Lower leg protection, under the knee and over the ankle.

This is one of the most challenging pieces of armor to craft, due to the complex curve required. A proper piece must flare out a bit as it reaches the top of the foot, yet whilst wrapping around the ankle. This combination of requirements will force the metal to curve in opposing ways so the craftsman will need finer skills to accomplish this. When crafted properly as one piece, greaves are often made using heat as from a forge. The piece can be cold-formed up to a point, but the metal is heated up before the bottom flare is hammered out.

Due to the difficulty of crafting greaves properly, you will often see them┬ámade quite incorrectly. Nobody should ever wear, for example, “stovepipe” greaves! These might seem simple enough, but simple is dangerous in this case. A stovepipe greave has no flare at the bottom – its a straight cutoff at your ankle, and this will cut straight down into the top of your foot! Even if the bottom edges are rolled or wrapped in leather, have nothing to do with such. Learn to make them right, or don’t bother. The same goes for simply cutting a foot-sized notch out of the bottom of the piece. Just because your foot fits there doesn’t mean it’s safe to wear. It isn’t.

More soon…