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Gaiters with breathable shoes
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Shane Perry
(Rymnel) - F
Gaiters with breathable shoes on 04/05/2007 09:18:41 MDT Print View

So I've got a neophyte question. I've got a pair of Innov8 Flyrocs, in other words, a shoe that has a lot of mesh. In reading the articles on footwear for snowy, cold conditions it suggests the use of a set of gaiters. For whatever reason, I'm having problems seeing why they would be necessary. I see the point if you have goretex shoes or some other vapor barrier in use, but am missing how they help in a shoe that's going to get soaked anyway. What am I missing?

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
gaitors plus mesh shoes on 04/05/2007 12:44:50 MDT Print View

I'm moving to mesh shoes too. Gaitors could be good for snow when I'm wearing a gore-tex sock, but that assumes the gaitor is high enough to cover the opening to the gore-tex sock.

Otherwise, it's about keeping things out of the shoe. But you're right, some of that stuff is going to come in via the mesh. I guess it's about keeping little rocks and sticks out that are of a particular size, bigger than the mesh allows, but small enough to work in and get into the shoe.

Thanks --- this is a great "challenging" question. Now I'm wondering if this isn't a little like trekking pole baskets, where I've concluded that I'll either bring a real (separately purchased) snow basket, or just leave them off entirely. I'll try skipping the gaitors on my next trip (next month) and see how I like that. I certainly like the "one less darned thing to deal with" aspect.

I guess one other reason is to keep your upper shoes and socks clean, but ... that's a little weird, given that the lower socks will get filthy as might your leg above the gaitor.

Maybe it's just a matter of the terrain you're in, i.e., some locales might offer a lot more things that get into the shoe and bother you than others do.

Shane Perry
(Rymnel) - F
Re: gaiters plus mesh shoes on 04/05/2007 12:57:05 MDT Print View

That's sort of the conclusion that I'm drawing. I've trail hiked hundreds of miles with no gaiters and have had no issues with sticks/rocks getting in my shoes. No issues meaning it's so infrequent that I take my shoes off and clean them out when it happens. Maybe bushwhacking is a situation where it would be required. Does this mean that if you don't have a goretex sock on or something similar, that you don't need gaiters? I'm going to post the question on the end of the footwear article and see if that gets more response.