Why Roman armor didn’t protect hands and feet

Yes, of course, there were Roman armor that protected both arms and legs, but they did not become the main ones. For the most part, Roman legionnaires dressed in the “classic” lorica segmentata did not have protection for their arms and legs. Let’s see why …

The Roman legionaries fought in close formation, in their hands they had a large shield – scutum. He covered most of the body. On the other hand, they were covered by their comrades. The legionnaires delivered swift stabbing blows. Therefore, the possibilities for the enemy to hit them in the arm or leg were not very great. Of course, extra protection never hurts, but when it is not critical, other factors outweigh it.

1.Weight. Roman legionnaires made many kilometers of marches every day, up to 25-30 km. They carried all their equipment on their shoulders. Plus many other burdens – tent elements, camp construction tools and much more. The weight of the carried cargo reached tens of kilograms. Therefore, they avoided dragging something that was not absolutely necessary.

2. Cost. Initially, the legionnaires bought equipment at their own expense, so they did not want to pay money for what they could do without. With the centralized supply of the army, they also tried to avoid unnecessary spending.

That, in fact, is why the Roman legionaries were for the most part without protection on their legs and arms. As history has shown, this did not greatly affect the success of the Roman legions. If they really were an urgent need, then undoubtedly the Roman legionaries would have used such protection. They were used, in the main, not by ordinary legionnaires, but from the centurion and above, because they had a completely different situation …

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