We Walked Very Differently in the Medieval Period.

Body Mechanics in the Medieval Period.

We walked very differently in the Medieval, according to Roland Warzecha. As he explains in the video below, before the invention and widespread use of the heeled shoe or boot, we would have walked with a more probing lead – stepping from the front of the foot to the heel, as opposed to the other way around – the way we’re now used to.

This makes a great deal of sense for the less protected foot, as you would detect any potentially painful obstacles before putting the full weight of your body down, as you would when leading with the heel.

Though a type of heel in the form of the patten (a sort of tie-on undershoe) was adopted around the 12th century, it didn’t gain widespread use until the 15th century. And even then the poorer members of  European society (i.e., nearly all of them) remained barefoot.

In addition to running a very successful historical YouTube channel, Roland (the chap in the video) also runs DIMICATOR, a Hamburg based marital arts school specialising in historical swordsmanship, using methods gleaned from historical German manuscripts.

He’s also working on an illustrated book about Medieval and Viking era combat. For more details, you might want a gander at the DIMICATOR website.

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