|Further Reading||The 2 Ways Medieval Knights Got Paid Across Europe and Medieval Knights: What A Group Of Knights Were Called|
The medieval era saw the rise of some of the heaviest personal armor to have ever existed. This type of armor was called plate armor and it was created to be nearly impenetrable. During the height of the middle ages it was not uncommon to have thousands of soldiers wearing suits of plate armor. For example, during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 there were 10,000 French soldiers clad in plate armor!
According to modern historians the average weight of medieval plate armor was around the range of 30 kg or about 60 lbs. However, there are examples of significantly heavier suits of plate armor in the 50 kg range weighing in at a massive 110 lbs. In spite of this heavy armor, knights were very agile as the weight was spread across their entire body.
Plate armor would turn a medieval soldier into a walking iron man. Not only was this armor nearly impenetrable to most weapons it also was incredibly well made. A good armor smith would create the plate armor so that the weight was spaced out across the entire soldier’s body. This allowed the soldier to run, walk, swim, and jump while in full plate armor.
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Without further ado, here is an article on the heaviest medieval armor.
Average Infantry Medieval Plate Armor Of 30 kg or about 60 lbs.
During the late middle ages, plate armor became affordable for even the infantry to buy and wear. Before this point plate armor was generally ceremonial and was made for only the commanders of an army to wear.
This led to the creation of the standard 14th-17th century infantry plate armor known as munition armor. This munition armor would only cover the upper portion of the soldier’s body and was created out of overlapping iron plates fitting together.
However, since this armor only covered the upper portion of the soldier’s body it left the legs exposed. While this did give medieval soldiers wearing plate armor the necessary mobility required to march it also limited protection.
Entire armies of medieval infantry soldiers would wear this plate armor. Normally this medieval armor would be lighter than the full-body medieval armor that the commanders and cavalry would use. It would typically only weigh about 30 kg or about 60 lbs.
To give you an idea, modern armor worn by soldiers today weighs about 20 lbs. or 9 kg.
However, the weight of medieval armor would increase dramatically for mounted troops and commanders.
Semi-Heavy Medieval Armor Used by Cavalry And Commanders Around 40 KG or 88 LBS.
The commanders and cavalry of the medieval armies could afford to wear full plate armor.
This style of medieval armor is called Maximilian armor and it could weigh upwards of around 40 kg or about 88 lbs. This armor was designed to give the wearer full protection from a wide variety of medieval weapons.
Further, this heavy medieval armor was designed to redirect blows from the front. This is why each section of the armor is curved outwards. A good knight would know how to manipulate his armor to push oncoming attacks off to the side.
This style of armor was only worn by elite cavalry and commanders in the medieval army. This was for two reasons.
First, this style of full heavy plate armor was created to fit an individual person. As such it was incredibly expensive for the time. Only the wealthiest of knights could afford to buy and maintain such an expensive piece of equipment.
Second, these suits of armor would be created in an ornamental fashion. Each knight would have their suit of medieval plate armor handcrafted to depict their status within society.
During the height of the middle ages, the most prestigious knights would often be seen in their armor. If you had lived during this time period seeing a fully clad knight would resemble us seeing a fancy car.
Super Heavy Jousting Medieval Plate Armor Of Above 50 KG Or About 110 Lbs.
By far the heaviest medieval armor ever created was the medieval jousting armor used by nobles during their tournaments. These suits of armor were designed to protect the wearer from only one thing, medieval cavalry jousting lances.
These highly specialized suits of armor could weigh upwards of 50 kg or about 110 lbs. To give you an idea of that weight most people would be unable to move after 75 lbs. of weight being placed upon them. Now add another 35 lbs.
It was hard to walk or even breathe while wearing these suits. They were designed to protect the wearer during a jousting tournament. In this jousting tournament, each knight would line up and charge at each other with a lance with the goal of knocking the other person off their horse.
As such, this specialized heavy suit of medieval armor served three purposes.
First, the armor was designed to give the wearer absolute protection while jousting. In spite of nearly 100 lbs. of iron protecting the wearer, jousting was still incredibly dangerous.
Second, the wearer of this heavy medieval plate armor was so heavy that it helped with both building momentum to knock down the opposing jouster while also helping to keep them on the horse. Blacksmiths would make heavier and heavier armor until the warhorse could no longer move under the weight.
Third, since jousting was a popular sport each medieval suit of plate armor was created to dazzle a crowd. When you think about medieval armor you are most likely thinking about this specialized and colorful jousting armor.
As such, the heaviest medieval armor ever created was the plate armor created for jousting.
There you have it, an entire article on the heaviest medieval armor.
The armoring practices of medieval Europe are fascinating. Over the course of several centuries, Europe would revolutionize and adapt its military armor to become the stuff of legends. Today modern historians are busy trying to figure out what is truth and what is a legend. Prospective graduate students will find a wealth of potential study subjects here.
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