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

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

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

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

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.

[box]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.[/box]

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, sneakers photo by ahyang, loafers by jbcbgfr, last photo by chrisdrury.

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