In Praise of the humble Gaiter
This is a short piece about a small, regularly overlooked item of equipment that could make a big difference to your enjoyment of a day on the hills. It will certainly make a difference to the life and utility of your waterproof boots.
The items in question are the gaiters that cover your lower legs and the tops of your boots. Not to be confused with Gators. If the latter are covering your lower legs then you have way too many problems to count.
The problem with keeping walking boots waterproof is that they have somehow, to be usable by human beings and human beings are a damn nuisance. We want to easily put our irregularly shaped feet into our boots and so we end up with a great big hole in the top which is the ideal entry point for feet but also for water, snow, grit, pebbles and muck. Water in any form softens and chills the feet and makes the inside of your boots smellier than they have to be. Stones, dirt and grit inside a boot are uncomfortable and will grind holes in the waterproof lining pretty quickly thus shortening their effective life.
Short of permanently bonding our feet into our shoes we need a way to cover this hole so that the debris of the day doesn’t pour in.
Gaiters are the highly effective, low tech and low cost solution.
Gaiters are short fabric sle