The first uses of the term “gear” that I encountered were in the rubber community, as an expansion of that fetish to include sports gear — jock straps, football shoulder pads, cleated shoes, and so. (Why expand rubber — which already included two major subgroups of tight latex and thick industrial rubber — with the seemingly unrelated genre of sports gear? Heck if I know. Maybe there's a connection via spandex?)
By extension, “gear” would also cover the tools and the accessories attached with other fetishized professions, especially firemen but also medical, police, construction, and so forth. We certainly have seen an increase in fire fighter pants and boots (and gas masks) in recent years.
And thus, we can come around to an actual definition:
“Gear” is all the fetish clothing and equipment which we accept into the greater “leather community” (and that's a whole 'nother definition) which isn't leather, uniform, or rubber. “Gear” is the “Etc.”, the “E” in “L.U.R.E.”Under this definition, note that traditional leathers — pants, chaps, shirts, vests, harnesses, etc. — are not “gear”. Tight shiny latex or hip boots and surf suits — not “gear”. Police or military uniforms or cammo — not gear.
Cowboys (and Indians)
Puppy and Pony Play
… that's “gear”.