The Shoes Without the Socks

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has sent the Manolo the link to the ridiculous article about the men who wear the dress shoes without the socks.

IT seems almost obscene, given the expanses of midriff, thigh and backside that too many people are all too willing to bare today, that the decision to show a little ankle with dress shoes should raise eyebrows. But almost obscene is just how it seems to many.

“It’s the new male cleavage,” said Thom Browne, the men’s wear designer and a professed ankle exhibitionist. “You can’t believe the snickers and comments I get because I’m not wearing socks. It sends people into a tailspin.”

Mr. Browne is an extremist, given that he wears traditional suit pants, cut short, and pairs them with English wingtips. You don’t expect to see a swath of naked skin separating the two. Nonetheless, many men are uneasy showing ankle, fearing perhaps that it smacks of the garish machismo of “Miami Vice.” You can debate whether dress shoes without socks looks cool, but there is no question that your feet feel that way.

“It’s nice to feel like you’re not wearing anything,” said Daniel Chu, a Manhattan advertising executive, who, come warm weather, deep-sixes the dress socks even with his Crockett & Jones lace-up, cap-toe oxfords. “It’s more of a comfort thing than a fashion statement.” He added, however, that he likes pairing the modern athleticism of bare feet with the Old World elegance of dress shoes, a clash concocted by those 1950’s rebels who paired white athletic socks with loafers. “That’s what makes people stare,” he said. “They’re totally unfamiliar with the look, which is the beauty of it.”

Oooooh, you are the rebel! Look at the rebel who does not believe in the socks for the expensive shoes!

Such the rebel who eschews the commonsense traditions of the untutored masses! All hail the rebellious non-sock wearing men, who challange the very foundations of our hide-bound society.

Manolo says, Pah!

47 Responses to “The Shoes Without the Socks”

  1. Kathleen July 20, 2005 at 12:17 pm #

    And soon, the rebel will be introduced to the Swampy Feets, and the Shoes of Great Stinkiness. Hooray for ankles!

  2. Muffy Wong July 20, 2005 at 12:17 pm #

    oh gross and the foot sweat. YUCK.

    I’m with Kathleen.

  3. Katie July 20, 2005 at 12:19 pm #

    Okay… Those pictures in the Times that accompany the article? Just look ridiculous. This is not trendy; instead, it looks like the “trendsetter” is either extremely absentminded or too poor to buy socks after purchasing their $1200 shoes. Either way…Tacky, with a capital Tacky.

    Yeesh.

  4. Sara July 20, 2005 at 12:42 pm #

    The man without the socks plays the fool in the comedy of the life.

    For the next, Mr. fool, meet the Mr. flip flop.

  5. deja pseu July 20, 2005 at 12:45 pm #

    The deja cannot imagine how the shoes without the socks would feel “cooler”. Unless the clamminess from the excessive sweating of the feets is perceived as “cool.”

  6. Fred the Fourth July 20, 2005 at 12:58 pm #

    The shoes without the socks? Absolutely yes: Topsiders, but only when actually sailing, or at least, at the marina.
    Otherwise, the Katie is spot-on. Tacky.

  7. The Scarlett July 20, 2005 at 1:05 pm #

    My husband goes sans-socks when he is wearing a pair of Gucci loafers … when he is wearing shorts on weekends or after work. (Hubby doesn’t do sandals.) I couldn’t imagine him going without socks in his cap-toed lace-ups.

    If I saw a business man sporting such a look, I would be embarrassed … not for myself but for him. I would think to myself, ‘that person doesn’t have a loved one to help him through such impulses … pity.’

    • Saracen May 12, 2011 at 6:12 am #

      What the hell is with you girls! Gone are the days when men needed a womens advice on clothes/fashion.

      My guess is that you’re another frumpy overweight girl with bad taste in men because the ones that know how to dress are out of your league!! :)

  8. Badger July 20, 2005 at 1:09 pm #

    Maybe it’s because I live in Texas, but count me in on the bafflement over how traditional men’s dress shoes without socks would be cooler. Aren’t the socks there to absorb perspiration and whatnot? And how could that be at all comfortable to be slogging around in a closed-up leather shoe without a sock? And yes, the smell! Aaiiii!

  9. Miss Tanya July 20, 2005 at 1:40 pm #

    Oy. If this man came to my office for a meeting? We would all think he was nuts/flaky/not good for doing business with. The exact opposite of superfantastic.

  10. amber July 20, 2005 at 2:10 pm #

    Ewwww! I’m sorry, but all the men that I know complain about their feet sweating… that’s a horrible thing to do to such nice shoes.

  11. amanda July 20, 2005 at 3:11 pm #

    If you read the whole article, it says that the men featured wear the “no show” socks, but why? Again, how is this cooler? These people are crazy.

  12. Buttercup July 20, 2005 at 3:18 pm #

    It looks feminine to me, especially the little white footie socks like my mother used to wear.

  13. Blade July 20, 2005 at 5:08 pm #

    I can’t help wondering (curse my morbid imagination!):

    What’s the *old* “male cleavage”?

  14. Lori July 20, 2005 at 5:51 pm #

    I think it was the look sported by everyone’s plumber, Seymour Butts.

  15. Your Granny July 20, 2005 at 6:36 pm #

    The weight of leather required for quality mens dress shoes does not allow unstockinged feet.

    This true also for ladies who will wear the small mens or boys shoe for a Carole Lombard affect when touring forieng capitals.

  16. Hilary July 20, 2005 at 7:21 pm #

    odd. I am sure that Russell Smith wrote that article for the Globe & Mail (in Cda) on July 9…if not, then someone is stealing from someone. But why bother with this “story”? When I read it …. as per everyone else here….I thought “eww”. Gross enough when I have to wear closed-toed shoes to work and don’t wear socks, never mind the men doing it.

    I am loving your blog, Manolo, so many fashion tips, so many shoes!! thanks.

  17. sara- July 20, 2005 at 10:59 pm #

    NO NO AND NO. Men and No socks yea right. That wouldn’t be right. For 1 men do not take care of there feet like women do. Also the sweat and they perspire differently-They are Stinky! Right.!!?? That would not look fashionable with every peice of clothing. What are they thinking and so high price-Please you can buy coach or ken cole gucci for that price and he will actually were it with fashion and not stink or look stupid hahahaha.

  18. Gabrielle July 20, 2005 at 11:23 pm #

    As my esteemed mama often notes, where there is no sense there is no feeling.

  19. Kelly July 21, 2005 at 12:26 am #

    I think that all closed-toe shoes should be worn with socks. Yes, I still believe in pantyhose. Because it’s NECESSARY. It contains the sweat, and it keeps the regular functions of your body from ruining a lovely pair of shoes.

    Maybe these are men who just forget to take their socks off when they’re about to have sex, and they’ve been laughed out of bed a few too many times.

  20. The Charlotte Allen July 21, 2005 at 6:25 am #

    The New York Times is always promoting some God-awful look that it claims is the latest in men’s fashion. Last summer, it was the “dinner sandal,” the $450 men’s slide from Gucci and elsewhere that you were supposed to wear to fine restaurants–which suddenly wouldn’t be so fine after you showed up in your dinner sandals. I think these fashions rise, peak, and (we hope) collapse in SoHo, NoHo, TriBeCa, or whatever the latest haunt is of the Manhattan arty set. They’re not for real people.

  21. enygma July 21, 2005 at 9:20 am #

    Won’t your feet sweat? That’s rather disgusting.

  22. Shannon July 21, 2005 at 9:52 am #

    I read this article over the weekend and was outraged. NYC smells funky enough in the summer without the addition of moronic metrosexuals sloshing around in their sweated up wingtips.

    Gross, gross, GROSS!!

  23. AggieGrrrl July 21, 2005 at 10:35 am #

    The Manolo says, “Pah!” The AggieGrrrl says, “Pew!”

  24. Tania July 21, 2005 at 10:51 am #

    Everyone has said it already, but I must say it again: the thought of those warm, moist man-feet in their puddle of hot man-foot-sweat, encased in thick leather, is enough to put you off your lunch.

  25. Moira July 21, 2005 at 11:31 am #

    I have some advice (as usual). CoolMax is a high-tech fabric that is woven into cotton and pulls moisture away from the body, as well as absorbs odor. They make socks with it, so men can go buy some of those to wear with their wing-tips in the summer, for that matter, all year-round. Available at http://www.llbean.com and elsewhere.

    I go pantyhose-less in the summer (I live in DC) but I wear nude-colored cotton footies with my slingbacks. With open-toed sandals, I wear little nude-colored bands of cotton that wrap around the instep. And I even have little cotton socks just for the tips of my toes for mules. You can buy all these at the Vermont Country Store (www.vermontcountrystore.com).

  26. debutaunt July 21, 2005 at 3:22 pm #

    I think that stink foot man sits in the office next to me. A disgusting daily shoe-taker-offer. Mr. Chief Stinky Foot. Ridiculous!

  27. Miriam July 21, 2005 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m not a man, but when I wear closed shoes without socks, my feet feel gummy and sweaty.

  28. dezphaire July 22, 2005 at 4:30 am #

    i pity the shoes that cannot speak and yet they must go through such an ordeal. they must be very suffocated. and then you must imagine the bits of worn leather or what nots creeping into the in-betweens of the man’s toes. the stinky hole of blackness is truly gut-wrenching.

  29. Lori July 22, 2005 at 11:09 am #

    Isn’t it painful for the shoes to rub on their bare feet? And irritating for their toenails to scrape the inside of their shoes?

  30. jenny July 24, 2005 at 12:24 am #

    Blisters, blisters and more blisters. And stinky blisters at that, too. *bleh.*

  31. triticale July 25, 2005 at 8:17 pm #

    This makes my practice of wearing white cotton athletic socks for all but the most formal of occasions look classy by comparison.

  32. Tom September 18, 2005 at 11:36 am #

    I wear dress shoes (usually loafers) without socks every day year round, with suit & tie or sport jacket & tie. Most people who I encounter say that they like this look. I enjoy the comfort, despite the cold and snowy winter days.

  33. Mike from NYC September 21, 2005 at 10:56 am #

    I too deep six the socks as soon as the mercury rises above 60 degrees. I really like the look, but it does create alot of controversey, especially with formal attire. People who hardly know me make comments. I wear no-shows with lace-ups, but bare feet in loafers, which can be slipped off under my desk when my feet get too sweaty.

  34. Greg October 28, 2005 at 12:39 pm #

    I dump my socks when its warm too. Even with a suit, I like the feeling of no socks. Women seem to feel its fine to 86 their nylons all the time now a days, so whats the problem with men ditching socks.

  35. stinkysally December 22, 2005 at 4:49 pm #

    Why is it that women can wear shoes without socks but men can’t, women’s feet smell just as bead and don’t let them tell you different.

    All the women get to wear sundresses and shoes wihtout socks when the temp heats up but a guy has to wear pants, shirt, tie, belt, jacket, socks, and closed shoes, what is up with that?

    I think men should start wearing kilts and sandals to the office in the summer.

  36. Cal February 11, 2006 at 10:05 pm #

    Just need to wear a good leather shoe. Try wearing Danskos. They are made to to be worn sockless and there are good while standing and even make to more comfortable while sitting. Socks in certain leather shoes are not needed. Yes all feet sweat even with socks. Female feet tend to sweat more then men. Hence more open shoe styles.

  37. amber black February 12, 2006 at 5:12 am #

    Well, all my lady friends tell me they can wear shoes all day, sneakers, boots, anytype, in all temperatures, and their feet never sweat, socks or no socks.
    Any opinions on that one?

  38. Jeff April 27, 2006 at 3:01 pm #

    I think it looks stupid to wear business clothes and no socks guys. But I go sockless all the time in my personal time. I equally think it looks awful to see women in business attire without nylons. It is an unfinished, unprofessional, cheap look ladies, whether your feet sweat or not. I think it is sexy to see a woman in a dress with sandals and bare tanned legs in the summer, but not in the professional environment. When I see a woman in business clothes and bare legs, I just laugh.

  39. Tom February 24, 2007 at 6:23 pm #

    I wear a suit or sport coat & tie nearly every day. And I never wear socks with my dress shoes, all year round. In fact on a recent cold day with temps. well below freezing, everyone was worried that I would break down and wear socks. This sockless look has been well accepted by most everyone.

  40. alex smith September 24, 2007 at 11:33 am #

    hi what is rong with men wearing shoes with out sox woman do it all the time thay seem to get away with it. why is it rong to where a suit with sandles and no sox i think it is more comfortable with out sox.

  41. Brit MacDonald November 11, 2007 at 8:48 pm #

    I think men should think twice before trying this latest fad. My feet sweat in closed shoes with no stockings, I hesitate to imagine the sweat a male foot would produce when ensconced in thick leather dress shoes.

  42. Anto November 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    brit: more or less the same as your sweat, no? When a little tan, us men look good in short and low cut moccasin (yes, there are manly low-cut moccasin), you girls secretly love our legs and feet.

  43. loaferlover September 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    I agree with Mike from NYC that loafers are best worn with bare feet because a guy can then slip them off and let his feet breathe under the desk or wherever. The look is most appropriate, however, only for young guys with attractive, well-maintained feet; I remember drooling back in the eighties when sockless topsiders were popular on campus and guys would slip them off in the library–sexy look!

  44. Adam October 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    i would appriciare some picks of sockless sneakers male or female

  45. Adam October 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    me too.i can’t decide to go sockless or not

  46. David March 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    I think in the warmer weather, not wearing socks with dress shoes is a no brainer. It is much cooler and feels better, especially with loafers. If your feet sweat, wear those no show socks for dress shoes that banana republic sells on their website. It feels great to have your ankles bare, try it before you knock it!