Spats have been around since the 1850s. They are leather, cloth or felt shoe covers designed to keep dust off of your shoes or boots while riding on the road. Typically they have a narrow strap that fits under the shoe and then buttons up the side of the cover. Most spats are white. For the most part, only men wore spats. Though in the 1870s women sported them too for a spell.
Spats quickly outgrew their practical purpose as dust covers and came to be a fashion statement of their own. Bright white spats gave any outfit an extra snappy appearance. They were not worn indoors until the 20s - 40s when jazz musicians and dudes who digged zoot suits started wearing spats with zebra stripes, or velvet spats in bright colors to match their pants or hat.
They were revived breifly by pimps in the 70s, but since then no one as attempted to pull off spats wearing (with the exception of a few Goth - girls who wear them with booties in the women's spat style of the Victorian era.)
I dare you to put on some spats. DO IT. You will be so hip they'll drop dead.