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New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn’t Move Well in Armor

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It turns out that medieval armor isn’t the slow, clunky outfit that everyone have thought they were.  Daniel Jacquet along with several of his colleagues at the University of Geneva set out to bust the myth with a new study.  They published their recent findings after examining a range of motion and energy costs associated with fighting in medieval armor.

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While Medieval scholars have known that the outfits have far more mobility than many lay people realize, there was little quantitative data to support the theory.

The study was conducted by recreating the training regimen of a Jean Le Maingre (AKA Boucicaut) who was a famous French Medieval knight.  He racked up a series of military victories until being captured by the English in 1945.  He was chosen as the subject because there is a written record of his training regimen while wearing full-plated armor.   The regimen includes:

  • Jumping on a horse
  • Running
  • Swinging an ax or hammer
  • Climbing a ladder using just his arms
  • Scaling walls

Jacquet and his colleagues had their test subject perform modern variations of this regimen using replica armor.

While the demonstration proved mobility, it did prove that it came with a cost – the reason for the strict regimen was because the extra weight of the armor meant a lot more energy was required to perform the tasks.

You can read more about the study on Gizmodo.com.

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