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hammock engineer
12-07-2006, 21:00
I recently tore up my OR gaiters and need another pair. One of the biggest problems I had with it is that the string that goes on the bottom gets tore up after about a week's worth of hiking. I replaced it with para cord and that only lasts about 8 or 9 days worth of hiking. The New Balance trail runners I use have one contunious sole instead of the normal boot tread. Today I was hiking in the snow and had a lot of problems with them getting clogged on the bottom with snow and ice.

I was looking at the ones with a leather strap on the bottom. Does anyone have any experience with these and trail runners? I am worried about feeling like I am walking on the middle of my feet with them.

I am also open to other suggestions. I really like hiking in trail runners and gaiters, so using boots or not using gaiters is not a good option.

ScottP
12-07-2006, 21:02
I've never been convinced that Gaiters are worth the cost/weight (especially on your shoes). If it rains, your shoes will get wet.

Boat Drinks
12-07-2006, 21:04
I've never been convinced that Gaiters are worth the cost/weight (especially on your shoes). If it rains, your shoes will get wet.

How bout when using boots? Worth it?

hammock engineer
12-07-2006, 21:13
Its one of those personal decisions. Kind of like hammocks vs tents. This combination has to work some way.

doodah man
12-07-2006, 21:24
I recently tore up my OR gaiters and need another pair. One of the biggest problems I had with it is that the string that goes on the bottom gets tore up after about a week's worth of hiking. I replaced it with para cord and that only lasts about 8 or 9 days worth of hiking. The New Balance trail runners I use have one contunious sole instead of the normal boot tread. Today I was hiking in the snow and had a lot of problems with them getting clogged on the bottom with snow and ice.

I was looking at the ones with a leather strap on the bottom. Does anyone have any experience with these and trail runners? I am worried about feeling like I am walking on the middle of my feet with them.

I am also open to other suggestions. I really like hiking in trail runners and gaiters, so using boots or not using gaiters is not a good option.

A sugesstion... You could order some kevlar shoelaces for use in your gaiters. Lasts a whole lot longer than the normal nylon ties. http://www.foot-comfort.com/kevlarreinforcedhikinglaces.htm is an example, I also have seen them in some of the 'outdoor catalogs'. Those will address the wear issue but not the clogging issue. doodah-man

jlb2012
12-07-2006, 21:31
seems to me I remember a discussion about a way to mod the gaiters so that they did not need the string under the arch - as I rather vaguely recall the trick was to put a piece of hook and loop at the heal of the shoe and a matching piece on the gaiter - the combination of the lace hook in the front and the hook and loop patches at the heal was sufficient to keeping the gaiters covering the shoes properly without the need for the under the arch string

hammock engineer
12-07-2006, 21:34
seems to me I remember a discussion about a way to mod the gaiters so that they did not need the string under the arch - as I rather vaguely recall the trick was to put a piece of hook and loop at the heal of the shoe and a matching piece on the gaiter - the combination of the lace hook in the front and the hook and loop patches at the heal was sufficient to keeping the gaiters covering the shoes properly without the need for the under the arch string


Interesting idea. I will have to try that one.

Skidsteer
12-07-2006, 23:19
If you wear the gaiters for protection from debris and not rain, then punch two holes in them, thread your shoelaces through, and tie them like you normally would.

If you want them for rain protection, do the same thing but sew an extra flap on the instep that you can flip back over your laces and secure with velcro. Combine that with HOI's advice and it should be nearly bulletproof.

Just an idea. I don't wear them myself.

hammock engineer
12-07-2006, 23:26
Thanks Skids

This is one of the things I really like about WB. For some reason I never thank of the obvious. I'll put 1 hole in each side of my shoe and thread the gaiter through the hole. The only thing I can think of bad about this is my foot might rub against it. I'll try that on my next day hike.

Spock
12-07-2006, 23:49
Hammock:
Instead of getting heavier and heavier straps, consider not using any strap at all. You can try Skid's idea, or you can stitch a patch of Velcro (loop) to each side of each shoe and matching patches (hook) to the inside of the gaiters. Some gaiters stay down by themselves - but it depends somewhat on the shoe and the gaiter design.

ScottP
12-08-2006, 00:46
Even if you wear boots/gaiters your feet will still get wet...and they'll STAY wet.

hammock engineer
12-08-2006, 00:53
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a couple things to try.

Too me it is not about staying dry. It is about keeping dirt, mudd, and rocks out. A lot of the trails I use in Ohio are overgrown, so they help with weeds. It also comes down to I like using them. It also keeps my lower legs a little warmer. They allow me to wear shorts colder or add long underwear bottoms without ripping them.

swift
12-08-2006, 06:40
Hammock,
I also wear trail runners and OR gaiters and had the instep strap or string wearing out all the time. What is even worse, once the strap frays and you walk through snow, the frayed ends collect snow til you're walking on snowballs.

I tried para cord, spectra line, leather straps, even a piece of wire and they all wore out. what DID finally work out was weedeater trimmer line, specifically Husqvarna .105 Titanium Force trimmer line. This stuff is incredibly tough and will not cut on you, I havent worn it out in 2 years now. It is a little bit tricky to work with since it is so stiff but with a little patience, a couple of pairs of needle-nose pliers, accurate measurement, and some carefully applied heat you can bend and tie yourself a bulletproof instep line.

wilderness bob
12-08-2006, 08:38
Hammock,
I found that the trail conditions, primarily Ice and rock, wear out the "string" prematurely. On days that you hike on terrain like such, just do not use to string. Leave it lay somewhere else beside under your foot. Use it only when needed because the top skirt will still function without it (keeping out the trail snot that is). Good luck, WB

Footslogger
12-08-2006, 09:44
I wore the OR Gaiters with my Montrail trail shoes on my thru in 2003 and I would do it again. They kept my socks dry in the morning when the grass was wet and they kept debris out of my shoes.

I think I had to replace the ties once during my thru. I bought a cheap pair of black nylon shoelaces at WalMart and that's all I needed to keep them going.

I hiked in shorts pretty much my entire hike and in the colder months up north I switched to a pair of high gaiters but they had the bubber/canvass straps that didn't wear out.

'Slogger

Deerleg
12-08-2006, 10:36
Iíve hiked mostly in running shoes too and have made several pair of Gaiters over the years for a little warmth and keeping the dirt out. Iíve used lined and unlined nylon sweat pants purchased from Goodwill for $2. I try to find a pair with side zippers and good elastic cuffs. Cut them off close to the knee and flip them upside-down and pattern the new bottom to commercial gaiters. Slip them on and zip them up and my calf and the elastic hold it in place.
I have made a couple of pair that used the hook on the front and Velcro attached to the heel of my running shoes too. Super Glue held the Velcro on quite well. I still fastened around the arch with cord, but did note they worked OK without the cord. Not so good in snow though, as snow will pack in around the sides. Maybe more Velcro around the side would help in that application.

SouthMark
12-08-2006, 10:43
Not exactly an answer toyour question but North Face makes some GoreTex trail runners with shock cord fittings on the sides and a loop on the back that work with a set of their gaiters made to attach to theses points.

Boat Drinks
12-08-2006, 12:54
Even if you wear boots/gaiters your feet will still get wet...and they'll STAY wet.


Anyone disagree with this? Anyone that's Thru-Hiked?

Michele
12-08-2006, 13:13
Hey Hammock Engineer, when we were at the NC hangout w/Ed, I was talking to him about what footwear he used. He wore new balance shoes the entire AT and he used plastic breadbags on his feet--sock liner--bag--hiking sock---shoe. He said your feet will get wet no matter what, but this (basically) vapor barrier will at least keep your feet warm. I've decided to do this and I plan on using one of my ponytail holders around my ankle to "seal" them. Another use of the bag is for when you have to recycle your socks day after day w/out washing them, you can put them inside these bags, inside your clothing stuff sack and prevent all your clothes from smelling like stinky feet. Just a thought. I'm using the bags that newspapers are delivered in on rainy days.

Footslogger
12-08-2006, 13:16
Anyone disagree with this? Anyone that's Thru-Hiked?

=================================

Guess you have to put a time frame on "stay wet". It is true that even with gaiters your feet can and often do get wet. But sooner or later they do dry out too ...even in wet year like 2003.

My experience is that gaitors slow down the process of shoes/boots getting soaked out. That said ...if it's raining cats & dogs for several days straight your feet are gonna get wet and they're gonna stay wet (regardless of footwear) until the rain stops, the sun shines or you take a zero and they have a chance to air out in a hostel or motel room.

One suggestion though, in case shoes/boots get wet and you take a zero ...take newspaper or some other highly absorbent paper and stuff your shoes full of it. That will pull the majority of the moisture out of the shoes faster than just air drying.

'Slogger

The Solemates
12-08-2006, 13:38
Anyone disagree with this? Anyone that's Thru-Hiked?

I agree with it. The only time I wear gaitors is in deep (6+inches) snow, and even then only sometimes. Gaitors are meant for mountaineering, not hiking.

hammock engineer
12-08-2006, 13:43
I am also open to other suggestions. I really like hiking in trail runners and gaiters, so using boots or not using gaiters is not a good option.


Its one of those personal decisions. Kind of like hammocks vs tents. This combination has to work some way.



Too me it is not about staying dry. It is about keeping dirt, mudd, and rocks out. A lot of the trails I use in Ohio are overgrown, so they help with weeds. It also comes down to I like using them. It also keeps my lower legs a little warmer. They allow me to wear shorts colder or add long underwear bottoms without ripping them.

I really apricate everyone's input and help and I may be thinking 1 dimensional. But I am going to start off wearing them. It is not about staying dry. It is not nessarily about staying warm.

It is like using a hammock or tent, spoon or spork, shelter or no shelter. Just something I like using.

aroth87
12-08-2006, 14:28
Not exactly an answer toyour question but North Face makes some GoreTex trail runners with shock cord fittings on the sides and a loop on the back that work with a set of their gaiters made to attach to theses points.

I acutally picked up a pair of those without Goretex off of SAC. I don't have any gaiters, but if I get some I was going to modify them to work in conjunction with those loops. They're really comfortabe shoes, but they look too nice for me to wear on the trail yet :D. After I've worn them a while and they are good and broken in I'll probably break down and take them on the trail.

Adam

JoeHiker
12-08-2006, 17:49
Anyone disagree with this? Anyone that's Thru-Hiked?

Well I haven't thru-hiked, but in 8 days of solid rain on the Long Trail last fall, the only time my feet got wet was when I lost my balance and had to put my foot down in the middle of a stream.

I hiked with hiking shoes and ID eVENT Shortie gaiters and my feet otherwise stayed plenty dry. Those thing breathe much better than GoreTex so it was all good.

I had much the same problem as the original poster and my solution was twofold

First I made sure that the strap was always in the depressed area just in front of the heel to minimize wear. Also, I just wrapped duct tape around the parts that would wear. As the tape wore down, I put more on.

Peaks
12-08-2006, 18:01
Anyone disagree with this? Anyone that's Thru-Hiked?

First, when it's raining, water ran down my legs, past the elastic top of gaitors, and into my boots. My feet got wet, and waterproofing and goretex didn't stop the water running down my legs.

I can't say if it kept my boots stayed wet longer afterwards or not. I didn't hike with one gaitor on and one gaitor off.

Boat Drinks
12-08-2006, 19:01
Well I haven't thru-hiked, but in 8 days of solid rain on the Long Trail last fall, the only time my feet got wet was when I lost my balance and had to put my foot down in the middle of a stream.


Now THAT is what I like to hear! 8 days of rain!!! The dream is alive
111:sun