The shield provided protection, but only for the wearer's front. It was used in close formation fighting with a painted "blazon" that may have been decorative but served to alert fighters to the allegiance of the hoplite. The Spartans had a painted Lambda for Laconia on their shields.
Hoplites wore tunics under other armor that included breastplates, helmets, and greaves. They carried spears and swords to use in their close style of fighting. Spartan hoplites also wore a short red cloak and long hair.
Sources"The Myth of the Hoplite's Hoplon," by J. F. Lazenby; David Whitehead. The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 1. (1996), pp. 27-33.
Hoplites and Heroes: Sparta's Contribution to the Technique of Ancient Warfare," by Paul Cartledge. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 97. (1977), pp. 11-27.