Dirty Girl Tip

Dirty Girl Gaitors

Many of you may know I am a huge fan of Dirty Girl Gaiters. The gaiters are light, washable, durable, and inexpensive. They are perfect for any outdoor adventure, magically keeping feet cleaner and free of most debris. The color selections range from bright, wild and fun to basic colors. In fact, my Dirty Girls are my #1 conversation starter when I am hiking.  Just last weekend, the first and only hiker/hunter we saw said, “Nice scree gaiters.” I  promptly told him and that they come in camo, black, and grey.  In fact, I have written about them several times on this blog: Gear and FoodDon’t Get Relaxed/Mt. WhitneyHiking Favorites of 2012, The Trail Divides, and Oh Wyoming. Unfortunately, the velcro that attaches the gaiter to the shoe sometimes comes off. That is a huge inconvenience and disappointment when you are on an extended trip. Here is how myself and many other hikers solve this problem.

Dirty Girl Tip:

  • The first thing I do when I get a new pair trail runners is attach the small strip of velcro that keep the Dirty Girls in place. If you are attaching the velcro to used and dirty shoes, be sure to clean the area well with soap or rubbing alcohol.
  • Cut desired length for the shoe you are using. Mine are usually about 1″ to 1 1/4″.
  • Peel off the backing that comes on the velcro. It is sticky and can be applied directly to the shoe, but often comes off while in use if applied directly.
  • Apply a glue product to the back of the velcro tab. I use Shoe Goo.
  • Attach the velcro to the back of the shoe pressing out to the corners the excess glue. I like to place the tab on the outer sole (not the shoe), so the gaiter stays low to keep out dirt.
  • Let dry overnight.

Extra Tip:

  • I carry a couple extra velcro tabs in my first aid kit on long hikes.



  1. Dirty Girls are great gaiters…nice post. Other great gaiters are those made by MLD….tough and light weight.

  2. I have shoes with nowhere to stick the velcro at all. So what I did was get a speedy stitcher stitching awl from Tandy and I sewed the velcro on.

    • Boy I think you need to send Dirty Girl this very creative and useful solution for shoes out there that are mostly fabric or have no place the Velcro will stick. Thanks for posting your solution.

  3. Rockin’
    I’m a huge fan of the dirty girls and have had the same issue with the velcro. One thing i’ve found to be very helpful is to cut the velco into more of an oval shape before putting it on the shoe. In doing that, you remove the corners which are the places that the velco usually catches on twigs or loses its adhesive and starts to slip first. Happy Trails!!

    • Okay I am so doing this for the next tabs I glue on! I can see this would work perfectly. Hope others read this and try it too. Thanks for this useful tip.

  4. I love these – and such funny pattern names too! My pattern is called “Running with Scissors.” =]

    • Oh I so forgot to mention the fun names! Thank you. Some of my favorites are: Too Hot to Trot, Falling to Peaces, Run Til You Dye, No Bad Days, and Not Potable. So fun.

  5. steve scarano

    Although I have no experience in making project described by Rockin’, the “cat’s meow” in shoe repair is Barge, which is available at shoe repair shops and good hardware stores. Also, Home Depot (and others) carries a tube of adhesive specific to velcro.
    Hamburger Helper

    • Thanks for the tip Hamburger Helper! There are lots of products out there like Barge and Shoe Goo that are designed for rubber. Adding the extra layer of adhesive really makes the difference in outdoor use.


  6. Rockin’

    Nice tip and write up. I started wearing gaiters earlier this year and found that in addition to keeping debris out of my shoe, they help keep the dust down that enters through the mesh. I’m digging them and will continue to use them for helping to keep my feet clean and blister free. I’m using LevaGaiters now and may also try some dirty girlz. I have a buddy who has them, so hopefully I can give his a shot. Good hikin’ to ya.

    • Leva gaiters were recommended by Andrew Skurka. I tried ordering them a few years ago and the company had a hiking vacation. This was back when Dirty Girls only had VERY bright colors. I think they are almost identical, but the Leva Gaiters are more durable. Stick with what you love. Thank you for sharing.

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