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Best Gaiters for Hiking and Backpacking

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters
Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters are high gaiters used to keep your socks dry

What are the best gaiters for hiking? It depends on the conditions you hike in. High gaiters are used in winter to keep your socks dry while low gaiters are used in warm weather to keep debris out of your boots and hiking shoes.

High Gaiters

High gaiters are used for snowshoeing and winter hiking to prevent your legs and socks from getting wet. These are usually made with a breathable fabric like Gore-tex and are sized large so they’ll fit around insulated hiking boots. The have a strap that runs underneath them and often have a front hook that attaches to your shoelaces or a gaiter ring on top of your boot’s toe box. The best high gaiters close in front of your boots with a strip of velcro, since zippers tend to break more frequently.

The best high gaiters are Outdoor Research Crocodiles. Guaranteed for life (Outdoor Research will replace them if they fall apart), they’re bomber tough and used by all serious winter hikers and mountaineers.

Other popular high gaiters include:

Dirty Girl Gaiters
Dirty Girl Gaiters

Low Gaiters

Low gaiters are designed to keep sticks, pebbles, and small debris from getting into your shoes, to protect from thorns, or against disease carrying ticks. While most lost gaiters can be used with boots or shoes, most are used by hikers using trail runners or low hiking shoes instead of boots.

The most popular low gaiters are made by a small company called Dirty Girl Gaiters, which specializes in colorfully designed gaiters. Made popular by the running community, they’re also very popular with hikers. They attach to your shoes with a velcro strip that must be glued to your shoe and a hooks that attach to your laces. I’ve had problems with the velcro coming off myself, but YMMV.

Other popular low gaiters include:

What gaiters do you use?

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199 comments

  1. Love my Dirty Girls!
    Three season to keep bits out of my shoes. They are not waterproof but in dew they do fine. Just be careful when you google for them :-)

  2. I wear MontBell short spats, bought because of a review on this site. Since they’re short and softshell, I only really wear them when I wear hiking shorts to keep out dirt and pebbles. My pants do a fine job keeping out stuff during the winter. I sometimes wear the spats when I’m bushwhacking or hiking in fresh snow since both can push up the pants. I really like them, it’s been a game-changer for me on warm hikes. I never have to stop to empty my shoes so it allows me to move faster for 20-mile long summer days. I haven’t really noticed any increase in sweat, probably because they’re very light and I wear light socks and trail runners. I also spray them with permithrin for bugs.

  3. I used gaiters on my AT hike, even replaced the worn-out pair along the way.
    On the PCT I didn’t bother with it. I’d usually get around 1-2 annoying tiny stones inside my shoe per day, when I’d just stop, take off the shoe, and put it back on again. I can live with that.
    I didn’t mind the dirt, or the rain/snow getting inside. The snow wasn’t fun, admittedly. But I didn’t have that much of it. I don’t think I’ll use gaiter for “normal” hiking. But if I’d go someplace where it might be a problem (maybe an area with many ticks), I might reconsider.

  4. I do not use gaiters because I have never found myself needing them. I hike exclusively in pants and have done fine without them thus far.

  5. no. If I need them I have wrong shoes for the job…

  6. I don’t use gaiters for hiking. I have a pair of fantastic Zamberland boots and a few pairs of pants that I dontn mind getting muddy :)

  7. I wear Dirty Girl gaiters sprayed with permethrin for three-season backpacking. My personal experience has been that the self-adhesive velcro strip that is applied to the shoe has a tendency to lose its tackiness and detach from the shoe. This occurred on a new pair of shoes that had been prepped with an alcohol pad. I found that the application of a couple drops of super glue before applying the velcro strip helped to extend its lifespan.

  8. I use Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters for winter hiking and Dirty Girl gaiters for three-season hiking and trail running.

  9. I used Outdoor Research Gortex Lined Crocodile Gaiters for my winter hike on the Appalachian Trail and I use Outdoor Research Spark Plug Gaiters while hiking the Desert Southwest of the PCT and Loved them Both !

  10. No gaiters. I should, especially when the snow is wet but I just haven’t really seen the need.

  11. For years I used Outdoor Research Crocodiles in winter. They really help the ice clumps from gathering on pants that get annoyingly wet and sloppy when you get near a wood stove. In summer I use OR Rocky Mountain Low Gaitors to keep the mud, rocks and foxtails out of my boots and socks AND off my legs. If I am on a nice trail, I go bare legged!

  12. I used to wear gaiters back in the day when wearing boots because it was such a pain to have to stop if you did get a rock in there. But now with trail runners, it really hasn’t been a problem with debris and if I do need to stop, it’s a much simpler fix. Most of the time you can just fish out the debris with your finger without removing the shoe. One reason I used to wear them was for protection from mud. Now I’d rather wash a muddy calf than carry around muddy gaiters, too. Less gear is more.

    I do have one pair of trail runners that have a built-in gaiter (a collar really) but I don’t use them much. If I did temperate snow hiking I would use them to see if they would be warm enough and I think they would do a great job of keeping snow out. They are a really tight weave and partially water proof and have a good tread for snow.

  13. I use Tatonka eVent gaiters in winter with my hiking boots and skiboots. I’ll probably buy light gaiters for my trail runners this spring. Are the Outdoor Research ultra trail gaiters any good?

  14. No, I don’t use gaiters because it just seemed like extra equipment to carry and put on for limited benefit in the areas I commonly hike.

  15. Don’t use them but want to try some. I always forget until that moment when I feel a pebble in my shoe.

  16. I do not use gaters, I wear long pants and need to stop and relieve myself frequently anyway, adn then at that time empty any stones sticks etc.

  17. Dirty Girls 3 season and OR Verglas in the winter. The Verglas only seem to last about a season before the velcro seperates but if they keep replacing them I’ll keep using them.

  18. I only wear gaiters in the winter and I use the OR crocodiles. I like them for the obvious reason, to keep snow out my boots but just as importantly they protect my pants and lower legs from sharp spikes and crampons. I also run a little hot and can’t hike with thermals on my lower half but the gaiters provide some heat retention for me and if it gets warm I loosen the buckle on top to let some heat out.

  19. Yes, I have a pair of Outdoor Research Gaiters, which are Knee High, I do not remember their Model name and it is not imprinted on them They are Black in Color and come up to just below my Knee… I bought them somewhere around 2001. I wore them in the dusty areas of the Southern Pacific Crest Trail from the Border to Kitchen Creek and then from Scissors Crossing onward because of the trail dust and side brush which marked up my lower legs due to the lack of trail maintenance.. And of course any time there is a lot of Dew on the trail side Brush. I only wore them once in the Snow and that was in the Bishop Basin area when we camped at Blue Lake and then proeeded on to climb Mount Darwin where we had to negotiate a couple of Snow Fields… I frequently wore them on many cross country treks across the Mojave Desert and Anza Borrego Desert, again as leg protection from the many Thorny Bushes and Cacti.. They barely looked used after all these years.. though they started to emit a unpleasant Oder which I neutralized with some really hot soapy water using Dawn.. I also have pair of Cabela’s Snake Proof Chaps I bought in about 1988 to wear while Deer Hunting in Southern California chapparall and they have come in handy down here in the South in area’s where snakes are in residence… Both pairs have been well worth the Money and effort to put them on… Don’t want the wallet, it is not waterproof and I would like it to be able to zipper closed like the old style “Biker” wallets…

  20. I don’t use gaiters since I wear long pants. Don’t usually have an issue. Plus when I take a break the shoes and socks come off.

  21. I don’t wear gaiters. I’ve never worn them so I guess I’ve never experienced the benefits.

  22. No gaiters when you have good boots and pants. Bring some duct tape if the snow is too bad

  23. I don’t use gaiters. I always hike with hi-top boots and long pants. I’m a day hiker only.

  24. I don’t use gaiters – I’ve never found the need, and I dislike having even more weight on my legs.

  25. I wear REI gaiters. They keep the rain and snow out. Also really good when hiking across streams to keep the water from getting in your boots.

  26. Nope. They don’t really do more than my current system. Feet still get wet. Scree collars work as well or better than gaiters. And, I wrap and tuck my pants into my socks. (Ha, the bears don’t care if I look dorky.) The occasional immersion in a stream cleans things off really well. And again, the scree collar slows down the water from penetrating inside. They are really fiddly to put on and take off. And, they absorb water, and/or hold it against your pants, socks and shoes. Extra weight for no gain, means I do not wear them.

    Philip, drop me from the drawing.

  27. For everything except winter I wear dirty girl scree gaitors to keep stuff out of my shoes. In winter I wear tall waterproof gaiters for the snow

  28. 3-season: Dirty Girls or REI Desert gaiters. Winter, OR waterproof knee-high gaiters. Keeping socks clean and dry makes the socks (and my feet) last longer. Don’t let me win the wallet – my daughter gave me one for Christmas last year, and I love it. Use it all the time everywhere, not just for hiking.

  29. Most gaiters are too hot. The only I have found so far that are not are Integral Design’s eVent Shortie Gaiters. I haven’t tried Dirty Girl gaiters yet, but I’m considering them for my 2017 AT thru-hike.

  30. I wear Dirty Girl or Simblisity Gaiters when I hike with trail runners. I do not wear gaiters with hiking boots. Ditto in the winter since all of my winter hiking is in the desert.

  31. No, I’ve never tried them, although I’ve considered making a pair out of an old LLBean anorak. I’m just not convinced they are worth the extra hassle. Then again… I never thought I’d use hiking poles, but it was love at first step!

  32. I use dirty girl gaiters year round except . . .
    I use some OR low gaiters when I expect to do lots of bushwhacking or walking in snow up to a foot deep.
    I use OR Crocodile gaiters when I expect deep snow, >12″.

  33. OR crocodile gaiters in winter. I keep meaning to try some Dirty Girls or other short, light gaiters in three season, but when it comes to it I resist wearing any extra layer in the heat.

  34. I don’t use gaiters at all. I never really have, probably because I never think about them.
    My dream one day is to hike for a month or more John Muir style – with just the clothes on my back and sleep outside. I am sure there are people who have done it or do it. I want to learn how tough it would be for me. The notion of gaiters doesn’t jibe with that dream. Why not just add a strap with a snap to the bottom of the hiking pants? Insta-gaiters.

  35. Never hike without them. Two reasons: Ticks and socks.

    Ticks – They can be more easily spotted on, then removed from brightly colored gaiters. Socks are a great place for ticks to grab on to begin their climb up your leg. Nylon a bit less so.

    Socks – Gaiters keep debris (dirts, pine needles, pebbles) out of your boots. It’s not only more comfortable and practical (no stopping to shake out a pebble or pick pine needles out of your socks or boots), but they also keep your socks cleaner, so they last longer.

    I wear a pair of OR (Outdoor Research) low gaiters in the summer and high gaiters in late shoulder seasons and in winter.

  36. I dont use gaiters. I have never found a need for them.

  37. Although I have several gaiters for different purposes, the gaiters I don when backpacking or winter hiking are a set of nylon and spandex low gaiters by OR. These gaiters are not water proof and are worn with the intent of minimizing rock, sticks, and stones entering the tops of my hiking shoes or mid boots.

    Having said that, winter is not for hiking. God brought the snows out of his treasury (Job 38:22). I am confident one of the reasons he did so was for man to ski, not to hike! On back country ski trips I use a pair of Black Diamond gaiters that fit beween my Scarpa plastic telemark boots and my pants to seal the snow funnel betwixt the two.

  38. I don’t wear gaiters. I’ve got a pair but I just forget about them. Guess that means they aren’t all that necessary.

  39. I don’t use gaiters because I like to be one with the sand and dirty between my toes. Just kidding. I plan on using a pair this summer and have not decided which ones to pick up.

  40. I wear Dirty Girls whenever I hike. Winter hiking in Mississippi where I live isn’t much different from the other three seasons. Mine are treated with permethrin to help ward off ticks. My feet are so much cleaner at the end of the day, whether hiking local trails, the JMT or sections of the AT from GA through NH.

  41. No, I do most of my hiking in summer and gaiters don’t make sense with Chacos.

  42. I use OR Gaiters when hiking and snowshoeing in the winter, and I wear Solomon trail running gaiters when in the 3 season. The OR gaiters do a really good job of keeping the snow away from my pants and boots. The Solomon gaiters do an excellent job of keeping stones and pebbles out of my trail runners.

  43. Never ever leave home for a trail without my Dirty Girls! For completeness, the color is “meltdown” :-) There have been a couple of times when I left in my sneakers without gaiters and I always ended up having debris in my shoes. Even when going cycling!

    Sometimes, when the snow is very high, I use my Trekmates “Rannoch Moor” model with a pair of hiking boots. There was one occasion when I went for a very hard 105 km endurance hike in relatively deep snow (google “Brtnické Ledopády 2015”) and I was afraid that the boots will give me blisters. So I paired up the Trekmates with my sneakers – was plenty of fun!

  44. No, I don’t use gaiters. Maybe I should to help keep pebbles out of my shoes but I just haven’t spent too much time looking into them.

  45. I’ve never used gaiters before, generally I hike in dry climates, and all the trails are generally pretty clear so they haven’t seemed necessary. I have never had issues with ticks, but I think that is mostly due to the climate that I am in. I think if I hike in some wetter or more overgrown areas I might give them a chance.

  46. I use OR Mountain Low gaiters in the winter. I live in the midwest, so we don’t see a ton of snow usually. This spring I plan to pick up a pair of Dirty Girls for a trip to Shenandoah. In the past, I’ve not used gaiters for 3-season trips.

  47. I always wear OR Bugproof gaiters, except maybe in the dead of winter. In snow I wear high Mountain Hardware gaiters. I hike and work outside in the mid Atlantic area of the east coast. I have been treated for Lyme disease 5 times since the early 90’s and prefer not have it again. So, I always wear the gaiters with ExOfficio or RailRiders long pants treated with Insect shield on all hikes and while working outside in heavy brush. I also like the added benefit of keeping debris out of my hiking shoes and work boots.

  48. I don’t wear gaiters. I don’t winter hike and haven’t found any need for them in my other hikes.

  49. I don’t use gaiters (although there is a pair gathering dust in my gear closet) as I wear long pants for hiking. I spray the calves of the pants with some non-DEET insect repellent to ward off ticks. Besides, stopping to remove pebbles & other debris from my shoes gives me a chance to catch my breath.

  50. Only when hiking in snow (a pair of ancient OR gaiters that buckle below the knee). I wear hiking sandals for summer hikes, so scree gaiters do no good.

  51. I used to use gators when hiking quite a bit, especially when bushwacking, but now I usually leave them at home. Main reason for not using them comes down to comfort. However, I do like wearing them when I am out snowshoeing.

    I currently have gore-tex gators from Mountain Equipment Co-op, which replaced my old ones from OR. They are basically the same design.

  52. I don’t always wear gaiters but when I do I use my Dirty Girl Gaiters. I don’t do much winter hiking so I don’t own a set of winter gaiters. I feel like they keep small rocks and bits of debris out of my shoes.

  53. I use Dirty Girls shark print. They comfort my ankles like a soft hug.

  54. I use my Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters. Love them. Keep my feet/legs dry during winter and mud season.

  55. I’ve just decided I need gaiters, especially when I snowshoe or use spikes in snow. Snow constantly gets in the top of my Merrell mid/low boots. I just ordered and tried OR Wrapid, OR Flex Tek II and OR Rocky Mountain Low gaiters. I don’t like any of them so far. The fit isn’t right. I might try the Rocky Mountain Lows in a Large instead of a small next. I’m a female, boot size 9.5, and the small was excessively tight on my lower calf, even without pants or socks.

  56. I have a pair of the long OR gaiters, but I haven’t worn them since 2012. I don’t wear boots so I don’t really need them to keep my feet dry when hiking. I wore them on my Finger Lakes Trail thru hike this summer just for extra stinging nettle coverage, but it turned out to be a moot point. I find gaiters to be hot, uncomfortable, and they never stay up on my legs despite how much adjusting I do to the size!

  57. No, I don’t wear gaiters. I’ve never found them necessary with shorts or with long pants, in any of the 4 seasons. Of course- it’s possible I’ve just never met the ‘wrong’ conditions, and my use of high-sided hiking boots may also be a factor in not needing them so far.

  58. I don’t ware gaiters. I don’t hike in the snow and I wear long pants. Light weight pants in the summer and heaver weight in cold weather.

  59. Do you use gaiters when you hike?

    I use OR gaiters when things are very muddy or there is snow on the ground. In general, I don’t need them in the summer or fall.

  60. I do not wear gaiters. I wear high, lightweight hunting boots w/ wool socks except in the hotter months, then trail shoes w/ wool socks. Always socks. And usually light weight nylon pants w/ zip off legs.

  61. I don’t use gaiters. Typically I’m hiking in pretty mellow terrain, so sticks/dirt/etc. aren’t typically getting into my pants enough to cause issues. I live in MN, so during winter I’ll usually go for some purpose-made snow pants that cinch to the boots if there’s enough powder to make it worthwhile.

  62. I do use gaiters.

    For hiking/backpacking in shorts I’ll wear short ones (some ancient OR softshell units) to keep out the stones, dirt, seeds, etc. Recently I’ve done this less because I tend to hike in long pants, which themselves keep out the rocks, stones, etc.

    For hikes where I expect mud and wet trailside foliage I wear OR Crocodiles to help keep boots and pant legs dry(er) and unmuddied.

    And for winter snowshoeing, camping, climbing, etc. I wear the Crocodiles or super gaiters to keep out the snow.

  63. If I am wearing shorts I go for my Dirty Girls. I just picked up a new pair of OR Verglas gaiters for this winter but it hasn’t really snowed enough. I also got a pair of Arcteryx Gamma Ar pants this winter and they have a nice lace hook and seem to do a reasonable job of keeping light snow out of my boots.

  64. Do you use gaiters when you hike?

    No, I do not.

    If no, why not?

    Because honestly I have never considered them. I’m still fairly new to hiking/backpacking and never even knew such an item existed. Also they probably aren’t necessary for the terrain I currently do most of my hiking in.

  65. I use North Face Hyvent Gaiters for winter hiking because they work well with my Hyvent Pants to keep my feet dry in snow. For 3-season hiking I use REI trail running gaiters for the lighter weight and breathability

  66. No, never use them. Too hot and uncomfortable. Prefer my hiking in shorts Personally I have no use for gaiters.

  67. I do not use gaiters when hiking. I wear pants and taller Asolo boots. I find I do not need them. However, my boyfriend and I are recently getting into snowshoeing and I see the benefit there for gaiters and I am in the market for a pair. I will enjoy the comments as I am sure it will help guide my purchase.

  68. “I use Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters for winter hiking and Dirty Girl gaiters for three-season hiking and trail running.”

    I do, actually! Though the Dirty Girls annoy me b/c they have to be unhooked in order to retie my shoes. I wish they had zippers on the front.

  69. I do not use gaiters. Have considered the lightweight gaiters, such as Dirty Girl Gaiters. But I have not really found them to be necessary. I tend to do fair weather hiking in the eastern US, where they are perhaps less necessary.

  70. I wear Dirty Girl gaiters during hikes. I hike out in the west where a lot of trails can be very sandy and they protect my feet and socks from the wear and tear of grit. I also like supporting a small niche company that provides a great product at a good price.

  71. I do not use gaiters while hiking because I haven’t found them necessary yet. I mostly hike in pants. I may pick up a pair for my JMT thru-hike this summer, though!

  72. I have a pair of OR Crocodile gaiters that I bought on clearance for an early spring trip to the Smoky Mountains. It didn’t snow so I didn’t end up using them. I have never once seen anyone wearing gaiters where I hike and backpack in Michigan; I don’t think they’re needed here. And I would feel really nerdy wearing them here!

  73. I’ve never used gaiters. I prefer a pair of taller hiking boots and thick socks.

  74. I do use gators for about 40% of my hikes. It depends on my hiking terrain and whether or not i feel that i will be cleaning debris out of my shoes during the day. I wear a set of Outdoor Research Short Rocky Mountain Gators, for all four seasons. I fell that the tall gators are no better at keeping my boots clear to include snow.

  75. Yes I do use gaiters in late fall, winter and spring time. As soon there is about 1-2in of snow, or ice, or too muddy conditions I wear my gaiters. Black Diamond Frontpoint gaiters is what I wear to hike in the mentioned conditions.

    • I prefer not to wear gaiters, but when I do I wear some pretty old REI ones. They’re pretty bombproof and I’ve never had the need to buy new ones!

  76. I typically bring lightweight gaiters, but only use them when the underbrush is wet.

  77. I have used gaiters for about a decade because they keep stuff out of my trail runners. My current pair (which is getting pretty worn) is Integral Designs eVent Shortie Gaiters. I’m thinking of getting a pair of Dirty Girl gaiters so that I can dispense with the cord across the sole of my boot, which I’ve had to replace several times. I wish they had a really conservative pattern available. I warned my family that if they find a Dirty Girl search on my computer’s history, it’s only for a pair of gaiters!

  78. I use OR Rocky Mountain Low gaiters for 3 season hiking/backpacking, primarily to keep leaves, sticks and pebbles out of my shoes. But I also find it helps prevent my shoelaces from coming untied due to snagging on brush.

  79. I mostly wear boots and pants, even in summer. Have been considering gaiters for winter hiking, but they’re low on my priority list.

  80. I use Dirty Girl gaiters in the spring when muddy and OR Crocodiles in the snow.

  81. In rain, I wear a silnylon kilt rather than rain pants. This causes the top of my boots and socks to get soaked. I just bought some OR Bugout gaiters and I’m waiting for a good rainy day to see if they help keep my ankles dry.

  82. I’ve never worn them before,as Ive always worn boots with long pants. Now that I’ve switched to trail runners, I think I will be picking up a pair.

  83. I do not own any gaiters because I am a broke college student who rather get dirty, clean out my boots every hour from rocks and pine, and slap some plastic bags on top of my boots to shield the rain. I would sure like a pair, but I rather have a nice lunch for that money instead.

  84. As a rule I use gaiters only when there’s a good chance I will also need to use crampons. (Gaiters are easier to repair than pants.) Most of the time I I prefer pants with internal gaiters for winter hiking; pants and socks that are factory-treated with permethrin for three-season hiking.

  85. I never wear gaiters while hiking. I usually don’t hike in the snow and have never felt the need for other uses.

  86. I love my Dirty Girl Gaiters. Lightweight and I barely notice them.

  87. Never use gators when hiking. I don’t hike in snow and don’t get gravel or sand in my shoes often enough to justify more stuff. See no need for gators.

    • I think he was asking about gaiters. However, I do agree that I personally do not see any need for gators, especially the Florida Gators, Go Griz!

  88. I use Dirty-Girl gaiters year-round. I don’t get to hike in serious snow country so the lightweight breathable DG’s are great year-round for keeping out ticks, dirt, pebbles, and sticks.

  89. I had OR Crocodile gaiters that sat in my gear closet unused for years and I just sold them last summer to some happy BPL shopper. Living in SoCal they just weren’t getting used. Of course it would be the case that we have an El Nino year and snow abounds in the mountains, and my son’s scout troop is planning the first snow camp in years.

    I had OR low gaiters I used for years – excellent in the desert and scrub. I got Dirty Girl gaiters for Christmas, and have heard only good about them. Not sure they will be durable enough for the desert, but they’ll definitely get used on the dusty local hikes.

  90. I wear OR Crocodile Gaiters for winter hiking. They are great and really make a difference in keeping my legs and feet warm and dry. They run large, so order a size down when in doubt. I wear long insect-shield treated pants in 3-season conditions and haven’t found gaiter useful.

  91. I use OR Rocky Mountain low gaiters for some winter and muddy spring day hikes

  92. I use OR Crocodile Gaiters in the winter to prevent snow getting into my shoes. I also use it to get some extra warmth. They were much more comfortable than I expected, so I can use them even in late fall and early spring in rainy weather.

  93. I rarely wear gaiters, but when I do I use some old gore-tex ones I’ve had for many years. I prefer just wearing pants if possible.

  94. I do not use gaiters simply because I have not needed them (my rain gear and boots have worked sufficiently well).

  95. I have worn them in the past (Dirty Girl, OR, others) for my 3-season hiking but no longer use them because they interfere with moving moisture away from my feet, which is a key component in blister management.

  96. I never wear gaiters for three-season hiking, we just don’t need them much in this part of California. For snow camping, I have a pair of ancient REI gaiters with poly-cotton tops. Those breathe pretty well, but keep the snow out. Those things are probably from the 1980’s.

  97. I’ve been using OR Spark Plugs for a year and a half. I love the material and weight, but the ankles tend to be too wide. My girlfriend and I both had to alter them so sand and gravel wouldn’t sneak in. We’re looking for new ones and may try Dirty Girl gaiters. Maybe we have thinner than usual ankles?

  98. Very light low REI gaitors, use them as needed. Keeps the muck out of shoes, and treating with permethrin can’t hurt.

  99. I don’t use gaiters, because I just haven’t purchased a pair of them yet.

  100. In winter I use OR Crocodile gaiters. They keep my legs drier and warmer. I used to use gaiters in the warmer months but when I switched from boots and heavy socks to trail runners and thinner socks I left my low gaiters at home because my feet still felt too warm. I have, however, been looking at thinner, more breathable low gaiters for when I expect lots of mud.

  101. Short, black Outdoor Research gaiters work for me through three seasons. I’ve used the same pair for so long that if they had more name (like Rocky Mountain or some such) I don’t remember it. I wear them because they keep the debris out of my boots that normally results from my foot dragging, stumbling natural gait.

  102. I always use Dirty Girls with my trail runners and either OR Flex-tex II or OR Rocky Mountain high gaiters for snow activities.

  103. I wear low gaiters IF I know I’ll be walking through grass or brush. If I know it’s a clear trail (most Whites) I don’t

  104. When deep snow is not an issue but dust and/or ticks are, I’ll use OR Spark Plug gaiters – well ventilated with a good stretch fit. To deal with snow, BD Frontpoints are my go-to tall gaiters. Unlike many gaiters, the tops can tighten sufficiently while the bottoms at the same time can handle some bulky boots. They are also the most durable I’ve seen.

  105. I use Dirty Girl Gaiters because they’re lightweight, functional and awesome. They also keep my shoes clear off debris and mud, which I appreciate. I wear them 3 seasons and for winter hiking I switch it up and wear a longer more weather resistant gaiter… I think the ones I have are old school REI ones.

  106. I have not used gaiters in the past, and I have not had any problems. If I start hiking more, I plan to try our Dirty Girl gaiters.

  107. I’ve tried several types of gaiters from REI with little satisfaction. The arch strap tore or they gave me a heat rash. After following several trail journal entries I tried Dirty Girl gaiters. They are fantastic with none of the issues that I had with the other types. i would even try to scotch guard my dirty girl gaiters before I would buy others for the winter.

  108. I don’t use gaiters. Still hiking with boots and long pants. Have yet to need to use them.

  109. I don’t use gaiters. For three season hiking I don’t see the benefit. When it’s raining, my rain pants gather enough at the ankle to keep rain out. When it’s not raining, I have never found scree, forest duff, or other debris to be a nuisance. I could see more benefit for winter hiking but if the snow is deep enough to warrant gaiters, I will usually be wearing my Arcteryx shell pants with built in gaiter and they do an excellent job of keeping snow out of my boots.

  110. I wear gaiters most of the time; have an ankle pair by OR for three seasons and one water proof pair for winter up to the knees. In the summer it keeps bugs etc. out and in the winter has the added bonus of adding some warmth.

  111. I only use gaiters in the cold of winter. I use OR crodile gaiters. I don’t use them the rest of the year and for the life of me can’t imagine hiking in the hot humid north east in the summer in gaiters.

  112. I don’t use gatiers because they are too hot. I might consider using them in winter when snow shoeing but so far long pants and boots does the trick.

  113. I use Salomon S-Lab Trail Gaiters to prevent dirt in my shoes in tree season hikes. But, I often remove them because ther are too hot during summer hikes.

  114. I don’t use gators when I hike, never felt the need to use them and never had a desire to use them. I will be going to Alaska this summer and gaiters are on the recommended gear list, so time to start thinking about them……….

  115. I only use my OR Crocodile gaiters in the Winter, or when I’m walking, or snowshoeing in snow. Never used them in warm weather, never seen the need to. Awesome gaiters.

  116. I dont wear gaiters because Ive never had an experience that would lead me to buy some.

  117. I do like dirty girl gaiters for 3 season. I have OR crocs for when needed in winter. I dislike using them cause my legs get too hot. If I can avoid them I keep them off. I bought some short rab event gaiters on STP that I will be trying out instead when conditions warrant.

  118. I only use gaiters in winter conditions to avoid getting snow inside my boots. I’ve never felt the need to use gaiters in any other conditions!

  119. I only wear gaiters for snow hikes. Currently I use the mountain hardwear nut shell gaiters.

  120. Dirty girl for 3 season. Rab for winter.

  121. No use for gaiters. My keen boots do just fine.

  122. Nope, I never knew that such a thing existed till now.

  123. I have borrowed a pair for a short winter hike. My boots keep most stuff out. I haven’t felt the need to try gaitors for regular hikes.

  124. No gaiters for me. It’s just not a piece of gear I thought I was missing. Might change my mind if I tried a pair, but I don’t see to accumulate much litter in my shoes as it is.

  125. Only while snowshoeing!

  126. Only if it’s really boggy, but then Berghaus GTX. These ones in particular because they come in a 2 sizes reg and long – and I need the long! Decent gaiters though and velcro all the way up so easy to fit & remove.

  127. I wear my Dirty Girl Gaiters. They’re light and cool and keep the hitchhikers and mud out of my boots so I don’t have to stop every ten minutes to empty them. And they clean up with a quick rinse.

  128. Dirty Girl Gaiters 3 season; almost never hike in the snow.

  129. For winter hiking in NH I use a pair of Sprayway knee high gaiters (purchased in UK). I like the front zipper which runs the length of the gaiter and has a Velcro storm flap. The gaiters are nylon (are they all these days?) which does cause a bit of a sweat issue. Rolling down the top to about halfway up my calf helps (the fabric is stiff enough so it doesn’t collapse around my ankle. Still looking for knee high canvas gaiters (Karrimor, UK, made a great pair in the ’70’s).

  130. I used to use gators for backcountry skiing. No idea of the brand as it was 20 years ago. Haven’t used gators for hiking yet. They don’t seem to necessary in the minnesota north woods, but switching to trail runners next summer so that may change.

  131. I have never used gaiters. I have always either worn boots with rain pants or tall boots in winter. When it’s not wet, I typically wear boots with other long pants.

  132. I’ve never used gaiters, but some of my friends who wear trail running shoes use gaiters a lot.

  133. I have never used gaiters. I do day hikes and sometimes an overnight hike and have never had a need for them…yet.

  134. I do not use gaiters (never have). Maybe I would be better off, maybe I’m not hiking in rough enough terrain? I wear ankle high boots, liner socks and wool socks, long pants. Once I made emergency gators by wrapping duct tape around pants/boot when some micro-pebbles caused a problem. Thank you for this raffle!

  135. Three season: I wear Rab Shortie gaiters. If it’s very hot I take them off and rely on my Montane Terra long pants to keep trail debris out of my shoes (and for sun protection).

    Winter: Rab Shortie gaiters with Berghaus Paclite overtrousers (the latter for rain protection and extra warmth).

  136. I do not use gaiters. My feet are messed up so I wear Chacos year round. Gaiters don’t make much sense when you’re wearing sandals.

  137. I have used Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Gaiters for some backcountry hiking, but mostly for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. In the spring and fall backpacking, I sometimes bring them if there is a wet forecast. I do not usually bring them in the summer.

  138. Yes I do wear gaters. I’ve worn them for years, though they are generic.

  139. I wear gaiters year round to keep stuff out of my shoes.
    3 season gaiters – Outdoor Research Sparkplug
    Winter – Mountain Hardware (not sure on the model)

  140. Yes, living in Tahoe I use Rab Latok Alpine gaiters as needed in the shoulder seasons and winter. I’m interested in a more lightweight option for the Summer when off trail :).

  141. Gaiters are hot and sweaty no matter what they’re made of. That said, when hiking in soft snow they do keep snow from falling into your footwear where it’ll melt and get your socks wet.

  142. Year round (not much winter to speak of here in the South East) I use OR Rocky Mountain Low gaiters. They keep the grit out of my trail runners in summer, and are generally sufficient for any snow in my locales in winter. Thinking of getting some Dirty Girls for summer, though.

  143. Nope. I have never worn gaiters. The reason is because I don’t have any. However, I have yet to find myself in a situation while hiking or backpacking that would REQUIRE them. We’ll see if that changes.

  144. We dont get much snow here. I generally hike in low top Lowas with tall socks, stylish I know. I cant stand sweaty calves. Never used gaiters and dont think I’m missing anything.

  145. I don’t use gaiters. friends of mine use gaiters for snakebite protection (Australian snakes) but I don’t because they interfere with ankle movement for me.

  146. I use Bugout gaiters in the fall when hiking because I always find at least one tick when I get home. The ticks in New England are brutal. I prefer to use my OR Rocky Mountain Lows because I can use them for 3 seasons and they are very comfortable.

  147. I use a pair of Bergans gaiters for snowy conditions and skiing. Haven’t really thought of wearing gaiters for any other seasons before..

  148. I do not currently use gaiters however I’m currently researching different brands because I hate getting sticks and leaves and everything in my boots.

  149. I use some real old Oregon Research ones. I got them used and the tags are ripped off. They are small, black, stretchy, and have a red strap that goes underneath. I always wear them for 3-season and don’t use gaiters in the winter.

  150. I am not a fan of gaiters myself, but I only hear good things.

  151. I use Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiters mainly in the winter if there will be snow where we are backpacking. I also use them in the spring and summer when backpacking in the Smokies…ticks!!

  152. I’ve not been a fan but with all the rain lately and my preference for lower cut shoes I have started to look at them much more seriously.

  153. I use Dirty Girl gaiters for three season backpacking. They keep the detritus out of my shoes and allow me to demonstrate my complete lack of couth by being outrageously gaudy. About 2 ounces and $17.

  154. I only use them in rain and snow.

  155. OR gaitors are awesome for snowshoeing!

  156. I have never used gaiters and don’t know anyone who has, but I would be open to using them if I felt I needed them!

  157. I use EMS Gore-tex gaiters for snowshoeing and winter hiking.

  158. I use LL Bean gaiters for 3 season hiking. Keeps the creepy crawlies & moisture out. I also use them while snowshoeing.

  159. I use low Mountain Equipment Co-op lightweight gaiters year-round (except for a taller pair of old OR gaiters in the deepest snow). I’m not happy with my MEC gaiters. They don’t fit my size 14s well enough. I’m thinking I’m going to order some DirtyGirls …

  160. I don’t use gaiters. I would but just have not spent the money on they. It seems I have more priorities and would rather spend money on other things.

  161. I tried hiking with low cut gaiters once for dew and rocks and such and did not like them too hot for hiking but full gaiters for snow shoeing were the cats PJs. The full gaiters were Polar Tek-Nik an off the wall Chinese product that I have not see since I got them some years ago.

  162. I use OR gaiters for winter hiking. They are water repellant but not the gortex . I find these just as good and am very pleased with them. Wouldn’t winter hike without them.

  163. I seldom use gaiters in warm or dry weather. In cold and/or wet weather, especially winter backpacking, I use Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodiles.

  164. I have not used gaiters when I hike. I don’t think the conditions I’m hiking in warrant them. Of course, since I haven’t used them, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing.

  165. Dirty girls for pretty much everything unless snow and postholing is involved. Then I have a pair of outdoor research verglas ones.

  166. Currently no. I wear trail running shoes as I prefer them and most of the places I hike in New Zealand I’m going to be walking through streams.
    However after a recent trip where there were kilometres of hook-grass tearing at my bare legs I’d consider them but only on occasions such as this O_o

  167. Have never used them but am thinking of getting REI’s ankle haters to help keep small stones and twigs from getting into my boots or shoes.

  168. Outdoor research all year long – low cut ultra light for 3 seasons and a gortex crocodile gaiters in the winter

  169. I use over the calf Outdoor Research waterproof gaiters, thru hiking the AT.

  170. I use dirty girl gaiters for all hiking. I love all the protection they give you!

  171. I use dirty girl gaiters or nothing depending on the environment I’m hiking in. I’m based in SE TX and it was mid-70s today: what is this winter hiking of which you speak?!

    “sectionhiker.com” is a great informative website and I’ve learned a lot from it – thank you PW!

    • Ah! It was -30ºC (-22ºF) this morning. Just a short walk, and the snow wasn’t over my ankles. Crisp enough to have to ‘back up to pee’ …

  172. I use Dirty Girl gators when backpacking only.

  173. I’ve tried a low cut pair of OR gaiters a couple times during a couple hikes in the summer but just can’t seem to get used to them. Using my GTX MEC gaiters for snowshoeing is a completely different story. I love them.

  174. I do not, but have been considering using them.

  175. I have not used gaiters in the past, but did buy some Outdoor Research ones this year because we purchased some snowshoes. We have not gone though due to an injury.

  176. I just started to use gaiters when I run/hike. They are a homemade pair based on the gaiter girl design. I am currently making a new pair for snowshoe running.

  177. I never have used them before, I never thought I needed them in the area I am in.

  178. I hike in ALTRA shoes so i use the Altra gaiters but only if im in super loose stuff in the desert other even in the winter but i live in Southern California and snow typically is not an issue where i hike.

  179. I use a pair of REI gaiters when bushwhacking in Arizona. The spiky things here are epic.

  180. I don’t wear gaiters. Just never got into the habit, i guess…

  181. Gaiters are good for snowshoeing. For long distance hiking they’re mainly a fashion statement.

    • You obviously haven’t hiked through any scree or done any bushwhacking whatsoever. Terrible comment and insight on your part.

      • Zach, I completely agree. I wear full length gaiters even in the summer when I hike the White Mts., at the end of the day, there is ALWAYS mud on the rear and calve section of my gaiters and plenty of scuffs/scratches as well. At the end of the day, I sit down into my tent with my legs outside and take my gaiters off and leave all the mud and dirt outside the tent and use the gaiters as a “door mat” to store my boots on overnight.

  182. I don’t wear gaiters or crocs. I’m poor, so I only have the gear I absolutely have to have.

  183. I have gaiters made by LL Bean but the buckle broke on them the last time I used them. I only wear gaiters when I am hiking in snowy conditions or snowshoeing.

  184. Not having a problem with rocks or debris getting in my boots during the 3 seasons, I only use gaiters in the winter for snow deeper than my ankles. I use Mountain Hardwear Nut Shell High Gaiters.

  185. No, I do not use gaiters.
    I don’t need them currently, but would like to try them eventually.

  186. No – I am new to hiking so havent considered them yet

  187. I don’t own gaiters, and have yet to try them for hikes.

  188. OR Rocky Mountain low. It amazing how much cleaner my socks and feet stay. Especially in dusty conditions or tall grass with lots of burrs. Also seem good for keeping ticks off.

  189. I use dirtygirls for dry dusty trails. I have skinny ankles and my shoes or boots always manage to get full of detritus. The gaiters have really helped keep my feet cleaner. I have always used tall goretex gaiters for xc skiing and winter hikes.

  190. Just finished a hike in Haleakala Crater, coming up the Kaupo Trail. (about 5500 ft elevation gain over about 8 miles) Trail was overgrown and wet foliage everywhere. (it also rained/was raining) My pants were soaked and a lot of this moisture dripped into my socks. By the end of the day socks were soaking wet. I wished I had gaiters in hindsight. Fortunately the cabin had wood burning stoves and we were able to dry our stuff out. People that camped in tents did not have that option. I used a golite umbrella (my shirt stayed relatively dry) and I don’t think a poncho would have worked since it would only have made me perspire even more.

  191. Are you familiar with the Hillsound Super Armadillo gaiters? I need to replace my long used and almost destroyed OR’s, and the Hillsound look interesting.

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