Did Medieval Archers Use Gloves – Everything You Must Know!

Archers today use bracers for underarm protection as well as shooting gloves. But is the use of bracers and shooting gloves a modern phenomenon or did medieval archers also use gloves and bracers?

Medieval archers used bracers (usually made from leather or ox-horn) as well as a leather shooting glove on the right hand and a finger-free glove on the left hand.

The bracer served two purposes.

First, in case the archer had a wide-cut sleeve the bracer prevented the sleeve from catching the bowstring when the arrow was shot. Second, the bracer protected the inside surface of the archer’s forearm on his bow-holding arm against injuries caused by accidental whipping of the bowstring or the passing fletching of the arrow.

Speaking of arrows and fletching. Have you ever asked yourself how medieval arrows were produced in enormous numbers and how the fletching was attached to the arrow shafts? Then I would like to recommend you my article here.

Medieval archers also wore a shooting glove on the hand with which they drew the bowstring. They might have also worn a potentially finger-free glove on the hand with which they held the bow as protection against the passing arrow and its fletching.

Ok, so a bracer and probably two gloves protected the archer against the dangers of his own weapon. But what about the other dangers that he could face on a medieval battlefield?

Well, late medieval archers also wore a quite surprising level of armor that kept them safe. But that is a story for another time.

Do you want to find out more about medieval archers? Then I would like to recommend you my article here on the topic of the pay of medieval archers (and soldiers in general).

And here you can find out more about how medieval archers carried their bows (and whether or not the movie version of carrying the bow across the chest is historically accurate). Aside from that you can also find out more about how medieval archers carried their arrows in my article here.

And last but not least you can find out more about the surprisingly good diet of the medieval soldiers in my article here.

Take care of yourself because you deserve it. You really do.

Until next time

Yours truly

Luke Reitzer


Mike Loades: War Bow: Longbows, crossbows, composite bows and Japanese yumi (2019).*

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