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Armor Spaulders - Wearable SCA


Spaulders, Wearable Armor

Shoulder Armor
Medieval Armor Spaulders

These Armor Spaulders (shoulder armor sections) are made of 16 Ga. Carbon Steel and are designed to attach and work with the breastplates shown above. 7 Lames with straps and buckle.

Spaulders Dispalyed With Muscle Armor Breastplate
Armor Spaulders shown with optional Roman style muscle Breastplate

This is for the shoulder armor section pair only ! Does not include the breastplate or stand. Comes with leather straps so you can adjust them to your size. They also have the same polished finish to match any breast plate harness and the armor legs on this site.

Medieval Spaulders

How would you dress for a battle back in medieval times? Would you be on horseback? Would you be an archer? Would you be a combat foot soldier in the thick of the battle? What to wear?

One of the most important tasks for a soldier preparing for battle is to wear the right equipment. Too often, in our imaginings of these ancient battles, we moderns tend to project everyone in the same battle armament riding on beautifully groomed horses with the banners waving, shields raised high and visors down. That would have been true for some but not all who were in a fight to the death in one of those ancient battles.

Depending on the weapon used and the person’s abilities in battle, the type of armament would vary widely as a person’s needs change with their skills and aptitude. It was unwise for someone who needed speed and stealth to be wrapped up in a full suit of protection that slowed him down with his skill of dagger and fast movement. His ability to quickly slash the Achilles heels of warriors as he sped by them, or a quick thrust to the kidney area, would be inhibited with even a heavy breastplate so this type of fighter would have been lightly clad and would have relied on quick reflexes, speed, chainmail and possibly a shield to protect him as he dove into the thick of heated combat.

An archer would be similarly clad although protected from long range attack of arrows with helm and chainmail and possibly a breastplate but would have had trouble with the restrictions of shoulder coverings such as pauldrons, which covered the entire arm area, including armpit or the spaulder, which was less restrictive but left the armpit exposed. The added protection at a distance was not worth the loss of quick ability to fire arrows and the tiring of one’s arms while doing so.

The Knights would have taken advantage of shoulder coverings such as the pauldron or spaulder but again, different situations and battle styles would have dictated which would have been chosen. If a knight was on horseback, the pauldron made more sense as he fought above the heads of his opponents. If he was surrounded and had spaulders on, he was vulnerable to upward thrusts from long handled weapons such as a longsword or spear. With the pauldron, he would not have had the freedom of movement that the spaulder would allow but he would have been completely covered from sudden and lethal attacks to his armpits.

The spaulder would have been the shoulder protection of the combat knight who either didn’t ride into battle or would abandon horse soon after in order to wade into the thick of the fight. It was also the first as pauldrons took over as more organized battle strategies developed around the 15th century. But when battle was more of a free-for-all event, the spaulder was used.

Someone who used the greater weapons, such as the great axe or the maul would have needed much flexibility around his shoulder area and would have required the movements needed for his weapon that the spaulder allowed. He would have been a larger man who would know that his arm pit would be vulnerable and would have had to rely on quick movement to avoid injury while swinging heavy weight. His style would have required clearing a path around him with his weapon in order to protect himself and that would have needed the flexibility of the spaulder.

Swordsmen would have used it as well in hand to hand combat for the same reason- flexibility of movement and speed gained from the lighter weight. The lesser restriction would have gained in more subtle movement that would have allowed the swordsman the advantage in his struggle. Yet one had to know his own weakness in battle and if a man had been previously injured or knew he lacked the skill to move as quickly, he might have worn pauldrons for the added protection as his slower movements would have made him more vulnerable.

So pauldron versus spaulder, what to wear? Each soldier, if lucky or wealthy enough to do so, probably kept both in his arsenal if he was versatile and knew enough about the upcoming battle and style of fighting to anticipate his needs. Easily outfitted to a breastplate, the use of both allowed choice and it being separate from the breastplate allowed the owner to carry less equipment. Since most favored a single weapon, this also aided in the choices made by those brave souls as they prepared for yet another life or death situation. Their decisions on what to wear the morning of the upcoming battle would decide if they lived to see another day.

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