This gaiter was by far our favorite in trail run field testing. A lot of the time, we forgot they were even on our feet. Our lanky testers often have difficulty finding gaiters that fit; elastic bands are either too loose and slide down over the course of an adventure, or the elastic is so restrictive that range of motion is limited in some way. The nylon/elastane blend and adjustable dual velcro pads are great for skinny ankles and this is just one of the many reasons that we are so glad the Overdrive Wrap
wrapped its way around our footwear. We took them out with both low and high socks as well as a variety of types of footwear. They are definitely meant to be a fast and light-style gaiter, but they perform that job exceptionally well.
A secure, snug fit around skinny ankles.
Like other trail running and lightweight thru-hiking gaiters, the Overdrive Wrap is not designed for any serious protection from precipitation. Stomping through puddles or even just running on a saturated forest floor will get them wet. We found that they dried out quickly in the sun, but if you do most of your running under a forest canopy, once they are wet, they hold on to moisture. In terms of water resistance, the Salomon Trail performed slightly better.
The Overdrive Wrap on the left and the Surge on the right. They both kept the debris out, but the water seeped right in.
On the other hand, we found that walking or hiking at a reasonable pace did not create enough splashback to be really problematic. This is to say, if water resistance is a primary consideration in your purchase, look elsewhere, perhaps to the heartier Black Diamond Talus. However, if you're not planning to splash in the rain or go dashing through the snow, these are a distance hiker's dream.
This is where the Overdrive Wrap really shines. We found that these gaiters fit like a glove, thus keeping out debris both from above and below. They are designed to be worn with low-cut, low volume sneakers or trail shoes. We wore them over hiking boots just to see how they did; we wouldn't recommend them for it, but they still managed to keep a decent seal.
The interior of this gaiter (and our footwear) stayed debris-free thanks to its snug fit.
We found the durability of this model to be very similar to the Salomon Trail. They have a slightly thinner and narrower instep strap, but it didn't show any signs of wear during testing. The main body material itself is not meant to take an aggressive beating through scree fields, but these gaiters hug footwear so well that they almost never get caught on anything.
We would opt for a different model if we knew there was going to be a lot of scrambling involved, but the thing that ended up wearing them the most was their own velcro snagging the fabric when they were tucked in a pack. It's also worth noting that though the Hypalon instep strap is very durable, it is stitched directly into the gaiter so once it wears through, it can't be replaced.
Comfort and Breathability
Whether they are over a pair of socks or directly against bare skin, these gaiters almost feel like nothing. We did a couple comparison runs with the Overdrive Wrap on one ankle and a Salomon Trail on the other; we never quite forgot that the Trail was there unlike the Overdrive Wrap. Their adjustability allows them to fit over light hiking pants and their stretch allows the wearer to maintain a full range of motion without feeling like the gaiter is sliding down or pulling on skin or clothing.
They are not water resistant, but the porousness of the 86%/14% nylon/elastane blend means that they are very breathable. Another subtle, but important feature is that while they are very dark, they are not quite pure black, so they don't heat up quite as much as some of the other contenders. They come in sizes S/M and L/XL, fit by shoe size.
These gaiters fit beautifully, staying snug against both footwear and ankle.
Ease of Attachment
These gaiters are a snap to put on. They have an instep strap, lace hook, and two velcro pads. With all of these points of attachment, they stay secure on footwear for the duration. Another advantage of the velcro configuration is that the top and bottom of the gaiter can be adjusted independently, which accommodates a wider range of foot and ankle shapes; it can be tighter on top and looser on the bottom or vice versa. The lace hook conceals neatly underneath the gaiter; it's fairly small, but given the type of footwear that it is meant to attach to, it is more than adequate.
Each of these gaiters weighs less than an ounce. They are compact enough to fit easily in a jacket pocket, but if you're going to be out on the trail, you may as well have them on to begin with.
The Outdoor Research Overdrive Wrap on the left, the Salomon Trail on the right.
Outdoor Research seems to be underselling how lightweight they are. The pair is advertised at 4.2 oz. total. Our multiple measurements on different scales put them at less than half that weight.
The Overdrive Wrap is best used for trail running. Thru-hikers wearing low-cut, low-volume trail shoes or sneakers will also benefit significantly from this pair. Their versatility fades the higher and chunkier the footwear gets, but we were still pleasantly surprised with their performance with a variety of boots and shoes.
We were pleased by how snug these gaiters fit, even over high top trail shoes.
With this model, it is also the little things that count. For example, the OR logo is reflective; while we certainly wouldn't count on them as a primary safety signal on a nighttime jog, this feature is an example of the attention to detail in the design of a seemingly simple product.
At $35 retail, they are a value purchase for someone who makes a habit out of tromping through the duff. We think that trail gaiters, in general, tend to be a little overpriced, but this pair fit our testers so well that they would be happy to dish out the dollars for them.
The Overdrive Wrap is our Editors' Choice for moving fast and light. It has a simple but thoughtful design and the weight of the pair means there is no reason not to wear them! If you have had to stop your run to dump out pine needles from your shoes one too many times, this is the gaiter that will keep your feet happy while keeping you on the move.