Inov-8 Debrisoc 38 Review

Inov-8 Debrisoc 38Gaiters 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 will be covering designs from Inov-8.

Construction
The Inov-8 Debrisoc 38 (or Debrisock depending on what section of the Inov-8 site you are looking at) is an all-in-one solution. One part sock, one part gaiter all wrapped up in a single package. The Debrisoc starts off with a mid-weight Merino wool that makes up most of the sock portion except the top of the foot, but more on that later. This thickness of wool starts just behind the toes on top then wraps its way around back to just about ankle height. This mid-weight construction adds some padding and protection without going overboard or causing excessive heat. Speaking of heat, to help with venting there is a very thin Coolmax panel on top of the foot to get rid of heat and promote faster drying.

The gaiter portion is sewn on at the ankle cuff. It also uses Merino wool though it is a slightly tighter weave than the sock itself. There are three sections on the gaiter where extra fabric is used to reinforce stress points. One is at the front of the gaiter where a metal hook is sewn on for securing to your laces and the other two are the anchor points on opposing sides that will hold the tension band under the outsole. The anchor points are both a U-shaped hook and loop mechanisms where the tension band is attached. Lastly, you’ll find a bit of rubberized “paint” resembling Inov-8’s cushioning (arrow) system on the inside of the gaiter’s heel. This adds just a bit of grippiness to help keep the heel section from creeping up.

Oh, and that 38 in the name, it lines up with Inov-8’s naming convention of “What it is” + “Weight in Grams.” For those using the Imperial system, that’s 1.34 ounces.

How It Attaches
You can pull the Debrisoc on either foot as they are not right or left specific then put your shoes on. Pull the edges of the gaiter over your ankle. Think of it like putting an umbrella down. Next, attach the hook on the front of the gaiter down to one of bottom-most laces. The more laces you cover the less area for junk to get into. Now, pull the back section down over the heel of the shoe. Next, we get to the meat of this gaiter. If not already, loop the tension band into one side of the anchor. Run the band underneath the shoe then connect it to the other anchor. Lastly, check that the band is resting between lugs or in a recessed section of the outsole to keep wear and tear down. Now go run.

Conclusion
Inov-8 has created an intriguing offering for those looking to use a gaiter with all the fuss. One item to pack and put on is nice when your trying to remember everything else with the pre-race jitters kicking in. You get a quality trail sock and gaiter combined into a single unit. The downside, as is the case with all multifunction items, when one thing fails they both do, so be prepared with backup.

Call for Comments
If you’ve used the Inov-8 Debrisoc 38, what did you think? If not, what do you think of the design? Got any questions? Fire away.

There are 12 comments

  1. Digger

    I ran on on a trail that had some road sections and both debris rubber bands broke on the road. It would be nice if they could solve that problem. Very good product otherwise.

  2. Rob

    I think the key thing to remember about the Debrisoc is, whether Inov-8 admits it or not, I strongly believe they are designed to be used with their shoes! If you use them with their shoes, the deeper tread pattern will protect the rubber bands quite a bit more than if you use other shoes, particularly road shoes, that don't have deep treads. I've put a ton of miles on my Debrisocs, off trail, on trail and with substantial road sections and have yet to break a rubber band. If you're wearing a shoe w/o a deep tread to protect the band then it's a no brainer that they're going to break! FWIW I've worn the Debrisoc with the X-Talon 212 and Oroc-280 and have no issues with them, even abused them royally at the Barkley Marathons a couple weeks ago. So may not be a great product if you don't use Inov-8 trail shoes already, but if you do (like me) it's a wonder product!

  3. Thomas

    I have used them with Asics Trabucos and Saucony Xodus (bothe trail shoes) and I had to cut treads into the sole of those shoes to "protect" the rubber band. That actually worked quite well. Although this is not the ideal solution I would think.

    The sock feels great and is a quality fabric.

    However I have started to use twin socks now to avoid blisters and with great success and unfortunately the debrisoc is just single and I do get blisters in them, in particular on long runs (40+ miles).

    On shorter runs in dry weather where blisters are not that much of an issue I'll wear (and recommend) the debrisoc though

  4. Mike D.

    While I don't use the Debrisock, I do use their regular gaiter. They are a very well constructed gaiter. I have not broken a band yet, but can advise those who are concerned to stop by their local hardware store and pick up a couple of o-rings. I work at a heavy equipment store and got some o-ring that are the same length but thicker. I just threw these into my hydration pack in case I ever do break one.

    1. Andy

      Also have the older predecessor to the soc. Though I agree that it is wise to have an extra band handy, I have used them pretty extensively with both Mizuno Cabrakans and Brooks Cascadias – which have rather different tread patterns (though both trail shoes)- and have only broken one so far. Almost no use on the road, which may contribute as well. Even if the band does snap mid-run the gaiter still stays roughly in place, if not quite as effective. A really good gaiter overall.

      1. Mike D.

        I forgot to mention in my previous post that I have been using these with the Cascadia 4 and just recently purchased the Cascadia 6, but have not used the gaiter with the 6, yet. Still, I don't foresee any problems.

  5. Ben S

    I've got these, really impressed with them, except after doing a 20 mile trail today, I took them off and there were holes by the toes. I've possibly done 4 long runs using them, thats all, surely that isnt enough to hole them, anyone else have any experience of this?

  6. Dano

    I bought these from my local running store in a pinch the day before a 100 miler. Overall I liked how comfortable they fit but was suspect that the elastic band wouldn't last. As I suspected, one broke at around 50 miles and the other shortly after. The positive side is the gaiters stayed in place pretty well without the band. I went back to the dirty girl gaiters as they are fool proof. I did like how these were a heavier duty fabric though. I keep them as a backup.

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