hiking gaiters


Hiking Gaiters – Options for Trekking the Kokoda Trail


Trekking the historic Kokoda Track is a challenging yet rewarding experience that takes you through the lush landscapes of Papua New Guinea. As you prepare for this adventure, one essential piece of gear you need to consider is hiking gaiters. In this guide, we’ll explore the various options available to ensure you choose the best gaiters for your Kokoda Trail journey.

Why Gaiters Matter on the Kokoda Track

Protect Your Legs from Trail Debris

The Kokoda Track is known for its rugged terrain, and hiking gaiters play a crucial role in keeping trail debris out of your boots. Whether it’s preventing small rocks, mud, or vegetation from entering your footwear, a pair of gaiters acts as a protective barrier, maintaining your comfort throughout the trek.

Keep Your Feet Dry in Wet Conditions

The unpredictable weather on the Kokoda Track can lead to wet and muddy trails. Waterproof gaiters provide a seal around your boots, ensuring your feet stay dry even in challenging conditions. This level of protection is essential for maintaining comfort and preventing issues like blisters.

Choosing the Right Gaiters for the Kokoda Trail

Types of Gaiters

Trail Running Gaiters

For those looking to maintain agility on the trail, lightweight and breathable trail running gaiters are an excellent option. Brands like Sea to Summit and Outdoor Research offer gaiters specifically designed for trail runners, providing the necessary protection without compromising on performance.

Mountaineering Gaiters

If you seek a higher level of protection, especially in snow or rough terrains, consider mountaineering gaiters. These gaiters are fully waterproof and offer full-length coverage, keeping your lower legs shielded from rain, snow, and debris. Brands like REI and Mountain Equipment produce high-quality mountaineering gaiters.

Key Features to Consider

Waterproof and Breathable

Look for gaiters that strike a balance between being fully waterproof and breathable. This ensures your feet stay dry while preventing overheating during strenuous hikes.

Instep Strap and Velcro Closure

An instep strap and Velcro closure contribute to a snug fit, preventing gaiters from slipping down during your trek. This secure attachment is crucial for comfort and effectiveness.

Lace Hook for Hiking Boots

Gaiters with a lace hook are ideal for securing them to your hiking boots, providing additional stability and preventing any gaps that could allow debris to enter.

Lightweight and Compact

Considering the demands of the Kokoda Trail, opt for lightweight and compact gaiters. This ensures they won’t weigh you down while still offering the necessary protection.

Where to Find the Best Gaiters for Kokoda

Online Retailers

Shopping online provides a convenient way to explore a wide range of gaiters, compare options, and read reviews from fellow trekkers. Look for reputable outdoor retailers such as REI, offering a diverse selection of gaiters to suit different preferences and requirements.

Specialty Stores

Specialty outdoor stores may also carry a curated selection of high-quality gaiters. Visit local stores or those with a focus on hiking and trekking gear to get personalized recommendations and try on different options.


As you gear up for the Kokoda Track adventure, investing in the right pair of gaiters is crucial for a comfortable and successful trek. Consider the specific demands of the trail, the level of protection you need, and your personal preferences to choose gaiters that will keep your feet warm, dry, and protected throughout the journey. Happy trekking!


Q: What are hiking gaiters?

A: Hiking gaiters are protective garments worn over hiking boots and pants to prevent debris, moisture, and snow from entering the boots. They provide additional protection for the ankles and lower legs during outdoor activities such as hiking, trail running, and mountaineering.

Q: What are the different options for trekking the Kokoda Trail with hiking gaiters?

A: Options for trekking the Kokoda Trail with hiking gaiters include using ankle gaiters, full-length gaiters, or high gaiters, depending on the specific needs and terrain of the trail. Hikers can choose gaiters that offer ankle protection, snake bite resistance, waterproof capabilities, and overall leg protection.

Q: How do hiking gaiters add value to a hiker’s gear?

A: Hiking gaiters add value to a hiker’s gear by providing additional ankle and leg protection from various elements encountered on the trail. They help to keep the feet and lower legs dry, clean, and protected from vegetation, rocks, snow, and water while hiking in diverse terrains.

Q: What should I consider when buying gaiters for hiking and mountaineering?

A: When purchasing gaiters for hiking and mountaineering, consider factors such as the level of ankle and leg protection needed, waterproof capabilities, durability, breathability, ease of use, and fit over hiking shoes or boots. Additionally, look for gaiters that offer snake bite resistance and adaptability to different terrains.

Q: Are there specific gaiters for mountaineering?

A: Yes, there are gaiters specifically designed for mountaineering, which are typically full-length or high gaiters. These gaiters are lightweight, durable, and offer extended protection for the legs and lower body in rugged and snowy mountain environments.

Q: How can I find gaiters for hiking and mountaineering online?

A: You can browse various outdoor gear retailers and specialized mountaineering websites to find a wide range of waterproof gaiters suitable for hiking and mountaineering. Look for gaiters with features that cater to the specific needs of your outdoor activities.

Q: What are the benefits of wearing gaiters during hiking?

A: Wearing gaiters during hiking offers benefits such as keeping your lower legs and feet dry, clean, and protected from debris, water, and potential snake bites. Gaiters also help maintain the condition of your hiking shoes or boots by preventing them from getting filled with dirt, mud, or snow.

Q: Can gaiters be used for purposes other than hiking?

A: Yes, gaiters can be used for activities beyond hiking, such as trail running, backpacking, and mountaineering. They provide versatile protection for the ankles and lower legs in various outdoor pursuits where maintaining foot and leg hygiene and protection is essential.

Q: What are low gaiters and how are they suitable for hiking?

A: Low gaiters are ankle-height gaiters that offer a lighter and more breathable option for hiking in less rugged terrains. They are suitable for walking and hiking in drier conditions, providing basic protection from debris and moisture without hindering mobility.

Q: Do gaiters offer protection against snake bites?

A: Some hiking gaiters are specifically designed to offer protection against snake bites by incorporating snake bite-resistant materials and construction. These gaiters can be beneficial for hikers exploring areas where encounters with venomous snakes are possible.

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