Hightop vs low top shoes for muni

Just wondering what the consensus is out there. After nearly 2 years of regular riding I’ve just about worn out my low top Specialized 2FO’s. In general they’ve served me well. I had to reglue one area near the toe where my foot would contact the crank if I got my feet placed poorly, but other than that they’ve held up great and I only need to replace them since the sole is finally wearing thin.

Do you guys feel there is any major advantage to high tops vs low tops? I’ll be looking at either another pair of 2FO’s or maybe 5-10’s. Thanks in advance.


I believe one of the main advantages of high tops when considering unicycling is for ankle protection. If i can remember correctly @turtle requires everyone in his muni club to ride with mountain hiking shoes, just for this reason.

Personally I’m quite fond of my 5-10 trailcross shoes for muni, but while they are high tops they do lack some stiffness when it comes to ankle protection. The trails I can ride locally are practically all free of rocks and steep edges, so the chance of injuring my ankle during an UPD is relatively small though. But since having sprained my ankle a bit during ELSBET last year I do always keep a foot-brace in my bag.


I ride most of the time with my safty shoes. There are not so stif as a hiking boot. When I ride a Trail which is very rocky i prefer my hinking boot. Booth shoes are high top shoes.

that’s right, I want that allthe kids ride with hiking boots: protection for getting sprained ankle and also way better if we hike wet , steep, rocky… trails

Thanks for the insight. I guess I’ll try a set of hightops. I’ve found that mountain bike/bmx shoes work better than other shoes I have tried. I notice the difference in both fatigue and control when I ride muni in my romeos vs. my bike shoes. Having a stiff, lightweight shoe with big, flat, sticky soles just gives me more control and takes less energy to move.

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my own reason for having high-tops only is that i suffer from a genetic disorder that tends to lead me to sprained ankles (talocalcaneal coalition … and btw this is a fairly common thing except that most people just don’t know about it)

I’ve had this debate in my head for some time now (and done some armchair internet research): do high-top hiking boots/mtb shoes really protect ankles against sprains? While I don’t think the answer is obvious - I’m in the camp that the short answer is no.


Having done exactly zero research myself, I also am of the thinking that high top shoes will not help significantly reduce ankle sprains. I think this because with skiing the old downhill boots were basically hiking boots with funny clips attached to them for binding to skis, and people experienced countless ankle injuries with those which led to the big clunkotron boots we have now that make you feel robotic when walking but indestructible on the slopes. With uni the speeds are slower and the drops are smaller than skiing, but I don’t see a standard high top shoe doing much. Perhaps if the high top has some plastic or similar reinforcement added it could do a little to help stiffen the ankle joint, and maybe this is how it’s already done but like I said I did zero research and just thought I’d offer a comparison to ski boots.


I started doing the same “research” earlier today and came to much the same conclusion…the ankle support is minimal. One bit of protection the hightops will provide though is against scratches and impacts and I did cut and bruise my ankle during a bicycle crash a couple months ago.

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I liked riding high-top shoes (older Fiveten Impact High), but not for the reason of ankle support. Maybe they gave some support, but I don’t think a lot. In fact I sprained my ankle really bad once while wearing them (think crutches). The main benefit for me was the protection against impacts on my ankle and that area from the unicycle and rocks in the mountains.

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I use fiveten freerider pros (which are low top) and love them. Stick to my nukeproof horizon pros like glue!
I wear ankle support straps which do protect against sprains massively, as my left ankle in particular is very weak. Low tops allow me the space to wear this, whereas high tops it would be a very tight fit so probably couldn’t. I’ve never tried high tops but imagine the benefit is ankle strike protection rather than protection from strains.

I don’t have Problems with m’y ankel but i Ride Most of the time with very high Tops Safty shoes. There are 18 cm high und Safty Level S3. Haix Aitpower XR21. Pretty expensive but my shoe bevor, also a Haix Safty Shoe holds 2 years of riding and Walking. If you don’t need the Safty shoes in your job you can also bu, a lower shoe, Not so expensive. I tried 2019 thé Five Ten VXI Low top Shoe ans m’y ankel hurts a lot because my foot position of the Pedal wasn’t right so i scatch my ankel a lot on thé Ctanks.

Shoe laces are also Not thé best for riding a Unicycle but i don’t found a ,for me good Shoe, with out Shoe laces.

my 2 cts - I always wear low top shoes plus ankle protectors when muni´ing. The ankle protectors make my ankle stiffer than high top shoes, I feel safer with them (sprained my ankle badly once without protection, took me 1 year to fully recover - im 46yo, healing curve flattening out :wink: ).

I always wear as light shoes as possible and also go hiking in the mountains with barefoot shoes. So I prefere low top shoes.
But I don’t tend to sprain my ankle or was just lucky until now.

I vote for high tops. The added ankle support and protection is always welcome. The best shoes I’ve had for unicycling were the five ten trailcross pro mid shoes. They were the best shoes imaginable for unicycle. They offer ankle support as good as a hiking boot but are much lighter. They also have d30 in some key places including over the inner ankle bone. This alone is enough to convice me as I have a habit of knocking that area against my frame while using zero q-factor cranks. They also come in a goretex version. They are not cheap but they are worth the price.

I am currently wearing Converse all-star goretex version. They are a bit stiffer and more robust than traditional converse. They are good for commuting but the goretex is too hot for me even in in the colder weather. I’ll be grabbing a new pair of five tens when my finances allow!