Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Suit of Armor- Medieval Style

Hey guys, I’m working on my story for RF and I wanted to see if I could pull some knowledge from a few of our medieval experts.

I’ve been looking through information on the different components that make up a suit of armor, as well as proper name and time periods. One of the things I noticed was the sabaton, or the foot piece. It seems like it’d be great on horseback as a secondary weapon (at least the ones with a tapered point). The problem is that they’re impractical for foot work on the field, specifically for knights.

My mc uses bow and sword, but will be traveling a long distance, so traveling by horse seems far more practical than by foot. However, a lot of the way my knight fights is on foot. I was wondering if there was something akin to the taper-toed sabaton that the mc could wear while on horseback in case something unexpected arises, but discard quickly should things be better done on foot. Perhaps just the toe and instep part secured with straps to the rest of the boot, or something of the such?

If worse comes to worst, I can just keep the mc in leather boots and be done with it. I just thought it might be cool to include something like that if it seemed like something a knight on a long journey might consider and possibly have fashioned.

Thanks for any help/guidance/advice!

You wouldn’t use a pointed sabaton as a weapon, that would be a great way to screw oneself over. For one thing, your foot needs to be in that stirrup. For another, your foot is now stuck in some guy’s head…is that any good for your riding?

Context is always important to consider in regards to weapons and armor both. For example, mounted knights meant to engage with the lance might prioritize frontal armor and pay less mind to the rear, since they would mostly be charging.

Similarly, a traveling knight might not wear any armor at all! I mean, it’s hot as ****, it’s heavy and uncomfortable, you can’t go to the bathroom in it (unless you go to the bathroom IN IT). Oh! Also, since it’s carbon steel, that **** ain’t stainless, either. It has to be rubbed down with oil all the time.

It’s also really hard to put on by oneself.

Ah kay, I thought Sabatons could be used as a weapon of sorts. Makes sense. My MC will be having a squire (actually had that as a thought a week ago X3). A lot of this makes sense. So the knight wouldn’t wear the armor on the horse unless they were going into an area they were expecting to fight in.

When you see that pointed toe, that’s basically symbolic of the penis. No, really. It’s a status thing, not functional.

As for the rest, again, context. Plate armor would be worn to anticipate heavy combat, like major battles or siege situations. But, traveling where one has reason to suspect threats, that could certainly warrant armor of some kind, like a gambeson or buff coat or jack-of-plates, maybe with grieves and a light helmet or protective hat. But even these are still really, really uncomfortable. It all depends.

The pointed toe is to help them get it into the stirrup easier/quicker so they don’t have to sit there and fight with it.

This is to help get into the stirrups? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabaton#mediaviewer/File:HJRK_A_62_-_Armoured_shoes_of_Maximilian_I,_1485.jpg

Using an Emperor’s armour is a poor example as most of them tend to be far more showy/ornamental than standard suits of armour. :stuck_out_tongue:
Though that said, ‘to follow fashionable foot wear of the time’, yeeaaaah, that mixed with the whole ‘toe wider than the rest of the foot part’ pretty much kills my argument.

You’re right, it was a cheap shot on my part. I just wanted to illustrate the problem overtly. I hope you’ll forgive me.

Armor, like most wearables in the medieval period, was 100% modular and not all pieces were worn all the time. In period illustrations, you often see knights wearing only arm/leg armor and a helmet well into the 15th century. Chances are, the sabatons would be worn only when they were convenient to wear.

That being said, I’ve seen sword fighting in full plate armor with sabatons and there was absolutely no issue with it. The points were typically modest except for extremely high-status cases, since it was all ornamental anyway.

Thanks threetails, that makes a lot of sense. I’ve been having a bit of fun toying with the fact that they were modular, but I feel a lot more comfortable having it verified that it was a common thing :3

Seriously guys, thank you all. You’ve given me a lot to mull over and might have inspired a few things I wasn’t originally planning >.> So again, thank you!

Don’t forget that there are other sources of inspiration besides Medieval Europe. The samurai, for instance, began their history as horse-mounted archers.

A couple of websites I’ve found helpful:


Not helpful to your specific question, but they may be of interest to people researching future stories…