Oh dear. A piece in the Telegraph today breaks the news that the Romans wore socks with sandals:
New evidence from an archaeological dig has found that legionnaires wore socks with sandals.
Rust on a nail from a Roman sandal found in newly discovered ruins in North Yorkshire appears to contain fibres which could suggest that a sock-type garment was being worn.
Now scientists are examining the remains in the laboratory to see if it is true.
... I have sent (?) you ... pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of pants, two pairs of sandals ... Greet ...ndes, Elpis, Iu..., ...enus, Tetricus and all your messmates with whom I pray that you live in the greatest good fortune.
But they were not just used in northern Britain. The accounts of an auxiliary soldier Gaius Valerius Germanus who was stationed in Egypt in the second half of the first century (Brian Campbell's The Roman Army, 31 BC – AD 337, (London, 1994)) had them as part of his formal kit:
Gaius Valerius Germanus from Tyre received the first salary instalment of the third year of the emperor, 247½ drachmas out of which
Deduction for hay 10 drachmas
For food 80 drachmas
Boots, socks 12 drachmas
Saturnalia of the camp 20 drachmas
For clothes 100 drachmas
Expenditure 222 drachmas
Balance deposited into his account 25½ drachmas
Already had 21 drachmas
Makes a complete total of 46½ drachmas
You can tell that it is August can't you?
Update. Better piece at the Independent that mentions the Vindolanda tablet