Dirty Girl Gaiters Review

Dirty Girl GaitersGaiters are pretty straight forward. They are an accessory that attaches to footwear to keep grit and grime from spilling in around where they are most vulnerable, the ankle. Trail running obviously introduces scenarios where debris is prone to get into your shoes and cause irritation so we have decided to do a whole series on gaiters. While the concept of gaiters is fairly simple, companies are spending a little extra time thinking about ways to differentiate. Because of that, we’ll be taking a look at some of the various trail running gaiter designs. Here we take a look at Dirty Girl Gaiters.

Construction
Dirty Girl gaiters are fancy, at least as far as patterns go. You can find over 60 different patters to choose from on the Dirty Girl Gaiters website. Looking for tie-dyed tiger print? It’s available. How about a red background with skulls? Check. Hmmm, maybe a simple black gaiter? Forget it, you wont find that (though there are a few solid colors available.) The idea is to find something interesting that spices things up a bit and adds a bit more flair to your mud stomping outfit.

When it comes to the materials used, that is where fancy stops. All Dirty Girl gaiters are made from a very simple thin 4-way stretch spandex. They are not waterproof or wicking, but are very lightweight and shed water fast. The body is a single piece of fabric looped together. The seam runs right down the middle front of the gaiter. The gaiter has two points where it will attach to the shoe. The first is at the front of the gaiter where a hook is sewn on to the spandex. Some extra fabric is added here to reinforce the stress point. The second is a small patch of velcro sewn to bottom most heel section.

How it attaches
This unit requires just a little bit of DIY. Mentioned above was the velcro patch on the heel of the gaiter. You need to stick the opposing side of the included velcro to create a connection point. Find a smooth spot on the heel. Clean off the spot where you want that gaiter to attach and make sure it’s dry. Stick the velcro on and smooth it out making sure it does not have any air bubbles. Then wait 12 to 24 hours to let the adhesive set up. If you don’t have a smooth spot on the heel of the shoe you can stick the tab on with some epoxy.

After the adhesive has set up, you are now ready to go. Pull the gaiter on first, then socks and shoes. Now, loop the hook around your bottom-most lace and stick the velcro patches on your gaiter and shoe together and you are set.

Conclusion
Dirty Girl gaiters are a low cost ($17), unique, and universal fit solution. What they lack in features they more than make up for in character. Best of all, they do what they are supposed to which is keep the dirt and grime from getting into your shoe.

Call for Comments
Have you worn Dirty Girl gaiters? If so, what did you think? Got a question? Ask away, as we’re sure many Dirty Girl fans will be happy to answer them.

There are 24 comments

  1. Chris

    I LOVE DG! Your review is spot on. I've used them for long training runs and ultras, including ultras in MAJOR mud, and they work perfectly. Can't say enough good about them. If your goal is to keep grit and whatnot from getting in your shoe, this is the gaiter for you.

    On a personal note, I'm one of those guys who always gets debris in my shoes, no matter the terrain. I can run with a group, no one else gets crap in their shoes, but sure enough, I do. This doesn't bother me on shorter runs, but on longer training runs and ultras, I prefer to minimize things that wear on you, such as grit and rocks in the shoes. Call me a pansy if you must, but Dirty Girls do the job – I virtually never get so much as small grit in my shoes with these.

    As the review points out – not water proof or wicking, but simple and effective.

  2. Jenny Handy

    I wear these and absolutely LOVE them. They keep out any twigs, rocks, mud or snow I have come across. I am one of those lucky folks who ALWAYS gets crud in their shoes but not with these. Plus they are cool to look at when I'm tired in the late stages of a race.

    Probably the only downside would be that you have to put velcro on the back of any alternate shoes you bring along but not really that big of a deal.

  3. Chris

    Just got a pair of DNF's (how appropriate) in the mail yesterday. Looking forward to wearing them on my next 100m in June!

  4. Adam

    I recently completed a 100 mile on a very sandy course while wearing DGs. I didn't have to change my shoes nor socks the entire race and I was surprised at how clean my feet were at the end. These gaiters are dead simple to use and lightweight. Even if the velcro patch comes off the shoe, as mine did, the back of the gaiter stays down reasonably well.

  5. Nicola

    I have worn Dirty Girl Gaiter's for years and like the above, have nothing but amazing things to say about them. Not only do they make you stand out in a crowd but they really do keep debris out of your shoes. In warm conditions, I haven't ever found them to make my feet hot. They are so light weight you hardly notice they are there.

    I've had to recently stop wearing them because my La Sportiva Crosslites don't have a spot where I can attach the front metal hook to the laces because the laces are covered by their own built in shoelace cover. I need to remedy that situation!!!

  6. Faceless

    I don't use gaiters, let alone Dirty Girl gaiters. But I would like to point out that the Dirty Girl website might be the worst website on the internet.

  7. Greg

    DG gaiters rule! I'm a huge fan! I have 3 pairs and would not dream of running a trail without them on. The funky patterns are a cool thing to look at as well; takes your mind off your suffering, HA!

    I do not get anything at all in my shoes while wearing them and I run a good amount of trail both in races and in training. I would highly recommend anyone wanting gaiters to get these ones. They do the job excellently and you can't beat the price. That reminds me, I want to get a new pair for my next Miler (Big Horn in June).

  8. Katrin

    Dirty girl gaiters rock in many ways. It is so much fun getting them dirty – they do an awfully good job. I've been ordering and wearing them since 2007 and I hope Xy won't stop sending them to Europe. They love being taken up and down the German, Austrian and Swiss Alps!!

  9. Michael Helton

    I have used Dirty Girl Gators for years running in very dusty/sandy/rocky Nevada deserts and Sierra Nevada mountains and have never had any complaints whatsoever. I get dirt through the mesh in my shoes but never from the tops, so they are indispensable. Best $15 I ever spent on running gear.

  10. Bruce G

    Dirty Girls are the only gaiters I have needed in the past seven years of racing – from the slop of the West Coast rain forests, to the high mountains of Colorado, to the desert sand of the Kalaharie. Solid, dependable, and stylin' (kind of like their maker, XY :-)

    It is also worth noting that since the company started with XY and some friends sewing them up in her basement, she has always done it for charity causes, and not for some get-rich-quick scheme. Best to ask her directly for details, but from the web site:

    "All sales proceeds are thrown right back into the dirt and donated to ultra-running events, trail-building, search and rescue, parks, and women's health and empowerment projects, breast cancer research, and youth athletics. "

    This is a great reason to get them, aside from them being one of the best products out there. Support someone who is putting things back into our sport and community.

    Bruce

  11. Jeremy

    Cut that ridiculous shoelace cover off! Not necessary and especially not necessary with a gaiter on. Less weight, easier to don and doff the shoe, and the only way to get the shoe to lace properly.

  12. Karen Pride

    Love 'em! Why would you wear anything else? Lightweight, colourful, conversation starter, they work, developed by a female – did I mention they work? Comfortable. Great selection of wild patterns! Put some fun in your run and get DIRTY!!! So the website is a bit simplistic – you view, you order, you get and you run! Really, what more do you want? Keep It Simple.

  13. Donna

    I've viewed the dirtygirlgaiter website but when I tried to contact the site via the email provided on the site it was rejected. Is there is a different email contact other than the yahoo address? Thanks.

  14. Anne Marie

    Does anyone know if one pair of DGs will hold up to the entire John Muir Trail (220 miles)? I will wade in them as needed but take them off over long snowy areas.

  15. Coral Hammond

    Why would you remove them for snow? I've worn mine through snow, mud, water and dirt and they worked great in all those conditions. Even though they aren't waterproof, I found them rather water resistant when running through puddles and they seem to repel loose snow as well. I love them.

  16. AB

    I've been wearing DG gaiters for a couple of years. Fine debris will still get in through the sides of any breathable shoe, but DG gaiters keeps the big stuff from getting in from the top. I'd recommend them to any trail runner. Great product for the price.

  17. David

    Thanks for these great reviews on gaiters. I am an adventure racer and bought some Dirty Girl gaiters based on all the positive reviews here. While initially pleased with them, I'm sad to say that after wearing them for three 12hr adventure races, they are torn up to the point of being unusable. Rips and holes all over them. Bushwhacking through thorns, marshes, and other such nastiness got the better of them, I'm afraid. Now I'm in the hunt for something more resilient!

  18. Leo

    I have had my Dg’s for years and they work great. I added velcro on the sides to the gaiters and my shoes to ensure that they seal the sides better. I wore them in a 24 hour Rogaine orienteering race which covered some wwild country without any problems. Considering how lightweight they are, they are almost bombproof!

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