One thing I’d like to see is an unobtrusive pad designed for the ball of the ankle that isn’t awkward feeling or to put/keep on. The most common pain I feel on a ride is when something hits my foot and knocks my ankle into my crank. OUCH! I’ve seen some (expensive) MTB shoes with built in ankle pads, but haven’t seen just the pad.
It used to be pedal shin strikes that were the worst for me, especially on rough downhills, but going clipless took care of that.