Socks have been worn by humanity for thousands of years, and for good reason. Men’s socks do a lot more than keep your shoes smelly while wicking up the sweat produced by your feet. A good pair of socks can also help you stay warm or cool, depending on the seasonal needs, as well as provide much-needed support for your ankles and calves depending on the cut of the sock. But how exactly do socks keep your feet safe? What other benefits does sock wearing come with?
Protecting From Scrapes, Cuts, and Discomfort
Wearing socks, firstly, provides an extra layer of cushioning between your feet and your shoes. Not all shoes have comfortable insoles and an extra layer of a cushion can provide a lot of comfort. There’s also the matter of boots. Most boots have rough material such as leather around the foot hole. Without socks, this rough material can cause chafing or rashes from walking. This is especially common with work boots and hiking boots. Socks can also help protect you from extra cuts while hiking. Having an extra layer between your skin and the outside world you can cut back on the number of cuts and scrapes from things like thorny plants and sharp rocks.
Bacterial Infection Protection
Wearing socks helps a lot with avoiding bacterial infections. It’s common knowledge that stinky feet are caused less by the feet themselves, and more by the bacteria that live on them. Socks help to absorb some of the waste produced by this bacteria as well as helping to keep your shoe from becoming the exact kind of dark, moist environment that bacteria thrive in. This means that socks are both keeping your feet cleaner and keeping the smell from seeping into your shoes.
Not wearing socks can lead to bacterial infections pretty easily. Common bacterial infections include athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, erythrasma, abscesses, cellulitis, and other more rare conditions. This issue is amplified when trying on shoes, and can sometimes even cause sepsis. It’s important to change your socks regularly, make sure that you wash your feet and socks regularly, and immediately treat any cuts or abrasions you find on your feet to help avoid any of these infections.
When It’s Okay to Not Wear Socks
It’s always a good idea to wear socks when wearing closed-toe shoes. Period, end of story. Wearing socks when you wear closed-toe shoes is the best way to ensure that you aren’t risking a bacterial infection. That being said, it’s typically okay to go without socks when wearing open-toe shoes. This includes all varieties of sandals and knowing that makes summer months a lot easier especially if you’re concerned about people looking down on you for wearing socks and sandals. If you plan on doing this just make sure you aren’t skipping out on your foot washing. Using soap and water is the best way to make sure that there aren’t harmful bacteria lingering on your feet.
If for whatever reason you still want to forgo socks when wearing closed-toe shoes, there’s still a way to do this safely. The best practice is to have a few pairs of shoes that you cycle through so you can give each shoe time to dry out between wears. Some people also recommend using a deodorizing powder like baking soda to help dry out your shoes more quickly.
Comfy Socks, Comfy Life
Wearing good, comfortable socks can keep you both safe and comfortable for a variety of reasons. Socks also help to tie together entire outfits very easily. Socks come in an expansive range of materials, colors, and designs so no matter your needs you should have little difficulty finding the best socks for you.