Bare is Better: When to Go Sockless

Even the dog can't believe he's wearing socks and sandals

To sock, or not to sock, that's one of life's age old questions. Well, maybe not age old, but it's topic of conversation when summer rolls around. The problem is, generally speaking, wearing shoes without socks is just plain uncomfortable. You're worrying about rubbing, blisters, and the dreaded smell. We've put together a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to going sockless in the summer, and a list of alternatives to traditional socks. 

Socks with boat shoes

BOAT SHOES
The ultimate worst offence; boat shoes with socks. Boat shoes are by nature meant to be worn sockless. Have you ever seen someone wearing socks on a boat? Didn't think so. When wearing boat shoes, with shorts or pants, lose the socks. If you feel like you need an extra layer between your feet and your Sperry's, pick up a pair of washable terry cloth insoles. They'll add comfort and keep the odors down too. No one likes stinky shoes.

Wearing socks with sneakers

SNEAKERS
When you're on vacation this summer, don't look like this guy. Sneakers should absolutely be worn with socks no matter the season, but not with tube socks pulled up to your knees. Rather than a tennis or ankle sock, try a “no show” sock. These socks are low enough not to be seen, but tall enough to keep your heel from getting blisters. 

Socks with loafers

LOAFERS
When wearing loafers with pants, most guys opt to wear socks. As long as they're interesting dress socks, and not gym socks, we're ok with that. But when it comes to wearing your favorite loafers, or driving mocs with shorts, skip the socks. There are occasions in the summer when flips flops are way too casual and boat shoes tow the line. In those instances, opt for the sockless loafer. Hate my advice? Well, you're in luck because there's such a thing as loafer socks. Their low profile will keep them from showing, while offering blister protection and odor relief. 

Socks with sandals at the beach

SANDALS
Doesn't it go without saying at this point? Never, under any circumstances, wear socks with sandals. Not with Teva's, not with Birkinstocks, and definitely not with slides or flip flops. As for the alternative? Sorry guys, there isn't one. If sandals fit properly, they should be comfortable. The only tip here is to make sure to buy your size and break them in slowly to ensure comfort.

To reduce stinky shoes when going sockless, here are some tips:

  • Use a medicated foot powder in your shoes before putting them on. Gold Bonds makes a great menthol version that will also have a cooling feeling on your feet.

  • Antibacterial Foot Spray is an option. OdorEaters spray promises to “eliminate odors on contact”. The only trick here is to make sure not to spray anywhere else on the shoes. There's a chance of staining.

  • Go old school. When you take your shoes off, crumple up some newspaper and stuff them in your shoes. The porous texture of the paper will soak up any odor.

  • Freeze your shoes. That's right, Freeze them. Bag each shoe separately and stick them in the freezer over night. The cold will kill the bacteria that causes the smell.

Do you have any tips on going sockless in the summer? Tell us in the comments below. 

Feature/1st photo by Atelier Sol, boat shoe photo by hsj.org, sneakers photo by ahyang, loafers by jbcbgfr, last photo by chrisdrury.

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6 comments
Fishify
Fishify

Ha! I wrote a similar article back in 2009 and received the same criticism. Oh well. Though I do wear whatever sock with whatever shoe whenever I want, I also, like the author, have an opinion on the aesthetics of my surroundings about which this article seems to be. I don't know what everybody is going on about in regard to people being shamed. Except for the one wide angle shot, this is just a series of ankle pictures. 

Anto1
Anto1

I agree with desiree. Personally I think that at least black ankle socks don't look that bad with loafers or boat shoes and shorts. Some days I can get away with no socks, some days I need the socks and rock them, usually I don't like to pretend I don't have socks using no shows, also because they are less comfy than both bare feet and ankle socks. So I go for ankle ones when I need to :).

Yes it might be not some people's favourite look and I also admit it's a small compromise over the barefoot look, but there's no need to shame someone on this detail.

DesireeT
DesireeT

Why is the pic with the real life guy in socks there?  Not cool.  The more people take ridiculing pics of folks (bad habit) the more ridicule stays firmly part of the culture, and the more sites like chubstr are undermined by that very ridiculing culture.  That guy doesn't need to come on this site and see his pic displayed like that.  Oh yeah.  I bet the thinking behind putting it up there is, "Well he's obviously not the KIND OF PERSON who would visit our cool site."  Damn shaming culture.  Get it together! 

Emily King
Emily King

Nah, I think I'll wear what I want. But thanks for the advice.

Anto1
Anto1

@Fishify  

Hi, In fact I'm not offended, it's clear that the article is meant to be funny. As funny are the picture, I'd say parodistic and hyperbolic, it's not just some ankle pictures, the articles is about taking extreme example to enhance to main point through comical reinforcemente.

One of the hyperbole is the fat barrel-stomached man in sandals and white knee socks, slack shorts etc. Similar with the rapper-ghetto, whatever stereotpe boy with white socks and backless chunky sandals. I think he likens any sock with shorts with these sloppy examples in his mind (mine hypothesis).

Although I have my personal ideas of aesthetic, I'd prefer a world where they don't pretend to assurge a universal value. I saw some sandals that looked good even with black ankle socks, for example, though I'd probably never go for them.

Yeah, another examples, for girls, I think slingbacks are meant to be low heeled, because high heeled they are overdoing, and look better with skirts and dresses than with pants, which doesn't mean they look bad with pants.

Can I find your article btw? You made me curious.

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