At last came that hike up the mountain that we were waiting for so long. When we are about to cross that small stream, and when we get wet in the cold water twists all our bones, we remember: where are the leggings or heaters when we need them most? There are garments that at first glance seem little useful until when the pertinent occasions arrive.
Do you know what we are talking about? Surely yes. Leggings are one of the best weapons against the cold that we can count on, but we don’t always take them into account and we don’t know to what extent they can help us in countless situations. We have put together this specialized article to tell you all about these clothes and how they can change your life.
The most important
- Gaiters are garments that, depending on their style and function, protect the leg against cold, moisture or other weather or terrain conditions, especially the ankle. Its use is similar to that of socks, but they are much more effective when it comes to warm and protect. They have a tubular shape and are attached to the foot with different fastening systems.
- Although historically leggings were used by farmers and shepherds, today their use is very popular with children and in various sports or leisure contexts. They have different structures depending on the uses and can be made of different materials.
- To acquire a good pair of leggings, we must focus on some key aspects, such as the purpose of which we will give it, its impermeability, its weight and measurements, the comfort they suppose when wearing them, the material from which they are made and how breathable they are, among others.
Ranking: The best leggings on the market
If we are thinking of our next excursion to the snow or other trips where we will be abroad in the cold, it is better to include some good gaiters in the suitcase. Our legs will thank you later! There are all kinds of offers on the market, and if you don’t know what decision to make, consider the following selection that brings together the best options available.
Position # 1: Salomon Trail Low Gaiters
Amazon designates these Salomon low leggings as “best selling”. They are suitable for trail running on demanding terrain, but they are also very practical whether there is mud, dust, gravel, snow or weeds, since they not only prevent the entry of elements into our shoes, but also protect the ankles from bumps or scratches . And, of course, from the cold.
Velcro straps on the sides make these leggings very easy to put on and take off. In addition, the strap that is hooked to the sole of the shoe guarantees a perfect fit. The stretch mesh fabric provides great freedom of movement, is breathable, aids stability thanks to the strap on the sole and has reflective elements.
Position nº 2: Unigear Waterproof Leggings 1 Pair
Made with the best Oxford cloth and 210D polyester fabric, these Unigear gaiters are double-layered and are extremely resistant to all kinds of sports and outdoor activities . Lightweight, easy to fold and transport, they are totally waterproof against wind, rain, snow and dust. They are suitable for all types of footwear.
These leggings keep your legs clean and dry. Ideal for activities such as climbing, hunting or marching in the rain, you will find that its velcro closure design and adjustable strap with buckle are simple and practical. The manufacturer ensures that once adjusted, they cling tightly and remain stable. You can buy them in 3 different sizes.
Position nº 3: COSORO 1 Pair Unisex Leggings
Cosoro leggings are listed as “Amazon Choice”, and no wonder! Designed with an adjustable elastic band, they are made from a special low-temperature resistant nylon material to prevent breakage, making them ideal on snow. They are very easy to put on and keep your leg and ankles warm and dry at all times.
These gaiters also serve to protect you from mud, sand, dew and moisture. You can use them to go skiing, hiking or just to keep warm. The fabric is ripstop and waterproof against water and wind. Users who have bought them highlight, above all, the comfort when using them and the practical and simple way of putting on them.
Position # 4: NARVIK, waterproof, breathable, resistant gaiters
Narvik leggings offer unprecedented quality. They are designed for long-lasting and demanding use. They protect you against humidity and snow on all excursions, ski routes or snowshoes that you organize. In addition, they are breathable and waterproof. In the ankle area, the material is more robust and resistant to the wear typical of hiking.
Narvik gaiters are made of gray Ripstop: a double reinforced and ripstop material that incorporates thicker, high-strength yarns (usually nylon or polyester) in its weave. The zip is hidden, which gives it an extra aesthetic value. The gaiters have hooks for the laces and a simple fastening system.
Position nº 5: TRIWONDER Leggings Trail Running
Take advantage of these Triwonder leggings made with eco-friendly nylon spandex, soft and highly elastic. In addition, they are breathable and highly resistant: they will efficiently protect your ankles from sand, dirt and debris typical of rough terrain. They are very comfortable to wear and feature a non-slip design on the back.
These ankle gaiters can be easily adjusted over pants and are firmly attached to footwear thanks to effective metal hooks. They have adjustable laces for people of different sizes and the reflective logo is useful for visibility and safety reasons. Ultralight, they work perfectly in all seasons of the year.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Leggings
Leggings have become almost essential garments to guarantee the success of your outings, excursions and trips, especially if you have long walks or activities such as hiking planned. The leggings market offers different models according to uses and needs. In this section we will go through the most common doubts about them.
What exactly are leggings?
Why are leggings necessary?
Whether we usually go on excursions in the mountains or in the snow, if we like mountaineering or hiking, or if we simply go for a run on dirt, it is a reality that good footwear is not enough. The leggings, once they are well attached to our legs, fulfill different functions that are very useful:
- Prevent external objects from entering, such as pebbles, dirt or miscellaneous debris.
- They keep feet dry from puddles or rainwater.
- They protect the legs from typical friction or snagging with elements of the terrain.
- They provide extra stability when walking, running or climbing.
- They help perspiration.
- They preserve the feet from low temperatures.
What parts of the leg exactly do the leggings cover?
It depends on the type of leggings. There are different measures depending on the type of activities. Broadly speaking, we find two measures: the high leg gaiters, which cover from the knee to the instep; and low leg or ankle gaiters, which cover – as the name suggests – the entire ankle and instep. There are also models that cover the cufflinks.Low-cut gaiters are generally lightweight and breathable, and are suitable for backpackers and hikers in forest, sand, mud, snow, or rough terrain. High-leg gaiters, on the other hand, are ideal for extreme weather conditions and are usually ultra-resistant and waterproof. They are generally worn over boots.
The two leggings are not the same, but symmetrical. One is for the right leg and one is for the left. When placing them, you must check that the zippers are on the outside, with the hooks of the laces in front.
What structure do leggings usually have?
Generally, leggings are made up of the fabric or other fabric that covers the leg. Different accessories are added to this tubular structure to reinforce the material, hold the garment to the ankle or knee and different closure systems for effective protection. We can summarize the structure in the following aspects.
- They usually have an elastic band at the top to prevent them from sliding down.
- The most common fastening system is the steel wire rope, but the most resistant gaiters are those that use neoprene or urethane straps. You have to be very careful when putting the buckle so that it does not remain on the edge of the sole and does not crush when walking.
- Regarding the side zippers to facilitate putting on, the best ones have a flap with velcro closure that prevents, for example, moisture from entering through them.
- At the bottom, in the front, many have a small hook to attach the gaiter to the shoelaces, which is an extra measure of protection.
What kinds of leggings are the most suitable?
|Type of activities||Leggings type||characteristics|
|Leggings for trail runnin g (mountain race).||Ankle.||Light, not bulky, comfortable to touch, with a fixing system underneath.|
|Classic or mountain leggings.||High cane.||Waterproof, resistant material, full coverage, breathable, with side zip or velcro.|
|Leggings for ice climbing.||High cane.||Made with ultra-reinforced, highly durable, resistant and waterproof materials.|
|Leggings for snow sports.||High top or ankle depending on the sport.||Waterproof and breathable.|
|Leggings for hiking and trekking.||Ankle .||Made to provide basic protection against rocks, sand and rain (for temperate climates) .|
|Leggings for running.||Ankle.||Super light, compact and elastic.|
How thick should the leggings be?
When we talk about the thickness of the textile material we have to talk about deniers (d). This unit refers to the linear mass density of fibers. They are equivalent to the weight in grams for every 9 thousand meters of fiber. The higher this value, the denser and thicker the fiber used by the material, so it is more resistant, although it weighs more.Typically, it is the bottom of the leggings that needs the most resistance. Typical values for the tops can be 70 d, for better breathability. In some cases, Kevlar is placed in the lower parts: its typical value should be 400, 500 or 600 d, and the most resistant up to 1000 d.
How waterproof should leggings be?
Impermeability is measured in millimeters of height of water columns that a fabric supports without letting water pass. We consider a waterproof garment when it supports more than 10 thousand mm. Obviously, as we have seen the different uses that can be given to leggings, not all models must be 100% waterproof. We leave these indicators as a reference.
- 0 to 5 thousand mm : no resistance to fine rain; yes to dry snow.
- 6 mil to 10,000 mm : withstands light to moderate rain, and moderate snowfall.
- 11 thousand to 15 thousand mm : withstands a moderate to heavy rain, and a heavy snowfall.
- 16,000 to 20,000 mm : withstands very heavy rains and intense snow storms.
- More than 20 thousand mm : maximum protection against rain and snow storms.
How to know the correct size of leggings?
Most brands usually specify what shoe size the gaiters are for. But, to tell the truth, it is best to try them on with the winter boots or sports shoes that you are going to use, since the main thing is that they are firm and comfortable. Sometimes, it is convenient to take a larger size because they are very tight.It is also not recommended that the gaiters are too baggy, as they will not be very efficient at keeping water, sand or debris out of the way. There are brands that make leggings models specifically for women. The difference is that the calf is wider. Anyway, it is always better to try yourself before.
What maintenance do leggings require?
Leggings are perhaps the garments that best protect our feet and shoes. Before embarking on our next adventure, excursion or trip, it is good to have our pair well ready. We have already seen that the models differ according to use, activities and materials. If you have doubts, we recommend that you follow these purchase criteria so as not to make a mistake in the purchase.
- Clamping way
- Material strength
As we have seen, it is not necessary for all types of leggings to be 100% waterproof. It depends on what we use them for. But as normal is that we need them for outdoor activities , we will always run the risk of rain, accumulated water, snow or other waste. Therefore, it is better that you check that your gaiters withstand at least 6 thousand mm of water.
The purpose of leggings is to protect us from external elements entering through our shoes and bothering us when walking or running. This is not possible if the models we have do not have a good clamping system that leaves them stable. Therefore, make sure that the side zippers are efficient or, if not, that the velcro system has a suitable attachment.
If we are into extreme sports or activities in the mountains, we need leggings that are made of the strongest possible material. A good example is the so-called Ripstop: a double reinforced fabric, usually ripstop, which incorporates thicker, high-resistance threads in its weave. In this sense, the thicker the gaiters, the greater the resistance.
The breathability of the leggings is very important, since, if during the activity we do not evacuate the sweat vapor quickly enough, it condenses and soaks the shoes and pants. For this reason, we recommend looking for models with high-quality membranes and two or three layers, such as Gore-Tex Pro. Models without a membrane are not recommended.
Leggings are accessories for our footwear, so they should go as unnoticed as possible when we use them. There are some models that are extremely heavy or uncomfortable and we will end up getting tired of them. This is the reason why it is advisable to try them before buying them, to ensure that their design is very compact and comfortable.
Leggings are garments made of various textile materials (usually nylon and spandex) that cover the legs, from the knee to the ankle, in order to protect them against cold, water, snow, humidity and other factors. They are accessories that are used outside of footwear and are very useful in all kinds of outdoor activities .
Basically, there are high-top leggings and ankle leggings, and they differ in the parts of the leg that they cover. It is advisable to choose well the type that we want to use according to the activities we do, since ultralight leggings for running in the mountains are not the same as the ultra-reinforced and heavy ones that are necessary for ice climbing.