A little over a week ago, I quipped on Twitter that three of the most divisive things in the entire world are politics, sports, and the age-old socks or no socks debate. And, no, I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic—I really do mean the entire world. Rarely have I witnessed a menswear-related issue be so incredibly polarizing. So much so, in fact, I get the sense that if those who take a firm position on either side met in real life on the sidewalk (or, maybe more appropriately, in an alley)—in other words, outside of the safety and relative anonymity of the internet—that, if the topic was broached, there would be an actual fist fight. It would probably be bloody. And one person would likely be killed.
I honestly find this divide incredibly fascinating. The anger, rage, and conviction the socks v. sockless question generates usually rises to a level I have only ever seen in heated debates (or screaming matches) over things like politics, gun control, and religion. What is it about this topic that inspires such passion?
First, let’s agree that socks v. no socks is primarily a seasonal subject that’s pertinent during the spring and summer months—at least for those of us who experience four seasons. I don’t think anybody would argue for going sockless on a freezing cold day when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. Setting aside my own opinion on the subject for the moment, let’s explore some of the pros and cons on each side of the issue.
Socks: Pros & Cons
As an accessory, socks are great for their ability to pull an outfit together or make a statement. They can keep your feet warm. They keep your feet dry. Usually. On the flip side, socks can be hot in the summer months. They eventually get holes. They add an extra decision to the process of getting dressed in the morning. There is also a high probability of mismatching them and an even higher probability of losing one in the dryer.
No Socks / Sockless: Pros & Cons
Going sockless is a choice made to stay cool on warmer days. It’s also a style decision. Some shoes, like boat shoes, for example, simply don’t seem right when worn with socks. It can also be a way for the sockless man to telegraph that he is someone who looks to the stylish gentleman of Europe for inspiration. On the negative side. however, not wearing socks can often lead to sweaty feet, smelly feet and shoes (in some cases), as well as blisters.
I wanted to open up this discussion because although there is clearly something to talk about, it rarely is talked about. Comments on relevant blog or social posts are generally one word dismissals or short bursts of snark. “Nope.” or “Put some socks on.” are two I’ve seen recently in support of the anti-sockless faction. While “Socks??? #nono” was one posted by a sockless supporter.
Where do you stand on the socks v. no socks debate? Discuss.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style
Photography by Rob McIver Photo.