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House of the Rising Sun
Staff member
Lifetime Member
In medieval times, armor was essential for protecting warriors and soldiers during battles and conflicts. Spaulders and pauldrons are two specific types of armor worn to protect the shoulders. While they serve similar functions, there are differences between the two.

Spaulder vs Pauldron Armor Explained.jpg

Spaulders, also known as "shoulder defenses," were a type of shoulder armor used during the medieval period. They were typically made of metal plates or overlapping metal segments that covered the upper part of the arm and the shoulder joint. Spaulders were designed to provide flexibility and protection to the wearer without hindering movement.

Features of Spaulders:
  • Coverage: Spaulders covered the top of the arm from the shoulder to the upper arm or elbow, depending on the specific design.
  • Articulation: They often had articulation points, like straps or hinges, that allowed the wearer to move their arms more freely.
  • Attachment: Spaulders were usually attached to other pieces of armor, such as a breastplate or a cuirass, through straps or laces.
Pauldrons, on the other hand, were more developed versions of shoulder armor that emerged during the late medieval period and became prevalent in the Renaissance era. Like spaulders, pauldrons were also constructed from metal plates, but they offered more comprehensive protection.

Features of Pauldrons:
  • Coverage: Pauldrons covered a larger area of the shoulder and upper arm compared to spaulders. They extended from the shoulder to the upper arm, sometimes even reaching the elbow, offering better protection.
  • Articulation: Pauldrons were well-articulated, allowing a wide range of movement for the wearer's arms.
  • Attachment: They were attached to the cuirass or other parts of the armor through various means, such as straps, buckles, or rivets.
The main difference between spaulders and pauldrons lies in their coverage and development. Spaulders were simpler and offered basic shoulder protection, while pauldrons were more advanced, providing more extensive coverage and enhanced articulation. As armor technology progressed, pauldrons became the preferred choice for shoulder protection during the late medieval and Renaissance periods.

Blaz the undead necromancer gives us a little side by side demo between the difference of a Spaulder and Pauldron. In the video game world, we see this mixed up a lot. In larp, it gets mixed up some but not as much as MMORPGs and alike.


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