Best Trail Running Gaiters


If you’re familiar with the joy of running down a slope of soft scree, you know that once you get to the bottom, you will need to sit and remove any debris from your shoes before continuing on your journey. Running downhill on soft scree is a common experience for runners on the U.S. Pacific Northwest’s crumbly volcanoes, for example. When you reach the bottom of the slope, you’ll likely need to take a moment to clear debris from your shoes before continuing on your journey. crumbly volcanoes, for example. When you reach the bottom of the slope, you’ll likely need to take a moment to clear debris from your shoes before continuing on your journey.

This can be frustrating when you’re trying to get in a good run, and have to keep stopping to empty out your shoes. There’s nothing quite as irritating as a pebble in your shoe, or the constant friction of dirt and dust. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to blisters. If you are a runner, you know how important it is to have the right gear. Running gaiters can make a big difference in saving time, increasing comfort, and protecting your feet for the miles ahead. They help keep debris and dirt out of your shoes, and they also help prevent blisters. In addition, running gaiters can provide extra warmth on cold days.

While traditional gaiters are designed for use while hiking and mountaineering, running gaiters are specifically designed to keep debris and dirt out of the shoes or boots of runners. They are typically lighter weight and less bulky than other types of gaiters, and they only cover the top of the shoe and ankle. Running gaiters are not entirely waterproof but it is resistant to water, more breathable and still provide protection against wet conditions. If you frequently run off-trail or in unfavorable conditions, gaiters could be a worthwhile addition to your gear. Gaiters protect your shoes and socks from mud, debris, and water, while also being breathable to prevent overheating.

There are many different types of running gaiters available, each designed for specific purposes and conditions. Some are made from different materials, some have different styles, some fit differently, and some attach to your shoes in different ways. The best running gaiter for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Below, we’ve gathered the best running gaiters available to help you choose the right pair for your needs.

1. FK Gaiter

Designing running gear strictly for runners, Ultimate Direction provides the perfect products to help you succeed in your next race. No matter what kind of runner you are, this is a must-have. At the top of our list are these gaiters, which are designed and constructed for security, durability, and easy closure. These gaiters are easy to put on and take off, thanks to the durable instep strap with several length options, a front hook, and a wide hook-and-loop band on the side.

These awesome gaiters provide a snug fit for a range of shoes, from more minimal trail shoes to the full-squish maximalist models. These gear are also perfect for any adventure, as they stay secure through the ankle and are made of highly abrasion-resistant Cordura.

2. Trail Gaiter

These lightweight, breathable gaiters are just what you need to keep your feet protected on your next run. They weigh only 2.6 ounces per pair and are designed to fit snugly without an under-shoe strap. So long as you have a gaiter trap in the back and a place to hook the front, these gaiters will stay securely in place. You can take your shoes on and off without having to remove your gaiters, although you will want to make sure the back security is in place since there is no bottom strap.

If your shoes don’t have the hook-and-loop at the heel, the gaiters come with a spare adhesive strip that can be applied to the shoe. Just be sure your shoes are clean before applying, or the adhesive won’t last.

3. Swiftland Running Gaiters

The REI Swiftland Running Gaiters are available in four sizes. The small size has a length of 6.25 inches, while the XL size has a length of 7 inches. There is a generous range of dimensions between the different sizes to choose from to ensure a comfortable and customized fit.

These gaiters have a lace hook that links to either a lace ring or the bottommost row of laces, plus an elastic cord that slides between the lugs on the outsole. With a toggle cord along the bottom to cinch shut and a silicone grip ring on the top to help keep them in place, these gaiters are designed to stay put.

4. Trail Gaiter — High

These open-topped gaiters wrap around your ankle and secure with a hook-and-loop fastening on the side, instead of encasing your foot in a tube. This gives you loads of adjustment opportunities, which means you can get the gaiters and your shoes on and off independently of one another. This is really convenient if you need to take your shoes off for any reason, or if you need to adjust your gaiters without taking your shoes off.

We also love that the padded upper protects your feet from getting scratched by underbrush, but wish there were more options for securing these gaiters to your shoes beyond the under-shoe strap

5. Running Gaiters

If you’re looking for a pair of gaiters that are both affordable and stylish, look no further than Dirty Girl Gaiters. These gaiters come in a wide range of colors and patterns – from foxes to donuts – and are sure to turn heads out on the trail. Plus, they’re extremely easy to use, making them a great choice for long-distance hikers and runners.

We also are big fans of the size range for these gaiters, which goes from XS (women’s 6-7) to “Dang” (men’s 13.5+, with a calf circumference of up to 12.5 inches). It’s great that there is something for everyone! These gaiters are also some of the lightest on the market and weigh less than 2 ounces per pair.

The low weight of this product means that it has smaller attachment points and does not have any side-closure features. Keep this in mind when making your purchase.

6. INSTAgaiter Low Gaiters

Kahtoola knows a thing or two about rugged trails, which is why their traction devices are some of the best on the market. If you’re looking for something to protect your ankles while running on trails, consider a pair of these durable and abrasion-resistant gaiters. They’ll keep debris out of your shoes and let you focus on the task at hand.

They have a full-length side zipper for easy removal, plus an instep strap and front hook to keep them securely in place. These gaiters from Kahtoola are a little shorter than some of the others on this list, but they come in taller sizes if you need more coverage.

7. Go-Long Gaiter

It doesn’t always have to be super technical! These fun gaiters are perfect for a laid-back excursion and come in an array of different eye-catching graphics. We adore these for easy in-town trails or murky after-work adventures.

The Wapiti Designs Go-Long Gaiters are designed to slide over your foot and have a hook-and-loop patch in the back for additional stability. They also come with an additional patch for your shoe and have a small front hook similar to the Dirty Girl gaiters. These gaiters don’t have any side closures, making them easy to keep clean and adjust. Their fun and vibrant socks come in two sizes to fit a wide range of people!

8. All-Terrain Gaiter

These gaiters are made from polyester, which makes them more water-resistant than others on this list. When it rains, the last thing you want is wet socks. But with these versatile gaiters, your feet will stay dry no matter the weather. The top cuff acts as a sort of sock, while the bottom part protects your shoes and legs from splashes. So you can focus on your run, not your soggy feet. This is especially important in cold weather when you want to keep as much warmth in as possible. The topmost clips on the gaiters can be attached to the shoes themselves, and the gaiters also come with a durable strap that goes around the bottom of the shoe for added security.

The addition of nylon to these bottoms helps with softness and elasticity, but they won’t feel quite as soft or stretchy as other models.

9. LEVAgaiter Mid GTX

These gaiters are designed for runners who want to enjoy cold, sloppy conditions without sacrificing protection. By combining features of both running and winter gaiters, they provide the best of both worlds. Whether you’re traversing snow-covered trails or avoiding puddles on city streets, these gaiters will keep you comfortable and dry. The angled full-side zip on these gaiters helps prevent your skin from rubbing with each step and also helps keep your socks dry when putting them on and taking them off. The gaiters can tighten at the top with a shock cord, but they don’t stay up quite as well as more elastic models.

Although the material is fully waterproof, snow and slush can still seep in from the top or bottom. This is because Gore-Tex is not impermeable, meaning that small amounts of water vapor can pass through the fabric.

10. Waterproof Shoe Gaiters

The Triwonder gaiters are designed to protect your shoes and socks from mud and debris when you’re out on the trail. They have a hook-and-loop closure that keeps them securely in place, and they’re made of durable fabric that can stand up to the elements. The design of the gaiter makes it convenient to take on and off, as well as highly adjustable. The wide instep strap and reinforced lace hook work together to provide a secure and comfortable fit for all users. The gaiter has extra stitching around the edge to make sure it stays snug and comfortable on your face.

These gaiters are just as good as the name-brand competition, but they are slightly shorter in circumference. If you plan on wearing them with boots, consider sizing them up.

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