Most helpful positive review
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great for Foxtails!
on June 2, 2012
I'd never heard of gaiters before so these are my first. The foxtails were getting crazy at the open space I take my dogs to and every day I was pulling them from my socks, the top of my shoes, and the bottom of my pants. At one point, I even taped plastic bags around my ankles in order to provide some sort of protection. Somebody on Facebook saw my picture and recommended gaiters. The price on these seemed right so I gave it a try.
LOVE THEM! They're lightweight and I think they look quite nice, even stylish. They're kind of a hassle to put on due to all tabs and buckles but I think all those little extras help to make them better than the other gaiters you might find. I wear a size 7 shoe, which falls right in the middle of a S and a M of these gaiters. So I opted for the M and at first I thought I had purchased too big. While they might be a bigger than I really need, in the end, that really works out for me because they're big enough that I can just keep them on my shoes. There's enough room for me to stick my arm down so I can hold the tongue of my shoe up to put my foot in. Since I wear these twice a day, it takes away the hassle of having to strap the gaiters in and take them off repeatedly.
These work great for foxtails and when the rainy season comes, I'll also have protection from the mud that seems to accumulate around the bottom of my pants. A great investment.
Only cons are that the strap that goes under the shoe is not replaceable (Outdoor Research makes another model that do have replaceable straps) and that I would prefer a zipper opening instead of velcro just because it seems like a zipper would be easier to open and close.
Outdoor Research makes another model of gaiters called Bug-Out that has a type of chemical that discourages bugs from crawling up your leg. I learned about those gaiters after already purchasing these. Next time we go on our road trip to tick-infested country, I'm going to spray these gaiters with tick repellent and I think they'll do a great job of keeping ticks off.
UPDATE: I've owned these gaiters for about 2 months and the straps on both shoes have torn. I don't blame the gaiters for their short life though because the straps are meant to fit under the groove of your outer soles. Unfortunately, my main walking shoes don't have grooves in the soles. SEE PICTURE. And my spare shoes do have grooves, but the gaiters are sized too big for them and the straps don't align with the grooves. That means that with every step, I am actually stepping down onto those straps. I've worn these gaiters every day since getting them, on average 1.5-2 hrs per day on rocky, gravelly terrain so it's not surprising the straps are shot.
I tried to sew the torn pieces of the straps together but a few weeks later, they tore again. So I installed some plastic KAMsnaps to my shoes as well as the gaiters and now I don't have to worry about the straps. The snaps also make the gaiters easier to put on and take off. I will probably also snap new straps onto the gaiters so that I can easily & quickly transfer them onto other shoes. Those straps will wear out as well, but it'll just take me a few seconds to install snaps to new ones. I intend to use whatever material I already have for the straps (elastic, denier, etc), so that's also a lot cheaper than buying replacement snaps from Outdoor Research.
Also, the gaiters have lost their stiffness and tend to bunch around my lower calves now. I'm sure I can minimize that by tightening the buckle at the lip. But since I wear these gaiters so often, it's easier for me to keep it loose so I can stick my arm through it to put on my shoe. Once the weather turns wet, I'll probably have to tighten them to prevent rain from getting in but for now, as foxtail protection, they're fine even bunched down.