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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Gaiters

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#1
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
Hi, Bala, I'll be in Galicia at the same time -- God willing. I won't be taking or using either; just my poncho and, if needed, rain kilt. With trail runners, long pants would be sufficient in a light rain, but it is doubtful that either gaiters or long pants would provide complete protection from wet shoes in anything heavier and/or when the pathway has standing water which can't readily be avoided.

If you want information about how to deal with wet feet/footwear, just send me a PM. :)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#3
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
I used gaiters with my waterproof hiking shoes and they keep my feet dry as long as I don't step into water that is ankle deep. They definitely make a difference on muddy trails and hard rain, but not for deep standing water. I've been using them for 20 years in the backcountry and on my Camino. But I also always hike with waterproof shoes or boots.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#4
I used gaiters with my waterproof hiking shoes and they keep my feet dry as long as I don't step into water that is ankle deep. They definitely make a difference on muddy trails and hard rain, but no for deep standing water. I've been using them for 20 years in the backcountry and on my Camino. But I also always hike with waterproof shoes or boots.
What kind of gaiters do you use? I'll be walking in February/March so it's a topic I'm interested in because I hate wet feet!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#5
I use Trekmates gaiters, no rainpants since my normal pants dry so quickly (e.g. during a coffee pause in a bar); have never had to wade through ankle deep standing water; to ford small rivulets I take off my boots.

Buen camino!
 
#6
I had never used gaiters, but did on my Camino Frances last October. I had knee high ones and I was really surprised about how much I liked them and how they keep me dry. It also felt so good to have something warm around my calves. Never thought about that. I wore non water proof HOKAs and there were a great combination.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#7
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
If your shoes are not waterproof gaiters won't keep your feet dry. I hike in shorts except for winter and use Dirty Girl gaiters just to keep the sand and rocks out of my trail runners. They are not water proof.
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#8
What kind of gaiters do you use? I'll be walking in February/March so it's a topic I'm interested in because I hate wet feet!
I’ve always used Outdoor Research (OR) brand. They are waterproof nylon, not cloth. The short ones, not the long style. The long ones are too hot for me in warm weather.
And yes, if you don’t have waterproof shoes/boots, gaiters won’t help.
 
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J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#10
What kind of gaiters do you use? I'll be walking in February/March so it's a topic I'm interested in because I hate wet feet!
February, March I would recommend water-proof boots also, you should be prepared for snow rain and mud. For those days we wore rain pants other than that quick dry pants. We were wet or muddy every day. We only had 6 full days of sunshine. Still love it though.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#11
Fabric trail runners are not a match for the cold, snow, and ice of the winter months; footwear needs to adjust to the seasonal changes. Just as the type and weight of clothing will change to accomodate cold and inclement winter weather, so too does footwear.

When the temperatures plunge and snow and ice start making their presence known, I shift to a leather boot --- my current favorite being, ironically, the Lowa Caminos. There are a goodly number of protective, mid-calf length gaiters that can be added as needed, too -- REI and Amazon are sources to check. During the cold winter months, boots are a logical choice, just as my shift to trail runners are my norm for the warmer months from late spring to late fall.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#12
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I have gaiters that I brought both times on the Camino and never used them once, do they'll stay home this time. Or maybe go in a donation box.

However, I have been eyeing the Dirty Girls for exactly the reasons you mention, @J F Gregory , as well as mud protection for long pants. Then again, I could always just wash the mud off. That's been known to work. :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I have gaiters that I brought both times on the Camino and never used them once, do they'll stay home this time. Or maybe go in a donation box.

However, I have been eyeing the Dirty Girls for exactly the reasons you mention, @J F Gregory , as well as mud protection for long pants. Then again, I could always just wash the mud off. That's been known to work. :)
Dirty Girls work very well for keeping dirt and debris out of shoes, but they are too short for mud protection :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#15
I’ve always used Outdoor Research (OR) brand. They are waterproof nylon, not cloth. The short ones, not the long style. The long ones are too hot for me in warm weather.
And yes, if you don’t have waterproof shoes/boots, gaiters won’t help.
February, March I would recommend water-proof boots also, you should be prepared for snow rain and mud. For those days we wore rain pants other than that quick dry pants. We were wet or muddy every day. We only had 6 full days of sunshine. Still love it though.
I have Paramo Cascada II pants which are waterproof and Salewa waterproof Mountain Trainer Mid boots. I even have a pair of waterproof socks. I just worry about water getting into my boots from the top on days when I am wearing thermal leggings rather than pants.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#16
Short gaiters or spats will keep seven million little stones out of your shoes
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#17
Carried short gaiters 800 km on CF 2017 and never even looked like using them.

They will stay at home for CF2018...
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#18
I have Paramo Cascada II pants which are waterproof and Salewa waterproof Mountain Trainer Mid boots. I even have a pair of waterproof socks. I just worry about water getting into my boots from the top on days when I am wearing thermal leggings rather than pants.
The waterproof socks are too much. Seriously.
You are unlikely to be fording any rivers. Rainfall is no big deal if you have gaiters. So what if your socks get a little damp. Change them half way through your day. If you are using wool socks, you won't even notice the wetness that much. Don't over think the wet feet thing. You are not hiking in the wilderness. And I say this as someone who does backpack in the wilderness and has had wet feet.
 

Jeri

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March-May (2016)
Del Norte: April-May (2018)
Finisterre: May (2018)
#19
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
I used REI short gaitors in April and May on Del Norte. Loved them. Essential. I used an Altus poncho and Macabi skirt. Didn't need the rainpants although it poured.
 
Camino(s) past & future
French Caminos - April/May 2013, March/April 2017 and (Sept/Oct 2018)
#20
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
I have taken gaiters twice on Camino and never worn them. travelled March/April and April/May. snow, sleat rain. Waterproff pants did the trick ervery time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, (2019 ???)
#21
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
I was in Galicia in both '15 & '17 in late Oct and early Nov. One 'old testament' deluge in '15, and a bunch of annoyingly drizzely days in '17. Had North Face jacket and pants. Pants covering the tops of my Keen 6" boots which were waterproof(?), and I had no noticeable problems.

Good luck.

Peace be with you.

Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#22
The waterproof socks are too much. Seriously.
You are unlikely to be fording any rivers. Rainfall is no big deal if you have gaiters. So what if your socks get a little damp. Change them half way through your day. If you are using wool socks, you won't even notice the wetness that much. Don't over think the wet feet thing. You are not hiking in the wilderness. And I say this as someone who does backpack in the wilderness and has had wet feet.
I'm very good at stepping into that one puddle that submerges my feet. The one pair of waterproof socks are an option for bad weather in February. I'll probably have 5 pairs of socks in total especially since it is the tail end of winter. There was a lot of snow on the Levante this year and every year seems increasingly unpredictable. I may not use them and that's okay. But I do worry about damp feet getting macerated in waterproof boots especially on stages when there is no expected stops before the end. And I expect to do 30 km days most days. Sounds like a recipe for blisters. I will get a chance to test out the wet gear probably in January when our monsoon hits.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#23
I'm very good at stepping into that one puddle that submerges my feet. The one pair of waterproof socks are an option for bad weather in February. I'll probably have 5 pairs of socks in total especially since it is the tail end of winter. There was a lot of snow on the Levante this year and every year seems increasingly unpredictable. I may not use them and that's okay. But I do worry about damp feet getting macerated in waterproof boots especially on stages when there is no expected stops before the end. And I expect to do 30 km days most days. Sounds like a recipe for blisters. I will get a chance to test out the wet gear probably in January when our monsoon hits.
Donna, below is a partial repost concerning care for wet feet... it is part of a longer post on footwear strategies in wet weather. Since you are walking in winter, I've left off the footwear part, as it mainly applies to the warmer seasons. As well, the mention of shoes below is for a spring--summer--fall seasons walking. In cold weather, heavier footwear which naturally has water resistant and insulating properties are a better match.

The other strategies will apply, regardless of weather and footwear... as you mentioned, avoiding maceration as much as it is possible, is beneficial.

---------------------------------------------------

So, what does work? For me, if I am going to be walking or backpacking in wet weather:

1. Apply a good coating of salve or balm to my feet before putting on socks and shoes. This helps protect from external moisture.

2. For spring, summer and fall, wear non-waterproof shoes, which drain and dry out quickly. This minimizes the amount of puddling in the shoe that bathes the feet in moisture. Modern trail shoes have nice open mesh fabric which is terrific for draining water.

3. Non-waterproof shoes will also eliminate moisture from sweaty feet. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the source of the moisture is that feet are exposed to; rain or sweat, each can cause the same problems.

4. Wear thin, light-cushioned merino wool socks, which don’t absorb as much water as thicker socks. A lighter Merino wool sock will also keep wet feet warm, unless the weather is winter-cold when a thicker sock is appropriate.

5. I will take off my shoes and socks to let my feet air dry during any rest stop that will be longer than 20 minutes. During that time, I will wring out any excess moisture from the socks, but I will not put on either of my dry pairs (I take three). I will also re-apply a good amount of balm or salve to my feet to help keep them from becoming macerated.

6. Apply a salve or ointment to the bottoms of my feet when I have stopped for the day both before and after I shower.

7. Carry an extra pair of insoles. These are lightweight and will be the barrier between your wet footwear and your dry socks when you are done for the day and if your shoes are a bit damp come morning.

8. I found that at days end, I can remove the wet insoles and use absorbent paper or toweling to sop up as much moisture as is possible while I am showering and dealing with end of the day chores. Then, when I get ready to go to dinner or wander around town, I put on a pair of dry Merino wool socks, insert the extra pair of dry insoles into my shoes, and put the shoes back on to walk around in. Within a couple of hours, the shoes are mostly dry.

9. At bedtime, I remove the insoles and stuff absorbent material into the shoes to continue the drying out process during the night.

10. Apply more salve or ointment and wear dry and warm socks at night, to give my feet 8-9 hours of recovery time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#24
1. Apply a good coating of salve or balm to my feet before putting on socks and shoes. This helps protect from external moisture.

6. Apply a salve or ointment to the bottoms of my feet when I have stopped for the day both before and after I shower.

10. Apply more salve or ointment and wear dry and warm socks at night, to give my feet 8-9 hours of recovery time.
If you don't mind my asking, what salve/ointment/balm do you use?
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#25
If you don't mind my asking, what salve/ointment/balm do you use?
There are several choices, but my current favorite is HikeGoo. Oddly enough, I never use it for blister prevention, just for wet conditions :)
 

Jeri

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March-May (2016)
Del Norte: April-May (2018)
Finisterre: May (2018)
#26
I used REI short gaitors in April and May on Del Norte. Loved them. Essential. I used an Altus poncho and Macabi skirt. Didn't need the rainpants although it poured.
I should have included that I have a narrow heel and tend to get rocks in my shoes. This is the main reason they are essential for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Casino del Norte 2015 in part, Camilo del Norte 2016 finish in 2017.
#27
I'll be in Galicia mid-October. My rain pants are long enough to cover the tops of my trailrunners. Is there any reason to take gaiters? Thanks for your help.
That is a personal choice. Used to always wear gaiters but have gotten out of it last couple years. But I have a new pair of shorties waiting for me home-so I’ll be in them again. I just love keeping my socks clean from the sand, gravel, and needles from the trees that get into boots and socks. Socks stay cleaner and less abrasion. Buen Camino.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#28
I have a new pair of shorties
Culling my pack today, I off-loaded my shorty gaiters. They went unused for the last three Caminos!! I love them, but do not use them for some reason. My Altus poncho keeps my boots about as dry as they will be with gaiters.

It is a personal choice, I very much agree.;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#30
Yep, based on earlier posts I decided against them. I'm glad these comments support my decision and no one's saying, Don't even THINK about going without! :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos 2017
St Jean to Fisterra 2018
St Jean to Fisterra 2020 or Chemin Piemont
#31
I am a big fan of Rocky Gore-Tex socks instead of or in addition to gaiters. They are a little spendy, but I have been using the same pair for about 10 years for hiking, hunting, camping and even ran a half marathon in November rains in them.

Used them on my 2018 Camino and as usual they kept my paws nice and dry. They also make a nice outer layer for cold days without adding a ton of bulk.

https://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Mens-Gore-Tex-Waterproof-Socks/dp/B0751S4RMK
 

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