Gaiters: archaic trouser cuff protective, or valuable laundry saver?
I suppose that most non-walker types would see the humble gaiter as one of the definitive points of identification for the dreaded ‘rambler’. Normally teamed with a yellow self-knitted bobble hat, parka and self-righteous hatred of 4x4s in their countryside.
But no, I cry, for normal people who like to stomp around in the woods the gaiter can be a perfectly acceptable bit of kit for keeping the other half happy and her nice tidy car mud free!
During my sojourns to the archery woods I’ve been using a pair of Gelert’s Frontier Gaiters (sourced from Amazon for a tenner) during which time they’ve been excellent for preventing my fashionably heel-length jeans and craghoppers from caking with woodland mud. The shagpile in my girlfriends motor has remained happily dry and free from the influences of the wild wild woods!
Further, in the recent snowy January we’ve been having, the gaiters have done their duties well, leaving our poor dog to be the one who gathers snowballs round his ankles!
There’s a couple of things I’d change about the Gelert Frontiers – they’re a good length, coming up to just above the curve on my calves, so the elasticated top holds them up well, and the bottom dropping to approximately ankle level – which begs the question of why Gelert have attached under-foot straps long enough allow the bottom of the gaiter to be somewhere near my waistline! They really are far too long and once adjusted flap about irritatingly – especially if you happen to have pulled the excess to the ‘inside’, so that the loose strap whacks your other foot at each step! The plastic adjuster buckles are pretty tight, so once the strap has been adjusted to fit, it’s a bit of a pain to re-adjust. I think I would have permanently fixed the strap to the inside, and only have 1 adjusting buckle on the outside of the gaiter.
The only other “gripe” is that Gelert seem to have taken a “belt&braces” approach with all the fasteners – Zip, Velcro, AND Pop-buttons close the front of each gaiter. I would suggest that the zip is superfluous and only the addition of a couple of pop-buttons at the most stressed points (top, bottom & where the boot-top tightening elastic is) would be sufficient – the velcro is pretty strong and does the of keeping the material closed up well without needing assistance from the zip.
SUMMARY: Overall the Gelert Frontiers are doing a good job thus far of keeping my socks and ankles dry and mud-free, and they also don’t seem to be prone to overheating my calves, which it appears some other products do – so another point in their favour. I’d rate them as a good buy, and well worth it for keeping you muck free during regular weekend romping in the woods!