jonathanpatt wrote:If I'm going to be in an area with lots of grass or other plants with sharp or sticky seeds, I still wear low gaiters under my pants to keep those seeds from getting on or in my socks and shoes.
Fair enough. Might be a nice thing for first time thru hiker.
I personally wear light to medium material, low height gaiters on all
my AZ on-trail & off-trail hikes for these reasons noted. Something else one needs to keep in mind on longer, rough terrain AZ hikes is that the gaiter straps or cord tie straps that attaches under the boots to securely hold the gaiters in place will eventually wear through under the boot area and break thus adding another maintenance issue to deal with to fix in the field. When the gaiter type with straps wear through and break it's a bigger problem to replace in the field.. just not easy to replace/fix. So, if one is planning on buying & wearing gaiters on a longer or an AZT through hike, I would recommend buying the cord type gaiters and one will also need extra cut to length line cord.
Also, an additional benefit of these type of gaiters seldom mentioned is: If one is wearing waterproof boots and at a water crossing, accidentally falls in water over the top of the boot, because the gaiters usually secure above the boot area, one will have a short period to quickly pull out of the water and often keep from having the water enter in the top of the boot ;)