested buyers can sign up for more info on pre-order availability on the company’s website—but given that a good pair of hiking boots can easily set you back $300-$400, you can probably expect the Terrein boots to fall closer to that price range.