In former times, soldiers, especially infantry, often wore leggings (also known as gaiters) to keep dirt and grime from entering their shoes, and to provide ankle support. Though they bore the same name, military leggings were different from the civilian version, which are are style of tights. Military leggings, by contrast, were more akin to buskins. These leggings usually consisted of a piece of canvas with criss-crossed laces running along one side, and an adjustable stirrup that passed under the sole of the shoe, just in front of the heel. Sometimes metal clips were substituted for laces. The soldier placed the leggings around his calf with the laced side facing out and adjusted them and the strap to acheive a proper fit. Leggings typically extended to mid-calf, although sometimes they extended to just below the knee.
strips of thick woolen cloth resembling a large bandage
were wrapped around the leg to serve the same function as leggings. They were usually helpd in place by a strap attached to the cloth.