Hiking is a lot of fun, but depending on where you’re hiking and what time of the year it is, you may find a lot of debris getting down in to your boots or shoes. Or you may find a lot of water travelling down your leg and soaking your socks and feet. Whatever the case, gaiters for hiking are a wonderful addition to your gear collection. They prevent water and debris from entering your boots, and the better gaiters will do this without making your feet feel hot and stuffy in the process.
Gaiters for HikingWhat to consider when buying gaiters for hiking.
- Waterproof – Depending on what you plan to use the gaiters for, you may or may not want them to be waterproof. If you just want to keep debris out of your shoes or boots then waterproofing is probably not much of a concern. A good compromise is water resistant gaiters, which will keep small amounts of water out but also breath well
- Height – Another important thing to consider when shopping for hiking gaiters is the height of the gaiters. Sizes range from ankle gaiters, which reach the top of the ankle, to full mountaineering gaiters that go all the way up to the bottom of the knee. And plenty of choices in between those two extremes.
Best Gaiters for HikingA few of the very best gaiters for hiking in.
- Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiters - If you're looking for a great all-around gaiter, then the Crocodile is a good choice. It's been around forever, in fact it won the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Gold award way back in 1999, the reason being it's such a popular choice. The upper section is a tough, waterproof Gore Tex, and the lower is even tougher cordura nylon. They reach the mid-calf, and will fit a mountaineering boot as easily as something smaller and lighter. A good, and very popular pair of gaiters for hiking. There's also a women's version.
- Rab Hispar Gaiters - If you want waterproof, but something lighter and less hardcore, then the Hispar Gaiters are a fantastic choice. They use eVent for the upper, which is a fabric similar to Gore Tex, but generally more breathable and lighter. The bottom portion is a very tough polyester, but not quite as tough as the bottom section of the Crocodiles above. These are a great choice for anything from a little light mountaineering to just a casual hike in wet conditions.
- Outdoor Research Rock Mountain Low Gaiters - If you'd prefer an ankle gaiter then these are one of the better pairs, from Outdoor Research. They're made from nylon coated with a durable water resistant finish, so they will keep a little water out, but not a whole bunch. On the other hand they will breath much better than a waterproof pair of gaiters. So an ideal choice for hiking when water is a concern, or when you just want to keep dust and rocks out of your shoes.