Contemporary participants of reenactment battles have completely forgotten about the sabatons, whereas medieval knights put them on first, dressing in armor before throwing away the scabbard. Sabaton, aka a solleret, is a plated shoe, which was worn over footwear and attached to the boots or to the greaves. Their construction resembles the inverted galoshes, that is, the outer surface of the foot is covered, while the bottom, which is in direct contact with the floor surface, is not. That’s why medieval sabatons are intended to be worn on top of any comfortable footwear, be it historically authentic boots, which are preferable for reenactors, or fantasy ones, that fit for LARPers, the main thing is good adhesion to the surface.
Middle ages sabatons
The first plated sabatons armor was made in Italy in the midst of 14th century and consisted of 4-5 segments. It featured short pointed toes, copying the shape of those days shoes. In the 15th century, the sabatons of Milanese and Gothic armor had long pointed beak, usually referred to as “poulaine”, which was unfastened for walking. In contrast, the Maximilian armor sabatons became broad and blunt and were called “bear paws” for that. Later sabatons were made with a round or slightly pointed toe, and also short ones. These passed out of use together with the greaves in the second half of the 16th century. Familiarize yourself with historically accurate shapes:
- sole plate slightly pointed early sabatons
- poulaines with a sharp long toe
- "bear paws" with broad, blunt toes
- late "duck beak" sabatons with a longitudinal stiffening rib
Sabatons complete the knight's full legs harness, consisting of tassets, cuisses, knees cops and greaves, protecting the knight's foot from accidental shocks, jabs, and chopping blows coming from above, which can easily injure an unsuccessful swordsman. Sure, such attacks are prohibited in the historical fencing rules - but things do happen, so it's better to take care of yourself. Pierced to run the laces through to be tied to the boots or greaves, all the models in our medieval sabatons store possess wide leather straps riveted below the foot. Laces on the toe and back give an additional fixation to the shoes. And yes, and they look just great!
We produce replicas and stylizations of European segmented sabatons of the 14-15th centuries designed primarily for SCA heavy and reenactment tournaments and group battles. Each pair can be made out of cold-rolled or stainless steel 1-1.5 mm thick, can have an etched pattern, a mirror or a matt polishing of your choice. To buy medieval sabatons, take your foot measurements over the shoes you're going to wear for training and fighting: foot length and circumference, instep, heel, ankle, and provide us with your usual footwear size.