The shoes without socks trend won’t die in men’s fashion… here are the do’s and don’ts of bare ankling around town.
Men without socks might sound like a Canadian rock band from the 1980s, but it describes one of the most enduring trends in gent fashion of the past few years. Can you pull it off? Should you? Here’s what to think about…
1. Comfort Is King
If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. There’s nothing less stylish than being in agony in order to try to fit in with someone else’s idea of what’s fashionable. If you’re in real pain, chalk it up to experience and reach for the socks. That said, there may be some minor adjustments in your comfort level when your first go sans sock. It’s not a bad idea to have Band Aids on hand in case you feel a blister coming on. And having a set of thin cotton socks in your briefcase or desk drawer is a good idea, too.
2. Sockless With Socks
Going truly foot commando can be unpleasant, particularly in summer when any amount of anti-sweat measures might not be enough to stop the slosh. The solution? Don no-show/invisible socks, which sit below the line of the shoe and perform all the supporting and absorbing tasks of ordinary socks. Yep, it’s cheating but if no-one knows the difference, does it really matter?
3. Choose Your Shoes
Socks serve several purposes. They cushion our feet, keep them warm and absorb the sweat we produce through the day. But unless you have a real perspiration problem with your feet, their sweat should can be managed in good quality leather shoes and with proper maintenance. The best options are shoes that are going to be kind and soft on your tootsies: so a loafer or slender dress shoe is ideal. Anything bulkier and you’re in for problems. Wearing shoes that don’t breathe because they’re not made with natural materials is a one-way ticket to stinkyville or, worse, fungal problems.
4. Shoe Maintenance
The trick is to not wear the shoes two days in a row, giving them at least 48 hours between wears to dry out. Use a quality cedar shoe tree to help ventilation. You can also try putting them in the freezer overnight to kill off bacteria whose build up can produce foul smells.
5. Keep Your Feet Nice
It should go without saying that you need to give those feet a good daily scrub and dry them properly. Using an anti-bacterial wash will also help cut down on any stink. Inspect your toes and skin for signs of tinea and other skin problems and keep your toe nails trimmed because they’re going to have more contact with shoe leather. In order to cut down on sweat during the day, use a foot anti-perspirant or sprinkle your shoes with powder to cut down on squelchiness. Another simple strategy to promote dryness is slipping your shoes off during the day when you’re at your desk.
6. Tan & Trouser
A bit of tan won’t go astray because there’s nothing more jolting than seeing a blinding flash of hairy white ankle between a hem and a shoes. Wearing wide-hemmed trousers also won’t work because your ankles are going to look like bean poles. Do as the Europeans do and go for trousers that taper in for a slim ankle profile.