Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The Secret to Not Wearing Socks with Shoes

A reader writes! "Since moving to New York, I seem to see a lot of bare feet in dress shoes. Is this a recent trend? Or a New York thing? In this heat, you'd think… that would make for some stinky shoes. I will occasionally go sans-socks if I'm wearing slip-ons or sneakers or going to the beach or something. but at the office? I don't know… Where do you stand on this?"

Well, I'll tell you where I stand. But it's embarrassing. There are these tiny, tiny fake mini-socks. THEY ARE FOR MEN. REALLY. And I wear them all the time.

So, among other manufacturers, Calvin Klein makes something hilariously called Men's Dress Shoe Cotton Liners. I know that sounds kind of like a maxipad. (There are similar products for ladies, obvs, both for the feet and for the boobs even too, kind of! But ladies know these things, so here I address the simpler sex.)

Do you want to be stank, boys? Here are things ladies don't like: terrible breath, terrible manners and terrible stank feet. Also several dozen other things but I'm not allowed to tell you those.

And sure. You will never, ever, ever feel less like a man than when you put these on. Honestly you will feel a little like a lady!

But! This is why I don't have stank feet and stank shoes but still look sockless! They won't necessarily hold up through, like, a three-hour workout and eight hours in the office and a night on the town, particularly? But they will prevent Death By Foot in general. It's worth it.

Or I guess I could just wear real socks but that seems so unsporting in late July.

48 Comments / Post A Comment

Matt Langer (#2,467)

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davidwatts (#72)

I wore these for a few years until I was fully ready to just be sockless. Do my feet smell? On occasion. Do I have to deal with bunching up, now-you-see-them-now-you-don't tiny socks who steadfastly refuse to stay in place and do their job? No, I do not.

Brian (#115)

@davidwatts I don't wear these socks, I just powder my shoes before slipping them on. Generous Odor Eater foot powder will, in fact, get you through eight hours in the office and even a night on the town.

davidwatts (#72)

ALTHOUGH, while we're talking about feet, let me ask you this, Choire. I see you're as committed to a healthy cuff on your pants as I am – are you suffering from embarrassing levels of ankle tan, like me? I just have really super tan ankles, which is weird when I go to the beach.

C_Webb (#855)

I can forgive smelly feet on a manperson (within limits). What I cannot forgive is scary uncut yellow corpsy toenails, from which I run screaming.

Bryan Keller (#3,804)

Little short girlie socks on men: no. Dr. Scholl's odor-eaters, no socks: yes. It works!

cherrispryte (#444)

Okay, those may work for teh menz (but, um, they actually stay where they're supposed to, and don't wind up scrunched under the arch of your foot? surprising.) but the cut of those things tends to be visible in most women's shoes.

jolie (#16)

@cherrispryte I have a horrifying photo on my telephone that I keep forgetting to post to my blog because CHRIST DON'T I HAVE ENOUGH TO DO AROUND HERE ALREADY of a woman on the subway with her peds hanging alllllllll out of her commuter flats.

Ladies, never let 'em see your peds.

Bittersweet (#765)

@jolie: Which peds don't show in women's shoes? Every pair I've ever bought sticks out of my flats and heels and is thus useless as well as fugly.

IBentMyWookie (#133)


Tully Mills (#6,486)

Smartwool also makes a sock like this which is fantastic as wool wicks away moisture and breathes better than cotton.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)


Tully Mills (#6,486)

@dntsqzthchrmn Wicks *a* way.

Just trying to do this before someone else gets here.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Ha, ha… oh, c'mon! If you think that look is somehow less silly than wearing (well fitting!) shorts (with summery sneakers and ankle socks), you are nuts!

If we are talking strictly office, wear the damn socks (I recommend those they have at American Apparel – they hold up really well in sweaty conditions) most offices have A/C anyway.

So, what's the end game here? The comfort of not wearing socks in the summer, or the appearance of not wearing socks in the summer?

BadUncle (#153)

@Clarence Rosario Air-conditioned ankles. It really makes a difference.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Clarence Rosario And is it good enough to just look like you have smelly feet?

jaimealyse (#647)

http://www.summersoles.com. You're welcome, everyone.

bmichael (#213)

M&S Co's socks are super nice, and on sale http://moccsocks.myshopify.com/ I wear them even though they look like ballerina shoes

bmichael (#213)

@bmichael Or maybe -because- they look like that?

TroutSavant (#1,990)

I've been wearing Havaianas to work since at least July 5.

IBentMyWookie (#133)


Also, while we're on it:

1) Is the cuff on your jeans "convertible"? In other words, do they roll down to normal length, or do you buy them too long just for the cuff effect?

2) Is there any look sadder than dress slacks with a polo shirt?

heroofthebeach (#2,280)

@Clarence Rosario If the polo is tucked, then no. (Unless they're wearing khakis instead of slacks, in which case dear god.)

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@heroofthebeach With at least one faux-leather phone case hanging off the belt.

jfruh (#713)

Do these things only prevent foot-stank, or do they also prevent the uncomfortable chafing that arises from wearing shoes with no socks? Because I have plenty of shoes I'd like to wear during the summer but they'd rub my feet if I don't have socks on and yet with socks they look dumb with shorts and … wait, what? Oh, sorry, I'll show myself out.

David Cho (#3)

I wear these.

Mark Chu Cheong (#6,137)

@David Cho I wear these as well however, I do admit that I do get embarrassed when I have to go through airport security in my "ballerina slippers".

BadUncle (#153)

I wear those little foot panties all the time. They sell them by the dozen at jeans-and-underwear stores.

awlsome (#706)

foot panties

ellbeejay (#13,699)

@BadUncle foot panties! i love it! i will use it! (and my foot panties will show all the time, too, @jolie…but it's better than blisters.)

barnhouse (#1,326)

I am so glad to find that men wear these too. They are so much better for the longevity of shoes! Also they shouldn't make you feel like a lady! They are just socks.

roboloki (#1,724)

no. just no.

Madfall (#9,834)

I am still trying to decide whether the picture is of the socks, shoes or both.

Paul B@twitter (#13,135)

What's wrong with real socks? You live in NY where there are very nice, thin, cotton socks available for little amounts of money. Two or three dollars maximum and you can have comfortable, dress appropriate feet and ankles and avoid engaging in a ridiculous fad. If you're wearing some Vans or whatever it's your choice but please wear socks with dress shoes guys.

jolie (#16)

Can't you just sprinkle some of Balk's ball powder in your shoesies? Those are really spectacularly unmanly and I'm not sure I can get on board.

deepomega (#1,720)

@jolie: I don't want my feet looking like Balk's (chicken-flesh-y) balls. That's me, though.

roboloki (#1,724)

@jolie Gold Bond® makes a (gender neutral) foot powder .

jolie (#16)


Doug Henwood (#6,729)

"You will never, ever, ever feel less like a man than when you put these on." Choire, you say that as if there's something wrong with that feeling.

Rod T (#33)

Those are great if you don't mind being wholly unfuckable.

El Matardillo (#586)

All you have to ask yourself is, "Would Ron Swanson wear these?" And the answer, of course, is fuck no. Never.

babakgolshahi (#18,104)

If it works, it works. Somehow I think it would be amazingly un-sexy if you pulled it off but then I noticed it when you took your shoes off later…probably because it's so practical…or something.

katiechasm (#163)

These things are an embarrassment.

mathnet (#27)

But why are you wearing jeans under your wedding dress?

good sock with good isabel marant sneakers http://www.isabelmarantbasket.co.uk

Dark Beauty (#4,046)

Get the cheap ones from the K-Mart on Astor and treat them as almost disposable, because they will disappear before wearing out.

Also, look for a no-slip rubber strip on the heel. That is the crucial quality / function hurdle.

And no, powder is not even close to a substitute.

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