Heater Shield

The Heater shield was one of the most popular medieval shields and was extensively used in particular during the late medieval times.

The shield itself was derived from the previously existing kite shield which was popular during the early and middle medieval times. It was one of the smaller and lightweight shields.

Heater Shield

Knights Templar Heater Shield

Definition of a Heater Shield

The term heater shield was given to this specific form of medieval shield because of its resemblance to a clothes iron.

The shield, being derived from the previously existing kite shields, also had a kite shape and was considered a good weapon of defense for common swordsmen.

These shields were mainly made of thin wood which was overlaid with leather or metal plate.

Heater Shields Used by Jousting Knights

  • A heater shield is commonly associated with medieval knights in tournaments
  • Heater shields were like small versions of the earlier kite shield

Medieval Kite Shield

  • Heater shields are similar in shape to a clothes iron and this is how they got their modern name
  • Heater Shields were made from wood that was coated with leather or metal plate
  • Heater shields often had shapes cut into them where Knights could rest their lances

Joust tournament

How was a Heater Shield Used?

A Heater shield was among those medieval shields that were used for defense against sword attacks. Thus it was made sturdy enough to deflect the blade attacks and be useful in hand-to-hand combat.

By the end of medieval times, however, the importance of the heater shield declined due to the emergence and widespread use of plate armor which covered the entire body.

Two Knights clash in joust

Two knights joust in plate armour with no shields

What Soldiers used Heater Shields?

The heater shield was mainly used by swordsmen because of its lightweight and small size. It was also used in tournaments and by jousting knights. By the end of medieval times, the heater shield was mainly seen in tournaments as its use had declined in battles.

Flemish Infantry with Heater Shields

Flemish Infantry with Heater Shields

Heater Shield Summary

The Heater shield was a particularly important kind among medieval shields and was quite popular during the late medieval times, although its use had declined by the end of medieval times.

It was mainly used by swordsmen and was easy to handle because it was lightweight and relatively small in size.

Medieval Cavalry Shields of the KnightsTemplars

  • Heater shields could be used for defensive purposes against sword attacks
  • Heater shields were strong enough to deflect the blows of a medieval sword blades
  • Popular with medieval swordsmen the heater shield lost its popularity due to the introduction of plate armor

Medieval Germany German Armor

  • A common sight in a medieval  tournament would be a medieval knight holding a heater shield
  • Medieval knights would rest their lances upon the top of the heater shield in jousting tournaments.

Plate Armour Detail

We hope you enjoyed this article on Medieval Heater Shields, if you enjoyed reading about Heater Shields please look at our other medieval shield articles that have links at the bottom of this medieval Heater Shield page.

You’ll find lots of interesting facts and information on other important medieval shields such as the Pavise Shield, Buckler Shield, and Kite shield. You can also learn about medieval shield designs and medieval shield parts in other interesting articles.