Best Shoes to Wear Without Socks Reviewed for Comfort

What is it that is so freeing about wearing shoes without socks? There is nothing holding your feet hostage to the sweat and material for one thing. Additionally, wearing shoes without socks is a fashion trend. Many designers recently developed their shoes for the active lifestyle of those that crave the sockless look. Lastly, some people just don’t have time to dig out a pair of clean socks. They just grab their shoes and go. We have researched and found the best shoes to wear without socks. So whether you don’t have clean socks or just want to feel less bound in your shoes, the ones we selected will feel great on your feet.

Last Updated: March 25, 2018
By Tenby Lloyd:

The buyers guide we have below contains the most up to date and recent information regarding the best shoes to wear without socks. We searched through many different styles of shoes to bring the most comprehensive list to you. Our shoes that we have chosen as the top ten beat out many contenders based upon a specific criteria. We have included that list of criteria below. As well, we posted some of the most frequently asked questions regarding what shoes are the best shoes to wear without socks.

Featured Recommendations

Converse CT All Star Low
  • Converse CT All Star Low
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • OrthoLite Insole
  • Canvas Upper
  • Price: See Here
Crocs Classic Clog
  • Crocs Classic Clog
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Perforated Clog
  • Crocs Croslite Material
  • Price: See Here
Keds Champion Original Canvas
  • Keds Champion Original Canvas
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Canvas
  • Multiple Widths Available
  • Price: See Here

We’ve always been told to wear socks. For the reasons for keeping your shoes clean on the inside and to prevent blisters. Is that the only reasons? There may be better health benefits to going without socks. It is also a little-known fact that wearing socks can misalign your toe spread as well as cause the shoes to either not fit properly or to slide around on the foot in an improper manner. Interestingly, that can cause blisters and chafing of the skin. Furthermore, it is a good idea to find shoes that you don’t have to wear socks with to give your feet time to heal from the trauma that wearing socks actually causes to your feet. If it is too cold where you are to not wear socks, may we suggest moving somewhere warmer!

 

 

10 Best Shoes to Wear Without Socks

 

 

1. Converse CT All Star Low

As iconic as the star itself is the Chuck Taylor Classic low top sneaker. The shoes blazed a path when they hit the scene many years ago. Everyone loved the sneaker that was ideally made for rocking without any socks. The upper portion keeps feet cool and has a high breathability because the shoe is canvas. Reinforced eyelets made of metal rings keep the laces securely in place while adding a pop of style.
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Ortholite insole
The insoles of this shoe are made to support and cradle the feet. Ortholite standards suggest great arch support and a cushioned step every time. Their company is known for high-quality supports. These are already integrated into the shoe for style and ease.

Tractioned outsole
Having a patterned outsole that provides good traction in any weather element is a strong characteristic of a shoe. Chuck Taylor Classic has a slip-resistant outsole that provides confidence when walking in the rain or on a slick floor.

Cost and value
At an exceptional value for an iconic brand, the low top sneaker is a great purchase. It will last for many days of wear and buyers will love to wear them. Converse shoes are well-known for being durable and long-lasting.
Pros
  • Canvas upper
  • High-traction sole
  • Reinforced eyelets
  • Ortholite insole
Cons
  • Glue separates from sole easily

2. Crocs Classic Clog

Crocs brand of shoes have two characteristics that make them stand apart from any other shoe it is compared against. They have ventilated air holes that keeps the feet cool and help drain water away if they should get wet. Also, they are constructed of Crocs patented Croslite foam cushion for the softest and supportive feel you get all day with these shoes. The material is very soft against and underfoot. Crocs have massaging nobbies on the top of the inner sole that stimulates the feet and encourages blood flow to the feet. They also help to keep feet from feeling as tired after wearing all day. These nobbies feel strange and delightful against bare skin making these shoes the perfect shoes to wear without socks.
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Odor resistant
A huge concern many people have about going sockless is the odor that can ensue from the shoe and/or foot. With proper hygiene, the feet will smell clean and these shoes are made from a material that is odor resistant. Even though the shoe is open it will not absorb odors from your foot or from the environment.

Water friendly
If you are looking for a shoe to wear at the water park, lake, or beach then look no further than these Crocs Classics. Not only are they great for being around water as they dry very fast, but the shoes are water buoyant. Should you be floating on a tube at the lake and a shoe pop off, no worries because it floats.

Cost and value
For Crocs to be made of such a lightweight material some buyers might think the shoe is cheap and will not last. This is entirely not true of Crocs. Their shoes are actually very durable and made to last a long time. Buyers should feel confident when purchasing Crocs because they will last but also they are at the bottom of our price range for the category.
Pros
  • Heel strap
  • Non-marking soles
  • Lightweight foam composition
  • Massaging nobbies for feet bottoms
  • Great for water
Cons
  • Not made for narrow feet
  • Tread wears down easily on the bottom and it can become slick to walk on

3. Easy Spirit Traveltime Mule

The Easy Spirit Mule is a great option to wear without socks. It has an easy on and off ability and is very soft against bare skin. The shoe is very lightweight and made of a breathable synthetic material. It also has a removable sockliner so the shoe is customizable for your comfort and arch requirements. It has a very padded foam interior to guarantee that the shoe is as comfortable as possible and will feel like it is not even on the foot.
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Orthotic-friendly
Should you require a specially made or more supportive orthotic insert this is the perfect shoe to handle that. It has a removable sockliner in case you need more interior space for your own orthotic insert. It is also able to handle an extra insert added to the one that is already inside the shoe.

Easy slip on
For some people, having to tie shoelaces is hard due to health ailments such as arthritis. This shoe makes it easy to get on and off as it as a convenient slip on and off capability. No more having to hassle with laces because of health or just because you simply don't want to worry about them staying tied.

Cost and value
These shoes are a great value as they come in at the lower to mid part of our price range. The shoes are known for comfort and the style makes it very versatile to wear for many situations. It allows this shoe to become your favorite everyday shoe. Therefore, much use will be gotten out of the shoe making it a good purchase for its value.
Pros
  • Slip-resistant rubber sole
  • Cushioned insole
  • Supportive and flexible outsole
  • Removable sockliner
Cons
  • Toe-box separates easily
  • Heel ring can mush flat if sizing is not accurate and ring sits under heel instead of around it

4. TOMS Classic Canvas

4. TOMS Classic Canvas
Designed for laid-back comfort and style, the Toms Classic Slip-On will become a favorite shoe to wear without socks. The interior is so soft and the memory foam plush liner will make your feet feel like they are on a cloud. The canvas material allows the shoes to stretch should your feet need a bit more room. It is also lightweight to not feel like you are dragging around weights on the bottoms of your feet. The thin and flexible outsole stays with your foot with each step to give a fluid step every time.
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Latex arch insert
Arch support is a key component for healthy feet. Not supporting the arch can cause issues such as a collapsed arch or metatarsal pain. The latex arch insert of this shoe is important because the sole is thin so have an reinforced support makes a huge difference in the feel of this shoe.

Tom's toebox stitch
Sometimes the toe box of a shoe is not properly stitched and that means the toe will come unravelled. With Toms using their industry standard stitch routine on their shoes, it means your shoes will not come apart at the toe box. It also adds a nice detail to the shoe and gives it some characteristic.

Cost and value
Toms provide ultimate sockless shoes for quite the value. These shoes come in at the low to mid price range for the shoes in this category. They are an exceptional buy and will provide many years of wear if properly taken care of. They are also fit to be worn for many different occasions so buyers can be certain these shoes won't just sit in the closet. You will get your money's worth out of wearing these shoes frequently.
Pros
  • Suede insole
  • One-piece flexible outsole
  • Latex arch insert
  • Stretchy canvas material
  • Reinforced toe box stitch
Cons
  • Sole shows dirt easily since it is white
  • Longer break-in period for more comfort

5. UGG Ansley

5. UGG Ansley
UGG has become ubiquitous with softness. Not only are their shoes made from the highest quality sheered wool lining they are incredibly soft and flexible on the foot. This makes them the perfect compliment to wear with bare feet. UGG actually has in their recommendations to not ever wear socks with these shoes as it takes away from the integrity of the moccasin. The wool is made to keep feet warm and cool at the same time. It can be worn at most temperatures without overheating the feet.
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Water-resistant suede
People worry about wearing suede because you might get caught in a lite rain. UGG made this shoe from a water-resistant suede so you can wear the shoes in a little bit of rain and be fine from markings.

Highly-tractioned sole
The sole of this shoe is one of the best we have seen for traction without looking obtrusive. The sole is made from a material that gives stability underfoot. You won't have to worry about walking on a slick floor in these shoes. You will feel stable and secure in your steps.

Cost and value
While the UGG Moccasin is in the middle to upper price range it is a shoe you will not want to take off. Many people buy their first pair and immediately get hooked into buying more because the quality and comfort are unmatched. The shoe will feel so soft against your bare feet you might make this an everyday shoe. Buyers will get much value from the purchase regardless of the price. As well, UGG shoes are known for their durability and long-lasting quality.
Pros
  • Wool lining for durability
  • Sheepskin lining for softness
  • Water-resistant suede material
  • Highly-tractioned sole
  • Decorative stitching
Cons
  • The wool eventually goes flat
  • Cannot be worn in heavy rain or snow

6. Birkenstock Mayari Birko-Flor

6. Birkenstock Mayari Birko-Flor
Birkenstock has been a name through the decades for freedom in style and from socks. Their shoes are ultimately built for comfort and support, all without socks. The cool cork footbed and the leather straps will be so soft against the bare skin. The cork is specifically designed to adhere to the shape of your foot over time and give a truly tailored fit and support. Finally, Birkenstock chose a simple yet highly-tractioned outsole to make sure wearers felt comfortable and unworried about slips and falls.
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EVA sole
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate is a material used in shoe production that is lightweight and causes the shoe to conform to the specific contours. It is also good for shock absorption which is a high priority in thinner-soled shoes. The foot will not feel hardly any impact from the foot thanks to this material and cork construction.

Odor Resistant
Cork is naturally known to be moisture wicking and odor resistant. You will not have to worry about funny feet smells while wearing these shoes, especially since you will be sockless. Keep the feet clean before wearing these shoes and you will prevent the cork from absorbing dirt; thus prolonging the life and appearance of the shoe.

Cost and value
Birkenstocks come in at a mid to upper price range. However, the shoes are known for lasting a very long time with proper care and usage. The cost of the shoe is nothing in comparison to the use you will get from these shoes. Many wearers of Birkenstocks become lifelong patrons and make them their everyday shoe.
Pros
  • Cork footbed
  • Lined leather straps
  • Adjustable straps
  • Highly-tractioned sole
Cons
  • Sole traction wears quickly 
  • Toe piece can pull through the footbed

7. Teva Hurricane XLT

7. Teva Hurricane XLT
Teva shoes have widely gained popularity over the past 10 years as mainstream footwear. No longer are they considered shoes for just hikers or beach bums. However, they are the ultimate shoe in that they are designed for water and will dry quickly; they have a soft, padded strap setup that will ensure it does not chafe bare skin. The straps are also adjustable making them a perfect fit for many different feet types.
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EVA foam midsole
As an added layer of comfort and extra stability, the midsole of this shoe is designed with EVA foam. That will help to cradle the foot while providing a reinforced sole to support the foot and all of its curves.

Lugged outsole
Teva goes above and beyond with their outsole on this shoe. It provides the ultimate grip so you can wear the shoes without worrying about accidental slips. The shoes are made to go over any surface whether it is a wet floor or dirt and grain trail.

Cost and value
These shoes will quickly become a favorite after feeling how comfortable they are. They are the perfect shoe to go without socks. Teva makes sure the design of the shoe will not irritate the foot and skin. Therefore, these shoes can be worn everyday and provide a great value for the investment.
Pros
  • Adjustable loop straps
  • Rugged outsole
  • Polyester webbing for quick dry capability
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Strong shank for stability on uneven terrain
Cons
  • Footpad comes unglued from the sole
  • Sole is not very flexible

8. Vans Classic Slip-On

8. Vans Classic Slip-On
While originally being thought of as just a shoe for skateboarders, Vans have since transformed into pop culture. Once people started giving them a try the undoubted comfort and versatility of the shoe could not be ignored. Wearing the Vans Classic without socks is the only way to go for this shoe. The ease of the fabric makes it going on and off a breeze. Elastic inserts around the tongue make the shoe have a little more stretch so almost every foot will feel great inside this shoe.
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Canvas upper
Canvas is widely accepted as a breathable and soft fabric. The Vans being constructed from a canvas upper means you can wear these shoes in warm or cold weather. No worries if they get wet either as canvas shoes dry pretty quickly.

Padded collar
Sometimes shoes that are canvas have a tendency around the heel to chafe the skin. Vans took preventative measure and highly padded the collar of the shoe. Wearing these shoes without socks will cause no worries as the material is super soft and will not rub into the skin around the ankles.

Cost and value
For a shoe that you can really wear every day and an unbeatable low price, you can lose by purchasing these shoes. Vans have a strong brand and reputation for being durable and well-built. Buyers can be assured that when they purchase these Classic slip-on shoes, they will get their value on high return because these shoes will quickly become a favorite to wear without socks.
Pros
  • Low profile 
  • Extra padded collar
  • Extra padded inner sole
  • Superior shock absorption
Cons
  • Glue separates easily around certain parts of sole
  • Traction is not as good as others in category

9. Sperry Top-Sider

9. Sperry Top-Sider
If you are searching for a highly-tractioned and fashionable shoe that you can wear almost anywhere, then look no further than the Sperry Top-Sider. What was originally made for a boat shoe because of its almost completely slip-resistant sole, the shoe became a fast fashion statement because of the comfort and style. The shoe can be worn every day and for many different occasions so it is widely adored by men, women, and kids.
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Traction
Since the shoe was designed to wear on boats with water and slick surfaces, the shoe has a sole that does not protrude or look ugly but will provide the best slip-resistance of any shoe in this category.

360 degree lacing system
Sperry tactfully designed the shoe so a person can loosen or tighten the shoe and it still looks fashionable. This is achieved by the full circle laces that run around the entire collar and over the arch of the foot. The leather laces will last through many days and many tightenings.

Cost and value
Sperry's are going to be in our mid-range of prices compared to other shoes in the category. However, they are so versatile that the value will outweigh the cost. Buyers will be getting a shoe that is incredibly durable and can be worn every day if you choose to. The shoe is also able to be worn in many adverse conditions and has the slip-resistance to make wearers feel confident.
Pros
  • Leather
  • Shock-absorbing heel cup
  • Padded insole
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Heavily tractioned
Cons
  • Leather shows creases after bending while wearing
  • Not as flexible as other shoes in category

10. Keds Champion Original

10. Keds Champion Original
Being a style icon for years, everyone loves Keds Classic Canvas shoe. They are shoes that can be worn with pants or shorts and look great on everyone. The canvas upper will keep your feet cool while looking stylish and perfect without socks. They also have an Ortholite insole which makes the foot feel even more comfortable as it feels like walking on air.
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Soft lining
Not only is the lining of this shoe soft against the skin, it is highly breathable. That is important in a shoe that you plan to wear without socks. The shoe has to has airflow so the fabric does not get stuck against the skin.

Cushioned insole
For the utmost comfort, Keds has included an Orthlite brand insole. Ortholite is known for a very cushioned feel and a great support for shoes. Having a strong support in shoes is vital for the health of the foot.

Cost and value
The Keds Original shoe is at a great price point. Almost everyone can squeeze this shoe into their budget. The shoes can be worn on a daily basis so buyers will definitely find a high value in their purchase. Keds have been a staple in the shoe business for many, many years. Their shoes are known to last.
Pros
  • Light and airy material upper
  • Moderately tractioned sole
  • Reinforced eyelets
  • Cushioned insole
Cons
  • Not machine washable
  • White canvas stains easily

There are many different styles of shoes besides traditional flip-flops that are stylish, suitable, and comfortable for wearing without socks. If your feet get hot and you don’t like socks now you have the perfect reason to toss them in the garbage. Don’t wait for summertime to go sockless. Buy a new pair of shoes and start now. It is important to find a shoe that fits many requirements to ensure the shoe is comfortable, breathable, and won’t irritate the skin. We went through stringent criteria when evaluating the shoes in this category.

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Shoes to Wear Without Socks

Material

By searching amidst the shoes we evaluated, we found that the material is a huge component in the comfort of a shoe. After all, when wearing a shoe without socks, comfort will be one of the highest factors in deciding to purchase it and ultimately wearing it. A shoe can look great sitting on the shelf. However, it must be comfortable in order for buyers to value their purchase and enjoy their purchase.

The materials of a shoe can be anything from plastic to canvas and everything in between. Therefore, a shoe that is made of a heavy and hot material such as vinyl or leather will probably not be comfortable on the skin of a sockless foot. Leather or vinyl-lined shoes will more than likely stick to the skin and make it sweat. Therefore, the whole foot has many different things contributing to it and the person being uncomfortable. However, a material such as canvas will allow for much more breathability and will keep the foot happy and cool.

 

Breathability

Would you want to walk around with buckets of water strapped to your feet? Absolutely not! That is why it is important to find a shoe with a high breathability factor. Moreover, keeping the feet dry on the inside of a shoe is important not just to the comfort of the foot but to the health of the foot. Further, the integrity of the shoe will be maintained over time by keeping the inside of the shoe dry. Did you know a typical shoe can have almost 3,000 units of bacteria on the inside? Bacteria grows from moisture buildup in the shoe and from the environments the shoe is worn in. By keeping the airflow inside of a show at a high level it cuts down on the “petri dish” effect. Not just cutting bacteria growth down, but keeping the moisture out of the shoe lowers the risk of blisters as well.

 

Padding

Some individuals wear socks as an extra layer of padding for the shoe. Whereas going sockless might make the foot feel as if it is not as padded as with a sock. Hence, it is important to find shoes that are extra padded or plush so that it has the same comfort level as a sock and shoe combination. We looked for shoes that had padded insoles and rubber or foam outsoles. Some of our choices even have memory foam inserts or foam liners. That is not the only materials that are found to be comfortable. Interestingly, something such as cork is known for being supportive but cushioning. The shoes we researched were all found to have reviews with the highest comfort.

Design

We searched through hundreds of different shoe designs to bring a wide variety of choices to the forefront. Furthermore, most people assume that the only time shoes can be worn without socks is when wearing flip-flops. This is simply not true. There are many designs of shoes that beg to be worn without socks. We scoured many styles and found an assortment of clogs, flip-flops, slip-ons, and sneakers that can be stylishly and comfortably worn without socks. The varied amount of designs we found can be worn for all sorts of occasions. There are shoes in this list that can be worn to the office, on vacation, and even to the gym. Moreover, going sockless can become part of your everyday routine instead of just a once-in-a-while thing thanks to the many stylish designs we found.

 

Style

Going sockless for many people represents a fashion faux instead of a fashion go. We evaluated many shoes and are proud to have a list that represents style and function. The shoes we picked were all highly revered for being in trend and being very versatile. Picking one or more of the shoes on this list will make even the most fashion conscious person lose their inhibitions about going sockless. The shoes are so stylish that it will be hard to pick just one pair. Make sockless shoes part of your routine a few times a week for the fashion aspect and the health aspect of your feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When to go sockless?
A: It is honestly appropriate to go sockless anytime you feel like it. If you don’t want to feel trapped inside of your shoe or you don’t like the feeling of socks, just go without. New trends in shoes have paved a way for anyone to go without socks for the rest of their lives should they so please.

Q: How to go sockless without smell?
A: One of the main reasons shoes begin to smell is hygiene reasons. This can be a battle whether you wear socks or not. The first step to prevent smell inside of a shoe or on the foot itself is to just take proper hygiene precautions. Make sure to wash your feet regularly. Get pedicures and do foot soaks at home with Epsom salts. They are known to pull bacteria from the skin. Soak your feet and release the toxins that cause foot odor.

Q: How to keep sockless shoes from smelling?
A: Along with the hygiene steps above, make sure to keep your shoes clean. Wash them (if machine washable) every few weeks if they are getting worn moderately. If you are wearing the shoes more often, aim for washing them once a week. If the shoes are not machine washable, try sprinkling a little bit of baking soda inside the sole of the shoe and easily brush it out after a few hours. Baking soda is great for absorbing odors.

Q: How to go sockless without getting blisters?
A: The main trick in preventing blisters is keeping the feet dry and preventing friction against the skin. If you can add a dab of vaseline to areas prone to blistering such as the heel and toes. Also, if the shoe style permits it such as running shoes, sprinkle a little bit of baby powder or cornstarch in your shoe before wearing. If you should happen to get a blister, do not pop it. Let it heal on its own and wear the shoes again. Each time you were the shoe, it toughens the feet up so to speak and in the future blisters will become a thing of the past.

Q: Should I go sockless?
A: Going sockless is a great idea. It not only promotes proper toe splay and alignment but it gives the feet a chance to breathe. Socks are binding to the toes and feet. They also trap bacteria against the skin. Going without socks, even if just around your home, is a great option and lets the feet relax.

Q: How to wear shoes without socks?
A: First, clean your feet. Especially if the shoe is open and the sole of your foot can be seen. You should never walk around with dirty feet. Second, sprinkle baby powder or cornstarch in the shoe if it can be unnoticeable. Third, put the shoes on your feet and enjoy being sockless!

Q: What happens if you wear shoes without socks?
A: Yout might become addicted to going without socks. There is nothing worse that can happen to your feet going without socks than there is by wearing socks. You might have less foot sweat by going sockless. You could also have better feeling feet as socks are known to constrict the feet. Wearing shoes without socks gives your feet a chance to reset to their natural state.

Q: Does wearing shoes without socks cause athlete’s foot?
A: Athlete’s foot is caused by bacteria growth. There is no better environment for athlete’s foot than a dark and damp shoe. Athlete’s foot stands a better chance of growing if paired with a wet sock. It is best preventable by keeping your feet and shoes dry. Go sockless and make sure if the shoes do get wet to let them completely dry out before wearing them again.

Sources

  1. CIDI Authors Admin, Study Reveals High Bacteria Levels on Footwear, Scince journal, May 03, 2008
  2. Graham Ryan, Why You Should Stop Wearing Socks, Apr 03, 2015