If you’ve been hiking you know the pain and suffering that can come from rocks, sand, and stickers getting into your trail shoes; blisters, chafing, and ruined socks are common maladies. However there are a great number of low-to gaiters known as scree gaiters that are designed to block all that stuff and more, keeping your precious feet intact.
There are a number of different companies that make high quality scree gaiters with similar functions but a wide variety in their designs. Most common features include an arch strap that wraps around the underside of your shoe and/or a need for a Velcro on the back of your heel to keep the gaiter down. The Simblissity LevaGaiters use neither and they work great on dirt trails and river crossings.
No straps/Velcro/extra work:
LevaGaiters are slightly stretchy and constructed in a magical way that makes them lay perfectly on your shoes without any need for Velcro or straps. The only adjusting you need to do is the first time you use them with a pair of shoes you adjust the length of the lace-hook stay to get optimal tension. I used these in sand, mud, and in river crossings and they stayed put, not letting any but the most tenacious pebbles into my shoes.
If you are hiking in snow or otherwise decide you want the strap there are steel eyelets for you to run some cord under your foot or use the accessory made by Simblissity.
When walking through wet grass or mud it’s pretty common to get wet socks and shoes, but these babies are unbelievably resistant, I’ve done river crossings where they came out of the water totally dry, all the water just beads off.
For long distance hiking people are very worried about weight, especially on your feet since you will expend so much more energy swinging that weight each step. A pair of these weighs in at a scant 1.8 oz.
Most gaiters are boring black, these come in several natural colors like forest green or desert tan. I like that since I’m trying to reduce the visual pollution I contribute to the landscapes I visit.
No accessory cord:
While you can buy the cord separately from Simblissity or fashion your own I would really like to see such a low-cost item just come free with the gaiters. When using these to cross snowfields in the early spring they tend to ride up without the cord, letting in chilly snow to melt in your shoes.
Hiking, Backpacking, Thru-hiking.
Honestly, I don’t put on my hiking shoes without a pair of scree gaiters on anymore, and I am always reaching for my LevaGaiters. I don’t want to deal with attaching Velcro to my shoe or replacing straps or cords. These work all the time, look good, feel good, and do the job great. I’ve taken them on river crossings, snow fields, desert hikes, and scrambles and they work great for it all. I always have the cleanest socks in the group at the end of a dusty, dirty day.
Worth it. I think all hikers need a pair of great scree gaiters and these are pretty cheap, about $30. The cheapest pairs out there are maybe 15, however they usually are not water resistant and/or require installation of Velcro patches on the outside of your shoes. For the best all-around gaiters I always recommend LevaGaiters.