Gaiters are a type of Victorian era shoe cover that are still popular today among certain groups of people. The gaiter is made of either leather or plasticized synthetic material that covers the top of the wearers shoe - to protect the ankle - and the lower pants up to just below the kneecap.
The construction material chosen has much to do with the intended use of the gaiter. Horseback riders, for instance, almost exclusively use the leather variety.
Gaiters are kept in place by a strap that runs underneath the shoe much in the same way that some leggings are constructed. This strap keeps the gaiter securely in place and able to protect the lower shin and upper ankle.