Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Ultralight Gaiters: State of the Market Report 2013


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Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Design for gaiters -- screws, hot glue on 06/29/2013 14:57:23 MDT Print View

Jim,

Awesome. I love it. Not sure it would work for those of us wearing minimalist shoes with soles in 3-5mm thickness, though. But for others, great approach.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Tripping? on 06/29/2013 15:44:00 MDT Print View

Often enough, the insides of my shoes brush each other, if I just mis-step, or am in a tight area, and I wonder if these screws could snag against each other?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
snaps on 06/29/2013 16:03:05 MDT Print View

I wonder if you could attach metal snaps to the back and sides of your shoes and the gaiters. That would be a lot more secure than velcro.
I havent found a gaiter that works well with minimalist shoes and walking through dense chapparal. The dirty girls are the only ones that fit and im considering wearing nylon gaiters over them for scrub. I plan on trying the belleville minimalist boots which are high top and very light wieght at less than 1lb each and function as scrub gaiters if you blouse them with your plants.

David Eitemiller
(DavidE) - MLife
Re: Re: Dirty Girl Disappointment on 06/29/2013 20:45:35 MDT Print View

Adding a positive plug too for dirty girl gaiters, for the intended purpose and limitations Will sets out in the article they are very durable. I have used one pair for well over 300 miles hiking, trail running, and packing - on trail mostly but rough trail, rocky for sure and probably 20% off trail. They are still going strong - no loss of the velcro patch on either of my shoes (note the other comments about securing this with some stronger adhesives if you are having issues). And for $20 get a couple pair!

Another thing I like about the dirty girl gaiters is that they don't rub your ankles raw. The fabric is soft and so the top openings of the gaiters around an bare ankle, if you wear low socks trail running or hiking, does not bother you against the skin. That was not the case for the Simbliscity gaiters which rubbed by ankels raw during a 12 mile day hike.

Good review Will - gaiters are a small item but the right ones make a big difference in a workable hiking system.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Tripping? on 06/29/2013 21:29:27 MDT Print View

Hasn't happened to me. Well, actually I have tripped from time to time, but not because of the screws. I don't think it's possible because of the shoe shape.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Brush Tests on 06/29/2013 21:35:08 MDT Print View

I have a question for the author. How much and what kind of brush did you walk through to test the gaiters?
The video shows you walking through weeds for 40 seconds. That can't be the actual test. Did you walk through sharp branches? Bushes? Prickly weeds?

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
re Brush Tests on 06/29/2013 22:04:20 MDT Print View

Whatever it was, it definitely qualified Will to be a finalist in the annual "Above and Beyond" awards competition. (Judging by the state of his shins).

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Magnets! on 06/30/2013 07:28:50 MDT Print View

Tiny powerful rare-earth magnets. Shoe manufacturers could embed tiny powerful rare-earth magnets for gaiter attachment! If it works for iPads, it could work for gaiters. They are almost the same thing.

Why wait for manufacturers? Gentlemen, start your glue guns!

Edited by JimSubzero on 07/02/2013 09:22:10 MDT.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
re magnets on 06/30/2013 10:15:51 MDT Print View

A friend of mine tried something like that once, with nearly tragic consequences. He wound up sticking out the side of a garbage truck that had passed him too nearly, and didn't dare try to get out of his shoes until the truck reached the garbage dump, a fifteen mile walk back to the trail-head.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Brush Tests on 06/30/2013 10:58:55 MDT Print View

Justin, you asked -
"Did you walk through sharp branches? Bushes? Prickly weeds?"

legs

...aahhhh.... I'd guess the answer is "Yes". And I'm also guessing that Will probably felt that a 10 minute video (per gaiter) would get a little boring.

If Will said he tested them in brush, take his word for it. He's pretty thorough.

Edited by greg23 on 06/30/2013 11:05:56 MDT.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Montbell Stretch Semi-Long Spats versus MH Scree on 06/30/2013 18:17:37 MDT Print View

Thank you Will for another report and review. Just wanted to ask:

1) How would you best summarize the difference between the Montbell Stretch Semi-Long Spats and Mountain Hardware Scree? Which is cooler for summer use in the sun?

2) For folks with average size calves, do you recommend ordering the Montbell Stretch Semi-Long Spats one size up so they aren't too tight?

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: Montbell Stretch Semi-Long Spats versus MH Scree on 07/02/2013 19:39:11 MDT Print View

Hi EJ, The Montbell spats and MH Scree are quite different. The Montbell fits tight and I would definitely size up. Both are made of stretch fabric, but the Montbell fabric is a stiffer stretch. The Montbell's would be a bit hotter in hot weather because of the heavier dark colored fabric and tighter fit. The MH Scree is a lighter color and looser fit. Best regards, Will

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: How about with boots? on 07/02/2013 19:42:59 MDT Print View

Diane, all of the gaiters in this article (except the Simblissity) will also work with light hikers. The Simblissity is specific to trail runners. Better to size up on the Montbell Spats because they fit tight. Will

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Ultralight Gaiters: State of the Market Report 2013 on 07/02/2013 20:29:37 MDT Print View

Wil,
Great review...and timely since I am looking at gaitors now. I appreciate that you had separated trail vs other conditions since it does seem to make a difference.

Please keep these coming!

Tom

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Locale: www.hikelighter.com
Re: Re: Ultralight Gaiters: State of the Market Report 2013 on 07/08/2013 00:30:34 MDT Print View

I have thousands of miles of use with the Simblissity LevaGaiter. On trail. Off trail. Snow. Rivers. Blackberry bushes. Ferns. Cactus. Desert brush. Forest undergrowth. Rain forest undergrowth. Rocks. Mountains. Shale. Scree. Love them. Had ZERO problems with them.

michael mercer
(mmercer)

Locale: Northern Virginia
Gaiters on 07/16/2013 18:27:28 MDT Print View

The velcro on the heal of the shoe works great when you wear the gaiters. It is a disaster all the other times you wear the shoe without the gaiters. Catches on pant legs and tears them apart. Catches on socks and pulls threads out. Ruined many a pair of nice socks with that "feature." Has to be a better way. Will give Jim Milstein's suggestions of the screw in the side of the shoe a try. Otherwise will pick a gaiter with a strap under the shoe and deal with replacing inexpensive straps vice expensive socks and pants.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Gaiters on 07/16/2013 19:03:56 MDT Print View

"The velcro on the heel of the shoe works great when you wear the gaiters. It is a disaster all the other times you wear the shoe without the gaiters. Catches on pant legs and tears them apart. Catches on socks and pulls threads out...."

Easy solution to the velcro problem above. Put the hook patch on the gaiter and the loop patch on the shoe heel. When the gaiter is not in use, it can be rolled up and the hooks are out of the way. The loop patches on the heels are no more dangerous than a plush toy. They may pick up a few burs when the shoes are used without gaiters, but picking burs off a couple of square inches is no big deal.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Vibram Five Fingers on 07/17/2013 16:12:39 MDT Print View

Hello. I wear Vibram Five Fingers and haven't used gaiters. I see that Dirty Girl makes gaiters compatible with Vibram FF. How effective are gaiters with this type of shoe?

Thank you.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: Brush Tests on 07/20/2013 19:45:29 MDT Print View

"I'm a gaiter man."

Great opening line (especially if you imagine it being said with a drawl). :)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Vibram Five Fingers on 07/20/2013 20:25:39 MDT Print View

Vibram Five Fingers kinda fit like socks and close around the top. Even if you do get a pebble, it will be pressed tightly against the shoe and your foot, making it easy to stick a finger in there and pull it out.

If you really want gaiters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXRfXYJWQpE