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Hiking gaiters

Hiking gaiters for those wet and muddy days on the trail.

Do I Really Need Hiking Gaiters?

Are gaiters really necessary? This guide will work you through what gaiters are, its benefits and why you should consider including one in your gear when next you’re planning an outdoor adventure.

If you’re on heading out during the spring’s colossal snow melt or planning an ultra-long trek in wet sloppy terrain, gaiters are useful kit to include in your gears. They help to keep your feet dry while also prevent your trouser and footwear from getting covered in mud. Gaiters work in tandem with your boots to offer an extra-layer of protection by keeping the little openings that are vulnerable to being encroached by abrasive environments in wet conditions, traverse areas with streams or even large swaths of long wet grass.

What are Gaiters?

Gaiters are essentially a protective sleeve of clothing and footwear item that covers the upper boot, the ankle and lower leg. They are used for a variety of different outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, or horseback riding. Modern walking gaiters are made mostly from synthetic fabrics, they are tough, lightweight and come in different shapes and sizes.

The Benefits of Gaiters

Gaiters offer numerous benefits to hikers and backpackers. They provide additional moisture protection, extra insulation, and protection for your ankles and lower legs when walking in wet conditions or through wet terrain. They can also act as a leg shield when hiking in rockier terrain by keeping rocks, sand and debris from getting into your hiking boots and prevent scrapes and scratches on your lower legs.

Style of Gaiters

Gaiters generally come in two styles- Ankle (low) gaiters and full-length (high) gaiters.

Ankle or Low Gaiters

Ankle gaiters are designed to cover the ankles from the bottom of the trouser through the top of the footwear.  They offer a good level of protection by stopping debris from entering in at the top of their footwear.

Full-length or High Gaiters

Full-height gaiters are ideal in wet or snow conditions. They keep the lower legs dry and insulated by preventing water or snow from drenching the socks. They are also used by some long distance hikers and bushwhackers for leg and insect protection.

What to Look for in Gaiters

When planning on buying a gaiter, some of the things to look out for include; Water resistant, material type and accessibility.

Now that you understand everything about hiking gaiters, you still might be asking yourself – do I really need them? That answer totally depends on your personal preference and the condition of the environment you’re planning your outdoor adventure.