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This article will take you through the best cross-country ski gaiters available to ensure your feet stay dry and snow-free during the whole skiing experience.
8 Best Leg Gaiters for Cross-Country Skiing
1. Black Diamond GTX FrontPoint Gaiters
The Black Diamond Gaiters offer knee-length coverage and weigh around 9 ounces. They feature Gore-Tex-lined nylon uppers, which provide water-resisting properties. Coupled with the nylon lowers, these tear-resistant gaiters effectively resist water and ice absorption.
Overall, these gaiters have a sculpted fit and an adjustable design. They are equipped with front-entry Velcro band closure, making it super easy to slip in and out of them quickly.
However, these gaiters aren’t as wind resistant as the other products on this list and are not the best option for muddy hikes.
2. Outdoor Research Men’s Expedition Crocodile Gaiters
These gaiters are designed to ensure a snug fit and are waterproof and windproof. They have a nylon upper construction and feature Cordura components that add to their durability. These features come extremely helpful when ski touring or backcountry skiing.
Furthermore, these gaiters feature reinforced lace hooks and instep straps to secure the unit to your cross-country ski boots. Meanwhile, the triple-bar tracked webbing adds to the durability. These gaiters are designed for ski and hiking boots, trail runners, 3-season mountaineering boots, and double-shell plastic boots.
A drawback of these gaiters is that getting the right size is a bit of a hassle as the sizing chart is confusing. But otherwise, they make for good skiing companions.
- WATERPROOF AND WINDPROOF: Strap these rugged gaiters to your shoes or boots for ultimate trail protection. Rain, snow, mud, and dirt are kept on the trail and out of your boots. Stay warm and dry in all elements thanks to the laminated construction.
- VERSATILE EQUIPMENT: With a larger circumference to accommodate plastic mountaineering boots, these are the perfect companion for alpine expeditions. They also can be used for hiking, running, hunting, fishing, backpacking, camping, and walking …
3. Outdoor Research Men’s Helium Gaiters
These gaiters have a low-profile design with durable and lightweight helium fabric construction. They feature Pertex Diamond fuse technology, which adds abrasion resistance without the extra weight. They also have replaceable instep straps so you can secure the bottom edge of the gaiter around your boots.
Furthermore, the lightweight and compact design makes them easy to travel with. Just keep them in your pocket when you’re not using them!
One thing, though, is that consumers found that the Velcro on these gaiters could be made wider for convenience.
- HIKING LEG GAITERS: Whether you are a hiker or an enthusiastic backpacker, these Helium hiking leg gaiters from Outdoor Research protect your feet in extreme weather conditions at all costs. They are ideal to pair with hiking pants or snow boots for long periods of comfort.
- DURABLE FABRIC: These lightweight boot gaiters for men features an upper leg panel made of Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse 2.5L bluesign approved 30D ripstop 100% nylon and a foot panel that is fabricated from 420D 100% nylon with PU coating for extra durability …
4. Tubbs Gaiters for Men
These gaiters have a full-length design and nylon construction which makes them moisture-resistant. They are breathable while effectively keeping moisture and snow out of your boots.
The Tubbs gaiters keep your feet and socks dry, ensuring a comfortable cross-country skiing experience even in the harshest winter conditions.
They come with straps to adjust the diameter according to your calf size.
However, customers have pointed out that the strap quality needs improvement to ensure extended usage and durability. Overall, these gaiters are easy to buckle and offer great value for money.
5. RAB Latok GTX Waterproof Gore-tex Gaiter for Hiking and Mountaineering
The RAB Latok gaiter features Gore-tex hard-wearing waterproofing. It is compatible with B3 mountain boots and conveniently fits even large mountain boots. This unit has a reinforced ankle with extra-tough nylon along the lower half, effectively protecting against sharp crampons.
This unit has a hook and loop closure instead of the standard zipper to make it easy to wear and take off, even with gloves.
It is designed for nordic ski, hiking and single mountaineering boots. However, the product is not suitable for use with double mountaineering boots. It works well in normal conditions but will quickly show signs of tear under harsh conditions.
- Rugged Coverage for the Alpine | Made from tough fabric, this waterproof gaiter is built to keep snow and scree out of your mountaineering boots.
- GORE-TEX PRO Most Rugged | GORE-TEX’s hard-wearing waterproofing with increased strength for protection in harsh mountain environments.
- Reinforced Ankle | Extra tough 300D nylon around the lower half of the gaiter guards against sharp crampons …
6. Vinqliq Durable Leg Gaiters for Men and Women
These Vinqliq gaiters use breathable yet waterproof nylon fabric and weigh around 7 ounces. They are best for cross-country skiing and hiking trips. These gaiters feature a top strap, instep strap, and a bootlace hook so you can conveniently adjust them to your size.
However, the sizing for these gaiters is a bit confusing. Customers usually go for a size up to get the right fit. Overall, they are breathable, comfortable, and do a fine job preventing snow and debris from entering your footwear.
- Upper Leg：160D Nylon Three-Dimensional Breathable Waterproof Fabric, Waterproof 5000/5000g/m²*24h; Lower Leg: 1000D Ultra-Durable & Abrasion Resistant Anti-Tear Nylon Fabric, Waterproof 3000mm.
- Dual Locks For Front Closure, Use Durable Adjustable DURAFLAX Buckle At Top And Front Opening Velcro Zipper; Metal Reinforced Boot Lace Hook …
7. Extremus Buckwell Waterproof Leg Gaiters
The Exremus Buckwell leg gaiters have a waterproof and breathable construction. The upper part is made from premium three-layer fabric designed with Talson laminated with a TPU membrane and reinforced with poly tricot. Meanwhile, the lower part has a durable nylon construction.
One negative aspect of these gaiters is their noisiness, making them unsuitable for hunting. However, they are excellent for skiing, hiking and snowmobiling.
- KEY FEATURES: Ultralight(3.6oz) hiking gaiters - Waterproof and breathable 3-layer construction for the upper section - Super sturdy waterproof 1000D nylon lower section - Adjustable 2-inch wide high-quality hook & loop– Durable TPU instep strap – Solid color and Prym1 Camo
- SOFT&WATERPROOF: Extremus hiking gaiter’s upper parts are made of premium soft 3-layers fabric that is constructed by waterproof Taslon fabric, laminated with breathable TPU membrane, and reinforced by pliable poly tricot to insure waterproof function, wick away sweat, and maintain breathability, especially when hiking on a humid morning …
8. Rossignol Unisex Nordic Gaiter
These unisex gaiters have a lightweight design and nylon construction. They keep out any snow and debris from your footwear by completely surrounding them. They are excellent for skiing and snow sports as they provide warmth and comfort to your feet while keeping excessive moisture out. However, a major drawback of these gaiters is how expensive they are.
What Are Leg Gaiters For?
No matter how waterproof or snowproof your cross-country ski boots are, ice, pebbles, dust, and dirt always find a way to sneak into your boots. This is where gaiters come in handy.
There are several types of gaiters on the market, but they all serve the same purpose. Gaiters are primarily used for cross-country skiing, mountaineering, hiking, etc.
How to Choose Gaiters for Skiing and Snowshoeing
1. Types of Gaiters by Height
Gaiters are of different types depending upon the amount of coverage they offer. The one you choose should be according to the conditions you plan to use them in and the level of protection you want.
These have a low height and are meant for tail running and hiking. If your main goal is to keep pebbles and light debris out of your footwear, these are the best option.
Generally, their height is between 8 to 12 inches. These are best for normal and less extreme conditions where the goal is to keep rail debris and rain out of your footwear.
These can be 15 to 18 inches tall and are built to provide protection in harsh weather conditions. However, they restrict more airflow than shorter gaiters and are hotter. So they are only suitable for extreme snow conditions where you need all the protection you can get.
Snow, debris and dirt will get into your footwear if a gaiter doesn’t fit snuggly, defeating its very purpose. Most gaiter sizes align with boot sizes. So try to match the gaiter to your boot size to find the one that fits you best easily.
This is an essential feature for gaiters, especially if you use them for skiing and other mountain or snow sports. It will keep the moisture and snow out, keeping your boots dry and allowing you to enjoy your sport in comfort.
Gaiters are made of different fabrics to serve various purposes and weather conditions. Depending on your needs, choose one that works well in your area’s weather conditions. Here are some materials you should keep an eye out for when purchasing gaiters:
Neoprene is a flexible and durable material that provides a good fit around your leg and keeps the debris out.
Nylon is a commonly used fabric for making gaiters. Nylon gaiters are lightweight and usually coated with poly-urethane. They are best for short hikes and fast pacing in snow and sand.
This stretchy and flexible fabric offers a decent amount of weather protection as it is water-resistant.
Breathability is essential for gaiters being used in wet conditions. Gaiters intended for long trips should be breathable, so they remain comfortable throughout.
6. Abrasion Resistance
Some gaiters use abrasion-resistant fabrics such as Cordura to increase the toughness and durability. These work well in harsh and extreme weather conditions.
7. Straps and Hooks
Straps secure the edge of your gaiter to your boot’s instep. Standard gaiters have lace straps, whereas expensive ones feature premium leather straps. Hooks attach the boot laces to the gaiter to add security, and only some gaiter models offer them.