Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A steel shoe made of overlapping plates, forming a part of a medieval suit of armor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The steel shoe forming a part of armor in the fourteenth century and later, usually having splints overlapping one another and a long point or toe curved downward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A flexible steel shoe (or one of the plates forming such a shoe), worn with mediæval armor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A flexible steel shoe worn with mediaeval armour.
  • noun One of the plates forming a shoe of this kind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun armor plate that protects the foot; consists of mail with a solid toe and heel

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, diminutive of soller, shoe, from Late Latin subtēlāris (calceus), (shoegear) for the sole of the foot, from subtēl, the hollow of the foot : Latin sub-, sub- + Latin tālus, ankle; see talus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French soleret, diminutive from Old French soler shoe.

Examples

  • By the crescent upon it, it should be the second son of old Sir Hugh, who had a bolt through his ankle at the intaking of Romorantin, he having rushed into the fray ere his squire had time to clasp his solleret to his greave.

    The White Company

  • By the crescent upon it, it should be the second son of old Sir Hugh, who had a bolt through his ankle at the intaking of Romorantin, he having rushed into the fray ere his squire had time to clasp his solleret to his greave.

    The White Company

  • By the crescent upon it, it should be the second son of old Sir Hugh, who had a bolt through his ankle at the intaking of Romorantin, he having rushed into the fray ere his squire had time to clasp his solleret to his greave.

    The White Company

  • By the crescent upon it, it should be the second son of old Sir Hugh, who had a bolt through his ankle at the intaking of Romorantin, he having rushed into the fray ere his squire had time to clasp his solleret to his greave.

    The White Company

  • By the crescent upon it, it should be the second son of old Sir Hugh, who had a bolt through his ankle at the intaking of Romorantin, he having rushed into the fray ere his squire had time to clasp his solleret to his greave.

    The White Company

Comments

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  • The metal pointy shoes that knights wear!

    March 20, 2009

  • Oooh. I'm excited because I has a picture:

    Segovian sollerets

    March 20, 2009

  • That is the coolest thing ever.

    *googles for a pair of sollerets in bear-size 8*

    March 20, 2009

  • I mean, think of the things you could do with those babies....

    March 21, 2009

  • Funny thing is the word has only been used in English since the nineteenth century—so what did the wearers call 'em?

    March 21, 2009

  • AHA!! They called it, at least from 1330, a sabaton.

    "A broad-toed armed foot-covering worn by warriors in armour."

    c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. Wace (Rolls) 10026 Hym self was armed fynly wel Wy sabatons Wace cauces de fer, & spores, & iaumbers of stel. 13.. Gaw. & Gr. Knt. 574 enne set ay e sabatounz vpon e segge fotez. c1420 ? LYDG. Assembly of Gods 346 Gauntlettes on hyr handys, & sabatouns on hyr fete. c1450 J. METHAM Wks. (E.E.T.S.) 36 This forsayd knyght Blak sabatouns weryd. 1485 Materials Reign Hen. VII (Rolls) II. 21 For making of a paire of sabatons of clothe of golde IIIIs. 1543 GRAFTON Contn. Harding 594 The hernayes..was all ouer gylte frome the heade peece to the sabattons. 1869 BOUTELL Arms & Arm. x. (1874) 206 At the commencement of the 16th century, the pointed sollerets were succeeded by broad sabbatons, cut off square or rounded at the toes.

    Also, in seeking an earlier date for this or another term, it appears that both solleret and sabaton have a connotation of being long-toed shoe-like things, rather than simply generic foot armor. This would seem to indicate that the terms wouldn't be found earlier than the fourteenth century (as we see here), since that's when the fashion of long-toed shoes came about. But surely, foot armor has an earlier provenance? When mounted shock combat is much older than ca. 1330?

    *continues to search*

    March 21, 2009

  • p.s. Here's the etymology of sabaton, from the OED also:

    a. Pr. sabató (mod.Pr. sabatoun shoe), augmentative of sabata = F. savate, Sp. zapata boot (also zapato shoe), Pg. sapata, It. ciabatta shoe. Cf. med.L. sabbatum.

    The ultimate origin of the Rom. word is obscure. It exists in Arabic (sabbt, çabbt, etc., Dozy II. 626), in Berber (sappt, ibid.), and in Basque (zapata), but is prob. in all these a loan-word from Spanish.

    March 21, 2009

  • Thanks! I wondered whether sabaton was related to zapato.

    March 21, 2009

  • The way the ends of the toes point down, how did they walk without falling on their faces?

    March 21, 2009

  • You don't walk in armored shoes. You get on your horse and fight, and if they knock you off, chances are you'll not be able to get up anyhow.

    As for the regular shoes with the long points, that was one of those fashions that the devout and pious railed against as being vulgar and foolish. Some people were so fashionable, and the points of their shoes so long (and often trimmed with bells), that they had to tie them up to their knees (or more accurately, their garters) in a big loop.

    Which kind of makes it a little more understandable why some people railed against this particular style.

    March 21, 2009