have been chosen as the best trail running gaiters and have already won a customer’s heart.
Trail running is all about getting muddy. When you leave the pavement behind, you’ll encounter rocks, dirt, mud, sand, and water on your run. While most trail runners like the path’s natural components, too much mud, trash, or rain can be problematic. You want to make sure that pebbles, sand, mud, and even snow don’t get into your shoes and create blisters or pain when you’re running on the route.
On the trails, gaiters are a great addition to have. They protect your legs from all of the mud and gravel you could walk on during a run, as well as ticks and other insects creeping up into your shoes. It might be difficult to decide which one is right for you because they come in so many different styles.
The running gaiter, a piece of fabric that covers the opening of your trail shoe to keep undesirable objects out, comes into play. Trail running gaiters are a vital component of trail running equipment because they protect you from debris, keep pebbles and dirt out of your shoes, keep water out of your shoes, and keep you dry.
Of course, the running gaiter must function properly, so conduct your homework to determine best trail running gaiters is perfect for you. Here’s how to pick the perfect pair!
- Best Trail Running Gaters of 2023
- Ultimate Direction FK Gaiter
- Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hybrid Gaiters
- Outdoor Research Ferrosi Thru Gaiters
- Kahtooka Connect Gaiter Mid
- Altra Trail Gaiters
BEST TRAIL RUNNING GAITERS in a Nutshell:
Best Overall: Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low
Most Adjustable: Ultimate Direction FK Gaiter
Top Lightweight: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hybrid Gaiters
Most Versatile: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Thru Gaiters
Best for Snow&Ice: Kahtoola Research Ferrosi Thru Gaiters
Best for Altras: Altra Trail Gaiters
TRAIL RUNNING GAITERS – COMPLETE BUYERS GUIDE
You need to know what to look for in trail running gaiters if you want to invest in them. Check out our fast buyer’s guide to assist you in finding the best trail running gaiters for you.
Height: Low, Medium, and High
Gaiters come in three different heights, so the first step is to figure out which one is right for you.
Are you content with a low-profile gaiter that only serves to protect your shoes from dirt, dust, and water?
Would you like a gaiter that is mid-height and provides a little more protection? High gaiters are typically worn in heavy snow or when going across rugged terrain, but if you want the most protection, a high gaiter will suffice. Keep in mind that you’ll need to think about your comfort as well. For most people, a low gaiter is more comfortable than a high one, so it’s a good idea to experiment with several heights before settling on one.
To ensure a proper fit, the gaiter you purchase should be able to readily adapt to your shoes and ankle. It won’t be able to accomplish its function correctly if it doesn’t fit to the contour of your shoe.
When you’re shopping, make sure you try it on correctly. Adjust it the same way you would if you were getting ready to go hiking. It gets thumbs up if it fits properly and can be modified to your requirements.
The gaiter’s fabric should be long-lasting and, if feasible, water-resistant. If you run in a puddle or go for a run in the snow, water-resistant fabric will preserve your shoes and feet.
Points of Attachment
To keep your gaiter from slipping off while on the trail, it must be attached to your shoes. Check that the attachment points fit comfortably over your shoe. It should mould to your foot, not bulge in odd places, and be easy to put on.
Compatibility of Shoes
Some gaiters are designed to fit specific shoes. An Altra gaiter, for example, will fit well on an Altra shoe, but if you wear a different shoe brand, it will most likely not fit as well.
Check to see whether your shoe company produces its own gaiters. If not, universal fit gaiters are available, but be sure you’re not purchasing one built expressly for another manufacturer.
1. BEST OVERALL: KAHTOOLA INSTAGAITER LOW
The Kahtoola INSTAgaiter Low is a low-profile, lightweight gaiter that’s perfect for all-season excursions. While on the route, it provides great protection against debris and water.
This is one of the best overall gaiters among the best trail running gaiters. It’s small and compact, but it protects your feet well on the route. It’s also quite comfortable, thanks to asymmetrical zippers that minimise rubbing on your ankle bone.
They’re suitable for almost any shoe brand. The simple drawcord around the ankle creates a solid seal to prevent items from going inside, allowing you to have a close-to-custom fit.
There’s an adjustable TPU instep strap to achieve an even better fit once you’ve zipped it on and adjusted it as needed around the ankle. The strap is rounded rather than flat, allowing it to work with a variety of outsoles. As you go down the path, a simple lace-hook keeps the fit snug and comfy.
It’s long-lasting and breathable. Because the stretch-woven nylon fabric is resistant to tearing, you can anticipate using this gaiter for a long period on the trails before it wears out.
The gaiter also has a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish, so your feet should keep toasty and dry whether you’re running in light rain or hiking through wet areas on the path.
Despite this, it’s remarkably breathable, ensuring that your feet don’t sweat when running.
• Elasticized drawcord that is both comfortable and adaptable.
• Instep strap made of thick, contoured TPU.
• Water condenses on the cloth and rolls off.
• Material that is lightweight, robust, and breathable.
• There’s not a lot of room to tuck the remaining drawcord into.
2. MOST ADJUSTABLE: ULTIMATE DIRECTION FK GAITER
The Ultimate Direction FK gaiter is extremely adaptable, making it a perfect fit for just about any shoe.
Small, medium, and large are the three sizes available for the FK gaiter. This is a great place to start when it comes to having a proper fit on your foot.
It stretches smoothly over the foot and tightens firmly with a Velcro strap and snap studs once you’ve picked the most suited size for you. This helps to avoid the chafing that might occur when using a zipper.
A lace hook pulls the front down for improved protection and to properly tighten it. The Hypalon rubber under-foot strap provides the most adjustability. With T-hooks that slot straight into the equivalent snaps on the top, it’s simple to modify.
This flat strap should fit comfortably between the lugs of most trail running shoes. However, because they are exposed to the ground and the environment, they may swiftly deteriorate. However, they’re simple to change, giving this gaiter a distinct advantage over others.
The synthetic material is durable and long-lasting, however it is a little elastic. This helps to make the fit more comfortable.
• Fabric that is both durable and elastic.
• It’s held in place with a bottom lace hook and additional snap studs.
• Under-foot loop that can be replaced.
• Most trail running shoes will fit.
• Large sizes may not fit feet with a circumference of 13 inches or more.
3. TOP LIGHTWEIGHT: OUTDOOR RESEARCH FERROSI HYBRID GAITERS
The Ferrosi Hybrid Gaiters from Outdoor Research are high-profile and incredibly protective, yet they’re still light enough to feel natural and comfortable on your feet.
These gaiters’ high-profile fit performs an excellent job of keeping dirt, dust, and water out. This keeps your shoes from becoming filthy, damp, or being pursued by debris.
The Ferrosi is surprisingly best lightweight among the best trail running gaiters which is nice because bigger gaiters like this might be a touch hefty on your feet. You won’t even notice these on you when you run because they’re only 1.8 ounces each.
It’s worth noting that they’re meant to be worn on your feet before you put on your shoes. They also perform best with low-profile shoes and may not operate as well with high-ankle-collar shoes.
Attach the stretchy shoelace hook to your laces and thread the long strap below your foot to create a snug yet comfortable fit once it’s on your leg.
The Ferrosi is a multi-purpose gaiter. The moisture-wicking fabric keeps your feet cool and dry, and it has ActiveIce technology, which cools you down as you sweat.
It also comes with UPF 50+ sun protection, which is a great little extra that will keep your skin safe while running in hot weather.
• Fabric that wicks away moisture and keeps you cool.
• Gaiter glides with you in a natural way.
• UPF 50+ protection is included.
• To secure the fit, use the shoelace hook.
• Shoes with a high ankle collar may not fit as well.
4. MOST VERSATILE: OUTDOOR RESEARCH FERROSI THRU GAITERS
These ultralight gaiters are ideal for thru-hikers and trail runners. They perform an excellent job of shielding your feet from dirt, resisting minor splashes, and shielding you from brisk gusts.
These gaiters are comfortable to wear everywhere, in any weather, thanks to the lightweight yet durable fabric. The Ferrosi fabric flexes slightly to provide the best fit while being exceptionally tough and durable in any weather.
It repels water such as puddles and mild rain, ensuring that your feet stay as dry as possible. It also keeps sneaky gusts of wind out of your shoes, keeping your feet warm.
The fabric is also breathable to minimise overheating, abrasion-resistant for long-lasting wear, quick-drying if they get wet, and UPF 50+. It’s versatile enough to be used for any type of trail running or hiking!
The mid-calf length works well with both shorts and longer tights or sweatpants when running. The top of the jacket has a drawcord cinch clasp that allows you to acquire a protective fit while being comfortable.
An easy-to-use shoelace clip is included, which connects to the front of the shoe for optimal coverage. In addition, the instep strap can be replaced, which is quite convenient.
• Water- and wind-resistant.
• Material that dries quickly and resists abrasion.
• The top hem is cinched with a drawcord for a tight fit.
• Instep strap is replaceable.
• Some people may think it’s too light for serious hiking or trail running.
5. BEST FOR SNOW & ICE: KAHTOOLA CONNECT GAITER MID
This rigorous gaiter is incredibly protective and links to your shoes’ Kahtoola ice and snow spikes.
Please note that Kahtoola’s MICROspikes and NANOspikes must be purchased individually.
This gaiter is a must-have if you utilise Kahtoola’s spike systems due to its precise fit. It eliminates the need for an underfoot strap, extending the gaiter’s lifespan because there is no strap to wear away with each step.
The gaiter’s integrated clips connect directly to the ice and snow spike device’s harness. There are six clips all the way around the foot, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.
The gaiter is made of a nylon and polyester combination with a water-repellent finish. With these coverings, discomfort from ice and snow that makes your feet chilly or damp will be a thing of the past.
The water-repellent zipper also provides for simple foot ingress. There’s no chafing or hotspots because it closes above the ankle. An elasticated drawcord ensures a tight fit and prevents dirt from entering from the top.
• Fits Nanospikes and MICROspikes snugly.
• With an offset zipper above the ankle, it’s simple to get in.
• Water-repellent coating that lasts.
• Elastic drawcord at the top that may be adjusted.
• MICROspikes and NANOspikes are offered individually and may not fit into other spike systems as well.
6. BEST FOR ALTRAS: ALTRA TRAIL GAITERS
Altra gaiters are designed to be used with Altra shoes; however they can also be worn with other shoes. They’re stylish and simple to use, but they’re ideal for running in warm weather.
This gaiter’s strapless style allows you to replace your shoes without taking them off. That’s quite useful!
It has a lacing hook and a Velcro patch at the heel to keep it in place. When you’re racing over the trail, these two points help the gaiter adhere securely and stay in place.
One of the best features of this gaiter is that, although being built exclusively for Altra shoes, it comes with an extra hook-and-loop attachment that allows you to use it with various brands of running shoes.
The stretch fabric glides with your foot, giving you a tight fit as well as a barely-there sensation while you’re wearing it. It’s lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for hot weather.
The top is also abrasion-resistant, so you’ll be safe from the weather and debris while wearing it.
• The cloth is stretchy and moves with you.
• The lace hook has been reinforced.
• It’s light and folds up compact.
• Can be worn with trail shoes from different manufacturers.
• This pair of gaiters isn’t waterproof.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you want to know more about the finest trail running gaiters? Here’s some extra information to assist you in selecting the best option for you.
Gaiters are an essential piece of equipment for trail runners and hikers. They keep debris, dirt, and water out of the shoe, as well as snow and ice in the winter, which can be irritating or cause chafing.
Absolutely! All of the gaiters on this list may be worn with both hiking and running shoes.However, it’s still a good idea to try it on with your hiking shoes to ensure perfect fit before purchasing.
If you sprint across a puddle, most gaiters will keep your feet dry, but they won’t keep you dry if you submerge your feet in water. They’ll also assist keep snow out of your shoes during the winter.
Running gaiters should be tight but not unpleasant, and they should stay securely connected to your shoes without riding up if they are properly adjusted.
Whatever you’re doing with them, a decent pair of gaiters will keep your feet comfy and keep stuff out of your shoes so you can stay on track no matter what the terrain is like.
There are several possibilities available, ranging from climbing highs to trail running lows, and everything in between. We hope that our reviews for best trail running gaiters will assist you in sorting through some of the options available and selecting the ideal pair for your next excursion.