Posted by: LoneStranger

Gaiters? - 03/19/13 07:59 AM

I've searched as well as manually combed through MYOG posts but I'm not seeing anything regarding gaiters. Has anyone tried making their own or have info on doing so?

Specifically I'm looking for something that will work with a mid-boot and keep out snow and mud both of which get pretty deep where I roam smile though mud is my primary target to repel.

Posted by: Pika

Re: Gaiters? - 03/19/13 08:51 AM

I have made several pairs of gaiters for mountaineering boots: it is fairly easy to do. You need to decide whether to put a zipper in so the gaiter can be put on after the boot is laced up, this needs to be a separating zipper and should be fairly robust to withstand the dirt in its working environment. The rest of the job Is to decide how to shape the fabric. I cut waterproof pack nylon into strips about 10 inches high and roughly 18" long and then using trial and error tapered the ends to make a close fit at the boot top and around your lower leg. You need to leave a seam allowance and enough fabric for hemming, and for the zipper installation if chosen. I used some scrap fabric I had to make the pattern and then sewed the gaiters. You will want to put a light elastic in the top and need to put grommets on the sides for the tie cord that passes under the arch of the boot.

Personally, I didn't feel that the results were worth the effort when one can purchase good ready-made gaiters quite reasonably from sources such as REI. Of course making a light pair from Cuben or silnylon would be different. I haven't seen such listed for sale--but I haven't looked either. You can get good gaiters for trail running shoes from "Dirty Girl".

Posted by: LoneStranger

Re: Gaiters? - 03/20/13 08:57 AM

Thanks for that great response Pika. I can tell from your description how you went about it and it sounds like there's a reason I don't see twenty threads on the topic. smile

I also get the feeling I may want to reconsider just buying something on the market. Thanks again for your post.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Gaiters? - 03/20/13 02:52 PM

I made them once. I had some that I bought at REI, then I copied that design. I used velcro instead of a zipper. I put a draw string at the top and used elastic at the bottom, with grommets and string to wrap around the bottom of my boots. I even used them a month ago in knee deep snow when I couldn't find the store bought ones.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Gaiters? - 03/20/13 05:04 PM

I have a pair of eVent shortie gaiters from Mountain Laurel Designs. They are great in that (unless in deep mud or deep snow) they stay put without using the cord under the shoe (always the first item to wear out). However, they're too expensive to wear full time just to keep pebbles and other gunk out of my shoes, to keep ticks from crawling up under my pants legs in spring or to keep mosquitoes from biting through the tops of my socks. For this purpose I far prefer breathable (non-waterproof) nylon.

Simblissity LevaGaiters also fit well without the under-shoe cord, and, unlike Dirty Girl, don't need velcro (which I hate) to hold them on. However, the one-person business has been overwhelmed with orders so is currently out of stock while he searches for an outside sewing source. Do note that both these and Dirty Girl gaiters are made from breathable nylon so are not waterproof.

On the other hand, Dirty Girl has a lot of wild and crazy fabric patterns, if you're into such things.

Do note that none of the above shortie gaiters have zippers, so you need to remember to put them on before you put your shoes on. Maybe someday I'll remember that when I'm still half asleep in the morning!

I do have a pair of knee-high waterproof gaiters--with zippers--from Outdoor Research, which I use in winter for deep snow.

I'm also not sure that the savings are enough to consider making my own!

Posted by: dkramalc

Re: Gaiters? - 03/21/13 05:11 PM

Are the Dirty Girl gaiters mosquito-proof (like woven nylon shirts are, mostly)?
Posted by: Pika

Re: Gaiters? - 03/21/13 06:44 PM

They appear to be made of something like Spandex: I don't think they would stop a mosquito if the fabric were against the skin. The DG gaiters I have don't lie on the skin however, they sort of blouse out except where the elastic at the top gathers them in. If one were to tuck ones pants into the top of the gaiters I suspect that it would take a pretty tough mosquito to get through either the gaiters or the junction.
Posted by: Spock

Re: Gaiters? - 12/29/13 06:21 PM

Easy to make with durable Spandura from or less durable spandex from anywhere. Look at stretch gaiters at REI for the shape and sizing. I sew mine shut on the contoured front seam and just pull them on with my socks, Dirty Girls style. Coat hooks from any sewing store work well for gaiter hooks, but owfinc has gaiter hooks if you prefer. To keep them from riding up just stitch a loop of the stretch fabric on the inside of the gaiter above your shoe sides. It will fit under your foot. No need for velcro. You may need to make a couple to get it right.

That is for low to mid boots, but if you are postholing,you may need to use velcro to keep them down.
Posted by: lori

Re: Gaiters? - 12/29/13 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By dkramalc
Are the Dirty Girl gaiters mosquito-proof (like woven nylon shirts are, mostly)?

Dirty Girl gaiters aren't a good fit for mid boots. They work best with trail shoes. The mid boot wears out the fabric because it's such a small gaiter, it stretches over the top of the boot too tightly. Mine have a visible wear line from when I used to wear mids.

A better choice for mid boots would be shorty gaiters or the Montbell spats.
Posted by: Spock

Re: Gaiters? - 01/09/14 11:20 AM

Right about dirty girls being too small. They are also light spandex, last time I looked. They will fail sooner or later. I use similar pullover gaiters of spandura. OR and REI both make them with velcro closures that will fail after a couple hundred tail miles. For postholing either velcro hold downs at the heel or instep ties are necessary.