Stopping to put on gaiters can be a hassle. Not with…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Outdoor Research for testing and review)
Stopping to put on gaiters can be a hassle. Not with the Outdoor Research Endurance Gaiters — just step-in, zip-up, and keep on trekking. The Outdoor Research Endurance Gaiters are stretchy, abrasion and water-resistant softshell gaiters that are great for hiking or snowshoeing.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Flexible (stretchy)
- Durable (abrasion-resistant)
- On the heavy side (5.1 oz)
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
- A little too hot for summer
About the tester:
I am a 30 year-old female from South Carolina who is 5'4". I wear a size 8.5 shoe and selected the S-M size. I typically go on day hikes and overnight hikes in the Southern Appalachians.
The Endurance Gaiters were tested over two months in dry, rainy, and muddy conditions in the Southern Appalachians.
The top of the Endurance gaiters have a drawcord to seal out elements and to ensure that you have the perfect fit on your calves. It is also helpful in adjusting the height of the gaiters.
The side-winding YKK zippers on the gaiters are a great feature because the angle creates a smooth and quick zip. The bright neon color stands out very well against the black body of the gaiter, making it very easy to see.
The zipper is covered by a very durable, weather-resistant flap and tabs at the top and bottom ends.
The BioThane instep strap is extremely durable. I took this shot yesterday, after wearing them for two months of hiking. It is amazingly clean and still completely intact. The instep strap on the gaiters that I currently own started to tear up after just one hike. I don't think the Endurance gaiters will ever have to be replaced due to the instep strap wearing out.
The inside of the gaiters are soft fabric, but the heel has sticky grip to help keep the gaiters in place.
The inner leg has a very tough, abrasion-resistant panel. This provides protection from crampons or micro-spikes. I never would have thought of this, but I think it is a great concept!
The toe clips are 1.5" apart and attach to the top of the shoestring. The uppers that cover them are made of stretchy elastane, giving the gaiters a more flexible feel.
PUTTING THEM ON:
Putting on the Endurance gaiters is so quick and easy! To me, this is their best selling point. All you have to do is step in, zip them up, and adjust the drawcord and you are ready to roll!
I tested these in all sorts of weather.
I wore them in sunny conditions at about 75 degrees with dry ground. They are well suited for that sort of weather.
When I hiked in them in temperatures above 80 degrees, I found them to be too hot and had to remove them. They are breathable, as they are made of softshell, but not breathable enough for hot weather. I think they would be perfect for spring, fall, and winter.
When I wore the gaiters in a light drizzle, they performed wonderfully. The raindrops rolled right off of them. I also wore them in the pouring down rain. They certainly did their job at blocking debris and keeping water out of my shoes, but they absorbed the moisture after a while. When that happened, they got really heavy, making it harder to walk. That also happened when walking across a series of balds that had just been rained on. They repelled the moisture for a while, but eventually became soaked when sloshing through the wet grass, so I took them off.
Here you can see the moisture rolling off of them.
They excelled in mud. I wore them on many muddy trails and the mud and water splashed right off of them.
I stomped through this big mudhole and this is how they came out:
I cannot say how they performed in snow because I could not find any in the south during my summer testing period. However, I do feel that they would do very well in the snow. If I am able to keep them through the winter, I will happily update you on snow performance.
Rocks, sticks, sand, mud...you name it, it doesn't stand a chance against the rugged Endurance gaiters. They are impressively durable, yet also very flexible. I recommend them for spring, fall, and winter, but I do not recommend them when it is pouring rain or when it is hot outside.