A good pair of gaiters is an essential piece of shooting kit when you're walked-up shooting. Here are some of the best.
Gaiters are a key part of your shooting kit, particularly if you’re roughshooting on moorland.
Never be tempted to wear wellies when you’re out walked-up shooting – you could sprain an ankle walking through rough terrain. Wear comfortable, lace-up walking boots to give your ankles and feet good support and grip.
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Lucy King picks the best shooting kit to suit all budgets including shooting coats, shooting breeks, shooting shirts and fleece…
What you need to look out for
- 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.
During a recent week’s walked-up shooting in Scotland I asked for some recommendations from keepers and ghillies. Here are some thoughts.
1. Black Islander
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.
2. Outdoor Research
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.
3. Laksen Cordura waterproof gaiters
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.
4. Le Chameau basic gaiters
The wellies are well known but the company’s gaiters are also rated by many shooters. As you’d expect from the name, these are excellent quality but not over the top in price.
5. Barbour Country Field Endurance Gaiters
These also got a mention from the shooting party. The name gives them a lot to live up to but reports back say that they are comfortably waterproof without being ‘sweaty’, thanks to the three layer breathable fabric they are constructed from. Available in medium and large sizes.
6. Seeland Crieff Waterproof Gaiters
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.
7. Harkila Pro Hunter X Gaiters
Adjustable for a perfect fit and made from a soft, breathable fabric.
Extremely hardwearing with soft, breathable Airtech™. Protection for the lower leg and adjustment opportunities to fit your leg perfectly.