good pair of waterproof hiking boots are extremely useful when you hit the snow, but the best boots are powerless to stop snow coming in over the top and down in to your boot. That is where gaiters come in. Snow gaiters are great for trekking through deep powder, where snow is up to your shins, or even higher. The cover the tops of your boots and provide a tight seal around your leg, so that snow wont go down the gaiters.
Snow GaitersFeatures to look for when shopping for snow gaiters.
- Knee High - Gaiters come in two different sizes, the ones that go up to your lower calf or thereabouts, and the ones that go all the way up to near the knee. For snow, you definitely want a pair that go up to the knee, so that snow wont have a chance to get in over the tops of your gaiters in any but the largest drifts of snow.
- Waterproof - It should go without saying, but snow gaiters should be waterproof, or at least water resistant. There wont be a lot of snow sticking to your gaiters and getting a chance to melt there, but there will be some, and it would be ideal if that moisture did not immediately get through to your pants and boots.
Best Snow GaitersThe best snow gaiters, to keep your feet dry when the drifts are large.
- Mountain Hardwear Ascent Stretch Air Permeable Gaiters - First up, a great pair of snow gaiters from Mountain Hardwear. They're constructed with a particularly tough version of nylon to keep water and wind out. They're 16 inches high, which is plenty for snow, and the boot strap is replaceable, so you don't have to worry too much about wearing that out. They weigh 9 ounces, or 255 grams, and are unisex.
- Outdoor Research Crocodiles Gaiters - The Crocodiles won the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Gold award way back in 1999, and have only gotten better since. The upper portion is Gore-Tex, which is more than capable of handling any snow, and the lower section is very durable cordura, to both keep your boots dry and to stand up the abuse that boots typically endure. A really great pair of snow gaiters. Also come in a women's version.
- Equinox Mountain Gaiter - One more pair of winter gaiters, this time from Equinox. These have a 7 inch cordura boot section, to take the use and abuse that boots normally endure, and a 10 inch waterproof upper section, for a total of 17 inches of coverage.