Dirty Girl Gaiters

Walking down a trail is dirtier than what you might think. I mean, you're just walking, right? If only!

Gaiters have long been a necessary piece of gear for hikers. They keep dirt and mud out of your shoes in the worst of conditions. They also keep poisonous plants and ticks one more layer removed from your body. Gaiters were functional and basic, made of heavy material.

Then came Dirty Girl Gaiters. Established in 2004, Dirty Girls is a product of the love and devotion of marathon runner Xy Weiss. They are the ultralight, ultrafashionable solution to the age-old problem of mud. Dirty Girls are made with 4-way stretch fabric and come in a variety of sizes and patterns that make them the ideal unisex solution. The price? A mere $23, which still comes in lower than the boring black gaiters of the past.

The gaiters attach to the back of your shoe with velcro (included with the gaiters), and to your laces with a hook. The attachments are secure; mine have not budged once in all the miles of use.

I've been wearing mine on every hike this season, and while the 45 miles they've hiked is nothing compared to the paces through-hikers walk, they look like brand new. Cleanup is easy. I have rinsed them once and washed them once. They look like they just came out of the package, even with all the Ver-mud I've hiked through.

I don't know why I didn't get my Dirty Girls years ago, but I sure am happy to have them now.