to top 10 table

10 Best Trail Running Gaiters Reviewed

last updated Aug 05, 2019
If you’re a regular off-road runner, you may want to learn more about the best trail running gaiters. These can quickly become a solid part of your running arsenal and once you find the right ones, you won’t hit your favorite trails without them.

Those of us that run off-road, on rocky terrain, or our favorite trails will encounter elements that can make our runs less enjoyable and deter us from returning. The best trail running gaiters prevent blisters from forming and help you avoid sore or cut up legs.

When we hit the great outdoors, we run with the elements, and if we want to get out there again you may want to invest in the best trail gaiters.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

icon
Salomon Low
97.8/100 our score
Comfort
98
Durability
99
Protection
97
Style
97
Value
98
Salomon Low
Why is it better?

Little need for readjustment

Simple Velcro design

They look good with a nice sleek design

Durable and sturdy

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Salomon Low
Test Winner: Salomon Low
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1015
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
17
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sarah Coryell:

For this update, we focused on expanding on the information we have gathered regarding running gaiters in general. From our criteria and review process to expert insight and more answers to your questions, this update is packed with loads of helpful information!

Sorting Options
Comfort Durability Protection Style Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Comfort
98 %
Durability
99 %
Protection
97 %
Style
97 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$34.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Comfort
95 %
Durability
97 %
Protection
96 %
Style
97 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$39.81
Backcountry Link
$44.95
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Comfort
96 %
Durability
95 %
Protection
97 %
Style
93 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$45.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Comfort
96 %
Durability
93 %
Protection
95 %
Style
92 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Comfort
96 %
Durability
95 %
Protection
98 %
Style
89 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Comfort
90 %
Durability
94 %
Protection
97 %
Style
88 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Comfort
94 %
Durability
92 %
Protection
90 %
Style
91 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$79.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Comfort
94 %
Durability
89 %
Protection
91 %
Style
84 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Comfort
86 %
Durability
85 %
Protection
82 %
Style
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$52.69
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Comfort
80 %
Durability
83 %
Protection
80 %
Style
83 %
Value
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.10.19)
Amazon Link
$44.95

Our Top Favorite Gaitors

1. Salomon Low

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Salomon Low
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Durability
99
Protection
97
Style
97
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.95
Pros:

Little need for readjustment

Simple Velcro design

They look good with a nice sleek design

Durable and sturdy

Cons:

Not suitable for running in water

These low gaiters ride low on the ankle, and hence provide little disruption while being very comfortable. They don’t ride up on the ankle and they don’t often need much re-adjustment. They secure with Velcro, which ensures a tight fit and a sturdy product, and they’re very good for keeping sand, stones, and water out of your shoes. Like much of Salomon’s gear, they work well and they’re a good addition to your arsenal of running equipment. If you’re looking for something simple and reliable, these are a great option.

Read more

Comfort

These gaiters are very comfy while still doing the job well. Though waterproof, they ride low on the ankle, so they’re not going to keep you dry if you’re regularly running through puddles or in particularly boggy or watery terrain.

Appearance

They’re very smart and subtle, and look particularly good when worn with darker shoes. This is about as good as it gets in terms of discreet and small gaiters.

Cost and Value

They are around average price. Though there are slightly cheaper options on the market, these are very good value. You can certainly do worse than investing in these – there are lots of options on the market which cost more and don’t do the job as effectively.

2. Salomon High

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.6
Salomon High
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Durability
97
Protection
96
Style
97
Value
98
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$39.81
Backcountry Link
$44.95
See Deal
Pros:

Works as ankle braces

Easy to put on and take off

They don't irritate your skin

They don’t slip off

Lightweight design enhances performance

Cons:

Velcro isn't strong enough

Another great product from Salomon. Make sure not to mistake it with Salomon Low Trail Gaiters; these are available in three sizes. They also give you excellent protection for your ankle bones, they're water-resistant and will let you run on any terrain you want to. They're also extremely breathable!

Read more

Comfort

They are very helpful toll while running by preventing dirt, rocks, sand, and snow from entering your shoes. They also give additional security with Velcro closures.

Appearance

These have a reflective design to make you visible on the trail you run at night.

Cost and Value

Since these are made with elastic jersey fabric, they very durable and that’s why the price may be a little high. Nevertheless, they work perfectly and are worth every penny.

3. Outdoor Research Wrapid

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Outdoor Research Wrapid
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Durability
95
Protection
97
Style
93
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$45.00
Pros:

Waterproof

Anti-slip heel prints

Hook and loop system for maximum security

Adjustable

Prevents anything from entering your shoes

Helps keep you cool and dry

Cons:

Size runs small

Long break-in period

These gaiters are comfortable and provide optimal protection. They are made of Nylon, Polyester, and Spandex, and are high enough to prevent any debris from entering your trail running shoes.

Read more

Comfort

These gaiters are adjustable, lightweight, and comfortable. They utilize a hoop and loop system to keep the gaiters tightly secured - so they don't get in your way during your runs.

Appearance

These water-resistant gaiters are high enough to use anywhere - whether it's snowy, wet, or muddy. They only come in black and while they look thick, they will actually keep your feet cool and dry during runs.

Cost and Value

These trail running gaiters come at a moderate price. They won't break the bank, but there are cheaper options available on the market.

4. Altra Trail

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Altra Trail
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Durability
93
Protection
95
Style
92
Value
93
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$24.95
Pros:

Keep mud and rocks out of your shoes

They don’t rub on your skin

Works great on snow, sand, rocks, dirt and other surfaces

The material is very stretchy

Stays in place without slipping

Cons:

They may not work well if you don’t use the Velcro attachment

These consist of 82% Nylon and 18% Spandex. They have a low profile design and are perfect for the most challenging runs. There are no straps so you can easily take off your shoes without taking off the gaiters. There are two sizes available. They have an over-the-ankle design to keep all the debris out of your shoes.

Read more

Comfort

While you run you may forget that you’re wearing them because they are so lightweight. The material is breathable and abrasion resistant.

Appearance

These have a special reflective print which makes you more visible on the trail. They have metal lace hooks at the front. They are available in many colors if you want to add some style to your gear.

Cost and Value

These gaiters aren’t very expensive and are definitely worth the price.

5. Outdoor Research Ultra Trail

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Outdoor Research Ultra Trail
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Durability
95
Protection
98
Style
89
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Water resistant

Stretchy

Secure fit

Breathable

Abrasion-resistant

Reflective detail

Cons:

While they are water resistant, they are not waterproof

These are some great gaiters by Outdoor Research. They come in other colors besides black and are really durable and built to last. If you need protection from the terrain you run in, take a further look at these awesome gaiters.

Read more

Comfort

These gaiters are made of Nylon and Spandex to ensure they provide a secure and comfortable fit. They are lightweight, breathable, and don't take away from your full range of motion--in fact, they encourage it thanks to their stretch and flexibility.

Appearance

These gaiters are minimalistic and not bulky in the slightest. They have reflective features and are water resistant.

Cost

These are a great investment if you need water resistant protection when you hit your favorite trails.

6. Outdoor Research Stamina

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Outdoor Research Stamina
Amazon Link
Comfort
90
Durability
94
Protection
97
Style
88
Value
89
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Enables them to get rid of moisture

Works perfectly on snow

Special movement-mirroring stretch

They are very durable

Cons:

Aren’t completely waterproof

These were created for real race lovers. Very lightweight, they're made of Polyester and Elastyne. They were designed for real hard-working athletes and competitors. They keep all mud, sand and other debris out of your shoes. They also have lace hooks.

Read more

Comfort

With these there is no chance of debris getting in your shoe so there is a smaller chance for injury and blisters. They can easily attach to most running shoes. They are also very easy to clean.

Appearance

Their minimalistic appearance is really appreciated by reviewers. They're very adjustable.

Cost and Value

You may smile when you see the price as it’s quite cheap compared to the previous models on our list while still being of a very high quality.

7. Rab Latok Alpine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Rab Latok Alpine
Amazon Link
Comfort
94
Durability
92
Protection
90
Style
91
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$79.95
Pros:

Great for snow and cold weather

Underboot strap

Secure fit

Waterproof

Breathable

Cons:

Expensive

Bulky and heavier than other gaiters

We previously had some Salomon gaiters here on our list, but we found the Rab Latok Alpine gaiters to replace them with. These are great for technical terrain and a great addition if you hit the trails often.

Read more

Comfort

These are one of the higher and bulky gaiters, so they are designed to take on tough terrain. They have a drawcord and a hook and loop closure for a comfortable and secure fit. Their under boot strap provides additional security and their overall design is perfect for cold and snowy conditions.

Appearance

They look bulky because they are designed for cold and snowy weather. These are meant to keep you protected and not to look stylish. They don't come in color or design patterns, so their standard colors are it.

Cost and Value

These are some of the more expensive gaiters on our list. If you won't be in snowy or extra technical terrain then these won't be your best bet. However, if their features meet your needs then they are some of the best out there.

8. Inov-8 Debris 32

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Inov-8 Debris 32
Amazon Link
Comfort
94
Durability
89
Protection
91
Style
84
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Keeps out everything from dust to stones

Slightly cheaper than other options on the market

More waterproof than most other gaiters

Cons:

Simplistic design, not very fashionable

Poor retention cord quality

These Inov-8 gaiters are excellent at keeping out stones, dirt, and debris, and are more waterproof than your average gaiters. Their clever water repellent treatment ensures that you stay dry in all but the very worst conditions. They are also very thick, which is great when you want to stay warm in cold conditions, but can mean that they leave your feet slightly too warm in hotter conditions. These gaiters come with one major flaw – the rubber cord which attaches them to the shoe is not very durable at all, and often snaps after very little use.

Read more

Comfort

These gaiters are very comfy and keep you quite warm. They’re nice and thick and provide plenty of coziness. They keep out all those annoying bits of debris and rock, which ensures a pleasant and comfortable run.

Appearance

They’re plain black, and hence subtle. But despite their strength, they do look a little floppy and flimsy. This means that they’re not particularly fashionable, which might be of significance to some.

Cost and value

This is perhaps the best option in terms of price. They are the cheapest on this list and do the job as well as any other. That said, they aren’t as reliable, so if you’re one of the unlucky ones, this could be one of those pesky examples of being dollar smart and penny stupid.

9. Gore-X

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Gore-X
Amazon Link
Comfort
86
Durability
85
Protection
82
Style
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$52.69
Pros:

Windstopper Membrane

Breathable

Flexible

Reflective features

Cons:

Aren't waterproof

Expensive

If you are looking for a stylish pair of gaiters, then these are not it. However, if you want effectiveness, durability, and something that will make you visible then the Gore-X gaiters certainly deliver.

Read more

Comfort

These gaiters are short and breathable. They feature a windstopper membrane that will help you take on whatever the weather throws your way and provide a secure and comfortable fit that will stay in place.

Appearance

These are not super stylish but they are lower in cut and look sleek and minimalistic. They have reflective features and are available in fluorescent color, so you know you will be visible to others.

Cost and value

These are slightly expensive and you can find more affordable as well as more expensive options. Overall, they are a great everyday pick.

10. Rab Scree

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
 Rab Scree
Amazon Link
Comfort
80
Durability
83
Protection
80
Style
83
Value
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.95
Pros:

They keep you cool and

Offers good breathability

Easy to use and to put on

Cons:

Intended more for debris protection than waterproofing

Somewhat pricey

These gaiters do all of the basic things well, but they don’t offer much in terms of waterproofing. They are a very light set of gaiters and provide very good breathability and flexibility to keep you cool, but at the expense of comfort. The tops of the gaiters are somewhat uncomfortable for some wearers as they can squeeze the ankles. They look fine and they are pretty easy to put on and take off, but if you happen to have slightly larger ankles, these might not be the best option for you.

Read more

Comfort

The main flaw here is comfort. They can be slightly tight and unpleasant if you have larger ankles. This is only an issue for a small portion of users but is of significance.

Appearance

These are plain and come in a nice grey color. Though they don’t have the subtlety or sleekness of other options, they still look pretty good.

Cost and value

These are a little on the steeper side, though they’re not a great deal more expensive than other options.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

The main reason running gaiters were created in the first place was to help you stay comfortable while you are on your runs. They are designs to keep our sand, rocks, and debris so your feet stay comfortable while you are out running your favorite trails or outdoor course! The goal of running gaiters is to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable run from start to finish each and every time.

Whether you are an experienced trail runner or you’re just getting started, trail running gaiters will become your new best friend. To help you make your selection, we have compiled a brief list of considerations to take into account. This type of specialized trail running equipment should not be selected randomly as they are each designed for specific uses. Before you head out to the great outdoors, let’s make sure that you are matched with just the right ones to suit your needs.

Many gaiters are made using synthetic materials. They might have a DWR ( durable water repellent) finish on the outside, with a breathable membrane inside, or have just the water repelling finish.

High gaiters offer a more protected feel for your lower leg. You will be better off with a high gaiter if you plan on running off trail or on a trail with lots of obstacles. Some gaiters will only provide a minimal profile.

Low cut running gaiters fit around your ankle. They are ideal in offering protection against dirt and pebbles, which might slip in as you run. They are perfect for running on a day when there is the possibility of it raining. They provide ample protection to the feet from the dirt and grime that are associated with trail runs and lowland rambling.

Gaiters used to be made using rubber, as this was the most effective at repelling water at the time. But with the numerous advancements in sporting fabrics and synthetics, running gaiters are now manufactured in a vast variety of manmade fabrics. These fabrics are based around artificial/synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon and Cardura. Running gaiters can now offer high levels of water repellency and great breathability while remaining lightweight.

The most common fabrics are eVent and Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is created with waterproof but breathable pores that keep moisture out while also letting moisture from inside your shoe escape. Perfect for gaiters that are likely to be used in a very moist climate and/or your feet sweat a lot. Typically all gaiters are efficiently designed to be weather resistant and offer protection while also having abrasion resistance.

Durability

Running gaiters need to be made tough and durable so they can hold up to those wooded trails and rough terrain. Most are made from tough stretchy materials that resist tears and punctures. So long as you use them properly and take care of them most running gaiters will last you a year or more so they are a great option for protecting your feet from debris!

All gaiters have some amount of abrasion resistance, providing a high degree of durability and protecting your gaiters from wear and tear. For instance, Inov-8’s Debris gaiter is known to have the lowest degree of resistance to abrasion, because the material used is softer and with sock-like features.

Here we also looked attachment points.This determines the gaiters compatibility with trail shoes. Most running gaiters have a strap which fits the outsole of the shoes. However, we have gaiters that are strapless. These types of gaiters will connect to the shoe in a variety of ways, using either fastening loops or hooks. For these types, you will need to get a shoe that is compatible to that particular type. It’s good to note that not every gaiter will fit into just any running shoe. It’s advised that before you buy a running gaiter you check its compatibility with your running shoes.

Protection

When it comes to protecting your feet from debris like rocks and dirt and sticks there are few pieces of running gear that will work as well as running gaiters! Because of their wrap-around design they will protect your feet and make great additions to any runner’s gear. If you want to protect your feet and have one less worry or distraction while running then try gaiters today!

As you may have read from our waterproof running shoes buying guide, water, dirt, and debris always manage to find a way into your shoes. The number one much-needed unwanted companions make their way in is through the top of your shoes. To add a much-needed layer of protection, manufacturers have developed gaiters of different shapes and sizes. Our buying guide is specific to trail running gaiters – it’s important to remember that hiking and snow-related gaiters are typically constructed with much thicker fabric, come up a lot higher up on the leg and are really about maximum protection. In contrast, trail running gaiters focus on breathability and range of motion; therefore they are constructed from a stretchable material that minimizes heat and water retention.

Every once in a while during your runs, you have to deal with the issue of stuff getting into your shoes, which is not only painful but also slows down your running. This is very common especially if you’re into trail running - it can be anything from dirt and rocks to snow and mud, so you have to make sure you're protected from all potential hazards. If it's “easy” trails you are running on, you might not need a trail running gaiter, but it will definitely help if you end up running off-trail on rougher terrain or through the woods, where the protection of a trail shoe alone won't be enough. Gaiters serve both to keep debris out of your shoes as well as to provide protection from branches or rocks that might scrape your legs.

It's really important we have an extra layer of protection from moisture and debris. If you know that dust and pebbles are going to be an issue then the decision is really a no-brainer. Better to use a gaiter than to have skin irritation or blisters.

Style

There are several styles available to choose from when it comes to running gaiters and many also have additional styling and color options to consider as well. There are many choices to consider on this list so think about your wants and needs and what will work best for your unique needs as well as what will fit your style and flare. You should have no trouble finding something that will work.

Cheap gaiters will have fastenings made with Velcro, while higher quality gaiters usually have closures that are zipped and covered using a storm flap. The zippers are typically anatomically curved to fit your body, and help to ensure that the gaiter can open and close easily. These also give you a more secure fit and feel when worn. Most gaiters are designed with a hook that is used to secure the gaiter around the front part of your shoes or boots. They are often elasticized around the ankle section of your foot to enhance the fit. At the top part, you will find a press type of stud fastening and a pull-cord with elastic properties for tightening the gaiter. The very best gaiters are of course usually the most expensive as well, and use a fastening buckle that of a click-lock style with an adjustable strap that prevents over the over-tightening which can occur with elastic styles.

Value

The final point to consider in your search for the best running gaiters for your outdoor trekking needs is their value. The value of any piece of running gear is a combination of the price you will pay for the product and the benefits you stand to gain. Investing a little more money into a quality product that lasts and that will serve you well is always a smart choice and is a good value investment.

Whether you are looking to buy the most affordable option or have a budget to purchase the most expensive gaiters out there, you will find that the value of your product goes beyond the price. If you are a trail runner, then you know how important the right running shoe is--and once you find the perfect pair for yourself you will want to protect them and make sure you get the most out of them.

The best trail running gaiters will not only protect your feet and legs, but they will also protect your shoes further and prevent them from getting damaged by unexpected outdoor elements--we can never know what we will encounter. Regardless of your budget, you are going to want gaiters that cover your needs and protect you and your shoes.

When looking at the value we looked at the price and compared it to the features it offers--is it waterproof, water-resistant, secure, etc. We also took a look at what actual users had to say after utilizing them for a period of time. The value we gave each product is based on our overall assessment and, while it does consider it, the price is not the sole factor taken into account.

While you narrow down your choices, we encourage you to take a look and consider our value rating, however, we also want you to know that you need to apply it to your own needs. If you see that a gaiter designed for snowy conditions is highly rated in the value department but if you live in South Florida, then you probably won't find much value in the product. We assess the products as a whole and don't categorize them for specific environments, climates, etc.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Durability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Protection
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Value
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Think about gaiters.

If your a adamant hiker, rock climber, or even going just down the trail with water proof
or really durable boots we all know rocks, water, dust and debris always find a way of sneaking
in the shoe and causing discomfort. Check out some gaiters to solve this issue.

Information is key

Think about what adventure or activity is coming next to figure our which gaiter you need.
Weather its how tall you want them or what features may benefit you the most.
A little research does a long way,

Invest in quality

Whenever you can, make an investment in quality products over finding the cheapest option available. You will pay a little more but it will more than pay for itself with function and durability. Saving a few dollars at the start sounds good but when you are buying replacing gaiters more often because they are wearing out faster, you really are spending more than you would have if you have invested in quality from the start! So, whenever you can, invest those extra dollars into a good quality product right from the start!

Consider personal needs

Deciding what running gaiter is right for you and how much you want to invest in one can be a challenge for some runners, so think about your personal needs, wants, and habits. If you do a lot of running where a gaiter would be beneficial then you will want to invest in a quality product that will hold up well to a lot of use and that will serve your needs. However, if you are doing only occasional trail runs or need running gaiters for only occasional runs in the woods or on trails then you may not need to invest as much. A basic running gaiter can help you deal with the occasional run where rocks or dirt might be an issue. Considering your habits and what your individual needs are can help you avoid paying too much or too little for your running gaiters!

Other Factors to Consider

Terrain

The first thing to consider when making your selection is what type of environment and weather conditions you will you be running in. If you are dealing with a dry trail then you’re going to want an option that is lightweight and extremely breathable, preferably with a “one strap application” that make them easy to put on and take off. This way you can get the maximum amount of protection from rocks, pebbles, and all forms of dust without having too much weight added to your feet. However, if you know that you are going to be coming across water and mud on your trail then you will definitely want to select a gaiter that features waterproof material. You will find that the right waterproof gaiter, when utilized with a solid waterproof running shoe, will keep your feet nice and dry when you are dealing with Mother Nature.

If you want to run in snowy weather, or when it’s wet, raining, or muddy, you’ll need to get a running gaiter that matches the weather resistance capabilities you need. Gaiters with weather resistant features will keep water from reaching the inner sections of your sneakers and shoes while also helping keep your feet warm and dry.

Size

Most gaiters will have a hook or a zip, together with a loop opening, and draw cords which seal out any dirt and moisture. The hook and loop can get dirty with time, and ought to be cleaned regularly while the zips will also require care to avoid getting stuck or waterlogged. Elastic is normally favored, be it built in elastic with a hidden frame, or a system that is of a toggle cord type. This system enables plenty of natural flexibility while also being very secure. Some have built in storm flaps, and it’s easy to choose the degree of the protection that fits your needs. Most gaiters will weigh between 100g – 150g, though weight is usually not a major factor since most gaiters are very lightweight.

Comfort

When wearing gaiters during running, we want comfort. To get a good level of comfort, be selective regarding the design of your gaiters and the materials used for the construction.

If you are running in tough environmental conditions you will need to factor in durability along with protection. Look for materials which can withstand very tough wet weather conditions. For fit you should also consider adjustability because at times we wear thin running pants/socks and other times we wear thicker, you will need to look for gaiters which can easily adjust to ensure protective fit.

Not all running environments cause problems with the entry of dirt and scratchy grit but if this is where you run, look for features which secure protection to prevent entry. Many runners choose to wear gaiters in direct contact with the skin and ankle area and this means choosing gaiters where the inner lining is comfortable against the skin with causing rubbing and friction.

Whichever pair you choose, keep in mind that protection and comfort are paramount and it is smart to look for features which support your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Q: I run using rain pants in the city, no trails at all. My shoes and socks still get wet. Are gaiters a possible solution?

a:

A: They are definitely a possible solution. It’s a good point to make that these can be used for running in the rain, even if you never leave the pavement. They will keep your feet and socks nice and dry while protecting the investment you made in your running shoes. Pro tip: go for a low gaiter and wear them under your rain pants, not over. This will create a better waterproof seal.

q: Q: What’s the best fabric to consider when selecting a waterproof gaiter?

a:

A: Gore-Tex is still the name to be trusted in waterproofing that also gives great breathability. That being said, gaiters with water repellent sprayed on also work well, but must be cleaned more often.

q: Q: What type of maintenance is required when owning a pair of gaiters?

a:

A: Not a whole lot, make sure you air dry them overnight and keep them free of any dust and debris that can negatively affect the breathability of the fabric or operation of the various closures and attachment points.

q: Q: Can I use my trail gaiters when I go hiking in the woods?

a:

A: Most people wouldn’t. In the woods, you will be dealing with high weeds and brush. Hiking gaiters are taller and thicker to give you the protection that you need. Conversely, you wouldn’t want to run in hiking gaiters.

q: Q: My trail shoes have an integrated gaiter, so I don’t really need them. Right?

a:

A: Think again. Having a separate gaiter is an additional layer of protection that acts as your first line of defense. This means that you won’t have to dry out your shoes as much after wet runs. Without them if you want to run on back to back days, you’re going to either need another pair of trail running shoes, or deal with wet and uncomfortable feet.

q: Q: Do I need more than one running gaiter if I only have one pair of running shoes?

a:

You can get away with one set of running gaiters. After all you can only wear one per shoe at a time! However, you may want to think about buying several to have on hand as back ups and replacements. This way you are prepared for when the time comes to change out your old running gaiters for new ones or you will be ready if you ever end up needing them for your everyday shoes. Once you find running gaiters you like we advise buying at least one additional pair so you have them on hand and are not caught off guard when the time comes to replace them.

q: Q: How do I wash my gaiters?

a:

This will depend largely on what materials they are made from and how they are designed. In general, spot cleaning and wiping them down after each run is a good way to keep them clean and in good shape. If they need a deep clean it is usually best to wash by hand and then air dried rather than in a washing machine and dried in a dryer so they do not get stretched out of shape too badly.