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5 Shoes You Should Never Wear With Socks, Stylists and Podiatrists Say

You'll need to keep your feet free with these footwear options.

As summer comes around and the weather heats up, you're likely looking for ways to make your wardrobe cooler—in more ways than one. Socks are great on cold winter nights, helping heat escape from our extremities. But that can be extremely unpleasant in the warmer months. Finding ways to free your feet while still staying on trend will be of the utmost importance over the next couple of months. Talking to stylists and podiatrists, we gathered insight on what footwear will help you achieve this goal. Read on to discover five pairs of shoes you should never wear with socks.

READ THIS NEXT: 4 Types of Sandals You Should Never Wear After 60, Podiatrists and Stylists Say.


black slide sandals on wooden floor

It may sound obvious, but socks with sandals has become one of the most controversial topics in the footwear fashion space. While many people believe they should never be combined, others see the combination as a cool trend.

But what do the experts think? According to Sunica Du, a fashion designer and owner of SunicaDesign, it's best to follow tradition and skip the socks when it comes to wearing sandals.

"Fashion-wise, let those toes breathe," Du advises. "Podiatrists give it a thumbs up, too—as long as you're not trekking the Amazon, your feet will thank you for the fresh air."


Flip-flops of family in the entrance space of modern house.

You should definitely ditch the socks when it comes to any sandal-type shoe that has straps. And that's about more than just fashion.

"Socks will impair proper fit for strappy sandals," says Bruce Pinker, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon.

This includes footwear with just one strap, like flip-flops, according to Mauricio Garcia, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and the project support coordinator for Hyper Arch Motion's orthopedic sneakers.

"Flip-flops are casual, open-toe sandals with a thong strap between the toes, meant to be lightweight, easy to slip on and off, and ideal for hot weather," Garcia explains. "But there's an added pinch of discomfort because of the thong strap stretching the socks."

Ballet flats

Female legs in blue jeans and yellow shoes on a white bench. Selective focus.

Ballet flats are starting to come back in style with younger women. But no matter what age you are while you don them, you shouldn't be wearing socks, according to Garcia.

"Ballet flats are typically low-cut and have a slim profile," he says. "Wearing socks with these shoes can play against their elegance, disrupt the lines of the shoe, and make the feet look chunky or awkwardly shaped."

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Crossed legged man wearing sandals in a desert

Wearing loafers? Once again, lose the socks.

"These shoes have a low-cut design that exposes the ankle, and they're often made of lightweight, breathable materials," Garcia shares. "Wearing regular socks with loafers can create a bulky appearance, ruin the sleek silhouette, and make your feet feel hot and sweaty."

But if you happen to be suffering from sweaty feet when going without, you can opt for lighter, no-show socks with your loafers, Du recommends.

"That way your feet stay comfy, and your style stays on point," she says.

Tight-fitting shoes

man wearing barefoot shoes.

If you're choosing minimalist footwear, barefoot shoes, or sock shoes this summer, you can and should ditch your socks. Most of these are actually "designed to eliminate the need for socks and are somewhat tight fitting," Pinker says.

You should especially steer clear of wearing thick socks with tight-fitting shoes, Garcia adds. "This may cause discomfort and restrict proper shoe fit," the orthopedic surgeon explains.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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