Even the most hard-wearing, protective boots can't always shield what the outdoor throws at you. Gaiters provide essential lower leg coverage to defend against the elements, and come in various materials and designs to suit your chosen activity. So whether you’re bush-bashing through scrub in the Australian outback or heading overseas on a snow-filled adventure, there is a style of leg gaiter to suit your outdoor pursuit.
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What is the purpose of using gaiters?
Gaiters provide lower leg protection by covering areas boots and socks may not, like your ankles, shins and calves. They are designed to keep snow, rain, dirt and mud from entering your footwear, and stop roots, rocks and branches from scratching or poking your skin. They also provide a shield from leeches, ticks and even snakes. Our men's gaiters deliver high quality protection you can rely on, even when the outdoor gets really wild.
Are gaiters waterproof?
Like other outdoor apparel and equipment, a leg gaiter may sometimes be designed with waterproof properties. Some styles use a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish while others will be constructed from waterproof fabrics, such as GORE-TEX® technology. When you're hiking or mountaineering through difficult terrain, or in climates that can change with little notice, you should opt for these. Even more so for skiing and snow-based treks, waterproof gaiters are a must.
How tight should a gaiter be?
To get the most out of your leg gaiter and for optimal comfort, it should be worn firmly. It should fit snugly around your boot, effectively eliminating the chances of dirt or debris from getting inside, and momentarily stopping the hike while you take off your footwear to remove it. Our men's gaiters are designed to accommodate all leg shapes and sizes.
Do gaiters stop snake bites?
A leg gaiter for hiking is part of your outer-layer shield against the elements on the trails. It keeps rain, snow and dirt from getting in your boots, and stops branches, rocks or scrub from scratching or grazing your skin. But it also protects you from creepy-crawlies such as leeches, ticks and snakes. With regards to snakes, the hard-wearing, dense materials that a leg gaiter is constructed from - usually heavy duty nylon, polyester or canvas - will help prevent a snake's fangs from penetrating to your skin during a bite, but it will never offer 100% protection. The best way to deal with a snake bite is to not get bitten, so take care on the trails and follow the usual wildlife management practices of that area.
What lengths of men's gaiters are available?
Men's gaiters typically come in two sizes - low cut and high cut. Ankle gaiters, or trail gaiters, offer the most basic level of protection and, as the name suggests, are low cut. When the path is cleared and you only need to keep dirt and grass from entering your boots, ankle gaiters are the go. These are popular with bushwalking and trail running as they are lightweight, minimal and allow for more freedom of movement. Tall gaiters are high cut, and offer full, lower leg protection for your shin and calf. These are best for hiking, mountaineering or even skiing where you are likely to need maximum coverage from harsher weather elements or environments.
What materials are gaiters made of?
A gaiter for hiking should be made of durable, hard-wearing material that allows it to deliver maximum protection from rocks, trail debris, creepy-crawlies and other unforgiving elements. Strong, abrasion-resistant fabrics such as nylon, polyester or canvas are often employed for this exact reason. Ankle gaiters that suit trail running, bushwalking or light hiking need to be lightweight and minimal, and may be constructed with a blend that incorporates elastane to give them added stretch and freedom of movement.
Should gaiters be worn over pants?
The simple answer is yes, a men's hiking gaiter should be worn over the top of pants. Aside from allowing the leg gaiter to perform its primary task of protecting your lower leg, this also helps to reinforce the front portion of your pants and minimise the chances of your garment getting caught on scrub or branches.