Your Guide to the Best Shoe and Ankle Gaiters for Running

If you ask any runner what his or her greatest frustrations are when it comes to running, there's a good chance that "pebbles getting into a shoe" will be one of such frustrations. Small stones, hardened dirt, and other forms of small debris are enemies of the enthusiastic runner especially a runner who loves trails. A pebble getting into a shoe is annoying. It makes running very uncomfortable and you can easily lose your focus because of it. If you are in an official race, taking off your shoe, removing the pebble lodged inside, and putting your shoe back on can eat away at your time. In the minute or so that you spend removing the pebble, one or two runners can easily overtake you.

Whether you are simply training or actually running an official race, it's always a good idea to put on shoe and ankle gaiters. In this quick guide, we are going to briefly look into the best shoe and ankle gaiters for running that are currently available in the market. 

What makes a good shoe gaiter? There are dozens of brands out there that make this essential running accessory. That said, options and supplies aren't a problem. But how do you choose from the available brands and models. What should you look for in an ankle gaiter?

A good and effective ankle gaiter should meet the following characteristics:
1. It actually prevents pebbles and other small debris from getting into the shoe. It should be designed in a way that it accomplishes this ultimate goal.
2. It should be easy to put on and remove. This is a very important feature especially if you are going to use the gaiter in an official race where every second counts. If you are in a race wherein you need to change the pairs of shoes you are using, removing and putting the gaiter back on should be easy to minimize the time you lose in doing so.
3. It should be tough and designed to withstand the elements like water, snow, heat, mud, etc. It should be made from materials that doesn't easily break down when exposed to these natural elements. A good ankle gaiter is something you can use for months or even years to come.

Let us now look into some of the best ankle and shoe gaiters available in the market today. The good thing about gaiters is that they are small and light so they are easy to handle and ship. Most manufacturers sell their gaiters to runners wherever they are located in the world.

1. Salomon Trail Gaiters - Salomon makes some of the most amazing gear for runners and their gaiter models are no exception. If you already use Salomon shoes, it's highly recommended that you get their gaiters because these gaiters were designed with Salomon pairs in mind. The gaiters fit snugly into their shoe models. Of course, no one's stopping you from using Salomon gaiters on other brands of running shoes.

Salomon offers two types of gaiters - Trail Gaiters High and Trail Gaiters Low. The two are pretty much the same. The biggest difference is that the High model goes higher above your ankle which means more protection. Both types feature Velcro straps which make them easy to put on and remove. Another good feature of these gaiters is the additional padding on the section that meets with your ankle bones. This extra padding protects your ankle bones from scraping and other injuries. [Buy on Amazon.]