How to wear gaiters

Updated November 21, 2016

Gaiters are protective over-the-shoe accessories that come in handy during outdoor activities when moisture, snow, or pests might find their way into socks and under trousers. Whether walking through snake territory or simply some tall grass, gaiters keep out unwanted elements by fitting easily and securely over hiking shoes, socks, and trousers. Make sure that you're wearing your pair of gaiters correctly.

Slip on one gaiter over your hiking boot or athletic shoe, placing your toes in first, as you would to put on a pair of socks. If you are wearing tall gaiters, you should pull them up so that they rest tightly around the leg just above the calf. For shorter pairs, make sure they cover the hem of the trousers or legs a couple inches above the ankle.

Ensure that the gaiter fits tightly around the leg at the top to prevent anything from permeating your trousers.

Use the gaiter strap to hook onto the first row of laces on your boot or shoe (the row closest to the toes).

Pull the gaiter's back strap over the heel of your boot or shoe, and zip up the gaiter to secure it firmly around your shoe and leg.

Repeat the above steps with the opposite foot and prepare to set off on your outdoor adventure.


If you are wearing a pair of shorts and gaiters at the same time, make sure that you are at least wearing socks and that the gaiters fit tightly at the top. Most gaiters come with elastic ties at the top to adjust the fit. Pull on these ties whenever you need to tighten the gaiters so that they'll continue to function effectively.

Things You'll Need

  • Hiking boots or athletic shoes
  • Socks


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