From the article:
Achillia and Amazon wore fasciae, thick leather pads that shielded their shins from sword slashes. Fasciae were fastened on with leather laces that crisscrossed up the calves. Dolce & Gabbana's knee-high sandals feature thin leather fasciae; in lieu of laces, gold buckles climb from ankle to knee.
Balenciaga's gladiator boots take a different tack: They lace up the front, and have supple leather strips on the sides of the legs. Balenciaga's boots also come with high heels, spikes in black or rose steel. The effect is sci-fi: boots made for a gladiatrix from a galaxy far, far away. In Rome, the spikes would have sunk in sand. The gladiatrix? A goner.