What kind of gaiters are you talking about? A. Low-light-breathable to keep debris or snow out of shoes and socks without causing sweat? B. Low-waterproof for kicking through dew/rain wet grass? C. High, over the calf for deep snow? D. Knee-high cordura/balistic to protect from cactus, thorns, tough brush?

You can make any of these. Unless you are making C's for conditions where your life depends on your gear, a wide range of materials will work.

I make A's from bargain table scraps of spandex swimming suit fabric. This is surprisingly durable. I make them from a single piece, flared in front to reach down the shoe over the laces with a single seam up the front. They slip on like socks, then pull down over socks and shoes. A "coat hook" grabs the laces; a patch of Velcro keeps the heel down. They have no under-strap.

B's can be just about anything, depending on whether you want waterproof or not. Heavy pack fabric is not necessary. Again, I like to make them of one piece, flared at the bottom with a Velcro closure on the front and Velcro heel patch. Elastic goes in the top and bottom seams. Most manufacturers make these as simple cylinders - I like to flare the bottom.

C's are usually made with a breathable leg and a waterproof bottom. The waterproof bottom will sweat, but is useful in wet snow. Otherwise the gaiters will be pretty stiff in the morning. The bottoms need to be really tough - ballistic nylon or heavy cordura if you plan to use crampons. Some folks put a rubber or leather patch on the inside of the ankles to keep crampons from snagging. For heavy use in snow, you will need bottom straps and they need to be really tough.

I make D's from marine cotton duck or denim with velcro up the front and a flare on the bottom front. Marine duck is the better choice for tough conditions.