When you head in to alpine conditions there is always the risk of stepping in to what appears to be just another chunk of snow, only to sink down to your knee, and fill your boot with snow in the process. To help prevent such a scenario from ever happening, alpine gaiters are a must. They wont stop you from stepping in to the snow bank, but they will at least make it so that the snow stays outside of your boot. And when it’s your turn to blow trail, gaiters will really shine for keeping snow at bay.
Alpine GaitersWhat to try and find on your next pair of alpine gaiters.
- Height – Gaiters come in the ankle variety, which just go up to the top of the ankle, all the way up to the upper calf kind, that end just below the knee. The height of your gaiters will depend a lot on what conditions you find yourself in, but for large amounts of snow it’s best to get the kind that go up at least to the mid calf, if not the top.
- Waterproof – It should go without saying, but an alpine environment can be a wet place. The snow may be dry, but it will stick to your gaiters where your body heat will melt it. If you don’t want that freshly melted water leaking through your gaiters in to your boots, it’s a good idea to invest in some waterproof gaiters.
Best Alpine GaitersSome of the better alpine gaiters available to you.
- The North Face Gore-Tex Gaiters - First, a great, heavy duty pair of gaiters that would be right at home in any alpine environment. The uppers are Gore Tex, to keep your feet dry but not suffocating, and the bottom sections are tough, durable cordura nylon, to withstand all the abuse that boots suffer. They're also unisex, and a mid calf length.
- Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters - These gaiters have been around for years, and the reason for that is that they're extremely popular. The upper portion is Gore Tex, to keep you dry and breathing well, and the bottom is very tough cordura nylon, to withstand the abrasion and other abuse that boots suffer. The bottom enclosure is wide enough for a mountaineering boot, but could also handle a smaller, regular boot as well. They're a mid calf length, and there's also a women's version.
- Rab Latok Extreme Gaiters - If you want to stay dry but aren't a fan of Gore Tex, eVent is a fantastic alternative. The upper is eVent, while the lower portion is cordura, for durability. Their sized to fit a larger mountaineering boot, and they're unisex. Another very good alpine gaiter option, especially as an alternative to Gore Tex.