Are you wondering about shoe etiquette when it comes to wearing slip-on shoes? In particular, do you wear socks with slip-on shoes or should you be wearing them with bare feet?
I’m going to break down everything you need to know about wearing slip-on shoes with socks so that you can make more informed decisions about what you place on your feet.
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What Are Slip-On Shoes?
Firstly you might be wondering what is classed as a slip-on shoe.
Slip-ons are actually a type of shoe that you can put your feet into without any real effort. As these types of shoes are super easy to wear they don’t have laces or straps which need tightening.
Slip-ons do however cover a huge range of different types of shoes. At the casual end of the spectrum, they would include canvas shoes like Vans slip-ons or TOMS. Some sneaker styles are also not made as slip-ons. For example, I have a pair of Sketchers that I can put on without any laces. Even flip-flops are considered slip-on because you don’t need to adjust a strap to wear them.
Then there are more formal styles of shoes such as Boat Shoes, leather loafers and mocassins. You can even buy dress shoes in a slip-on style that you can wear at work or for formal occasions. So as you can see this style of shoe covers a huge range of styles and brands.
Wearing Socks With Slip-On Shoes
Do you wear socks with slip-on shoes? Well viewing the long list of different types and brands of slip-ons shoes it should become evident that generally speaking most people are going to have different ideas on whether socks are appropriate with their footwear or not.
As with most situations like this, it comes down to a personal preference as to whether you decide to wear socks or not with your footwear.
There are however a few types of slip-on shoes where I can be confident about the sock or no sock rule.
Firstly if you are wearing flip-flops you are going to be doing it on hot days and socks are most definitely not the standard with this style of footwear.
Secondly when you are wearing dress shoes for a formal occasion then you would generally be expected to wear socks. Can you choose not to wear them? Well of course because you can do anything you like but it would be generally frowned upon in a business-style environment or at a formal event like a wedding or funeral.
Do You Wear Socks With Slip-On Sneakers?
Slip-on sneakers are a good example of a type of footwear where it makes sense to wear sports socks on no-show socks whilst you are wearing them.
Whilst sneakers may be more comfortable than leather shoes to wear without socks that doesn’t mean that they are something you should wear with bare feet.
If you are wearing them for long walks or for sports activities in particular your feet are going to sweat more and that moisture is going to sink into those sneakers and make them pong. Moisture will also make it more likely that you create the conditions for Athlete’s foot to thrive.
Breathable sneakers can help but where possible it makes sense to put on a pair of socks when you are wearing sneakers.
Is It Bad to Wear Shoes Without Socks?
So apart from my two examples of sock etiquette what then happens when you are thinking about wearing socks with the huge array of casual shoes that are also considered slip-ons? Are they to be worn with socks or not?
The fact is that for the most part socks do a great job of keeping our feet healthy. They help to absorb moisture, cut down on foot odor and prevent foot fungus to name just some of their advantages.
Deciding whether you want to wear socks with your shoes or not isn’t just a fashion choice but a health choice as well.
You need to decide whether wearing shoes without them is going to cause you health issues or discomfort and then make the call about what you want to do.
Plenty of people choose fashion over comfort in their life even when it doesn’t make sense. The fact of the matter is however that socks serve a purpose and not wearing them has plenty of downsides.
Socks Keep Sweaty Feet Dry
The fact is that if you wear socks with slip-on footwear they help to absorb sweat.
All of us have sweaty feet at some point (some more than others) and this is particularly the case in the hot summer months.
Sweaty feet are unpleasant because firstly they make your feet move around in your shoes causing problems like blisters and shoe bites and secondly because the moisture from sweat causes bacteria to thrive causing bad smells.
A good pair of moisture-wicking socks can help to eliminate both keeping your feet comfortable and dry.
Why Do Feet Smell Without Socks?
If you don’t wear socks when you are wearing sneakers or other slip-on footwear like loafers the moisture inside your shoes from sweat can start to build up.
This creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow and thrive which creates horrible odors.
Wearing the right socks, however, helps to remove the excess moisture keeping your feet and the inside of your shoes nice and dry. This helps to eliminate the problem of stinky feet.
It may be possible to help prevent sweat without socks for some people but it is significantly harder to do especially if you suffer from problems such as hyperhidrosis/excessive sweating.
Sweaty Feet Cause Blisters
If you want to prevent blisters on your feet and shoe bites then you definitely think about wearing socks with you wear slip-on shoes. This is because sweat causes your feet to move around in your shoes and rub.
Cotton socks or other types of moisture-wicking socks help to prevent sweat and in turn prevent your feet from slipping and sliding in your shoes and sneakers.
When you are wearing socks they act as a barrier to prevent blisters from forming. This is especially the case when you are wearing shoes that are new or that are harder on your feet such as leather shoes. A good pair of socks can save you from a significant amount of pain from injuries caused by the sockless look.
Socks and Athlete’s Foot
Socks Keep Your Feet Warm
It’s also worth pointing out that socks do have another important function and that is to keep your feet warm when it is cold.
Bare feet are all very well but when the weather gets colder wearing your sneakers or loafers without socks isn’t going to keep your feet warm.
Socks, therefore, play an important role in keeping you comfortable over the colder months. Remember that if your extremities get cold that impacts your entire body’s ability to feel warm so it always makes sense to wear them when the temperature starts to dip.
Shoes Without Socks Can Be a Fashion Statement
Whilst I have hopefully shown why wearing socks with your slip-on shoes can be important for your foot health the pull of the fashion statement can sometimes override common sense.
In the UK at the moment there is a huge trend for men wearing loafers without socks. It epitomizes a laid-back style. Men are regularly seen wearing leather loafers with smart suits and shirts out in bars and restaurants even in the colder months.
Whilst this choice of footwear style looks cool it will cause foot problems for many of the wearers. This is why it makes sense if possible to come up with a halfway house and that is to wear no-show socks with your slip-ons.
What Socks To Wear With Slip-on Shoes?
Do you wear socks with slip-on shoes? Well, I personally believe that unless you absolutely hate socks there is always a compromise to be made and that is by wearing no-show socks.
No-show socks are the perfect solution because they allow you to wear just about any type of slip-on shoe and they can’t be seen.
Wearing invisible socks means that you can keep your feet dry, healthy and warm in the colder months whilst keeping that stylish look.
Invisible socks are an inexpensive alternative to the barefoot look and they will also help to prevent blisters which in my book makes them worth every penny.
How Do You Wear Slip-On Shoes Without Socks?
If you do have a hatred of socks and try and can’t be persuaded to put them on then try and take some simple steps to look after your foot health along the way.
Firstly be scrupulous about your foot hygiene. Make sure you thoroughly wash and dry your feet in the morning and in the evening to keep them clean and fresh smelling. Use a tea tree oil foot soak to help keep problems like foot fungus at bay and to help keep them smelling fresh.
Use a foot powder or foot antiperspirant to help reduce sweat so that your shoes don’t start to stink because of excessive moisture. Carpe Antiperspirant lotion is my number one product for keeping feet dry in shoes.
If you have worn your shoes without socks all day you need to make sure that they dry out between uses. This means alternating your footwear. Leave at least 24 hours before re-wearing the same slip-on shoes so that any moisture has evaporated.
Leave a product like Sneaker Balls inside your shoes when you are not wearing them to combat any odors so that your shoes are always smelling fresh and clean.
Wearing Socks With Slip-Ons Is Not Compulsory But Advisible
So do you wear socks with slip-on shoes? For the vast majority of shoe styles, I believe the answer is a resounding yes if you want healthy feet.
Whilst you can get away without wearing socks you are more likely to get problem blisters, shoe bites, and fungal infections if you don’t wear them regularly.
As ever my advice is not in any way compulsory but it does make sense when you look at the pros and cons especially when it comes to comfort.
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