Late XIV – first part of XV century. Early knee cap defenses consisted of small simple forged plate fixed on the knee. It was not enought to protect the external part of leg. The full knee caps with wings (German: Muschell) were developped in 1390s approximately and didn’t got changed much untill XVII century. This armor part is
Steel kneecaps: german “Kneibuckel”, italian “ginocchielli”, french “genouilleres”. Some historians assume that steel kneecaps were the first step toward the full plate leg harness. It was essential to cover knees with the steel plate element. In XII century knights used chainmail stockings. But mail was not strong enough to protect a knee. This weak place
Steel knee type-2 with the round wings. Plain design of the XIV – early XV century knee protection with rondels. Equipped with the leather straps. Two pairs of holes are drilled on the top and bottom for the proper fixation of knee caps. You can easily connect them with your cuisse armor by the leather
Basic and practical protection of the knees. Light weight. The plain shape provides perfect movability. Steel knees have leather straps and laces to be fixed properly at the place they should be. This is ideal supplementary to your armor. Price for the pair. Please notice, that measurements should be with padding/gambeson.
Leg protection is made in early Milanese design of the end of XIV century – beginning of the XV century. Based on the example of the full set armor belonged to one of the members of the Matsch family. The original armour is preserved in Churburg castle. It includes: early armet helm, cuirass with V-shaped
Medieval Leg Armour
Only knights and cavalry could afford the full leg armor back in the Middle Ages. The infantry and other soldiers could only count on leather and brigandine legs armour. Of course, after big battles, the soldiers engaged in looting and removing their killed enemies’ trophies. These, however, were isolated cases because the lion’s share of the trophies usually was taken by the warlords.
This lack of leg armour was the reason for the fact that most injuries sustained during combat were limb injuries. Add to that mix the horrible medicine that was prevalent in the Middle Ages, and you get a huge percentage of deaths because of limb injuries.
During the peace periods, the rulers did everything to keep the military training of the knights at a proper level. One of the ways to do that was to set up tournaments. There was a little problem, however – knights often died in the tournaments, which was obviously not the way rulers would want it. Therefore, the rule to use only non-sharpened weapons was enforced. The spectators naturally wanted more blood, but at the same time, they realized this kind of entertaining could also be interesting and adopted new rules.
There were many varieties of tournaments. There were those in which the knights didn’t need full leg armor. This kind of tournament was called “through the pole.” During such a battle, the enemies were located on either side of the pole. The pole itself was set parallel to the ground at approximately belt level. As a result, knights could only hit above the belt, since leg kicks were not possible. There were also other kinds of tournaments that required good leg armour for protective functions. Several hundred years have passed, and full-contact battles are of increasing interest and are gaining more and more viewers.
Everyone who is engaged in or thinking about HMB and IMCF full-contact fights should approach the choice of the equipment as seriously and responsibly as possible. Beginners want to cover their hands and arms first, expecting the opponent to hit the upper limbs more. However, our battle experience shows that the fighters actually get more injuries they could’ve avoided if only they had armor legs. In addition, high-quality articulated plate armor will allow you to feel confident in both buhurt and dueling fights, the times when it’s important to stand firmly on your feet or make a leap towards the enemy.
Majority of the leg strikes fall on the high leg armor and much fewer on lower leg armor, which is why we recommend using stronger materials on the upper leg. However, when it comes to the greaves leg armour , you are covering the potentially open areas and can concentrate on your fighting technique and your opponent. Also, something to keep in mind, whether intentionally or accidentally, chances are you will still probably going to be hit on the open parts despite the fact that it is forbidden.
We also can’t ignore the sabatons armor. “Who will reach for that with a weapon?” you may ask. However, if you watch a buhurt, you’ll notice that if one falls down during the battle, the fight goes on, no one pays attention to you, and especially to where your feet are. However, they are open and any accidental impact is a threat. The fighters are focused on their enemies, not you, therefore even a member of your own team, in such a situation, is as dangerous to you as an enemy, if you don’t have sabatons armor.
I hope I have convinced you that full leg armor is an integral part of your battle equipment, and that lower leg armor is as important as upper leg armor. In addition, don’t forget to take care of your feet and put on sabatons armor. Of course, there is also the greaves leg armour option that would protect your shins.
Forge of Svan has been manufacturing medieval plate legs since 2004. We have extensive experience with splinted leg armor as well as leather leg armor. Therefore, don’t delay – get your battle protection. Your opponents have already ordered their armor from us a long time ago, that’s why they are so confident. Get yours today!