Ever since the season has turned decidedly towards spring and afternoons have become a bit warmer, I’ve noticed that I’ve automatically begun to jump feet first into another perennial and contentious issue: wearing shoes without socks.
Let’s lay out a couple of the arguments and talk about how to go sockless the “right” way.
The Detractors – Two Arguments Against Wearing Shoes without Socks
1. Your feet sweat. This is actually a very good reason to avoid going sockless. After a day of walking around without socks in any pair of shoes, you’re going to have some sweaty and stinky feet as well as some nasty smelling shoes.
Some people will recommend using some sort of powder – talcum powder, Gold Bond, et. al – to curb this issue. In theory, it’s a good idea, there are some drawbacks.
First, any powder will be messy. On the floor, in the shoe, there’s no way around it.
Second, a powder will not last all day. Not even close. And when it wears off, your feet will start sweating and you’ll be right back where you started.
I had a pair of white Sperry Top Siders that I used to wear without socks all the time, all summer long. I tried the powder thing and needless to say, it didn’t help them much.
| WEARING | Blazer c/o Reiss, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece shirt, Vintage Yves Saint Laurent pants, Goorin Bros. hat, Rolex Datejust watch, Loafers c/o G.H. Bass | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo
2. It looks bad. Really? Seriously? Tell that to legions of stylish men all over the world. This is the type of prescriptivist style conservatism, that I do not understand and will never understand.
The only credence I will lend to this rationale, is that in some cases, it might be true. However, this is entirely dependent on the context and/or situation.
Would you wear shoes without socks to an important business meeting? Probably not. Unless it was in Italy and with a bunch of other rakish Italian gentlemen.
As always, exercise good judgement and some good old fashioned common sense when in doubt.
Shoes “Without Socks” Done Right
The best way to wear shoes without socks is actually to not wear shoes without socks. But, in this case, we’re not talking about calf-length or over the calf socks.
Giving the bare ankle illusion that you’re going sockless without the detrimental sweat or stench is best accomplished with a pair of “peds,” which are also often referred to as no-show or loafer socks.
They’re small and can’t be seen in your shoe (unless, you’re really looking for them). They wick the sweat (and smell) away. Our favorite no-show socks for the past couple of years have been these from J.Crew.
Where do you stand on the shoes without socks “issue”? Chime in below.