Hey, I'm Katie with REI. Gaiters are great for keeping stuff out of the tops of your shoes, but in order for them to work correctly, we gotta put them on correctly. So today, that's what we're gonna talk about. (upbeat music) Gaiters come in all shapes and sizes, everything from super beefy, crampon-reinforced, mountaineering gaiters to light-weight, ankle height ones for trail running. But, there are a couple of features that are common amongst all these gaiters. Take this one for example, there's a top closure to keep gravel, sand, and any debris out of the top of your gaiter, whether it's ankle height or calf height. There's a front closure that's usually Velcro to seal your leg in the boot inside of the gaiter. Some gaiters have what's called a lace hook, a little metal hook down a the bottom that hooks into the laces of your boot and holds the gaiter down around your ankles. And there's an instep strap, to go around the bottom of your boot and a buckle to tighten it.


First things first, un-velcro everything. When you put the gaiters on, you put the fabric behind your leg, so that as you step into it the opening is right there in the front. One thing to pay attention to is to make sure the buckle on that instep strap is on the outside of your boot, so you're not kicking them together on the insides of your ankles while you walk. Once you've got that instep strap under your foot and the opening of the gaiter on the front of your leg, the next step is to put the lace hook right here, right into your shoelaces, just like that. Some shoes have a little metal loop at the front of their toe and you can hook that into there and it's mostly for snow boots, but otherwise, shoelaces work fine. After that, Velcro that whole front closed, just like that. One thing you wanna make sure is to adjust the buckle on your instep if you need to. You just wanna make sure that the gaiter is snug and tightened down around the bottom of your shoe. If you're using the same boots with your gaiters every time, you should only have to do that once, but it's good to pay attention to the first time you put your gaiters on. Last step is the adjustments, so make sure it's nice and snug up here at the top of the calf. You can button this little button I have here if you've got one of those. And then, make sure your elastic is drawn at the bottom.


One note here is if you're using those real short, ankle height gaiters for trail runners, you may not have every single one of these features on there and that's totally fine. Just adjust as you see fit. In terms of fit of the gaiters, overall you want that gaiter to be nice and snug on your leg and on your boot. You can go by the sizing chart that the manufacturer provides, but keep in mind that if you're wearing real big mountaineering boots, or if you're hiking uphill in snowboard boots, you're gonna have to size up accordingly. You can always ask the Green Vests at your local REI if you have questions. But, one last double check for you, is to just make sure it's nice and snug up around your calf and down around your boot to make sure there's no debris coming in either the top or the bottom of your gaiter. That's all we have for gaiters. One last tip for you, if it's raining, super wet outside, you can actually put your rain pants on the outside of your gaiters. Gives a shingling effect, so that the water comes down your rain pants, down the outside of the gaiters, and completely off without getting you wet. As always, if you have questions come ask the experts at your local REI. And until then, check out our other videos and we'll see you next time.

Related Posts