Gaiters are gaiters, but the instep strap on the OR's…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $45-50
Gaiters are gaiters, but the instep strap on the OR's is the best.
- Nice fit
- Durable (if the instep straps are fit right)
- They do the job.
- Need perhaps a little instruction to fit the instep properly
- Scratchy upper stitching on cuff
I've done the John Muir Trail now a bunch of times and the one thing I always end up tossing at the end of the trail (besides that WAG BAG) is my gaiters. Hasn't mattered which brand—I just end up wearing a hole on the inside ankle. Maybe you don't have this problem.
I would recommend these OR gaiters if for nothing else, OR has come up with a remarkably durable in-step strap. They call it, "Bio-Thane" which I am learning is nothing new, but aside from tearing up my gaiters, the in-step strap is always the first to go and this last JMT, after all 211-plus miles were done, I had barely made a mark on the in-step straps.
Not so for the gaiter fabric though. the bio-thane in-step straps are adjustable by using the hooks at either end and sliding the straps up and into a series of slots.
I learned the hard way that it is better to have the inside ankle strap lower on the rung, so I would not be bashing it all the time in a sensitive area. The rule for using them, if they came with directions/tips would be "hook the outside high and the inside low"
I also wanted to give these a durability test, so I didn't beef up the hot spots (my ankles) where I know I tend to ruin gaiters, but my advice and this goes for any gaiter, would be to reinforce them––especially the inside ankle bone area) with an iron-on patch.
After shredding them (before i figured out how to adjust the in-step properly) I brought them home, washed them in plain warm water and then applied the patches to both sides of the inside ankle area.
It's also a small peeve of mine––I find the upper cuff stitching to be annoying, so I end up pulling my sock up and over the cuff in order to stop the scratching. This ends up leaving the small bit of sock dusty and able to snag, but then the exposed sock also helps to keep the fit snug.
I like the velcro closure. There's a lot of it, so getting the gaiters to fit snugly around your boots and ankles isn't too hard.
Having patched up my holes ( see photo) I think these gaiters will certainly have a few more JMTs in them.