Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Martina McKeough
If you are thinking about buying a pair of TOMS slip-on shoes you might be wondering what you wear with them. Do you wear socks with TOMS shoes or should you just wear them with bare feet?
Luckily you won’t make a fashion faux pas whatever you do. Here is why personal preference counts when you are wearing TOMS and why people make the decision to wear them with or without socks.
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Can You Wear Socks With TOMS Shoes?
The fact is when you buy a pair of TOMS shoes there are no definitive rules when it comes to wearing them with or without socks. Their slip-on shoes are designed to be lightweight and breathable which means that wearing socks is optional.
TOMS slip-on canvas shoes have an antimicrobial lining and that helps to reduce foot odor if you choose to go sockless.
Equally, if the weather is cold or you want extra cushioning or to reduce sweat then you can wear TOMS with socks without a problem. All that really matters is if you feel comfortable in your shoes.
TOMS shoe design is so popular because it gives the wearer the ultimate flexibility when it comes to choosing how you wear them.
The reason why socks seem strange with this type of shoe is very like the dilemma of socks with sandals which Wikipedia describes as a fashion faux pas. Nobody likes to be seen as the person doing something that everyone else finds odd as they don’t want to stand out.
Should You Wear Socks With TOMS?
If you are wondering if you should wear socks with TOMS slip-on shoes then you need to understand the pros and cons of wearing them.
The fact is we all have the ability to decide what we want to wear on our feet and do what we want but we are swayed by:
- The weather
- How sweaty our feet are
- The freedom of wearing shoes with bare feet
- The effort of cleaning and washing socks
- The fit of your shoes
- What activity you are doing that day
- Skin sensitivity
What we feel comfortable in very much depends on these factors and can differ depending on what we are doing and the time of year we are wearing TOMS on our feet.
TOMS are great shoes but you might need to adjust how you wear them at different times. Here are my thoughts on the benefits and the disadvantages of wearing socks with TOMS shoes.
Benefits of Wearing Socks With TOMS?
There are a number of benefits of wearing socks with TOMS shoes that might be worth thinking about if you are considering how you are going to wear yours. Here are some of the positives of wearing socks with yours.
Not Compromising on Style
Do you wear socks with TOMS if potentially they are going to change the whole look of your shoes?
I know lots of people struggle with the idea of wearing socks with slip-on shoes because it ruins the barefoot look that TOMS shoes are known for.
However, designs and styles have moved on in recent years and now wearing socks doesn’t have to cause a problem because of no-show designs.
No-show socks or invisible socks allow you to have something on your feet that is hidden giving the illusion of bare feet. The right socks can help you keep the look you want without anyone else knowing you have anything else on your feet.
Cushioning and Comfort
Whilst TOMS shoes work well as casual summer shoes I and many others do struggle with their minimal cushioning and arch support.
Whilst socks can’t change the arch support in the shoes they can help create a little extra padding making them more comfortable to wear.
This is particularly important if like me you have sensitive feet. This means that if I don’t wear socks with TOMS I feel every seam in the shoe and feel friction when I wear them.
No-show socks help to add an extra layer which helps to protect my feet and make them more wearable.
Helping Reduce Sweaty Feet
TOMS shoes are of course primarily summer shoes. As they are made out of canvas material and aren’t really great in the rain you are mostly going to be wearing them in the hotter months of the year.
The only problem is that hot weather tends to mean that our feet sweat more. Whilst some people seem to produce minimal sweat others have a significant problem. This means that your feet are going to slip around more in your shoes plus the fabric of the shoes will absorb sweat as well.
All footwear will absorb moisture to some extent but if it is too much it can create smells and create a breeding ground for problems like Athlete’s foot. Plus if your feet are slipping around in sweaty shoes you are more likely to suffer from friction which can cause blisters and shoe bites.
Wearing socks with slip-on shoes like TOMS can make a difference as the socks help to absorb some of that moisture keeping your feet dry.
You can also use my secret weapon Carpe anti-perspirant foot lotion which is absolutely brilliant at keeping your feet cool and dry in your shoes.
Stopping Bad Smells
The other problem with sweaty feet is that the moisture gets absorbed into your shoe material and creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
So the more you wear your shoes without socks the more moisture gets absorbed into the material and lining of your shoes. After a while that will cause your shoes to start to smell bad.
Wearing no-show socks can help to lessen the problem as they absorb the sweat. As you should be changing your socks once or twice a day and washing them your shoes can stay smelling fresh for longer.
You can read my tips on how to clean smelly TOMS shoes to keep yours odor-free in the future.
Believe it or not, socks can also help improve the fit of your shoes especially if they are on the loose side.
If you wear socks that are thicker than normal they can help to take up any additional room on the inside of your shoes which can prevent your feet from slipping around.
Alternatively, if your TOMS shoes are a little on the tight side wearing thick socks during the breaking-in period can help you to stretch the canvas so they mold to your feet.
Keeping Your Feet Warm
Whilst I wear my TOMS primarily in the summer there are also nice days in the spring or autumn when I might wear them. The temperatures are usually cooler at that time of year which is when it makes sense to wear some socks with them.
Socks do help to keep your feet warmer so it makes sense to wear them in the cooler months if you are wearing TOMS so that your feet stay warm. You can of course ditch them again when the weather warms up if you want.
Styling It Out With Jazzy Socks
Finally, fashion is very much what you make it, and jazzy socks worn with shoes can be a statement if you want it to be.
Plenty of people wear colorful socks, ankle socks, or even crew socks with their TOMS because they want to and it makes them feel good.
You really don’t have to copy what everyone else is doing if you don’t want to. Curate your own outfit and sense of style and if that involves wearing socks with your TOMS then that is fine.
Disadvantages of Wearing Socks With TOMS Shoes
Whilst there are plenty of advantages of wearing socks with TOMS there are also downsides. The question of do you wear socks with TOMS will depend on whether you think the advantages of socks outweigh the disadvantages.
Here are some of the reasons why socks with TOMS are not always the best idea.
Socks Can Make Your Feet Hot
If you wear socks with your TOMS shoes in the height of summer they are probably going to make your feet hotter.
Yes, you can choose moisture-wicking socks with cooling technology but the fact is they are still warmer than just having bare feet.
Plus socks constrict your toe movement and don’t have the same feel as being barefoot.
They Impact The Breathability of Shoes
TOMS are made from breathable fabrics which means that some of the sweat you produce from your feet will evaporate through the natural canvas material. If you wear socks that will impact the breathability of the shoes.
I still personally prefer no-show socks with mine especially ones with moisture-wicking properties as they help stop smelly feet. However, if you have ordinary crew socks you might notice the build-up of sweat as well as feeling as if your feet are feeling warmer.
Socks Make Shoes Tighter
When you first buy TOMS shoes they should be relatively snug on your feet. You can read my guide on “do TOMS stretch” to give you an idea of sizing issues.
If you wear a pair of TOMS that are too tight then wearing socks with them is going to cause a problem as they will take up extra room inside your shoes.
This is why getting the sizing right for your shoes is important when you first buy your TOMS.
Sock Bunching and Seams
The fact is that some people simply don’t like socks. They can bunch up and slip down your shoes and the seams can sometimes irritate your feet.
Going barefoot in TOMS makes sense if you hate wearing socks and they drive you crazy.
Remember if you choose not to wear socks you should be extra scrupulous with your foot hygiene to prevent your shoes from smelling bad.
They Take More Effort
Finally wearing socks with TOMS shoes takes a little more effort than just putting your slip-ons on your feet and walking out the door.
You need to buy special no-show socks to get the aesthetic right and that costs money. You have the hassle of putting them on which is an extra step that some people can’t be bothered to do. Plus you are going to need to do more laundry to keep them clean.
I personally don’t find any of this difficult but some people do and want to put in minimal effort when getting dressed in the morning.
Best Socks To Wear With TOMS
If you do choose to wear socks with your TOMS here are the styles and types that I think are most suitable for this type of slip-on shoe.
- No-Show Socks
- Low-Cut Crew Socks
- Ped Socks
- Thin Liner Socks
- Cotton, Wool, or breathable synthetic materials
Yes, you can wear ordinary socks with TOMS but they don’t give you the same look as no-show socks. Personally, I like the barefoot look but with invisible socks as it keeps the classic look of the shoes.
I try and buy breathable moisture-wicking socks to use with my TOMS and I use thin socks as well especially when it is summer. This helps to reduce bulk inside my TOMS and also helps reduce sweaty feet.
Best No-Show Sock For TOMS
There are a number of different types of no-show socks that can work well with TOMS shoes. Here are a few of my favorites.
These are the ultimate invisible socks as they are ultra low cut so you won’t be able to see them when you are wearing your TOMS or ballet flats.
These are available in nude, black or gray and are made from a mixture of cotton, polyester, nylon and spandex.
What I like about these is that they are moisture-wicking and breathable which means they are going to keep your feet smelling fresh when you wear your TOMS.
The only downside with this brand is they recommend hand washing which is a real hassle when you are time-poor.
These next socks look a little different from many invisible socks as they have such a low profile at the sides. These are great socks that at primarily made from combed cotton which helps to keep your feet cool. They also come in a range of brighter colors if you want something a little brighter to wear on your feet.
As these socks are breathable they are going to help keep your feet dry even in the hot summer months.
The other thing I like about these socks is that they are designed not to slip when you are wearing them on your feet which helps with comfort and prevents the annoyance of socks moving around inside the shoes.
Finally, these are machine washable which makes them so much easier to maintain.
Finally, if you want a totally different type of no-show socks then you could consider these toe-topper socks which don’t cover the whole foot.
Many people prefer this type of sock not only for TOMS shoes but for backless footwear as well.
These are made mostly from breathable cotton to help keep your feet cool and come in one color.
They are machine washable making them easy to look after and really easy to put on. Plus reviewers love them as they don’t come off when you are walking around.
So do you wear socks with TOMS? The decision is entirely up to you and your personal preferences. There are plenty of ways to wear socks without them being visible so you can keep the TOMS style without ruining the look of your footwear.
If you don’t want to wear socks that is fine as well but you are going to need to put in a little extra effort with your foot hygiene and cleaning your shoes so they don’t smell.
More Helpful Articles About Socks
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