The 7 Best Hiking Gaiters in 2021 Reviewed
Love hiking, but hate getting dirt and debris in your shoes – or even worse: walking for hours with wet socks? Then there’s a solution to keep you comfy on trekking adventures: a pair of hiking gaiters. Whether you’re into mountaineering, trail running, or simply a leisurely hiker, hiking gaiters are always a great accessory to pack.
A pair of hiking gaiters offer various great benefits. Firstly, a hiking gaiter prevents debris, dust, rocks, or other annoyances, from entering your hiking shoe. Secondly, a waterproof hiking gaiter will also help prevent wet feet. Thirdly, by pairing a hiking boot with a durable gaiter, your shoes are less prone to abrasions or damage.
The best part? You can already get a great quality hiking gaiter for under $20. There’s a perfect match at every price-point. Whether you’re on a budget and are looking for a cost-effective basic option, or have the ability to splurge on a heavy-duty gaiter that can tackle any extreme weather. That said, with so many options on the market, finding a perfect fit can be a time-consuming task. That is exactly why our team at Outdoor Command has done all the hard work for you! We’ve bundled our 10 favorite designs in one, comprehensive Best Hiking Gaiters Overview.
In this Best Hiking Gaiters overview, we’ve included various types of gaiters, including trail running gaiters, waterproof trekking gaiters, and even snake-bite proof gaiters for extra-adventurous consumers. All products on this list score highly in Amazon ratings and deliver a 5-star value you can rely on!
Our Best Hiking Gaiters are:
- Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters
- Outdoor Research Crocodile Knee-High Gaiters
- Salomon Trail Running Gaiters
- Pike Trail High Leg Gaiters
- QTECLOR High Leg Gaiters
- Crackshot Snake Bite Proof Guardz Gaiters
- Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters
Best Hiking Gaiters – Overview
Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters by Outdoor Research
- WATER-RESISTANT AND BREATHABLE: Strap these tough gaiters to your shoes or boots for ultimate trail protection. Rain, snow, mud, dirt and other debris are kept on the trail and out of your boots.
The Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters by Outdoor Research feature a classic packcloth construction, combined with a no-bulk low top. The 420D packcloth nylon used is breathable, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant. The nylon gaiters are also machine-washable, allowing for easy cleaning after wear.
The gaiters are easy to don, and simple to secure firmly in place. The Rocky Mountain gaiters come with reinforced boot lace hooks to securely anchor them to your boot laces. Further design elements are a hook/loop front closure, a bottom shear tab that secures the front closure, and a buckle-top closure. These trail gaiters also feature a durable Hypalon instep strap and an elastic bottom edge.
- Premium quality
- No-bulk low top
- 420 dernier packcloth nylon
- Reinforced boot lace hooks
- Hypalon instep strap
Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters
- Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Breathable, Abrasion-Resistant, Windproof, Laminated Construction
The Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters have been a go-to choice for hikers for many years. Though the silhouette has remained the same, the materials used have been upgraded according to the latest techniques. This means the Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters now come with a ‘triple-bartacked BioThane webbing’ instep strap for maximum durability. The gaiters also feature an additional tab to hold down the front opening, sealing off the foot area from dust, debris, and moisture.
Superb, durable materials
The leg panel of the Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters is made of 70D plain-weave, GORE-TEX 3L waterproof nylon. The foot panel is made of 1000D woven, Cordura 2L water-resistant nylon. Both fabrics are windproof, weatherproof and abrasion-resistant. The laminated construction helps keep your feet dry when trudging through deep snow. Whilst the materials still offer some breathability to prevent overheating in warmer conditions.
Other design features of the Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters include a BioThane® instep strap, plus a comfy packcloth lining in the lower boot. These gaiters are easy to secure in place using their reinforced boot lace hooks, hook/loop front closure, and buck top closure. The style’s front closure is also double-stitched for extra durability, and protection against wear and tear.
- Waterproof & windproof
- GORE-TEX 3L waterproof nylon
- Laminated construction
- BioThane instep strap
- Abrasion-resistant Cordura
- Soft packcloth lining
- Larger circumference fits mountaineering boots
- Double-stitched front closure
- Reinforced boot lace hooks
- Hook/loop front closure
- Buckle top closure
- Could be too heavy-duty for some
Salomon Trail Running Gaiters
- Ultralight running gaiters ideally paired with running shoes, not for boots
The Salomon Trail Running Gaiters are made of stretchy elasticized jersey fabric that provides a snug fit around the running shoe. These trail running gaiters are easy to put on and adjust in tightness thanks to the simple Velcro® strap closure. The design comes with a reinforced Hypalon under-strap, which keeps them firmly in place, even on challenging undergrounds.
Low and mid-height variations
The Salomon Trail Running Gaiters are available in two varieties: low and mid-high. Both are very similar in style, though the high model features additional lightweight padding on the ankle bone to prevent blisters and chafing.
The ultralight Salomon Trail Running Gaiters may look simple in design, but they’re super-effective at keeping your shoes free of any annoyances such as loose rocks, debris, sand, and even insects. Highly-rated on Amazon, these gaiters score top marks on comfort, performance, and durability, and get a big thumbs up from other trail running enthusiasts. Do note that these gaiters are not machine-washable, which is pretty much the only minor con we can think of.
- Ideal for trail runners
- Very lightweight
- Great ankle support
- Elasticized jersey fabric
- reinforced Hypalon under-strap
- Adjustable Velcro closure
- Not machine-washable
- Not the most protective
Pike Trail Waterproof Leg Gaiters
- WATERPROOF AND TEAR RESISTANT – Durable polyester layers prevent water, snow, dirt and debris from dirtying or damaging your clothes. Our anti-tear polyester won’t rip and offers the best...
The Pike Trail Waterproof Leg Gaiters are made of waterproof polyester and feature metal buckle closures. The gaiters are easy to put on and customize in fit. The design comes with an adjustable drawstring closure at the top, which can be used to tighten the gaiter around the calf. The bottom buckle closure allows you to adjust the length. These budget-friendly hiking gaiters are also simple to secure in place, using a Velcro strap and metal press studs.
Carry bag included
Another perk is that the Pike Trail Waterproof Leg Gaiters include a handy carry bag, which allows you to keep the gaiters neatly organized in your pack when not worn.
When combing through the Amazon reviews of the Pike Trail Waterproof Leg Gaiters, the style proves to hold up well in winter conditions and deep snow. That said, the consensus is also that the style is not the most heavy-duty or high-quality, and quite prone to wear and tear. For example, the strap breaking after multi-day hikes on challenging terrain. So, if you’re planning a hardcore hiking trip, or often find yourself on rocky slopes, we’d advise you to invest in a more durable gaiter. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly gaiter for occasional use on moderate hikes: this is a great, basic but functional deal!
- Very affordable
- Excellent value-for-money
- Waterproof polyester
- Easy to put on
- Carry bag included
- Drawstring closure
- Metal press studs
- Bottom buckle closure
- Not the most durable
- More prone to wear and tear
QTECLOR High Leg Gaiters
- 3 Layer Waterproof Technology – The outer layer is durable tear proof 500D nylon, keep your leg from snake or bug byte. The middle waterproof membrane layer protect your leg and boots from snow and...
The knee-high QTECLOR High Leg Gaiters feature a 3-layer waterproof construction. The outer layer of the gaiters is made of durable 500 dernier nylon which protects against abrasions and scrapes. The middle layer is a waterproof membrane to keep moisture out. The inner layer is coated with a soft and breathable liner, which helps keep your leg dry, cool and comfy.
The silhouette wraps around the leg, sealing all along the length of the shaft with a Velcro closure. The top of the gaiter has a buckle closure, allowing you to tighten the fit as desired. The gaiter also comes with an instep strap at the bottom, and a metal shoelace hook – enabling you to secure the gaiter to your hiking boot.
A budget-friendly compromise
Do note that even though these QTECLOR High Leg Gaiters are very protective and waterproof, they aren’t the toughest gaiters on the market. For their affordability, you will need to compromise a bit on quality. For example, the buckles on the top and bottom are made of plastic, not metal, which is less durable and may feel a bit flimsy. Also, the full-length Velcro strip may loose its ‘gripping’ ability after intensive usage and is more prone to wear and tear.
That said, for the price listed, you can’t expect these knee-high hiking gaiters to last you for years. Plus, the gaiters many 5-star Amazon reviews confirm that they are simply an outstanding value-for-money deal that gets the job done, and keeps your legs dry and protected. Not convinced? The manufacturer offers a 60-day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, entitling you to a refund or replacement if the gaiters fail to deliver.
- Great value-for-money
- 3-layer waterproof construction
- 500-dernier nylon
- Soft, breathable lining
- Easy to put on
- Instep strap
- Velcro closure
- Metal shoelace hook
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Some buckles are made of plastic
- Not the most heavy-duty/durable
- Can feel a bit bulky
Crackshot Snake Bite Proof Guardz Gaiters
- HIGH QUALITY: Snake Guardz 100% Made in America.
The Crackshot’s Snake Bite Proof Guardz Gaiters are designed to offer ultimate abrasion-resistance and protection against snake bites. However, this also makes them an excellent choice for hikers that want top-notch protection against other hazards on trails, not just snakes.
The Snake Guardz Gaiters are made with water-resistant 1000 denier nylon encasing polycarbonate inserts, which is puncture-resistant and can even ‘stop a 12-gauge shotgun blast at 20 yards’, according to the manufacturer (though we don’t recommend you test it). The silhouette of these gaiters is sightly different than standard hiking gaiters. The Crackshot Snake Bite Proof Guardz Gaiters feature a unique toe-cover, which stretches across the laces of your hiking boot. Preventing snake fangs, or other debris, from getting entangled in your shoelaces.
For their heavy-duty protection, the Snake Guardz Gaiters are surprisingly lightweight at 11oz. The 100% synthetic fiber gaiters are produced right here in the USA, plus adhere to ASTM 1342-05 safety standards (puncture-resistance of protective clothing). Granted, they may be a bit too heavy-duty, expensive and/or full-coverage for some, but if you want maximum puncture protection, these could be a great fit.
- Super durable
- Must-have for snake territory
- Outstanding protection
- Polycarbonate inserts
- Can feel bulky
- Not the most streamlined
Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters
Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters may be at higher-end of the price range, but trust us: they are 100% worth the money. This all-purpose, mid-height gaiter is super durable, lightweight, comfortable, and very packable: making it an ideal choice for backpackers that want minimum weight, but maximum convenience.
The Black Diamond Cirque Gaiter features a simple, yet highly-durable silhouette. The silhouette features a welded ‘BD dry™’ upper. You may wonder, what is BD dry™? To put it simply, this is a waterproof, breathable, and windproof material, specifically engineered by Black Diamond for hikers, climbers, and mountaineering. The material should ‘shield you from whatever the weather holds and adds a level of protection you can rely on in the mountains’, according to the brand.
Besides a super protective, puncture-resistant and water-resistant upper, the Black Diamond Cirque Gaiter comes with a double-layer 600d abrasion guard, protecting against moisture, rocks, and dirt. The exterior of the mid-calf hiking gaiter also features a reflective heel logo.
Simple, yet surprisingly durable
The gaiters are relatively easy to put on. The silhouette comes with a quick-release buckle on the collar/upper cinch and can be secured to hiking boots via a metal bootlace hook. The design comes with a thin yet durable nylon cord heel instep strap. Though it may look a bit flimsy at first glance, it holds up well – even with heavy-duty usage, according to Amazon reviews. Plus, the nylon heel strap is also replaceable and removable, allowing for quick-repair in case of wear and tear should this be required.
Other hikers and backpackers give the Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters top marks on durability, comfort, and functionality. According to hiking enthusiasts, the gaiters are more than capable of keeping your socks and boots dry on overgrown trails full of morning dew. Whilst another hiker praised the style’s ability to keep mud and dust out of their boot, with very little wear and tear over 6 months of regular usage.
Yes, the Black Diamond Cirque Gaiter may be slightly pricey for its simple, mid-calf style. But it’s excellent durability makes it a smart investment, that should pay off in the long-term. With proper care, these waterproof gaiters should last you for years, making the pricing very reasonable indeed.
- Superb quality
- Waterproof & windproof
- Double-layer 600 dernier abrasion guard
- Reflective detailing
- Quick-release buckle
- Metal bootlace hook
- Nylon cord heel instep strap
- Excellent durability
- Ergonomic and comfortable
- Not full coverage
Picking a winner from this line-up is nearly impossible, as the designs greatly vary in style and function. The best gaiters for one hiker could be too expensive and heavy-duty, or not heavy-duty or high-quality enough, for another – and vice-versa. To determine which is the ‘Best’ for you, you have to ask yourself where, when, and how often you plan to wear the gaiters. If you’re an avid trail runner and want to prevent annoyances from entering your running shoe, or your feet getting wet from damp underground and dew, choose a dedicated trail runner style… For example, the Salomon Trail Running Gaiters. Yes, there are cheaper trail running gaiters on the market. But if you spend a few dollars more, you’ll be able to enjoy more comfort, durability, breathable fabric, and excellent protection. Which – for regular usage – is 100% worth the investment.
For extreme weather and alpine usage, you need a pair of hiking gaiters that can easily cope with deep snow and debris, and offer 100% waterproof performance, even in challenging conditions. In this case, investing in a pair of high-end hiking gaiters such as the extra-tough Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters is the smart choice. Made of premium waterproof layer GORE-TEX 3L nylon and Cordura 2L water-resistant nylon, it is more than capable of keeping you dry and comfy in wintery conditions.
That said, these premium gaiters do come with a premium pricing, which may not be affordable to all. Don’t worry: there are more budget-friendly options that still offer great waterproof protection, such as the QTECLOR Knee-high Leg Gaiters and Pike Trail Waterproof Leg Gaiters. Do note that for their affordability, you’ll have to compromise a bit on durability – as these gaiters are more prone to wear and tear. That said, for the price listed, they’re a fantastic deal. Plus, both the QTECLOR and Pike Trail gaiters have plenty of 5-star Amazon reviews to confirm they’ll keep your legs dry and protected in wintery conditions.
Protection in specific environments
For those planning a trip in snake territory, there’s only one ‘best’ option that ticks the box: the Crackshot Snake Bite Proof Guardz Gaiters – designed to be fully puncture-resistant and offer optimal protection against fangs and abrasions.
For mountaineering and alpine hiking, a lower leg gaiter such as the Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters could be a perfect fit. Designed for climbers by an expert brand in outdoor gear, these gaiters offer maximum support and protection on the slopes and rocky undergrounds. Plus, their streamlined and lightweight appeal makes them very packable and ensures they take up minimum weight and space in a daypack or backpack.
Finding your ‘best’ match
You see, there’s not a one-gaiter-fits-all solution, but there is a perfect fit for every preference! Simply consider the pros and cons of each style, and eliminate options until you’re left with your ideal match. Rest assured: every pair of hiking gaiters is up to the task, and has the positive Amazon reviews to confirm its quality and value. Whether you spend a lot, or a little, there’s a pair of gaiters to keep you dry, comfy, and debris- and dirt-free. Happy trails!
Normally, this is the part where we would list ‘the winner’ – a.k.a. the best product in our overview. However, as the styles listed are so different – we can’t select one that reigns supreme. That said, if we had to pick a style where we’d invest our money in, we’d probably go for the Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters. Lightweight, superb quality, highly-rated, comfortable, and streamlined: these gaiters would be perfect for our morning hikes through dewy fields, whilst also keeping our shoes clean from debris and dirt on dusty trails in summertime. As we don’t often hike in deep snow, a pair of knee-high gaiters would be too heavy-duty for us. That is why the mid-height Black Diamond Cirque Gaiters would be our ideal fit.
Do note that this is purely a personal preference, and the other 6 styles on this Best Hiking Gaiters list are by no means an inferior choice. You can’t go wrong with any, as all products in this overview are already winners, having beat out dozens of comparable designs!