If you decide that HEMA is for you, at some point you will need gear. Below is listed the most common kinds of gear and swords and where to find it. For basic protection with nylon or plastic swords, you will need a mask and lacrosse gloves. Fighting with steel requires more specialized gloves and upper body protection. 


Swords are an investment, but a worthwhile one. If you have questions on the various swords listed, there is most likely one in class for you to hold and play with. 

Steel Swords

Regenyeis, a steel federschwert, can be bought at HEMA Supplies. They are imported from Hungary and are very good feders. 
Ensifers, a slightly heavier federschwert, can be bought at Purpleheart Armory. These are imported from Poland. 
Comfort Fencing is a new contender in the area of steel swords  if you are willing to wait. These new feders are slightly more expensive than their counterparts, but they are wonderfully balanced weapons. You can buy them at Wild Geese Fencing
Castille Armoury is now making longsword feders. The feders are not listed on their website, but they are very responsive to a quick email. As a side note, their rapiers are widely used in the HEMA community. You can see the blacksmith's gallery and email at Castille Armory.
Black Horse Blades is a relatively new blacksmith to HEMA, but he has been making blades for a long time. They are wonderfully balanced and use Shock Seven steel (which I'm told is super steel). They are on the expensive side, but worth it. They can be bought here: Black Horse Blades.

Nylon Swords

Nylon/plastic sword options are either the Purpleheart Pentiis or the Black Fencer nylons. Pros: cheap (~$100), accessible, long lasting, they bind fairly well for nylons (Black Fencer ones). The Black Fencer nylons also come in two different lengths. Cons: Doesn't have the reactivity of steel, has a tendency to warp in hot environments.

You can buy the Pentiis at Purpleheart Armory and the Black Fencers at South Coast Swords


Basic AF (Absolute Force) 3W mask - Pros: black, sturdy, usable for all weapons of HEMA, really the only good mask people use. You can find them on the Absolute Force website. They are located in New Jersey and their shipping is incredibly fast. 
Blue Gauntlet Coach's Mask - an alternative to the AF masks, also reliable. They can be found at Blue Gauntlet Fencing
Protective HEMA MaskPros: A padded version of the previously listed mask, hardy, sturdy, very protective. Cons: if you have bad hearing, you won't be able to hear anything. Also, can be very warm. They can also be bought at the Absolute Force site



AF Deluxe Fighting Gloves - Pros: incredibly protective, cheap, insanely fast shipping. Cons: limited mobility (unless you have fairly strong hands), inconsistent quality control (gloves of the same listed size tend to be different sizes), tendency to fall apart. You can find them at Absolute Force.
Comfort Fencing gloves - Pros: well made, gloves (not mittens), great mobility, great protection. Cons: backlog (long wait time - some people have waited a year), little to no wrist protection (small cuff), some tournaments ban steel gauntlets/gloves and you generally cannot initiate grappling in tournaments with steel gloves. You can find them on Facebook
Sparring Gloves - Pros: well made, all orders are custom, different varieties of mitten and now glove, can order in different colors, fairly mobile, very protective. Cons: more expensive, longer shipping time (located in Poland), sacrifice some mobility for protection. They can be bought at the Sparring Gloves website.
SPES Heavy Gloves - Pros: unbelievably protective, mittens, can buy local (Georgia), meshes well with other SPES gear, has wrist cuff. Cons: bulky, need stronger hands to flex the gloves, on the more expensive end, trades mobility for protection. Buy them from the SPES US website. 

The above gloves are acceptable for full steel tournaments - just about everyone uses one of the above listed gloves. Lacrosse gloves are not acceptable for steel, but are suitable for nylon use. 


AF HEMA jacket - Pros: cheaper than most, extremely protective, super fast shipping. Cons: back zip, restrictive, lack of arm mobility. They can be bought at Absolute Force
PBT HEMA jacket - Pros: inexpensive, comes in very small sizes (useful for kids), not bulky, removeable inserts, comes in men's and women's. Cons: back zipper, synthetic material (has a tendency to hold smell). They are imported from Hungary and can be found at PBT Historical Fencing
SPES AP jacket - Pros: fairly inexpensive, very flexible, front zip, comes in different colors, custom is not too expensive, modern cut, there is also a women's jacket. Cons: lighter padding than some may like, the shoulders may be too big for some. Find them at SPES US
SPES Fechtschule Gdansk jacket - Pros: cut more generously for hips and chest, cut more historically, multiples colors. Cons: tied with leather laces. These can also be bought at SPES US