What’s The Difference Between Chaps and Gaiters?

If you are new to the equestrian world, buying equipment can be daunting. There are so many new products with many different features. There are also lots of words that you may not be familiar with. Jodhpurs, numnahs, martingales, chaps and gaiters, what are they all?! We’re here to cut through the terminology and help you understand! So, what is the difference between chaps and gaiters?


Other than jodhpurs, chaps are the most commonly seen form of riding leg wear in the UK. They come in two types, which are full chaps and half chaps. In a similar manner to riding trousers, full chaps tend to cover the whole leg and are made out of suede or some other waterproof material. Full chaps also tend to feature zips down the outside of both legs, which are simply there to enable to the rider to pop them on and off with ease. Full chaps also tend to stop at the top of the leg at the back, which means the rider can have added feel on the saddle with an uncovered posterior. They also have an adjustable waist, which offers an ideal fit. The more common type of chaps, however, are half chaps. These beauties are extremely popular around the UK. Half chaps only cover the lower half of the rider’s leg, from the knee down to the ankle. With half chaps, the zip runs down the outside of the calf and they also tend to feature an elastic panel behind the zip, which means the chaps can fit nicely to the rider’s leg. This is vitally important with all chaps as if they are too loose they can spin around your leg or slip down, which can lead to injury. Half chaps are similar to full chaps in that they tend to be made out of suede. However, you can also get half chaps that are made from faux suede or neoprene, which both provide the rider with plenty of protection.


Gaiters are similar to half chaps in both design and practical uses. However, they are made from smooth leather, which offers a much smarter finish. This means that half chaps tend to be used more often in everyday use, and gaiters are therefore more popular in events and competitions. Another way in which gaiters differ from half chaps, is that gaiters have the zip running down the back of the leg, as opposed to down the side, which makes for a much neater looking fit. As previously mentioned, gaiters are mainly used in competitions as they give the impression of a long leather riding boot. They can also be used for everyday riding as well though, so don’t let this put you off making a purchase. Gaiters do tend to cost more than chaps, and they also look worn more quickly due to the materials they are constructed from. You’ve had the lowdown on chaps and gaiters. For more riding equipment, head over to Equine Superstore today. You might just end up finding the perfect clothing and equipment for you and your horse.

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