For reasons I can't express: I dislike wearing gaiters. Seriously, I can't explain my apprehension to strapping the damned things on my ankles/shoes. Maybe because they tend to look so...dorky? I have issues with looking dorky. Don't get me started. This is a psuedo-product review, not a headfirst dive into the chilling pool of my neurosis. I'll save that for next time. Stay tuned.
Thing is, in distances over 50k (31 miles), I really do need to wear the effing things. Practicality wins the day, as I really don't need to stop every few miles to knock the pebbles/grit/small mammals out of my shoes. I've owned gaiters that allowed absolutely, 100% of these items to end up in my shoes. Seriously: I spent the money, I look like a goddamned Himalayan hiker...so why did I just feel a boulder nestle its way beneath the ball of my foot?
I ambled my way over to www.zombierunner.com (the single GREATEST online resource for ultra running. Ever.) and HOLY SHIT, I found these gaiters, by Inov 8:
Okay, admittedly: I didn't find THESE gaiters. AKA, I ordered the wrong ones. Damn me. So, I "ended up with these gaiters". There. That's accurate.
Problem is: The gaiters are socks as well. This means, say, at mile 55, I want to change socks. I also have to have purchased another set of these gaiters (!?!?) So now I have to own an entire fleet of these. OR, I simply "convert" them to gaiters by snipping off the sock-parts. And of course, the gaiters I meant to order? Yeah, they don't have the sock parts.
Dammit CHECK YOUR SHOPPING CARTS BEFORE HITTING "PAY", PEOPLE!
What I like about these: The top part of the gaiter, which is usually elastic, is the top of the socks. This completely prevents anything from getting inside through the top. I ran a 17 miler in these a few days back, and the insides of my shoes were as devoid of debris as Howie Mandel's fireplace. The bottoms affixed nicely to the sole of the shoe and laces. Overall, I give this product an 8 out of 10, but only because of the sock-issue.
And overall, I give my online shopping prowess a 5 out of 10. I mean, I ordered *a* product and received it, right? That's worth at least 2 points. Like filling in your name properly on the ACTs? AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE??!?!