Hiking (walking) boots are footwear specifically designed for hiking. They are one the most important items of hiking gear, since their quality and durability can determine a hiker's ability to move far, fast, and safely. Hiking boots are constructed to provide comfort for walking considerable distance over rough terrain, and protect the hiker's feet against water, mud, rocks, etc. Heavy boots with soles with a thick sole and heel are recommended. Hiking boots give ankle support and are fairly stiff. A less popular alternative is to use light trainers with thin soles so that the ground is felt and missteps avoided.