I'm somewhat ignorant when it comes to foot gear for hiking. I've always been an avid outdoors fan, but have just recently been trying to put together a good middle of the road hiking kit. I have used my old Keen Targhee II's for at least five years now, but the last trip I took to Red River Gorge, I ended the weekend with some pretty banged up feeling ankles. I am a former classical ballerina, so I have pretty extreme plantar flexion, but also the muscles to control it. It felt like the top edges of my boots were constantly jabbing into my ankles, especially on declines. It was enough to make me want to just slip my Chacos on that I had sitting back at camp!
My cousin who did the weekend in the Solomon X lacers, suggested that I maybe get a hiking shoe instead, but I do oddly like the security of a full boot. If anyone could help point me in the right direction as to whether a shoe or boot might do me better, and what brands they like, it would be much appreciated.
I am 5'4'' 170 pounds, size 7, with wide feet and also thick insteps (a big problem with shoes sometimes). I like breathe-ability, flexibility, and heavy duty traction (feet tend to feel claustrophobic). Thanks!