Socks Vs Sockless
There’s nothing like a good old debate and when it comes to the ‘socks Vs sockless’ subject, it’s certainly one hot topic. Going sockless is a personal thing – one man’s cool is another man’s sweaty foot nightmare – but other than the weather, there is no real right or wrong as to whether you dare to go bare.
So, in the interests of sartorial styling as well as to settle the argument, we’ve decided to put the ‘socks Vs sockless’ question to the test.
First up is the sock. Socks – or forms of socks – have clad human feet since we could skin animals, with the first knitted variety popping up from around the 16th Century. Socks were a symbol of wealth until the advent of the knitting machine and then nylon, which saw the mass production of what has now become an essential everyday clothing item.
- Pros – In defense of the humble sock, they can be the finishing touch to your outfit, bringing it neatly together without making too much of a fuss. Go matchy-matchy or contrast the color to make your own fashion statement. You can also make a statement with your socks – if clashing colors, cartoon patterns or message prints are your thing. From a practical perspective, they are there to not only keep your feet warm and dry but also protected. Especially if you play sports or you like to hike, the cushioned barrier of a well-made pair of socks will prevent blisters. And if you opt for wicking or anti-bacterial fabric, you can keep your feet moisture-free and smelling shower fresh for longer.
- Cons – Socks can really up your feet heat during the summer months, making an outfit look stuffy rather than sunshine ready. They also tend to wear out, leaving you with holey socks that frankly is not a good look. If you are anything like us, it doesn’t take long before single socks go AWOL in the dryer, the laundry basket or at the gym, leaving you with a drawer full of mismatched pairs. And get the wrong type of sock and smelly feet could well become an issue after a hard day spent on your feet.
Best way to wear:
A quality pair of socks really do complete a smart suit or outfit, whether that’s for a business meeting or a formal social affair. Pick a plain dark or complementary color and go for a lux make – opt for wool and mohair for a quality feel and look. Save cotton for the warmer months when your outfit, smart shoes or occasion demands that you ’sock up’. And always wear socks with your sneakers or running shoes when training or getting active – trust us, your feet will thank you for it. Ankle, quarter length or hidden slip-on socks are all ideal.
Now to the sockless look, which can pretty much take you anywhere if you wear it right, especially during the summer or when you’re on that exotic vacation. The main exceptions are formal events with a clear dress code, the office and business meetings as it can be considered too casual. Otherwise, going sockless adds a laidback, summertime vibe. Certain footwear actually demand sockless – certain walking sandals and flip flops for example – while casual fashion has made the barefoot much more acceptable. Going sockless has been a thing since the 80s, and it still works well with today’s smart casual and business casual shoe fashion styles.
- Pros – sockless is very much the style of the summer and is the way to go when you want to keep cool on hot days. Beach footwear and boat shoes are the natural home for the sockless foot – in fact you could well be committing a fashion crime if you wear socks with your sandals or slides. With other summer shoes, it’s a personal decision but done well, going sockless can create an edgy, casual look. Think loafers, low-cut, lightweight fashion sneakers, espadrille shoes and summer slip-ons and you get the gist. Just make sure your footwear is in good condition as well squeaky clean to give your look a crisp, fashion-forward styling.
- Cons – there’s no way to put a finer point on it, going sockless could well lead to stinky feet and even stinkier shoes. And without socks you can succumb to blisters if your footwear is hard or not worn in. Picking when to go sockless can also be a bit of a minefield, and in more formal circumstances can be seen as a little disrespectful or too casual for the occasion. And when it comes to the winter or colder months, only the tough or the foolhardy should be ditching their socks!
Best way to wear:
With beach footwear or boat shoes – style up with a change of clothes to take you from day to night. Sockless loafers or slip-ons can also look super cool with a casual suit or slick skinny jeans or chinos. Or lose the socks with your fashion sneakers (the whiter the better) to make a street style statement this summer.
And The ‘Sock Vs Sockless’ Verdict Is…
When it comes to which is better – sock or sockless – we think that there is only one thing to influence the final decision as to which option is best. And that is the weather!
During the winter or for a formal occasion, a sock and shoe really is the best way to go, for both practical and stylish reasons. But come the summer, or that smart-casual party or semi-formal event invitation, we say it is ok to cast off your socks as you do with your winter clothes. The sockless look gives you a cool, summer vibe that is hard to beat and gives your hard-working feet a little more room to breathe.
And if you are still unsure as to whether you should dare to go bare when it comes to your feet, then remember, in today’s fashion-forward world, going sockless is a stylish way to make a cool dude statement.