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Why You Should Seriously Never Wear Shoes Without Socks

Now that the summer heat is in full force, you might be tempted to step outside in a pair of shoes without socks. Sometimes you just want to show off your ankles! But according to experts, this can lead to some serious issues — and we mean way more than stinky feet. 

We aren’t talking about sandals or flip flops that allow your little piggies to air out, but if you decide to wear flats, loafers, or sneakers sans socks you could be in trouble. “If you were to take a scraping off a well-worn leather shoe, you’d find it’s a zoo of microorganisms that can cause disease in the human foot,” Dr. John Chisholm, a podiatrist and president of the California Podiatric Medical Association told HowStuffWorks

This accumulation of ick can cause pesky problems like Athlete’s foot or fungal toe infections, and can create more friction that will lead to blisters and calluses. He put it more succinctly with a jarring and memorable comparison: “Wearing shoes day after day without socks would be like wearing your underwear day after day without washing them.” Yikes! That’s just asking for trouble.

Another not-so-fun fact? Our feet produce about half a pint’s worth of sweat on a daily basis, according to podiatrist Emma Stevenson. “Any moisture, if not soaked up by socks, is maintained in synthetic and non-breathable material — leaving people open to fungal infections.” 

If you’re still determined to flash a bare ankle with your shoes, you should probably invest in a few pairs of no-show socks. Popular brands like Bombas offer several options, including some with cozy cushioning to make walking even more enjoyable ($12, Nordstrom). Heels are one of the most notorious culprits when it comes to going sockless when it’s too hot for tights or pantyhose. Luckily, you can also find some sneaky socks for that type of footwear, too ($10.99, Amazon). Even fans of mules and clogs can find ways to at least keep their toes covered ($25.00, Nordstrom).

Now you can enjoy your favorite shoes all summer long without worrying about infections or unsightly socks getting in the way!

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