Ditch the Socks

One of the best things about warm weather is the decrease in clothing. I love it from a visual perspective on the opposite sex and also my own comfort perspective.

We all know the guy who breaks out the shorts and flip-flops as soon as the temperature gets above 40. I hate that guy. He looks retarded. But, I can sympathize because I’m wont to ditch my socks as soon as I’m able to. There’s something so comfortable about it and it just feels like Spring and Summer.

One note on this, going sockless in situations that aren’t traditionally accepted – the beach, the tropics, etc. is acceptable now but it’s more of fashion thing then long-lastingly stylish. I have a feeling in ten years we’ll look back on the current sockless craze for men and think it’s silly. Whatever, I like it anyway.

Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to go without socks.

sockless business suits

The first thing is to know when it is and isn’t appropriate. It’s not appropriate if you work in a conservative environment – especially one that deals with customers on a daily basis. The banker, insurance salesman, and lawyer shouldn’t be going sockless in their suits. It’s a casual look and you don’t want it to affect your credibility with your clientelle. Basically, if you represent someone other than yourself and that someone is in a trusted and respected position in the community, don’t go sockless.

middle-aged sockless look

That being said, if you work in an environment where you wear a suit everyday but you represent or yourself or are high enough in the food chain that you call the shots, do it. It’s a power play.

I don’t wear socks to church as soon as the weather gets warm but would look down on a missionary who did the same. I represent me when I’m at church, he represents the Church. That’s the difference.

Other than that, really any time you can think of is going to mostly be appropriate. I’ve even gone sockless to more casual weddings and have gotten compliments on how it contributed to my look. You can do it with jeans and chucks, shorts and boat shoes, really anything you want. In fact, having a pair of jeans, no socks, and a pair of dress shoes is one of my favorite High/Low staples.

On top of doing it from a style standpoint, you have to worry about it from a practical standpoint. You are a man and you will sweat. Your feet will get sweaty. They will get even more sweaty if they’re encased in leather without anything to absorb that sweat. And when that sweat festers it stinks.

There are basically three options for avoiding all the sweat and stink that comes with going sockless.

No-Show Socks

These can be both good and bad depending on what route you take. The basic premise of these is that they’re socks that hit below the ankles. Most look like this.

The problem with these is that they’ll still show if you’re wearing shoes with any kind of opening. Loafers, boat shoes, driving shoes, all of these will still get you a peek of the sock. It looks worse than doing nothing at all.

The other alternative is to go even lower like these

I hate these things. They look too feminine. Sure another person will never see them but what if you have to take off your shoes when you have these on? You might as well hand over your man card as soon as these things are spotted. I don’t recommend them.


Powders have been helping men fight sweat in other places for years.

The concept is simple, you sprinkle a little bit in your shoes and the powder absorbs the sweat. Gold Bond is the most recommended. I’ve never had to go this route because I live in a desert. The lack of humidity means I don’t have as much of an uphill battle win it comes to sweat combat.

Cotton Insoles

These are what I use. They’re the easiest, most comfortable and effective.

At $8 a pop they’re relatively cheap and will last forever if you take care of them. Pop these guys in your shoes and wash them periodically. Periodically is determined by your climate and how much you personally sweat. I can get away with about once a month.

Not only do these absorb sweat and odor, they’re very comfortable. In fact, I keep them in year round and still wear them when I have socks on.

Going without socks takes some getting used to. The first day or two you do it you might rub the skin on the back of your ankles raw. It happens to me every spring. Just give them a day or two off and, after they’ve healed up, they’ll be resilient for the rest of the year and you won’t feel anything.