X-Gaiters: Everything You Need to Know

Get the best fit and compatibility to make the most of your X-Gaiters.

Years of testing, tinkering, and perfecting went into our latest innovation: the newly revamped X-Gaiters. After all of our heavy lifting, we’ve come up with the best solution for cold feet – as well as a couple tips for keeping your gear in pristine condition.

Before you take off on your next adventure, take a read below to learn how to best fit and use your X-Gaiters with your favorite gear, as well as how to clean and repair them as life happens. Remember that our customer service team is always on hand to clear up any other questions you have at (855) 967-8197, or cus info@outdoorresearch.com.

CUSTOMIZING YOUR X-GAITERS

You’ll notice a printed dotted cut line on the toe of your X-Gaiters. Don’t grab those scissors just yet – read on to see whether you need to cut, or whether you can wear them as they are.

The first step is to find out what type of crampon, boots, or bindings you’re planning to use with your X-Gaiters. This will determine whether you need to cut your gaiters at all.

The only reason you will need to cut your gaiter is if you fall into one of two categories:

  1. You need to access the toe bail of your boot.
  2. You need to connect your boot to pin-style bindings.

If you don’t need either of these things, great! Your X-Gaiters are ready to use right away. If you do want to customize your gaiters, you’ll want to be careful while doing so.

Tips for cutting your gaiters:

  • Use a pair of sharp scissors. Scissors will give you better control and aim than a box cutter, pocket knife, or other sharp tool.
  • Cut directly on the line, and only on the line.
  • There may be some excess Hypalon and that’s fine. It’s better to have a little leftover than too little.

Now that you’ve got your gaiters, crampons, and boots, let’s walk through how to wear them all together.

FITTING YOUR X-GAITERS

Sizes may have wiggle room, please try your gaiter on your intended boot before taking them out on your adventure.

How to Fit the X-Gaiter to Your Boot: Follow These Steps Before Putting Your Foot in Your Boot!

  1. Hold both your boot and gaiter in your lap as you secure the two to each other.
  2. Open gaiter’s hook and loop center front placket.
  3. Draw boot towards toe, inserting toe in first.
  4. Stretch gaiter towards heel, making sure X shock cord aligns with your insole step.
  5. Stretch neoprene over heel and up the back of heel. The red rand of the gaiter should sit just above the heel welt of your boot.
  6. Put your foot in your boot, and lace or zip your boot shut.
  7. Seal the gaiter shut with the hook and loop center front placket, close neoprene strap over shockcord keeper, and finally cinch the top hem strap.

You can wear your pant leg however feels most comfortable – either tucked inside of the X-Gaiter to prevent snow from getting inside, or worn outside for greater mobility.

Pro tip: Fit your X-Gaiters to your boots indoors, or in your tent, when your hands are warm and fully functional.

You can adjust the shockcord to custom fit whatever boot you’re using, making sure each piece is cinched tight so there is no slack. That way, your footwear is ready to go whenever you are.

Finding Your Best Fit

  • Your X-Gaiter should have a rubber band-like fit around the circumference of your boot.
    • If it’s too loose, you’ll be able to put a finger between the gaiter and the boot at the toe or heel. This looser fit won’t protect your feet from the elements.
    • If it’s too tight, the gaiter simply won’t be able to stretch around your boot.
  • Throughout the body of the gaiter, there shouldn’t be excess fabric puckering up. Make sure you have a smooth, snug fit to your boot.
  • Hook and loop center front placket should completely overlap each other for optimal fit. However, you can still have as little as 50% contact between the two front hook-and-loop pieces and your gaiter will stay secure.
  • Top cuff should have enough room to tuck your pants into.

Pro tip: Test your gear before heading off on your trip! Wear your pants, boots, gaiters, and crampons together to ensure easy layering.

 

Mountain guide Jessica Baker wears this X-Gaiters while out climbing ice.

X-GAITER AND GEAR COMPATIBILITY

Boot Compatibility

X-Gaiters were tested for fit with the following crampon-compatible mountaineering boots:

  • La Sportiva Nepal Mt Cube
  • La Sportiva Nepal Cube
  • La Sportiva Evo
  • Lowa Alpine Expert GTX
  • Scarpa Charmoz
  • Scarpa Mont Blanc
  • La Sportiva Trango Tech
  • La Spotiva Spantik
  • La Spotiva Baruntse
  • Salewa MS Crow
  • Salewa Vulture
  • Scarpa Trango Trk
  • Scarpa Phantom Tech
  • Scarpa Phantom Guide

This list isn’t exhaustive, X-Gaiters will fit more styles than just the ones listed. The X-Gaiters were designed to be used like any piece of insulation, effectively adding another layer of warmth to whatever style boot you have.

Pro tip: Larger volume double boots will need to be sized up from our gaiter fit chart. For example: La Sportiva Spantik, Baruntse.

If you have any questions on fit or compatibility, contact us at info@outdoorresearch.com.

Crampon Compatibility – All Types

  • Strap-On Crampons
  • Hybrid Crampons (Also known as Mixed or Semi-Step)
  • Step-In Crampons (Also known as Automatics)

Instructions for Use with Crampons

  • Strap-On Crampons
    • Use as-is, no adjustments needed.
  • Hybrid Crampons
    • Make sure the heel bail of the crampon is making contact with the heel welt of your boot, and the gaiter does not come in between the two.
    • Secure crampon strap around exterior of X-Gaiter as you normally would.
  • Step-In Crampons
    • To access your boot’s toe welt, you must cut the X-Gaiter on the dotted lines underneath the hypalon toe piece, using a pair of scissors.
    • Now you’ll be able to lift the toe of the X-Gaiter higher, so the toe bail on your crampon will have full purchase to the welt of the boot. Be careful that no part of your gaiter is caught in between the two.
    • Make sure the heel bail of the crampon is making contact with the heel welt of your boot, and the gaiter does not come in between the two.
    • Secure crampon strap around exterior of X-Gaiter as you normally would.

Learn more about crampon types and what’s best for your adventure on REI: How to Choose Crampons.

 

Mountain guide Jessica Baker climbs steep ice in the X-Gaiter.

MAINTAINING YOUR GAITERS

Cleaning Your Gaiters

  • Do not put your X-Gaiters in the washing machine or dryer!
  • After an adventure, air dry your gaiters completely, and then clean with a dry brush. Scrub away dry mud, dirt, and debris, so they’re ready to go before next use.

Field Repairing Instep Shockcord

  • Use anything you have handy like paracord, or extra shockcord, and run through additional instep holes on either side of foot instep, tying off to remain secure.

Repairing a Rip or Tear

  • At home: Seal puncture with seamgrip as soon as possible to prevent Aerogel insulation from escaping.
  • In field: Use tape (a technical repair patch like Tenacious Tape Flex Patches from Gear Aid is best, but duct tape, gorilla grip or medical tape can work in a pinch) to patch hole and prevent Aerogel insulation from escaping.

Shop the X-Gaiters today, and get ready for the best alpine season of your climbing career.