After hiking several days straight to complete all the hikes for “Five Star Trails Gainesville and Ocala,” on the fourth day, we were joined by a group of friends – Ruth, Linda, and Marjorie – for a hike on the Florida Trail.
After our experience becoming tick bait several days before, we made a point of wearing our Dirty Girl Gaiters for all of the other hikes. When our friends saw us wearing them, they loved them: Sandy in her “Shagadelic” print, and me in my “All Legs” print.
We had them take a photo so we could share a review. Sandy’s been wearing hers for nearly two years, including our time on the AT. Mine are almost a year old now. You can see in the photo they’re still serving us well.
What’s the point of these odd looking things, you ask? Stretched over the gap between sock and shoe, they help keep out sand – which we’re always kicking up while hiking Florida’s trails – and insects, especially ticks and chiggers. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to spray them with bug spray for extra protection.
Unlike the old fashioned “snake gaiters” and those black ankle gaiters that were held on by laces, these are simple to put on, and effective. After you have your socks on, slide these over your ankles before lacing up your boots or shoes. Once you’ve laced the boots, press the gaiter against your heel to attach the Velcro fastener, and slip the front hook under your laces. The material stretches and hold them tightly in place.
We carry a spare strip of Velcro in our first aid kit. After hundreds of miles, we have only needed to replace the Velcro on one shoe each.
Day after day we have worn them. They are easy to put on and so comfortable that you forget you have them on. After some of our hikes, when we’d stop for lunch, Sandy used to ask me if I was going to wear my Dirty Girls into the restaurant.
“Why not?” I’d say. “I’m already wearing all nylon clothes, with zip-off legs and rolled up sleeves. Heck, the gaiters are probable the best looking thing I’m wearing!”
Bang for the buck, Dirty Girl Gaiters can’t be beat. You could pay twice as much, and still not find a better product. And let’s face it, when it comes to hiking clothing, making a fashion statement isn’t easy. Until now.
Created by ultramarathoner Xy Weiss for runners, these dressy gaiters keep popping up on major trails around the United States as more hikers find out about them. Now it’s your turn! Check out all of the options on the Dirty Girl Gaiters website.