The controversial fashion statement dates back thousands of years.
I love wearing socks with sandals. My combo of choice is socks under Birkenstocks. I even wore a white pair of Birks with matching white socks on my wedding day:
That’s me on the left, the one wearing white socks and sandals. Obvi.
Now before you scroll directly to the comments section and start bitching me out for committing a fashion faux pas, consider how much I’ve already been bitched out by internet commenters for wearing socks with sandals.
Here’s a sampling of some of those comments:
Nothing else brings out the anger in commenters the way that socks and sandals do. Take it from a guy who wears them all the time and makes his living writing about himself online. So yeah — I know.
But I’ve never quite understood all the vitriol. Because you know what?
The socks and sandals combination has been around for a while.
That’s right. Like, hundreds and hundreds of years before I ever acquired my first pair of Birkenstocks.
In fact, historians believe that the earliest known pair of socks, which were made in Egypt sometime between the years 250 A.D. – 420 A.D., were designed to be worn with sandals.
They have a forked toe and everything:
Yep — those dirty orange things you see above are socks that are over 1,600 years old. They were excavated in Oxyrhynchus (pronouned “Ox-ee-rink-us”), a Greek colony located in modern-day Egypt, and were made by a technique called naalbinding, which predates both knitting and crocheting, and uses only a single thread.
If you want to see them for yourself, visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where they’re on display for all the doubters and haters to see with their own eyes.
What’s more, recent excavations in England suggest that the Romans rocked socks under their sandals, too. An archaeological dig in 2010 turned up a 2,000-year-old nail used in a Roman sandal that fibers on it, suggesting that some kind of garment was worn under the sandal.
But it’s not just ancient Greeks and Romans who appreciated a forked toe in their socks: Contemporary humans are also becoming fond of the socks-and-sandals hype. Apparently, this sartorial combo is a hot new trend in menswear, or so the media is saying. Outlets for old people (The Washington Post) and young people (Teen Vogue) have begun praising the virtues of this winning combo:
So, if you’re like me, and love to clothe your feet in fitted cotton before putting on a pair of moccasins, flip-flops or even clogs, then be confident that you’re not doing anything wrong. Quite the contrary: You’re wearing socks the way they were meant to be worn.