No one likes wet and muddy boots. Hiking in snowy and muddy terrain can make keeping your feet dry seemingly impossible. However, having gaiters can help you work around muddy terrains better. Gaiters can help you enjoy your outdoor escapades better, even when the trail and weather conditions are unfavorable.
Many gaiters are available today, so finding the right fit might be difficult. However, we have come to your rescue as we will review some of the best gaiters you can buy for better hiking experiences.
11 Best Gaiters for Snowshoeing, Backpacking, and Hiking
If you are looking for the best hiking gaiters, you are in the right place. We will be covering eleven of the best gaiters available in this guide. We will also share some tips to make your buying process as easy as possible.
1. Outdoor Research Verglas
Designed to protect your lower legs from snow and rain. This gaiter can also keep out mud, twigs, and small rocks.
The Outdoor Research Verglas is hard to beat when keeping your hiking boots dry and clean in the mountains. They are designed with abrasion-resistant ripstop nylon fabric to give you extra durability on the trail.
They come with reinforced Cordura panels around the high-wear areas to help combat wear issues even when you use them frequently in rugged terrain. These gaiters never disappoint in keeping your feet dry in muddy regions. They are engineered with a 3L Pertex Shield waterproof breathable membrane so that you can stay dry in deep snow and heavy rain.
These outdoor gaiters have a reliable front hook and loop closure system fused with a buckle top cinch strap to seal out snow and debris as you go hiking. They also feature a Hypalon instep strap, ensuring a firm connection between the gaiters and your boots. You can certainly trust the performance of these gaiters.
- Cordura panels to combat wear from frequent use.
- Hypalon instep strap for firm connection.
- Ripstop nylon fabric to offer extra durability.
- 3L Pertex shield waterproof membrane.
2. Outdoor Research Thru Gaiter
Whether snowshoeing, backpacking, or hiking, these gaiters provide waterproof protection for your legs and feet without interfering with your gait or movement.
If you prefer hiking in the summer, these highly breathable gaiters by Outdoor Research should be on your list. They feature blended ripstop nylon fused with recycled polyester construction to offer maximum breathability when hiking in mountainous areas on hot days.
These gaiters boast UPF 50 protection to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Their over-the-ankle design and Velcro closure system make these gaiters easy to put on and put off. As such, you can trust their reliability when it comes to fast and light hiking trips where time is a very important consideration.
These gaiters are made with Outdoor Research’s proprietary Active Ice-cool technology. This technology makes it easy for these gaiters to have enhanced thermoregulation on hot days by wicking away sweat to keep you cool and dry. They are a solid option for your summer hiking experiences.
- Active Ice technology for thermoregulation.
- UPF 50 protection to keep you shielded from sun rays.
- Velcro system for ease of putting on.
- Ripstop nylon and polyester construction to give you maximum breathability.
3. Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Mid
This is an essential piece of gear for keeping your lower extremities warm, dry, and comfortable on all your adventures.
When you see low-top hiking boots and shoes as your go-to footwear, the water-resistant Kahtoola Instagaiter is here to meet your needs. They are carved out of stretch-weaved nylon and polyester fabric to offer breathability at the design’s forefront.
Like some of the best gaiters, these Kahtoola gaiters come with a DWR finish to ensure your feet remain dry in light rain and wet conditions.
They also have a VISLON zipper entry system that makes it easy to quickly put them on before you go ahead with your hiking activities. They also feature a built-in flap behind the gaiter to prevent rain from seeping in.
They also feature an extra-rugged TPU instep strap underfoot fused with an elastic drawcord closure system at the ankle.
- DWR finish for added water resistance.
- TPU instep strap to keep sand and rocks out of the boots.
- VISLON zipper allows for ease in putting them on.
4. Salomon Trail Low Gaiter
A versatile and comfortable snowshoe gaiter. It works well in extreme conditions to keep you dry and comfortable all day.
The Salomon Trail Low Gaiter is a fan’s favorite for hikes and trails, and they come in great with ease of use and comfort on the trail. This innovative low gaiter fuses a unique blend of polyester, polyamide, and elastane fabric. This makes them stretch and fit the contours of your boots for an improved fit.
They also come with integrated padding around the sides of the ankle for improved protection as you move through the rugged terrains. The Trail Low gaiters also come in very versatile as they come with a reflective logo for visibility during nighttime runs and adventures.
One of the unique features of the Salomon Trail Low gaiters is the hook-up and closure system. They have a single piece of Velcro running down the front, which is uncommon with most gaiters. They also have an innovative strap that wears well around your foot for improved comfort. These gaiters fit well for low-top boots for your hiking endeavors.
- Breathable design for hot summer conditions.
- A wrap-around closure system for an improved fit.
- Lightweight and portable.
5. Pine Trail Leg Gaiter
They are built to prevent snow from entering your shoes or even soaking your socks. They fit snugly and comfortably around the leg.
Backpackers and hikers will certainly fall in love with the Pine Trail gaiter as they offer quality performance at a very affordable price. They are made of durable polyester, which can help you hold up throughout several years of consistent use.
They also come with a fully adjustable design, so you can easily use them with other boots. They also feature stainless-steel hardware that can withstand rugged terrain better than their plastic counterparts.
Their knee-high design makes the gaiters ideal for wet and muddy terrains. They also come with a stuff sack that you can easily store them with when you are not on the trail. They are a great value for their price.
- Highly affordable.
- Comes with a stuff sack for storage.
- Adjustable design that makes them versatile.
- Stainless steel hardware for better durability.
6. Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low
It’s a waterproof and windproof gaiter that protects you from snow, rain, sand, and other nasty stuff while on the trail.
The Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters are a mid-calf gaiter for backpacking and other excursions. They are affordable, water-resistant, and perfect, especially for alpine locales.
These gaiters have been designed to withstand frequent use, featuring a classic mid-calf gaiter and abrasion-resistant fabric shell. They also feature reinforced boot lace hooks for improved durability in the mountains. Their Hypalon instep strap feature helps these gaiters shed snow to stop annoying underfoot clumping as you hike.
They also come with an elasticized bottom edge that can stretch over boots of any size. The elasticized upper closure system helps to seal out moisture and debris even as you move through the snow. They are perfect for backpacking and other warm-weather explorations.
- High abrasion-resistant nylon design.
- Reinforced boots with lace hooks for durability.
- Elasticized bottom edge to fit boots of different sizes.
- Mid-calf gaiter design.
7. Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint
Its unique design allows you to walk naturally without any discomfort or restriction. It is completely hassle-free, lightweight, and breathable.
Whether you plan a snowshoeing day or a fully-fledged winter camping expedition, the Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint should be on the list of your top considerations. They feature a ripstop nylon construction that makes them abrasion resistant, so they can easily handle frequent outings in rocky terrain.
The FrontPoint also comes with a three-layer Gore-Tex fabric for waterproofing. This means you can trust them to be a solid option for winter environments. They also feature a hook and loop closure system for quick on and off in cold temperatures.
They come with a snap closure at the top to prevent them from slipping off in deep snowpacks. The FrontPoint features an instep strap that prevents debris from balling under your feet as you go hiking.
- Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing.
- Instep strap to prevent debris build-up.
- Ease in putting on and off.
8. Kenetrex Waterproof Breathable Hunting Gear
This gear is waterproof, breathable, and insulated with a windproof front panel. It has a flexible construction for maximum comfort.
These Kenetrex gaiters are perfect for wintertime explorations. They feature a polyester shell fabric to keep you warm and dry always. They also come with Strom blocker waterproof membrane for protection in the winter period.
You can also count on their easy putting on and off abilities as they come with a Velcro close-up system
Their upper straps are adjustable to ensure a secure fit with these gaiters.
- Storm blocker waterproof membrane.
- Hypalon straps to prevent debris buildup.
- Ease in putting on and off.
9. Rab Muztag GTX
Designed to keep snow, wind, and debris out of your boots while hiking. These gaiters are a perfect companion for your outdoor winter activities.
The Rab Muztag gaiters are a winter wonder that fuses balance and comfort into one piece. These gaiters will keep you warm and dry through your winter explorations without weighing you down.
They are fully waterproof and designed to sit just below your knee. This means that they are excellent for plunging through deep snow. They feature an instep strap that is wide, thick, and durable.
These Muztag gaiters come with a Velcro sewn-in system that ensures they are securely in place. The bootlace hook is also super secure, making for a very comfortable pair of gaiters.
- Fully waterproof.
- Instep strap for a thick, wide, and durable fit.
- Velcro sewn-in system for a secure fit.
10. Frelaxy Leg Gaiters
Ski, hike and enjoy the day with these water-resistant, non-slip neoprene leg gaiters. It protects the legs at all times.
These gaiters are designed to keep your leg safe, dry, and warm even in extreme weather conditions. They are designed to keep snow, water, dirt, and pebbles away from your pants or hiking boots.
They feature an anti-tear waterproof coated fabric that makes them maximize waterproof efficiency. They are also very durable, and you can trust that your legs will remain comfortable if you wear them.
These Frelaxy leg gaiters also feature a high-abrasion rubber instep strap fused with durable metal buckles to ensure a firm grip.
- High-abrasion rubber strap for a firm grip.
- Durable and comfortable.
- Waterproof fabric to maximize waterproof efficiency.
11. Hikenture Leg Gaiters
The Hikenture leg gaiter is comfortable and easy to use. It is lightweight, durable, and extremely comfortable to wear.
These gaiters come in handy to help you enjoy your climbing, hiking, and running outdoor activities. These gaiters have been designed for rugged conditions, so you can walk through deep snow or hike in bad weather without issues.
The lower section of these Hikenture gaiters was made with nylon Oxford cloth that helps them resist water, snow, and shrubs. They also ensure that your legs remain dry always and leave you feeling comfortable.
The ripstop upper section guarantees outstanding waterproof, breathability, and dirt-resistant abilities.
- Ripstop uppers for waterproofing abilities.
- Nylon Oxford cloth for better resistance.
How to Choose the Right Gaiters for Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is a winter sports activity enjoyed by people of all ages. For people who enjoy the coldest season of the year, it is a great way to enjoy outdoor activities while staying warm at the same time.
Snowshoeing is not only an enjoyable winter sport, but it is also one of the most difficult winter sports. Gaiters are essential equipment for snowshoers because, without them, you will need to keep your boots on all winter long.
- Material: When selecting gaiters, it’s important to consider the material they are made of. Gaiters are typically constructed from three primary materials: nylon, Gore-Tex, and eVent. Nylon gaiters are lightweight and affordable, making them suitable for moderate snow conditions. Gore-Tex and eVent gaiters are more expensive but offer superior breathability and waterproofing, making them ideal for wetter or more challenging conditions.
- Height: The height of the gaiters is another critical factor to consider. They come in different lengths, including ankle-height, mid-calf, and knee-height gaiters. Ankle-height gaiters are suitable for light snow conditions or when you’re primarily snowshoeing on groomed trails. Mid-calf gaiters provide better protection against deeper snow and are a good choice for most snowshoeing adventures. Knee-height gaiters are the most protective option, offering maximum coverage and defense against deep snow, icy conditions, or bushwhacking through dense vegetation.
- Closure System: Gaiters feature different closure systems, and choosing the right one depends on your preference and the intended use. The most common closure systems include zippers, Velcro, snaps, or a combination. Zippers provide a secure and convenient closure but may be prone to freezing or jamming in extreme conditions. Velcro closures are easy to use and adjust, making them popular for many snowshoers. Snaps offer a reliable and durable closure option, but they may be slightly more time-consuming to fasten compared to zippers or Velcro.
- Straps and Instep Protection: Look for gaiters that have adjustable straps and Instep protection. The adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit, ensuring a snug and secure attachment to your boots. Instep protection is essential for preventing the gaiters from riding up and snow from entering through the bottom. Reinforced materials or additional straps under your boots can provide effective instep protection.
- Breathability: Snowshoeing is an active winter activity, and you’ll likely generate heat and sweat as you exert yourself. Therefore, choosing gaiters with good breathability is crucial to prevent moisture buildup inside the gaiters and keep your legs dry and comfortable. Look for gaiters that have breathable panels or mesh inserts that allow air to circulate, promoting ventilation and moisture-wicking.
- Fit and Sizing: Proper fit and sizing are essential for optimal performance and comfort. Gaiters should fit snugly around your boots and legs without being too tight or restrictive. They should be wide enough to accommodate your boots and pants while providing a secure seal against snow and debris. Check the manufacturer’s sizing chart and try them on with your boots before purchasing. Adjustable features like drawcords or elasticized cuffs can help you achieve a customized fit.
- Durability: Snowshoeing can be strenuous and demanding, so durability is a key consideration when selecting gaiters. Look for gaiters made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of the winter environment, such as reinforced stitching, durable zippers or closures, and robust fabric. It’s worth investing in gaiters built to last, ensuring they can withstand the test of time and multiple seasons of snowshoeing.
- Weight and Packability: While weight may not be the most critical factor, it’s worth considering if you’re concerned about carrying extra gear. Lightweight gaiters are advantageous as they won’t add unnecessary bulk or weight to your snowshoeing gear. Additionally, look for packable gaiters and easy to fold or roll up, allowing you to stow them conveniently in your backpack when not in use.
Do I Need Gaiters for Snowshoeing?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, if you are only going to snowshoe for a few weeks out of the year, you don’t need to purchase any gaiters. However, buying a pair of gaiters is important if you are snowshoeing for an extended time.
There are many different types and designs of snow gaiters, so it is important to find the one that will fit your needs.
How Do You Put Gaiters on Snowshoes?
The most common way to put gaiters on snowshoes is to place them over your shoes. This will keep your feet warm and your boots dry. However, there are a few different ways to do this.
You can place them over the ends of your boots, or you can place them between the laces of your boots. If you place them over the ends of your boots, you must tie them off at the back.
If you place them between the laces of your boots, you can lace them up and leave them open. This will ensure they are tight enough around both feet but loose enough for easy removal in an emergency.
How Tight Should Gaiters Be?
Gaiters should be tight enough to protect your feet but not so tight that it becomes uncomfortable. You want the gaiters to fit snugly but not too tightly to become uncomfortable.
If you have any questions about which gaiters are the best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We can help you find the perfect snowshoe for your needs and ensure you get the most protection for your feet.
Choosing the right gaiters ensures a comfortable and enjoyable snowshoeing, backpacking, or hiking experience. Gaiters act as a protective shield, keeping snow, moisture, and debris out of your boots and pants.
After considering various factors such as material, height, closure system, straps, breathability, fit, durability, weight, and packability, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best gaiters available on the market for these outdoor activities.