and and wrist protection for Cut & Thrust

The Following are examples of approved hand and wrist protection for Cut and thrust combat in the kingdom of Æthelmearc, with commentary and notes by Don Simon Caminante. It is hoped that this list, while not in any way exaustive, will alleviate some concerns and difficulties with the rules in this area, and will provide inspiration and guidence to those who wish to participate in this form of combat.

The relevant sections of the rules are:
From the Society Rapier Marshals handbook (Aethelmearc edition, October, 2020)
9.3.1. For Cut & Thrust Combat, the backs of the hands, including fingers and 1” (2.5cm)
    above the bend of the wrist must be covered by 1/4" (6 mm) open cell foam or
    equivalent resilient padding or the protection described in section 9.3.2.

9.3.2. If at least one combatant is using a two-handed metal weapon in Cut & Thrust
    Combat, then the backs of the hands, including fingers, and 1” (2.5cm) above the
    bend of the wrist on the back half of the forearm must be covered by rigid
    protection with sufficient coverage to prevent a reasonable percussive blow from
    contacting the bones of the hand and wrist. This is also strongly encouraged for
    when using a rapier.

9.3.2.1. The rigid protection does not require padding underneath.

9.3.2.2. The coverage for rigid protection may be achieved by any combination of
    gauntlet, sword guard, or defensive object. A shield alone may be considered
    an equivalent to full hand and wrist protection only if no part of the gloved
    hand or wrist is within 4” (10 cm) of the edge of the shield while the shield is
    in use.
                        
This is complicated by the following from the glossary:
Rigid Armor:
    Material that will not significantly flex, spread apart, or deform under pressure of 12 Kg
    applied by a standard mask tester, repeatedly to any single point. Examples of rigid
    material are:

    • 22 gauge stainless steel (0.8 mm)
    • 20 gauge mild steel (1.0 mm)
    • 16 gauge aluminum, copper, or brass (1.6 mm)
    • one layer of hardened heavy leather (8 ounce, 3.2 mm)
                        
Previously, Hockey gloves and several other specific makers of gloves were specifically deemed "Rigid." In spite of the rules changes, I have not heard of these being deemed insufficient. Also, if Hockey gloves are rigid enough for heavy, they're rigid enough for us. So I think these are still acceptable.
There have been a few changes of late to note:
  • In Aethelmearc, Rigid wrist protection was required for all C&T fighting. This has been relaxed back to the new society "padded" standard. Rigid is still recommended, as wrist bones are tiny and don't heal well, but you no longer have to try and force your padded glove into a demi and then force all of that into a swept hilt.
  • Previously, a very narrow standard was taken for what protection a sword guard would give, requiring protection from a percussive hit from "any possible angle." In practice, this made almost every hilt useless as official hand protection. This has been relaxed to "a reasonable percussive blow," which is a much more reasonable standard in my opinion.
Given these rules, the marshallate of Æthelmearc has made official rulings on the following items:
Please note that this does not indicate an endorsement of the products or sellers. The products have been passed by the marshallate, but may not be suitable for you or preferable. They simply pass the rules. Links to the sellers are provided for convenience, usually by performing a single Google search. No statement is being made as to their credibility, reliability, or business practices.
Item and Approx. Cost
Available From
Marshal's Notes
Image
Padded Gloves
($45 - $60)
Being non-rigid, these are unsuitable for use when one combattant is using a 2-handed sword.
Martial arts Sparring Gloves
($20 and up)
Too many to list
Be aware that many of these do not fully enclose the hands, but there are many which do. Few if any of these have a rigid wrist so they will require the addition of a demi-gauntlet or other, similar armor. Being non-rigid, they are unsuitable for use when one combattant is using a 2-handed sword.
Hockey Gloves
($20 and up)
Too many to list
These used to be specifically called out as "rigid" in Society policy, and in spite of this no longer being the case, I've seen no evidence of them being deemed unaceeptable. In Aethelmearc, they continue to be deemed "rigid."
Koning Gloves
($265)
These used to be specifically called out as "rigid" in Society policy, and in spite of this no longer being the case, I've seen no evidence of them being deemed unaceeptable. In Aethelmearc, they continue to be deemed "rigid."
SPES Heavy Gloves
($200)
These used to be specifically called out as "rigid" in Society policy, and in spite of this no longer being the case, I've seen no evidence of them being deemed unaceeptable. In Aethelmearc, they continue to be deemed "rigid." Make sure you get the updated thumb, as there have been several broken digits with the original thumb design.
Red Dragon Gloves
($90 - $125)
These are suitable for all uses, including longsword. The wrist wrap is suitably rigid to pass AE standards as well. They are very modern-looking, and may need to be doctored little to please the authenticity purist who wishes to fight.
DMZ Hand of Glory
($250 or so)
These are suitable for all uses, including longsword.
As a warning: There have been reports of significant delays on delivery of these from the manufacturer.
Hourglass Finger Gauntlets
($80 - $120)
These are suitable for all uses, including longsword.
Amazon scale finger gauntlets
($40 and up)
Many sellers on Amazon, many versions, all functionally similar.
These are very controversial. If you would like to see details, click here.
In Summary: They pass the letter of Society law. However, they are cheaply made and the finger design is not good at preventing a crushed fingertip. Additionally, they leave a gap exactly where the rules require rigid wrist protection, which needs to be adjusted for.
The items below are no longer required for Aethelmearc policy so long as the wrist is padded. However, since rigid wrist protection is still highly recommended, I've decided to leave them here.
Demi-Gauntlets
Already owned by most heavy fighters.
Combined with a padded glove of some sort, these will meet the AE rigid wrist requirement. They are a good option for trying out this aspect of our game.
"Wrist Dickies"
Combined with a padded glove of some sort, these will meet the AE rigid wrist requirement while providing more mobility than a demi-gauntlet. They are a good option for trying out this aspect of our game.