There are few things worse than wet feet when hiking. And while a good pair of waterproof hiking boots can go a long ways towards protecting your feet from moisture, they are powerless to stop rain, snow and any other moisture source from coming in over the tops of your boots. For that, you need hiking gaiters.
Gaiters - HikingFeatures to look for from hiking gaiters.
- Length - The length that you want will vary, depending on what you are doing in your gaiters, but just know that there several lengths and styles available. There are short, ankle gaiters and bigger, knee high gaiters that cover a significant portion of the top of your boot as well.
- Waterproof - Water isn't the only thing that might find its way in to your boots. But for hiking, water is probably going to be your main concern, so you should be looking for gaiters that are waterproof, or at least water resistant, to keep the water out of your boots or shoes.
Best Gaiters - HikingA few of the very best hiking gaiters you will find on the market.
- Mountain Hardwear Nut Shell High Gaiters - The Nut Shell gaiters are a lighter, more breathable gaiter for situations like bush whacking in brush, where a lot of water can find it's way in to your boots. They're made from a polyurethane coated nylon, which is water resistant, but not waterproof. Still, they are 15 inches high, and the cord on the bottom of them is replaceable, so if it ever wears out from being walked on you can always just get a new one.
- Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiter - These are big and burly hiking gaiters ideal for a wide variety of conditions. The leg section of the gaiters is Gore-Tex, so you get waterproof with some amount of breathability as well. The boot section of the gaiters is water resistant nylon which will stand up better to the abuse, such as boot rubbing, that this section typically endures. These are the kind of gaiters that can be used and abused and still protect your boots. They also come in a women's version.
- Outdoor Research Flex-Tex Gaiters - The Flex-Tex gaiters are a good example of the shorter, ankle gaiters. The shorter size means they aren't as suited to keep water out of your boots as higher gaiters, though they will keep out light snow and rain. What they are ideally suited for is keeping rocks, dust and other debris out of your boots.