Best UK gaiters: 8 pairs to protect your legs

For serious hikers and walkers, a pair of gaiters is an important piece of gear to own. They’re relatively simple to install, but when constructed with durable, weather-resistant materials, they can have a huge impact on your expeditions.

Read on for our top picks.

Why wear gaiters?

Gaiters keep your lower legs dry, protecting your pants and the inside of your shoes from moisture and thorns. They will also prevent gravel and other small debris from entering your boots.

Some gaiters can even help keep water out of your boots when crossing shallow streams. And in the many areas where ticks thrive, like the Highlands of Scotland, they can help keep these biting little creatures from crawling up your legs.

Between showers, gaiters may be all you need to stay dry when walking through wet grass or ferns. This can save you from putting on waterproof pants, giving you more freedom of movement.

But when heavy rains arrive, gaiters combine well with a waterproof overtrouser to give you the best protection.

What to Look for in Gaiters

Breathable fabrics allow body moisture to seep through them, so your lower legs don’t overheat, while keeping rain out.

Look for gaiters that can be easily removed without removing your boots, usually via a full-length zipper.

The inside of the ankle can be scraped by the opposing boot, so look for gaiters with heavy-duty fabric reinforcements in these areas.

Another handy feature is a storm flap, designed to protect the zipper from rainwater ingress.

What are the different types of gaiters?

Long, sturdy gaiters fit just below the knee to provide full-length protection. They’re often reinforced with heavy-duty fabrics, especially around the ankle, and they’ll likely be constructed with heavier materials. These are better suited for more serious expeditions, offering maximum weather protection. These can either attach to the trunk or completely cover the trunk.

Lightweight gaiters can protect either the ankle or the ankle and lower calf. They are particularly useful when you want to keep your backpack to a minimum (eg when hiking), but may not be as durable as gaiters made from heavier fabrics.

Compact gaiters only protect the ankle. They’re cooler to wear in hot weather, and both compact and lightweight, so they’re easy to stash in your bag in case you need them. They tend to be designed for walking in low-top hiking shoes or boots with mid-height ankle support. They can also be useful when trail running, even in dry weather, when they help keep sand and other flying debris out of your shoes.

The best gaiters for walking and hiking

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters

The Crocodile Gaiters are a serious pair of leg guards. They’re built to withstand rugged mountain terrain, and they’ve got the weight and thickness to match that.

Knee high, these gaiters from Outdoor Research will protect your shins and calves from dirt, water, wet shrubbery, weather and any other ground hazards.

They’re a little heavier than average, at 289g, so they might not be the best pair for casual rides. But for going off the beaten path where your legs might get scraped, these should have you covered.

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters offer all-around protection.

Berghaus Yeti Attak II Gore-Tex Gaiter

Berghaus Yeti Attak II

The Yeti Attak II gaiters are the latest version of a long-standing Berghaus product. Their Yeti gaiters have been around since the 1980s, when they were worn by soldiers during the 1982 Falklands campaign.

The current iteration stays true to the proven Yeti design, but with newer and updated materials. Designed to be strong and heavy, these gaiters go over the boot to provide maximum protection from the elements and your surroundings. However, because of this they might not be easily put on and taken off – so they would probably be better suited to longer, more dedicated trails, rather than casual wear.

The materials used are designed to be strong and durable, using 1000 denier nylon coated with a Gore-Tex Pro Shell.

Yeti Attak II Gaiters provide full-length protection, including your shoes and feet.

Trekmates Torridon Gaiter

Trekmates Torridon Gaiter

The Trekmates Torridon gaiters are a lighter choice, made from ripstop nylon in a three-layer waterproof design. These gaiters attach by looping around the sole of your shoes, with a zipper to secure it to your leg. There’s also an adjustable calf drawcord and elasticated ankle to find that optimal fit.

Trekmates Torridon gaiters provide ankle and lower calf protection.

Rab Kangri Gore-Tex Gaiter

Rab Kangri Gore-Tex Gaiters

Promising to provide strong protection as well as sweat-free breathability, the Rab Kangri GTX Gaiters are made from a 70D Gore-Tex triple-layer construction. The ankles are reinforced with 300D nylon with a polyurethane coating.

The gaiters use a zipperless hook and loop closure with a TPU underfoot strap to secure them firmly around the foot and ankle. They are designed to adapt to trekking boots, adopting the appropriate size and weight to adapt to this style of expedition.

The Rab Kangri GTX Gaiter provides ankle and lower calf protection.

Montane Endurance Pro Gaiter

Montane Endurance Pro Gaiter

Made from 100% recycled Gore-Tex Pro nylon, then lined and reinforced with 100% nylon, the Montane Endurance Pro gaiters are suitable for mountaineering and rock climbing. The TPU underfoot strap attaches similar to a belt, securing the gaiter to your shoe.

Using a hook-and-loop closure and snap button, the gaiters can be adjusted to the shape of your calves for better ventilation and a better fit.

Montane Endurance Pro gaiters offer all-around protection.

Unigear Snow Gaiters

Unigear Snow Gaiters

These gaiters are made from a TPU membrane that carries a water repellent rating of 8000, promising to protect you from 8000mm of rain. This is ideal when dealing with wet conditions on snowy terrain.

The lower leg is covered in 1000D nylon for added durability, helping to protect you from sharp thorns and shrubs. There are adjustable straps and lace-up hooks to better mold the gaiters to your legs.

Unigear snow gaiters offer all-around protection.

Trekmates Glenmore GTX Gaiters

Trekmates Glenmore GTX Gaiters

Protecting only the space between your shoes and your pants, they are perfect for more casual use. Their size and weight will make them easier to attach or remove, while taking up less space in your kit. They’re also made from Gore-Tex, so they should offer decent protection from the elements.

The Trekmates Glenmore GTX gaiters provide ankle protection.

Peter Storm Hiking Gaiter

Peter Storm Hiking Gaiter

Made from a waterproof and ripstop fabric, these gaiters are a simple and more affordable option. Secured with an underfoot strap and a zipper and drawcord, they’re easy enough to adjust to find a good fit.

The Peter Storm hiking gaiters provide ankle protection.

Read for more outdoor gear:

Comments are closed.