View Full Version : Gaiters

05-05-2006, 13:00
Because I'm going to be wearing trail runners on my thru-hike next year, I want to use gaiters. I know they come in short-medium-long, and I went to REI and saw about a million types. Some had a heavier duty belt/buckle that goes under the shoe, others had this flimsy little elastic string. I want the best produce at the lightest weight possible.

What brand/type/length does everyone use? My intention for them is to keep snow/trash/most water/out of my shoes while hiking. Thanks! Oh..in case it matters, I'm 5'5". I've got pretty stubby legs.


05-05-2006, 13:01
Make that "the best product!"....I don't plan on wearing produce on my legs!:D

Old Hillwalker
05-05-2006, 13:14
In the summer I prefer OR's low gaiters. Replace each little elastic cord with some good 4mm cord and a spring loaded stop. My cord lasts all summer, but gets pretty frayed since it runs just in front of your heel. Keeps the stuff out of your shoes pretty well, and sheds a bit of water when hiking in the rain. My guess is that you will replace the cord about 3X on a full through hike. The spring stops or cord locks last for years.

Bad Ass Turtle
05-05-2006, 17:22
I second the vote for OR Gaiters. I used one pair throughout my hike. The only time I chose not to use them was in the hottest part of the summer (and in 2001, that was some seriously hot weather!). At one point, I was getting a bit of a heat rash from the gaiters. When the temps got below 100, I was ok with the gaiters again.

05-05-2006, 20:42
OR and REI both make Spandura - tough stretch material - gaiters that go over the ankle. They're black. DirtyGirl.com has wild colors. STretch gaiters don't swish against other when you walk and will keep water out from a quick-step immersion, although they are not waterproof. A really good trick, since you are planning to use trail runners, is to do away with the strap entirely by hand stitching compatable Velcro to the shoes and gaiters. I put the fuzzy stuff on the shoes and the hook Velcro on the gaiters.

Gaiters keep gunk out of my shoes and socks, and that's a good thing regardless of the season.

05-05-2006, 21:02
I third the OR Low Gaiters.
I used mine for three days this year on the AT in Georgia and the black cord underneath was destroyed, I removed the straps and just hooked the hook to the laces in my boot, they were perfect! No junk in my socks all day ;-)

05-11-2006, 10:59
Btw...OR will fix gaiters that fall apart (ie..the straps) :)
I am lucky in that we have the OR retail shop in downtown Seattle...they put on huge sales a couple times a year.
I have both lows (which many times I just don't wear due to the heat in summer) and my full blown OR Crocs for winter and wet wear-which do breathe pretty well.

05-11-2006, 12:06
While the OR Flex-tec Low (http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/appareldetail.cfm/OR320) gaitors will work to keep detritus from the insides of your shoes, they can get a little warm and they're not waterproof. I replaced mine with the Integral Designs eVENT Shortie Gaitors (http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/appareldetail.cfm/ID1520) which I found to be highly breathable and waterproof (especially if I draped rain pants over the top of the gaitors). For a dollar more and an ounce less I prefer them, but I do recommend that you replace the elastic with something a bit sturdier...I wore through mine in only 150 miles.

Mr. Clean
05-11-2006, 17:59
I wear mine with smart wool socks. You only need the high ones if you're doing trailwork or going through a lot of brambles.

wilderness bob
05-11-2006, 18:59
I used the OR gaiters as well (shorties). The string beneath wore out quickly and the snaps had a tendency to break. The Velcro lasted and I wound up just using it instead of swapping out for new ones (again) through a dealer. For a replacement of the string beneath, I tied a heavier duty piece of cord and when walking on dry areas I would pull them up and away from beneath my shoes (this helped prevent wearing the cord away). Gators kept the small rocks from getting in my shoes and kept the socks cleaner (no trail snot splashing on my socks). Good luck, WB

05-11-2006, 20:11
Trail runners dry fast -just carry an extra pair or two of thin coolmax socks they dry over night in your sleeping bag. Gaitors are just another wet muddy item you have to do something with. Your feet are going to get wet, whether you wear gaitors or not. And your leg wash off easy with a little water and there is no extra weight.

05-12-2006, 08:13
OR Lows aren't too warm. Several years into this pair I now have to spray them w/ waterproofing every so often.