Gaiter Alternative - by Jo Harder
I’ve been using Scoot Boots for nearly two years for endurance conditioning and competitions. I loved Scoot Boots so much that I became a stockist last year.
Throughout this time, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the gaiters. I started off with endurance gaiters because I felt that the additional protection on the side was warranted in order to cover all those miles.
Gaiter Problems in Hot, Wet, Humid Conditions
Because I put on so many miles with conditioning rides and competitions, however, I found that the endurance gaiters just didn’t hold up for me. This is likely due to the Florida wetness, heat, and humidity. Scoot Boots and gaiters really take a beating in this environment. The boots hold up fabulously; the gaiters, not so much.
One of my customers emailed me and said, “Love the boots, but hate the gaiters.” This super tough endurance rider went on to say how much she really did love the fit and performance of her new Scoot boots but was having issues with the gaiters. I had to agree with her.
Again, this problem may just be our harsh environment. If you live in a dry part of the world, the gaiters that Scoot Boots sells may be an appropriate solution for you.
So, I put my engineer brain into motion to find a solution. I first purchased the large regular (not endurance) Scoot Boot gaiters, which was an okay solution for me. The wider width did help, but it didn’t provide protection on the sides. I like my Scoot Boots rather snug (I’ve never lost a boot!), so I continued persevering.
After some trial and error, I found Dr. Scholl’s molefoam (not moleskin!). Cost is about $2.50-$3.00 USD for a package with two sheets.
As a stockist, I believe in trying anything new myself before recommending it to my customers. I first put the molefoam onto a pair of boots in the August time frame. For those of you that have ever been to Florida in the summer, it’s awful. We have 95-degree temperatures with 95% humidity and lots of rain. Early morning rides start off in the low to mid 80's. Ugh!
My new molefoam solution lasted for about 80 miles on these boots in these rugged conditions before they started to fall apart. Success!
The molefoam solution works fine with shims. There’s no overlap into the inside space on the boot, and I’ve successfully tested that too.
You’ll need two packs of molefoam (4 sheets) to pad a pair of Scoot Boots. To use the molefoam solution, here’s what you should do:
- For the back of the boot, fold the molefoam pad in half to get a crease and then unpeel the backing. The fold should be placed super snug such that there are no extra clumps of material. Press the molefoam onto itself as shown in the photo.
- Cut a molefoam in either 1/3 or 1/4 pieces that will go over the sides. I personally use 1/3's because my horses wear size 2 boots. Fold these in half as well to get a crease and then unpeel and stick.
Spend an extra minute or two pressing the molefoam onto the boot and to itself so that adhesion is maximized. Really get your fingers in there. Not sure if it makes a difference, but I leave the boot sitting for at least an hour or two so that the molefoam adhesion really sticks.
After you ride, hose off your boots like you normally do and let the molefoam fully dry out, preferably in the sun. After a while, you may see the molefoam come undone from its own adhesive backing (adhesion to boot stays fine). Just put a dab of SuperGlue on it.
This photo was after about 50 miles
A photo "from the inside"
Somewhere around 80 miles (maybe more?), you’ll determine that your molefoam setup has reached its max, so just unpeel it from the Scoot Boots and put on your next setup.
I personally love my Scoot Boots even more with the molefoam gaiters: super easy and no rubs, and endurance riders may wish to consider this alternative. However, for people that don’t put on significant miles, the large regular gaiters may be a good alternative.
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Jo Harder is an endurance rider in the Ocala, Florida, area and trims her own Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds. She focuses on completing endurance rides with a happy, healthy horse and having fun.