The use of metals to make weapons was matched by using metals to make better armor. Among the first improvements in widespread use were breastplates and greaves of bronze. The breastplate protected the torso while greaves protected the legs below the knee. Both of these items protected only the front of the soldier, saving the weight and cost that all- around protection would entail. Breastplates and greaves were worn by hoplites of the phalanx, for example, during the glory years of Greece. When used together with a large shield and bronze helmet, they left little of the soldier's body exposed to attack. Bronze armor was an example of scale armor, or plate armor, in which metal plates provided protection.