Gaiters 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.
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.
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.