Posted by: Heber

Gaitors? - 01/18/08 03:49 PM

I don't yet own any gaitors. It's been years since I've done a long hike (just getting back into backpacking now and so far only done short hikes) but I didn't have gaitors back then.

Does everyone use them? Under what kind of conditions are they most useful? If you use them what kind do you like (how high, etc)?

Posted by: finallyME

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 05:57 PM

I have some old OR ones that are knee high and black. I have only used them in the snow. They are great for that. I just made some white ones out of tyvek for snow camo.
Posted by: phat

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 06:02 PM

I don't yet own any gaitors. It's been years since I've done a long hike (just getting back into backpacking now and so far only done short hikes) but I didn't have gaitors back then.

Does everyone use them? Under what kind of conditions are they most useful? If you use them what kind do you like (how high, etc)?


I like them in a couple of places.

1) Snow.
2) Scree.
3) Sopping wet.

I can definately do without in 3 - 2 is nice because a low gaiter can keep the little scree rocks out of your boots or shoes. They are really nice in snow.

If I know for sure I'm going to be facing 1) and 2), I carry them. If it's just going to be wet,
maybe not. If conditions are mostly good and no snow or big scree climbs, I leave 'em at
Posted by: jpanderson80

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 06:27 PM

I have some low gaiters that I use all the time. I hike mainly AR & TN area, so dirt, ticks, rocks, and general grime are what I like to keep out. They come up just above my ankles. Anything higher and I'd get too hot. I haven't had them on in the pouring rain, but I don't expect them to be useful then anyway -- I wear New Balance Trail shoes, so the water would come right through the mesh in them anyway. My favorite benefit of gaitors is that they keep my socks and the inside of my shoes clean(er). I hate putting funky socks on to sleep in. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 06:51 PM

I hike to hike in shorts whenever possible, and I really find short, uncoated gaiters essential to keep crud out of my socks and shoes.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 07:23 PM

There are a number of threads on gaiters; do a seach, but make sure you spell it correctly
Posted by: rockymtnhiker

Re: Gaitors? - 01/18/08 08:35 PM

I don't own or use them anymore. I have in the past, and they always ended up living in the pack and on my back.
Posted by: Paddy_Crow

Re: Gaitors? - 01/19/08 09:27 AM

I thought this thread was going to be about hiking in the Everglades...

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: phat

Re: Gaitors? - 01/19/08 09:31 AM

Well, Gators would still mean no snow in yer boots <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Bearpaw

Re: Gaitors? - 01/19/08 09:45 AM

I like short form-fitting ones like the REI Mistral Gaiter with low-cut trail runners, to prevent grit and pebbles and small furry critters and the like from getting into my shoes.

In areas where the trail tends to be brushy, or if I'm going to hike off-trail, I like a non-waterproof, breathable gaiter like the OR Rocky Mountain High for brush protection since I really dislike hiking in long pants.
Posted by: geokite

Re: Gaitors? - 01/19/08 10:26 AM

That's the main reason I were them in the summer, to keep my socks cleaner. Not that imporant for a day hike, but try doing the JMT without them and your feet will be sooooo dirty at the end of the day.
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Gaitors?(gaitErs) - 01/20/08 10:27 PM

I use them both winter (mostly) and summer. Same knee high, Gore-Tex, camo hunting gaiters for all seasons. Not light but very effective and they keep my feet at least 10F warmer.

In summer I use them with shorts for hiking through wet grass or in pouring rain if I didn'r bring rain pants.

Posted by: strongone

Re: Gaitors?problem in snow? - 01/22/08 06:07 PM

i had a nice 10 degree hike in snow and had a problem with gaiters heel string clotting up with snow. just a black nylon thin string. any suggestions as to best sole strap?
Posted by: brownwetdog

Re: Gaitors?problem in snow? - 01/22/08 07:04 PM

Hi StrongOne,

BackpackGearTest is running a test on a product "designed to replace the ordinary instep straps on most eyelet-equipped gaiters." The three test reports are found here: MountainAbout GatrGuard

I didn't read the tests in depth, but looks like they tested them in snow as well as on dry ground. Carol
Posted by: Trailrunner

Re: Gaitors? - 01/22/08 07:53 PM

You didn't mention what type of footwear you'll be using but if it's low cut shoes consider these:

Light, simple, cheap. And best of strap under the bottom of the shoe to wear out. They work great. If the colors are too wild for you this guy makes essentially the same thing in subdued colors.

I chose the skull pattern myself <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

For snow or bushwhacking I use something heavier.

Edit: I just discovered that dirtygirl now actually makes gaiters in plain colors but still not black. Just scroll to the bottom of the pattern page.
Posted by: geokite

Re: Gaitors? - 01/22/08 09:03 PM

In regards to the posts about the under the foot strap:

The best material, in terms of durability, is 1/8" spectra cordage, as found at West Marine. I hike a couple times a week, and one set will easily last me 6 months to a year.
Posted by: BradK

Re: Gaitors? - 01/24/08 12:09 PM

I use OR gaitors..

I am sooooo very happy with these gaitors, I have worn them in snow rain and even sunshine. On very cold days I were these even if it is sunny for the warmth.

I even wore these this christmas to get a christmas tree at the farm, it was very muddy and these did the job. They are easy to put on, take off and just to loosen up to get some air if needed.
Posted by: Spock

Re: Gaitors? - 01/24/08 02:50 PM

I hike in low shoes and shorts almost exclusively. Simple, stretchy, low gaiters keep my laces from snagging, socks clean, junk out of the shoes, ankles protected from scratchy brush.

I put Velcro on the backs of my shoes to match patches on the gaiters - which eliminates a cord or strap underneath. OR and REI have Spandura gaiters with Velcro closed fronts. Dirty Girl has simpler, lighter Spandex ones. The latter are extremely durable - they just slip on like socks and pull down over the shoes - no other opening. DIY gaiters of the same design made of bargain table scrap have lasted long past an AT thru-hike. Much better than OR which cratered half way thru another thru-hike.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: Gaitors? - 11/24/16 03:23 PM

I wear them almost every time I am walking (except of course in town). I have a number of sets.
The ones from China that you get very cheaply work as well (mostly)as good ones, but they are fragile and often do not last an entire summer. I give the cheap ones a coat of waterproofing just above the ankle.
I am broke however and you might be happier buying a higher end set that is more durable.
The only time I do not wear them is when it is guaranteed to be dry everywhere and I also do not need lower leg protection.
In the Northeast, that is almost never.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Gaitors? - 11/26/16 01:17 PM

For those of us who hike in trail runners, low gaiters (a "gator," BTW, is a large, toothy reptile) are a great idea to keep trash out of the shoes and to keep mosquitoes from biting through the socks. My first backpack in trail runners, I left the gaiters in my pack, and I was trying to resist scratching my ankles for over a week afterwards!

Posted by: Pilgrim 1

Re: Gaitors? - 04/29/17 02:40 AM

I've become a fan of Kennetrek gaitors...easy to put on, they make one that is a 'soft' exterior for stealth mode and a snow camo as well.