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Harthr armor must allow for hard contact combat with the goal of recreating Viking Age combat using period gear. Safety is always the most important part of armed combat and it should never be taken lightly. It is therefore vital to ensure that all rules regarding the Harthr combat style are followed, such as target areas and weapon techniques.



Combat mode means sparring, taking part in a Holmgang or a Skjaldborg battle. It is possible to engage in Harthr style practice without heavy armor. Although gloves, elbow, knees and helmet are mandatory for Harthr style practice. It is encouraged to use additional armor as well, such as a shieldhand gauntlet, a mailshirt or lamellar armor and hidden modern protective gear to be on the safe side would a strike land too powerfully.


Helmet variant: Any form of spangen helmet is allowed, preferably with a nasal guard or a spectacle guard. Conical Rus helmets and other types used by Vikings are allowed as well. 

Mail aventail: A mail aventail is optional.

Recommended material and thickness: Steel 1.5 mm minimum thickness.


The fingers and the wrist are quite delicate and require good protection. Although no viking combat gloves have been discovered yet. We try to have gloves that are not visually out of place. Leather and chain mail gloves blend in well with viking outfits. The Hird strongly recommends using a gauntlet made from 3 mm thick hardened leather for the swordhand, with a padded glove under it. Strike on the hand are forbidden but may happen by accident. Dane axe strike are particularly unforgiving. In Harthr style, more is better when it comes to hand protection. It is also possible to use some other form of padding with a mail glove over it. It is a good idea to use a gauntlet on the shieldhand as well.


It is recommended to be on the safe side if entering a Harthr battle or fight. It is perfectly fine to use modern protective gear under the Viking Age outfit, such as gear made for riding, biking and skateboarding. Using HEMA "Historical European Martial Arts" gear with protection for the arms and torso can also be hidden under the clothes. The Hird recommends protecting at least the following body parts:

Groin: The groin is a valid target in Harthr. It should be protected by a groin guard.

Elbow and forearm: The elbows are vital to protect. Using protective gear made for HEMA, hockey, skateboarding etc. can be hidden under the Viking outfit.

Knee and shin: The knees are vital to protect. Using protective gear made for HEMA, hockey, skateboarding etc. can be hidden under the Viking outfit.

The use of wooden or synthetic weapons during training sessions does not necessarily require protective gear. However, we always recommend wearing a swordhand gauntlet if wooden weapons are used.