Prevention is the first step to enjoying long hiking excursions injury free. And while we build our boots to be incredibly lightweight and no break-in period to help, here are a few exercises and stretches to get you even more prepped and keep you trekking comfortably.
Heel raises are an easy way to strengthen your ankles. Using a chair, or similar sturdy object, for balance, slowly raise one heel up, standing on your tiptoes, then slowly lower the heel to the ground. Repeat for each leg 10 times and try to do a set at least a few times throughout the day.
With quality athletic tape, you can add extra support; especially for those with previous injuries that may hinder full stability while on the trail. Some basic taping techniques can be found here or speak to a physician about what would be a suitable application for you.
Facing a wall, place both hands on the wall and bring one foot backwards 6 inches, knee bent, then slowly bring the heel down to the ground. You should feel a pull all along the lower and upper calf. This is also a recommended stretch for post-hiking or related activities.