Slipping your boots into a fresh pair of walking gaiters before heading out on a hike in the wet or snowy weather is one of the best feelings before heading outdoors.
Top 5 best walking gaiters for UK hiking
Despite being an inexpensive accessory, gaiters for walking are one of the best investments that we think any serious hiker should make.
The simple, often GoreTex, designs are fantastic for increasing comfort and protection on a walk, preventing moisture and dirt from making their way into your boots. From ankle gaiters to full-length options, there’s a wide range of different options available for hikers to choose from.
Check out everything you need to know about walking gaiters and our top suggestions for buying when heading out for a hike in the UK.
What are walking gaiters?
Gaiters are a popular hiking accessory and are something that we recommend that all UK hikers invest in, especially when heading out in the winter months.
Gaiters are primarily used as an extra line of defence against dirt, rocks, snow and water when hiking, offering protection between the ankle and the lower leg.
Gaiters are great for preventing rocks and moisture from making their way into your boots, ultimately resulting in an uncomfortable walk with wet or blistered feet. But these funny little fabric shin pads really come into their own when crossing streams, navigating marshy/boggy land and hiking in the snow.
The fabric protection, often constructed from Gore-Tex, keeps the water and snow from seeping in whilst offering top breathability to avoid those awful sweaty legs. Ultimately, we would always recommend that every UK hiker purchases at least a budget set of gaiters and packs them in their walking rucksack for that time when they really need them.
The two different types of walking gaiters
There are two main types of gaiters that hikers will find themselves deciding between when purchasing their first pair: ankle and full-length gaiters.
Ankle gaiters are designed to cover, you guessed it, the ankle and are the most common type of walking gaiter for spring/summer hikes.
These are less restrictive than the full-length alternative but also offer less protection. As a general rule, ankle gaiters are only used in fair weather on less technical/challenging terrain.
The full-length gaiters are the classic style that the majority of hikers tend to opt for when making a purchase.
As the name suggests, these gaiters cover the full length from the ankle to below the knee, protecting the lower leg entirely. These are great for crossing streams, hiking in the snow and working through boggy ground thanks to their large area of protection.
The best walking gaiters by category:
Searching for a summary about the best gaiters for walking and hiking in the UK? Check out our favourite waterproof options by category below:
1. Unigear Unisex Gaiters
The Unigear Gaiters are our favourite option for those looking for a budget pair of gaiters that won’t break the bank.
The Unigear gaiters offer UK walkers a full-height gaiter with a water-resistant design used to protect the legs, ankles and boots from wet weather and cold conditions. Although a Gore-Tex design is not used by the Gaiters, a 1000D Nylon treated with water repellent spray is used as a substitute. This allows the Unigear gaiters to boast a waterproof rating of >8000mm.
The gaiters are available in sizes S – XXL and feature an ergonomic design and multiple adjustment areas. A top buckle can be used to tighten the gaiters to the leg and an adjustable under-boot strap is used to guarantee the perfect fit.
- Water-resistant design with reinforced TPU sections
- Fully adjustable with sizes S – XXL
- Waterproof rating of >8000mm
- Budget-friendly gaiter option
- Gore-Tex is not used as the main construction material
- Sizes: S – XXL
- Sex: Unisex
2. Rab Muztag GTX Gaiters
The Rab Muztag GTX Gaiters are the most technical gaiters available in the Rab family, offering supreme protection in harsh environments.
The Gore-Tex Pro material is the star of the show giving a 3-layer construction that is not only totally waterproof but windproof and breathable. The moving parts are kept to a minimum with a snag-free elasticated ankle that makes putting on and removing the gaiters a seamless dream.
The Rab gaiters are reinforced with uber-tough 300D nylon, offering protection from impact with hard rock, ice, and the dreaded points of crampons and microspikes. These are the perfect gaiter to slip over your hiking boots when taking on those steep and challenging ascents in the wettest of conditions.
- Tough GORE-TEX Pro material
- Fully waterproof and highly breathability
- Most technical gaiter in the Rab lineup
- Available in both black and red
- Minimal sizing options
- Sizing: M to L
- Sex: Men’s and women’s
3. Berghaus Yeti Attak II Gaiters
The Berghaus Yeti Attak II are some of the most popular Gaiters available to walkers and hikers in the UK today.
Although these are some of the most expensive walking gaiters on our list, the Berghaus Yeti gaiters are a fantastic investment for any serious hiker. There’s a waterproof and highly breathable Gore-Tex construction and, unlike other gaiters, these cover the entire boots from tip to heel.
To secure the gaiters to a pair of walking boots, wearers will find a full front hook and loop storm flap complete with an adjustable drawcord for a snug fit. This is not only great for keeping the elements out, but offers a super comfortable wearing experience.
- Durable waterproof Gore-Tex design
- Fully windproof
- Highly breathable
- Unisex gaiters with sizes XS to 3XL
- Tricky to fit and remove
- High price point
- Sizing: XS to 3XL
- Sex: Unisex
4. Trekmates Glenmore GTX Ankle Gaiter
The Trekmates Glenmore GTX Ankle Gaiters are our top pick for the simple ankle gaiter used over the typical walking or hiking boot.
The gaiters are a fantastic, low-height solution to protecting the ankles and feet from all of the weather and the terrain that the UK can throw at them. Thanks to their ankle-only support, the Trekmates Glenmore gaiters are lightweight and great for covering longer distances without the worry of additional bulk to cart around.
Alongside the Gore-Tex upper panels, the gaiters make use of reinforcements in the lower sections. This is great for preventing moisture ingress and adds an extra layer of protection against hazards – especially when wearing microspikes in the winter.
- Waterproof Gore-Tex construction
- Adjustable, durable bootstrap
- Lightweight and unobtrusive
- Reinforced for additional ankle protection
- Not as much protection offered as a full-length gaiter
- Sizing: One size
- Sex: Unisex
5. Extremities Nova Gaiter
The Extremities Nova Gaiter is a full-length walking gaiter at a sensible price point that is perfect for UK adventures.
The gaiters opt for a Gore-Tex XCR upper, offering a breathable and fully waterproof design that is both ideal for those rainy days as well as those snowy ones. Additional reinforcement is offered with 1000 denier Cordura around the ankle for additional support and durability in those high-wear areas.
Although only available in two sizes (S-M and L-XL), the Extremities Nova Gaiter offer a high level of adjustability with the additional benefit of an easy front entry via velcro. This is great not only to prevent moisture from making its way in but for ease of use when putting on or taking off these gaiters.
- GoreTex XCR upper construction
- Excellent breathability and waterproofing
- Highly adjustable with additional front entry
- Durable stainless steel hardware
- Tricky to fit and remove
- Sizing: S-M, L-XL
- Sex: Unisex
FAQ: The best walking gaiters for hiking in the UK
Have a gaiter-related question that you’re searching for the answer for? Check out our FAQ below and (hopefully) we can come to your gaiter-aid!
Gaiters are primarily used for the protection of the lower legs, ankles and boots when walking or hiking.
Gaiters protect from a number of different hazards including debris and rogue crampon spikes, but they are primarily used for walking through snow or boggy/sodden land.
Gaiters should be worn over the walking boot or trail shoes and are often secured by an elastic strap that sits within the arch of the sole.
Each pair of gaiters differ slightly in the way that they are designed, but the majority will offer some form of fastening to allow them to be pulled on easily.
The best gaiters are typically those suited to the task at hand and although it can be difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer, we would opt for the Rab Muztag Gaiters for the majority of purposes.
To clean a pair of gaiters after a particularly eventful adventure any chunks or flecks of dirt can simply be brushed off before using a coarse sponge and warm water to clean the material.
Once complete, the gaiters should be left to dry naturally. Don’t attempt to put them in the washer or dryer!
If you’re unlucky enough to still be searching for the answers to your question don’t hesitate to reach out to us on either our socials or via email.