Should you Wear Socks with Boat Shoes?

Invented in 1935 by Paul A. Sherry, boat shoes are a quintessential American wardrobe staple.

Despite their nearly 100 years in existence, folks still are uncertain whether socks should be worn with them.

In short, socks should always be worn with boat shoes as they provide several benefits, the most notable being that they will protect your feet.

But why? They seem like they would go well with no socks

While that may seem to be the case, with each stride you take in boat shoes, the leather or canvas upper will gradually rub away the top layer of skin. With time, the skin on your heel, toes, and elsewhere will become raw, tender, and eventually blister.

While boat shoes carry an aquatic and yacht-club association, they aren’t the most breathable shoes, even those with mesh netting. Furthermore, when worn in a hot and humid environment, this allows for bacteria to grow, which may lead to fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot.

Aside from the impact on your health, continued exposure to these conditions would effectively cause the boat shoe to rot from the inside out.

Then what type of socks should be worn with them?

no show socks on table

No-show socks are the most suitable type of socks that should be worn with boat shoes. Since they rest below the shoe collar, it will appear that you are wearing no socks while still enjoying all the benefits they provide.

The same goes for sailing shoes, a modification of the boat shoe that provides extra stability when standing on the often slippery surface of a sailboat.

Does the material of the sock matter at all?

Ideally, natural fibers such as cotton or wool are preferred as they will allow your toes to breathe. However, synthetic materials are okay as they have moisture-wicking properties that draw sweat away from the skin, ensuring that blistering does not occur.

What about the material of the boat shoe?

looking down at feet with boat shoes on

Boat shoes that are intended to be wet, such as hybrid water shoes, don’t need to have a sock worn with them as you go in and out of the water. However, if your feet are going to be dry for two or more hours, socks should be worn to provide protection to your feet.

How does the rest of your outfit factor into the equation?

Shorts, jeans, skirts, chinos, etc. no show socks should still be worn instead of a higher cut like the ankle, quarter, or crew socks.

When wearing pants, fashion experts recommend that they be cuffed to provide further separation between the shoe and the bottom of the pants to retain a summertime look.

Theo Lawson

With a five-year background in men's fashion, Theo Lawson has shifted his focus to the world of socks. To him, socks are more than just a piece of clothing - they're a way to express yourself and make a statement.

To improve his knowledge, Theo consults with manufacturers and interviews industry leaders to stay up-to-date on the latest sock trends. His dedication to the field has earned him the trust of companies, celebrities, and sock enthusiasts, making him a true testament to the impact that one person can have when passionately pursuing their expertise.

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