One of the most commonly asked question is “How do you attach the Velcro for your gaiters to your shoes?” This is probably one of the true mysteries of the universe ranking right up there with “Does the light in the refrigerator stay on when the door is closed?” Hopefully the following will take some of the confusion out of this important aspect of desert stage racing.
The overall plan is to SECURELY adhere Velcro hook portion to the circumference of the shoe just above the sole (on the upper) in a professional manner. Once this is done you will then wish to take the shoes into a cobbler and have them sew over the Velcro in order to assure it will stay in place. It is likely that just gluing the Velcro would be sufficient but this is a critical piece of race equipment for desert races and you do not want failures. The following is one method.
What you will need includes:
1. 3/4 inch (2 cm) Velcro (both the hook and loop parts). You need a sufficient amount to go around both shoes plus at least 6 inches (15cm) extra. Do not get the adhesive back type; the “sew on” type is best.
3. 3M Black Super Weatherstrip and Gasket Adhesive (08008) or equivalent (strong yet flexible). You can get this kind of stuff at the auto supply store.
4. Paper towels
5. Patience – lots of this
NOTE: This procedure takes time and should be done in short sessions over a day or two. This will assure a professional looking job that will not let you down.
Starting at the back, glue the Velcro around the outside of the shoe. Do this in short sections in order to keep the Velcro in place while the adhesive dries. Be sure to coat the Velcro all the way to the edges with adhesive and let it dry slightly prior to applying to the shoe, this makes application easier.
When you get to a portion of the shoe where there are natural curves you will need to trim the Velcro so it will lay flat. To do this either cut an arc or notch out of the inside of the curve (no more than 1/3 of the way thru) and snip the Velcro on the opposite side. Glue this down and hold in place while it dries
If there are any protrusions (sole features) in the toe area you may have to cut them off or file them down so the Velcro will lay flat. Small discontinuities can be taken care of with a buildup of adhesive.
Once the Velcro has been adhered and has set for a day, take your shoes to a cobbler. Have them sew all the way around the Velcro both at the top and the bottom so it will not come off. You may have to shop around to find someone willing to do this. Talk face-to-face with them to explain the procedure since they will most likely be quite interested in what this is for!
Finally, you should take the remaining loop portion of the Velcro and cut two protective strips to place on your new race shoes to keep all sorts of foreign objects out of the hook part when wearing without gaiters. An example of this would be when you wear them as you travel to your race, or if you are breaking them in. Trim as explained above so to get around the curves of your shoes. Start and end these pieces at the rear of your shoes. You will have a right and left one obviously.