Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Product Idea - Ankle Brush Guards

Thanks to everyone who responded to the iPod T-shirt idea. Hopefully Mountain Hardwear will make it!

Here's the next entry in "Products I Would Like To See". This idea actually comes from Marty Hoffman, an ultrarunner from the Sacramento, CA area. He was telling me that in preparing for the Rio De Lago 100-miler, he wasn't looking forward to the many brush scrapes he would get on his shins after running some of the tougher parts of the Western States Trail. But soccer shin guards just get too sweaty. So how about some lightweight brush guards made for trail running?!?

Product Idea - The Montrail© Lightweight Ankle Brush Guards

So here's the idea. A lightweight plastic plate, held off the skin by two 1/2" strips of firm foam, and breathable straps that hold the brush guard onto the shin. The key here is "lightweight" - if you can keep it less than 1/2 lb, it should be fairly unnoticeable. It wouldn't be made for rocks or branches, but just for the annoyingly sharp brush and star thistle.

Okay, okay, my Photoshop skills need some work. But you get the idea. ;-) What makes these different from soccer shin guards is that the 1/2 inch of air between your shin and the guard (bridged by the foam strip) allows air to pass through more easily.

For a vendor, I think Montrail© is probably the best bet. They would most likely re-brand a shin guard from Champion or Lotto, but Montrail would have the best distribution to crazy runners who would need these. If you need a tester, talk to Marty Hoffman before Rio and he will be happy to give them a shot.

- SD


  1. Man, I could have used those. My time at RDL was 27 hours, and my shins are as sore as my hamstrings. Tim

  2. Don't you think that strap would rub on your calf? Maybe instead of a strap, it's more like a breathable nylon or something.


  3. soccer shin guards?

  4. Soccer shin guards with some foam that holds it off the shin a bit more might work. They would need to be pretty breathable.

  5. Also check out orienteering gaiters - they come in various types & weights - but the basic purpose is to keep the brush from lacerating your shins. there's a number of vendors out there, but these are the ones I've used:


  6. I like the direction you're heading with these. Dirty Girls just don't come up nearly high enough. Here's my own solution. No photoshopping here, I wore these to Bandera in January and they worked fabulously for a few hours until becoming too hot! I'm really enjoying looking through your inventions!

  7. Maybe Moeben will come out with some shin panties too! I can't remember who coined the term "arm panties" but I like it.

    Actually a good idea, One time I took an alternate route through a swampy area with some thigh-high grass that cut my legs up. Owwwwch!

  8. Besides trail running, I am also an Orienteer. Since we're mainly running off-trail, we use shin gaiters to guard against the types of things you mention - they might meet your needs as well. See:


    On the left, click on the "O' Gear" button and you will see a list of suppliers of various O' stuff, including gaiters.


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