There are some pieces of gear you wish you had added earlier than later. Several years ago I wish I had found the right pair of hiking boots faster. I stuck it out with a pair for two seasons before finding the right pair for me.
In the last couple of years I had entertained the idea of gaiters. When in the rain I would become frustrated at having wet feet in Gore-Tex boots while wearing rain pants. I swore it was my boots leaking. It wasn’t until I was with an English chap talking about it in the rain when he suggested I try gaiters.
I always felt they looked cumbersome. Though I never tried them on. After speaking with him I realized it was ridiculous not to give it a try.
There are no shortage of companies who offer gaiters. There are several varieties. The differences are on ruggedness/abrasion resistance and height on the leg. Outdoor Research breaks theirs into three categories: Expedition Gaiters (mountaineering), Alpine Gaiters (hiking), and Trail Gaiters (trail running).
As the article title suggests, I felt the Outdoor Research – Crocodile Gaiters were my best fit.
The Crocodile Gaiters are described as knee high, Gore-Tex waterproof breathable laminate, with lace hook, with the upper portion being a 3-layer Gore-Tex/nylon.
The quality of construction is evident when you first get them. The stitching is doubled where needed and the choice of material is of high quality. The Velcro closure is wide and gives consistent adhesion. The boot strap hook is long enough but not too long.
When wearing them they are comfortable. You forget they are on. The gaiters do no fall down your legs as you hike, run, or move about.
When pairing them with layers and rain gear I have found them to be excellent for winter hikes. The gaiters keep the snow from creeping up my pant legs into my socks. They also protect the tongue of the boots from excessive water intrusion.
During summer months wearing them when walking through tall grass and brush has been exceptionally helpful in keeping pants from tears and abrasions.
These have been a great addition to my hiking gear. I love how they wear and function.
Outdoor Research-Crocodile Gaiters are an excellent product. Their quality and dependability seems to set the bar for their competitors. If you look online, don’t be surprised to find people owning the same pair for over 20 years.
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