Walking boot gaiters have been designed for lowland walking, rambling, hunting and beating and they are a great way of keeping dry and scratch free when out and about!
Wearing walking trousers or over-trousers is a good idea when it is cold or damp, and these items are useful for keeping large pieces of debris out of your boots – but maybe they’re not designed for keeping out those finer pieces of debris! There’s nothing worse than an irritating small stone in your boot, causing your feet to ache, when you’re out and about walking. It’s worth considering that Walking boot gaiters can give you the extra protection that you need!
There are of course several other problems associated with simply wearing ‘over-trousers’ as opposed to ‘walking boot gaiters’. Some of these are considered below:
- wet trouser leg – as you walk through wet grass, the bottom of your trouser leg can get wet, which eventually ‘wicks’ into your sock, resulting in wet socks, wet trousers and, indeed, cold feet!
- deep snow – when walking through deep snow in overtrousers, the snow may ride up your trousers, over your socks and then down into your boots. Over time, wet socks and wet trousers will ruin the waterproof membrane in your boots
- embarrassing ‘strip off‘ – removing mud sodden ‘over-trousers’ in a car park, in view of everyone may, for some at least, prove to be very embarrassing!
Modern walking boot gaiters available today have been modelled on the heavy cotton canvas gaiters often worn by the military. These are sometimes referred to as Army Puttees, which are long narrow pieces of cloth that are wound tightly around the leg, to offer protection and support when on marches.
It’s worth noting that Gaiters can be worn in both Winter and Summer months. Listed below are some of the clear benefits of wearing gaiters in both hot and cold conditions:
Wearing walking boot gaiters in the summer
Trailwise have designed a short gaiter called ‘Stop Tous’. These nylon, waterproof gaiters offer light protection during summer months. The Pennine gaiters are also lightweight and comfortable to wear, although longer in length than the Stop Tous.
Benefits of wearing gaiters in hot conditions include:
- easy to put on no matter where you are
- keeps dirt and stones out of your walking boots
- offers extra protection when walking through small streams
- prevents shins from getting scraped when climbing mountains
- offers protection against stinging nettles, rose thorns and blackberry thorns
- prevents mosquito and blackfly bites – especially if wearing shorts
A popular summer ‘outdoorsy’ look is wearing walking boot gaiters with walking shorts. Shorts are cool and comfortable to wear, whilst gaiters give your legs the protection you need. This means not having to wear bulky full-length trousers. Plus, when backpacking or fishing, all added weight becomes a burden so carrying lightweight, waterproof walking boot gaiters (weighing no more than just a couple of ounces) is far better than wearing heavier items such as walking trousers or over trousers.
Wearing gaiters in the colder conditions
As the weather changes and becomes colder and wetter, it may be necessary to change your walking boot gaiters to heavy cotton canvas gaiters – this will be for extra protection!
Benefits of wearing gaiters in the winter:
- prevents deep snow from entering the top of your walking boots
- helps to keep boot laces from freezing and over trousers from freezing to your boots
- wearing lighter boots with gaiter protection, rather than wearing ‘heavy’ walking boots
- stops brambles and heather from damaging your boots and trousers
- heavy canvas gaiters may even offer extra protection against snake bites when walking through long grass
- water will ‘bead’ and roll off gaiters, rather than seaping into your trousers, therefore keeping you dryer for longer!
It’s true to say that there are many other benefits too! If you’ve never worn gaiters before then it might be worth giving them a try….you could be very pleasantly surprised!