The shield of a common foot soldier was cheaper and of a lower standard than the knightly shield, but was made in a similar way.
A curved panel of wood was covered in material or leather and fitted with an arm pad and straps on the back.
By 1314 many had flat tops like the knightly shield. However it is likely that some still had the old rounded tops used in earlier centuries - as shown in this illustration.
Many types of medieval infantrymen needed shields. With little or no armour, a shield, even one of a low quality, was the only protection a common soldier could expect to protect him from arrows, crossbow bolts and other thrown missiles, as well as blows from swords, axes and spears in hand to hand fighting. It also gave him some chance of surviving a cavalry attack.