Contrary to what many people expect, shields were not all made of steel. In
order for a steel shield to be sturdy enough to retain its shape under blows, it
would have been much to heavy for a man to use.
A sturdy wooden shield, however, is much lighter, can keep its shape, will
absorb the shock of impact, and is capable of stopping a blow from most weapons.
Not many shields have survived. They are required to take a terrible
beating and were discarded as they wore out. The shield like above (King
Richard) may have been a wall plaques.