The Best Socks for Every Kind of Shoe, To Balance Style and Comfort
Even with a meticulously crafted outfit and the perfect pair of shoes, socks often become an afterthought. Stylists emphasize that selecting the right socks can significantly enhance your ensemble and provide functional comfort throughout the day. The key lies in understanding which socks complement each type of shoe, striking a balance between practical considerations and personal style.
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The Best Socks for Every Kind of Shoe
To guide you, here are expert recommendations for the best socks to wear with different kinds of shoes.
1. Boat Shoes
While boat shoes are ideally worn without socks, the urban environment may not always be kind to bare feet. If discomfort arises, opt for breathable cotton no-show socks to keep your feet cool and comfortable, advises Sally Samuels, head designer for Savile Row Company’s menswear line.
2. Women’s Dress Shoes
Traditionally, women’s dress shoes like high heels and flats are worn without socks. However, for those prioritizing comfort, experts recommend tights or no-show socks. Look for lightweight options in breathable cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, ensuring a non-slip grip on the inside of the heel to avoid discomfort, suggests Amara Rajie, in-house stylist for Hyper Arch Motion shoes.
3. Men’s Dress Shoes
For men opting for dress socks, the advice is to choose a pair as elegant and refined as the shoes. Match sock color to trouser color, creating a seamless line for a taller and sleeker appearance. Ideal materials include Merino wool or cashmere for lightweight warmth and breathability, according to Samuels and Rajie.
The consensus among experts is that the best socks for sneakers should offer ample cushioning and be made of breathable, moisture-wicking materials. Style considerations come into play, especially with lifestyle sneakers where no-show socks are often preferred, mentions Kriena Nederveen, a stylist based in New York and Los Angeles.
Loafers offer versatility in sock choices, depending on personal preference and the season. In colder months, longer socks resembling those for dress shoes made of high-quality materials like cotton or merino wool are recommended. In warmer months, no-show socks, similar to those worn with heels or flats, are suitable, provided they have a non-slip heel grip, advises Rajie.
Whether you choose rugged hiking boots or sophisticated Chelsea boots, thicker socks are generally advisable for cushioning, preventing chafing, and insulating against the cold, notes Samuels. Merino wool is suggested for light warmth without excessive bulk. Specialized socks with reinforced heels and toes and compression bands around the arch offer additional support for hiking.
While some consider socks with sandals fashionable, it remains a polarizing look. Most experts advise against this combination, as it tends to appear uncoordinated and lessens the practicality of sandals designed to keep feet cool and aired out. The exception is slides with chunky socks, but pulling off this look requires a certain attitude, warns Nederveen. Samuels emphasizes that the design and purpose of sandals are undermined when worn with socks.