A Man’s Guide To Wearing Shoes Without Socks

How can a man stay stylish but remain cool in the summertime? It's not easy – so a lot of guys prioritize one over the other and run into all sorts of summer-style problems.

Sweat, stench, and stains – every man experiences them when trying to dress to impress in the summer. It's just a fact of life, right?

Wrong! Haven't you guys ever tried wearing shoes without socks in the hotter months? It's the perfect way to balance out style and comfort when sweat comes knocking on your door.

men's no show socks with loafers - solution to shoes without socks

But as with any style choice, there's a certain set of rules you need to follow. In today's article, I'm breaking out the dos and don’ts of wearing shoes without socks.

The Ground Rules

Should you go sockless or appear sockless?

men's no show socks - shoes without socks solution

This has always been a matter of preference, however, the simplest way to rock the sockless look is to indeed NOT wear socks. This does have its drawbacks, however. Wearing no socks at all allows for excess sweat and odor to form, possibly making for an uncomfortable and smelly experience.

We recommend wearing no-show socks or loafer liners for all of these applications as it tends to allow for a more comfortable and clean experience. 

When is it okay to wear no socks with shoes?

The best time to rock the sockless look is when it is warm out. Going sockless is a great look to pair with shorts and pants alike but can feel out of place in cold weather. 

The best rule of thumb is that if the event is casual and outdoors, you can rock the sockless look. On the less casual side of things, you can pull this off with most dress shoes and still keep a polished appearance.

When is it NOT okay to go sockless?

Going sockless in colder weather might look out of place and be chilly on the ankles. However, the biggest rule here with going sockless is that you should avoid it in a formal setting. 

The no-sock look is reserved for casual and less formal events and should never be applied to any event where the dress code is black tie.

What Are The Best Men’s Shoes To Wear Without Socks?

When it comes to finding the best men’s shoes to wear without socks, practicality is your best friend. This means only footwear that is ankle cut or lower should be worn sockless. Stay away from boots and chukkas. These are the best men’s shoes to wear without socks: 

Boat Shoes

This is the most popular option when it comes to wearing shoes without socks. The boat shoe is meant for, none other than, a boat, which gives it the ability to be worn completely sockless. This look has been around for decades and continues to be a great option to pair with shorts in the warmer months.

Low Top Sneakers

Infographic Tennis Shoes Sneakers

When you want the most casual shoe to wear sockless, low-top sneakers are your go-to. The material and look of the sneaker will depend on how casual your outfit looks. Going for a classic, all-leather low top provides the best of style and comfort for the perfect casual sockless look.

For comfort and feel, wear with a pair of no-show socks to keep sweat and odor away while appearing sockless.


Infographic Penny Loafers - good option for shoes without socks

When you want to elevate beyond the casual appearance but stay under the dress shoe mark, loafers are the perfect option to wear with no socks. Loafers are very versatile as they’re made in a variety of materials.

For a slightly elevated look, rock a pair of suede loafers with a pair of trousers for a casual, yet dapper look. Swap out suede for leather if you want to pair it with a suit for a polished look.

Grab a pair of loafer liners if you want to appear sockless while keeping sweat and odor at bay.

Oxfords & Brogues

Infographic Cap-Toe Balmoral Oxfords

On the less casual side of things, rocking a suit and a pair of dress shoes worn sockless is a great way to show off your style. Again, if the event is black-tie, wear socks. However, if you find yourself wanting to wear a suit and rock the no-sock look, oxfords, and brogues are a great option. 

Sport a pair of brown oxfords with a well-trimmed suit for a polished and stylish appearance. This is also a great place for brogues to shine as their patterned appearance will be the center of attention when worn for a sockless look.

A well-cut pair of no-show socks or loafer liners can help you avoid sweat and odor while still rocking the sockless look.

Driving Shoes & Espadrilles

Infographic Espadrilles

When you’re looking for a quick and easy shoe to wear in warm weather that isn’t a pair of sandals, these are both great options. Pair them with shorts or pants for a great sockless look. These are perfect for a trip to the beach, or a casual backyard barbeque. 

The No-Sock Survival Kit (Care Items To Have On Hand)

As mentioned previously, appearing sockless or going completely sockless is a preference. Each has its own set of benefits, but if you can wear no-show or loafer liners with any of the mentioned shoe choices, you can avoid some of the inconveniences that come with wearing no socks at all.

However, if you choose to go sockless and not wear anything at all, these are a few items that you’ll want on hand to help out.

Medicated Foot Powder

baby powder on shoes

Medicated foot powders typically contain talcum and baking soda which are great for moisture absorption and deodorizing. Use this lightly sprinkled in the shoe and on your foot to absorb and deodorize as needed. This can help with comfort and smell especially if you’ll be in the shoes for length.

Breathable Insoles

Insoles being replaced

If you choose to go sockless, one of the first things you’ll notice, especially in leather shoes, is that your foot will sweat.

Paired with a good foot powder, lightweight, breathable insoles can aid in moisture-wicking and comfort and can be made out of a variety of materials depending on your shoe of choice.

Cedar Shoe Trees

shoe trees - cedar wood

Cedar shoe trees are a must if you own leather dress shoes and loafers as they not only keep the shape of your shoe but also absorb moisture and help to deodorize. These can be extremely helpful in keeping your shoes fresh and clean paired with the other items on this list.

Whether you decide to wear no-show socks or go sockless, there is no denying that the no-sock look is a great way to mix up your style. When done correctly, wearing shoes without socks has a casual and stylish appearance that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Feeling summer-inspired? Check out my guide to the best shirts a man can wear in the hotter months!

The post A Man’s Guide To Wearing Shoes Without Socks appeared first on Real Men Real Style.