Knight Shields

Knight Shields

Knight Shields

A shield is an armor that is either mounted on a soldier’s forearm or on their wrist. The knight shields are utilized to block certain attacks, whether from close-range weapons or projectile weapons such as arrows; it works effectively by creating active blocks instead of providing passive and simple protection.

The knight shields have evolved and developed throughout the centuries as weapons and technology have improved; the knight shield became lighter and stronger, plus these were also adorned with the family’s knight crest or of his lord/king’s crest.

Furthermore, the knight shields were specifically made out of treated leather, plus these were eventually made of wood and usually wrapped with metal for additional strength. This is to add more protection against the enemy’s hacking weapons.

Materials Used for Creating Knight Shields

The construction of a knight shield began with the kind of materials necessary for a specific type of shield, and these were selected based on the style of armor and combat techniques used by the knight. This is to determine the right style and weight of the knight shield that will be created specifically for the wielder.

The following materials were utilized when it comes to the creation of the medieval shield:

  • Hide or animal skin (leather)
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Bark
  • Basket or wickerwork
  • Leather-covered wood

The development of the knight shield may have also included a durable strap called the guige – this strap allows the wielder to easily sling the knight shield over their back when not being used or while on horseback.

Types of Knight Shields

The typical knight shields of the early Middle Ages were the pieces with a rounded shape, but aside from the rounded shield, there were also various types of knight shields that were present and these included the following:


The buckler is a small rounded shield that was usually carried by the infantry troops; its size is smaller compared to the regular knight shields and was usually made from metal or iron.

Knight Shields

Aside from its rounded shape, the buckler was also made lightweight and was perfect for carrying during hand to hand combat; although this is the case, this type of knight shield is too small to cover and protect the soldier’s body. With its size, the buckler can easily be hung on a soldier’s belt.

Heater Shield

The heater shield is a knight shield that appeared in 1270 AD and it takes the shape of the bottom portion of a flat iron. This is a medium-sized metallic or wooden shield and was primarily utilized by knights who battled on horseback; also, this type of shield may not be as long as the kite shield but it is known to be perfect for cavalrymen.

Furthermore, the heater shield normally featured the coat of arms that is set right on the front of the knight shield.

Kite Shield

The kite shield is also called the tapering shield and it is much larger compared to the heater shield. It appears as a large and expanded shield with a rounded top and a pointed bottom; it formed the classic kite appearance and was commonly made out of metal or wood. The kite shield was a common piece during the tenth to the thirteenth centuries.

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Bouche Shield

This type of shield is commonly wielded with a lance and is mostly used while jousting. It features a ridge right in the middle of the shield which aids in deflecting weapon attacks; plus, it also has a groove that is located right at the front plate’s top where the knight can readily set his lance.

Pavise Shield

This is a huge rectangular-shaped shield that is just like the Mantlet. It was commonly made from metal or wood and it was primarily created to protect the wielder’s whole body.

These types of knight shields were highly efficient for archers since they would be assisted by a Pavise-bearer; these individuals were present to hold these shields for the archers while they attacked the enemy troops.

These were utilized during the fourteenth century and were also like the Kite shields that featured heraldry right on its front.

Targe Shield

The targe or target shield is a medium-sized piece that has a rounded shape just like a buckler knight shield, but a bigger version. It commonly featured studded nails that were punched right on its front which served as a type of decorative pattern.

It was first utilized during the fifteenth century and was traditionally connected to the Scottish Highlanders.

Knight Shields

Pell Training with Knight Shields

Using the knight shield as a weapon was greatly practiced by the Pell knights since these types of shields were specifically designed to act as a tool for defense while also for attacking opponents with the use of its sharp bronze or iron spike that protrudes from the center.

Pell training was demanding and time-consuming since the knights needed to practice for hours to increase their skills, agility, and strength in relation to the shields and swords that they used.

Also, these were adorned with symbols that were necessary for recognizing the knight during jousting at tournaments or while in battle.

Knight Shields for Sale

The Renaissance shield was one of the best ways to protect a warrior during the times of battle and this is why a lot of people have a fondness for these battle pieces. It was not only utilized as a form of protection but these shields may also be utilized for attacking opponents.

Because of its usefulness and efficiency, there are numerous online weapon stores that offer a wide array of fully functional and decorative knight shields for sale, ensuring that a re-enactor and collector can acquire a piece that is almost as close to the original Renaissance shield.

In these weapon shops, one will be able to find knight shields coming from different periods that are excellent for re-enacting historical scenes for various movies or plays; furthermore, there are also finely-made shields that are great for adornments which would be an excellent addition to a hobbyist’s growing collection of Renaissance pieces.

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