There’s nothing worse than being out hunting and camping and all of a sudden stepping into a pool of water and getting your feet completely soaked. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable, but it’s one of the easiest ways to catch a cold, which can make a fun outdoor experience go south very quickly. With that said, most avid outdoor enthusiasts know just how important it is to keep their feet warm, dry, and well-protected from the elements, which is why they almost always wear gaiters on top of their shoes. In case you didn’t know, gaiters cover your feet all the way up to the knees.
Whether you’re looking for hiking, camping or hunting gaiters, there are a couple of important factors to consider before buying a pair.
If the gaiters aren’t completely water resistant, they won’t do much to help your feet and ankles stay dry. The water resistance properties of hunting gaiters come from their construction and the materials they’re made of. That being said, synthetic fabrics generally work better at resisting water than natural fabrics, simply because synthetic fabrics are typically polymer-based and repel water instead of absorbing it. Most gaiters feature a dual or a triple layer construction, which further prevents water from reaching your feet.
Some people prefer wearing gaiters that have a hard shell, while others prefer wearing gaiters that are more flexible and have a softer shell. The main determining factor should be the area where you’ll be using them. Generally, you want the gaiters to be as flexible as they can be, but also be hard enough to prevent your feet from all the sharp plants you may come across.
Some gaiters are designed for certain hunting conditions and thus, are made with a specific purpose in mind. Again, you need to consider where you’ll be hunting and the conditions of that specific area. Some gaiters are designed for dry and mild weather conditions, whereas others are designed for winter weather. Furthermore, some areas, like those where you’ll find a ton of undergrowth, harmful animals such as snakes, and thistles call for more durable and tough gaiters.
Gaiters can be found in different heights, and that’s typically the determining factor regarding how much protection they offer. You can choose from three different heights, including knee-high, mid-calf, and over-the-ankle gaiters. However, the higher the gaiter, the heavier and the warmer it will be.