I've never really wanted gaiters before, but I've decided to try them. The good thing about trail runners is that they keep my feet cool. The bad thing about them is that they practically guarantee wet feet.
I found Outdoor Research Huron low gaiters for only $10 at Sierra Trading Post. I was skeptical that they would even fit, but at that price it was worth a try.
My first pleasant surprise is that they do actually fit. Sure, they are labeled small, but you've heard my woes about what companies think small feet are. Bigger than mine, usually. They have a sturdy zipper, velcro zipper cover, and adjustable elastic tops (although it's light elastic that won't last).
You'd never be able to put them on balancing on one foot. They require a place to sit down so you can use both hands. I suspect if you were trying to get them on some cold morning at camp they would be frustrating. But when they are on, there is a nice smooth fit. Here's the inner side.
And the outer side. Let's talk about the under-shoe strap. It's plastic. Probably terrible. It was annoying to walk on for 3 miles. I think for 10 miles it would approach intolerable. However, I'm sure it won't last long, and I can replace it with more typical flat elastic.
It's was just the kind of day to test them. On about one mile of my three-mile walk there was soggy snow about 1-2" deep. My goal is to see if these would be OK instead of winter boots when the snow isn't really deep enough to posthole, or to need snowshoes.
After 2 miles, the left toe box was working its way up over the shoe. Right after I took this picture, it popped off. But it was easy enough to slip it back on.
Did they keep my feet any drier than without them? I don't think so. If you look carefully, you can see that my feet are wet about halfway from the toes to the arch.
However, they did keep the bottoms of my pant legs from getting all soggy, so that it a plus. I'll need to be out longer to decide if they provide any marginal warmth to my feet. In general, I prefer to have my feet cold, even wet and cold. However, this may not be a wise idea if you are going to be out all day, for multiple days, in the winter.
Socks? I wore my capilene liners with a pair of the No Nonsense socks. They did not slip.
In other news: I have finished the final edit on the book. Have a few more tweaks on the index, and then formatting of that. That's tomorrow's project.