A good pair of gaiters is a key piece of shooting kit when you're rough shooting. Here are some of the best.
Gaiters for shooting are essential, particularly if you’re walked-up shooting on moorland.
Why gaiters for shooting are key shooting kit
Wear gaiters with your breeks and shooting socks to protect your legs from ticks, as well as mud, scratches from rough heather and brambles. You’ll also be able to stride through streams without getting wet feet (and you can’t wear wellies when walked-up shooting, as experienced Guns know. Because it’s a sure fire way to sprain an ankle walking through uneven terrain).
Gaiters should be worn with comfortable boots to give your ankles and feet good support and grip.
Checklist for gaiters for shooting
- Choose hardwearing, breathable and lightweight fabrics. Gaiters need to be able to stand up to daily use throughout the season – reinforced ankle areas are recommended.
- Ease of wearing. Look for pairs that are easy to put on and take off – but which stay in place when you need them to.
- Sizing. If you’re tall you might find some gaiters come up a bit tight. If you’re shorter, make sure they don’t ‘bag’ around the ankle. Best to try a few pairs on at a game fair.
- A sturdy zip in the front covered by a flap is a good idea, with the flap secured by studs.
- They need to ‘hug’ your boots at the bottom, for maximum waterproofing.
- Some are available in men’s and ladies’ options.
- The strap that fits under your boots needs to be sturdy and longlasting.
- The hook that clips the gaiters onto your boot’s laces needs to be up to the job and not slip off.
- Finally, if you’re stalking, you need to consider noise. You don’t want anything that will rustle in the bushes.
Here are some recommendations for gaiters for shooting from ghillies and contributors to Shooting Times and Sporting Gun, who’ve road tested a fair few in their time.
1. Black Islander from £58.95
Headkeeper Ryan is to be seen in his Black Islanders day in and day out, striding up and down the hill. He says he bought them at the Scottish Game Fair “a couple of years ago”. Still in good shape, keeping the ticks and water out.
Another brand that is being put through its paces, literally, is Outdoor Research. Trainee keeper Fraser has had his a couple of years and definitely rates them.
In conversation, these also came up as highly rated. Laksen claim that they are 100% water and windproof so they’re up to dealing with tough environments. Lightweight, they have a waterstop membrane on the lower half to keep boots and feet protected and breathable. One size in green.
The over-the-knee design is ideal for walking through high cover. The tough outer material is gorse-and-bramble-proof and the five-layer LCX waterproof membrane lining is also windproof and helps to keep your legs warm. Contributor Nick Ridley says: “The gaiters are a bit pricey but mine are on their third season and are not showing any signs of wear and tear, so I would consider them to be good value for money.”
On the budget end of the spectrum, these are an updated version of the previous Seeland Crieff gaiters. They have a front zipped opening, a rubber boot strap and are made from strong nylon.
Made with waterproof technology and a hard exterior material, these gaiters will withstand any weather or terrain. Ideal for walked-up shooting, they will provide a good fit for any lower leg due to a drawstring at the top, an adjustable rubber strap at the bottom and elasticated ankles.
Adjustable for comfort, these shooting gaiters pack into a fabric carry pouch for easy storage.
Tear-resistant gaiters made from a waterproof waxed material, ideal for moving through heavy foliage.
These gaiters are made to fit your calf muscle exactly and will expand accordingly. The boot ties are made of steel cable, which provides a long life for the product. The gaiters dry extremely fast and can be rolled up to the size of your fist.
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Tips for buying
- Gaiters come in two basic styles – high cut and low cut
- High cut come up to the top of the calf and are great for wading and walking in grassy areas or bushes
- Low cut fit at the ankle and are more suitable for general wear in the outdoors when you are facing rain, mud or just want to keep your boots in their best condition.