Where can I find gaiters compatible with ski boots?
Back in the day, we used to ski in Levi's with big nylon gaiters—but now, despite trying on every brand out there, I can't find a pair that will fit over my Garmont randonnée boots. I've even spoken with the good people at La Sportiva, who admit that their gaiters are only designed for their mountaineering boots. Is there a good-quality gaiter large enough to wear over randonnée or alpine ski boots? Scott Eugene, Oregon
Sounds like you’d remember the days when you went into REI to buy a pair of gaiters and that’s what they had—one pair of gaiters. Or, that is, one model of gaiters—orange-coated nylon. I’ve been photographed many times on some Cascades peak, looking very stylish in my orange nylon gaiters, I might add.
So you need gaiters to fit over what are basically ski boots. Correct? And, no, most gaiters won’t do that—they’ll fit over regular mountain boots or leather boots, but ski boots are bulkier.
With that in mind, I think your best bet will be a pair of Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodiles ($84, www.orgear.com). These are like the popular “regular” Crocs—a Gore-Tex gaiter with a wide hook-and-loop closure along the front—sized for big boots and bulky clothing. In other words, they have a bigger girth than regular gaiters, so they’ll fit over ski boots and your ski pants. I’ve worn Expedition Crocs over Scarpa Inverno boots with lots of extra clothing and had room to burn. Ski boots shouldn’t be a problem.
You might also try Black Diamond’s Termigaiter2 ($40, www.bdel.com), which is specifically designed to fit their ski mountaineering gear. The Durastretch nylon/Lycra fabric ensures a comfortable, light fit, while its simple hook-and-loop closure makes it compatible with a variety of boots.