How to avoid foot funk when going sockless

5 methods for stink-free sockless shoe wearing.

Above Loafer: 1901 Colton Tassel – $99.95

Christian Davis is a 24-year-old Los Angeles based writer who up until now has focused mainly on writing about video games.  Really.  He recently began wanting to dress better, and he’ll be cataloging his process for us here on Dappered.  He might be new, but he’s learning quick.  For more, you can follow him via his tumblr.  

I noticed something pretty early on when I started to explore menswear. Actually, it was the lack of something during the spring and summer. Socks. It’s gone way past a trend and despite some sock fans holding out, it’s almost a standard at this point. If it’s spring or summer, wearing socks might have you facing the guillotine operated by the menswear obsessed…or something like that.

This is basically what I’m experiencing:

  • Got some new tassle loafers to go with those brightly colored chinos? Better leave the socks at home!

  • That wonderful pair of perfectly cuffed trousers are great. They could use a nice helping of ankles to really add a new dimension.

  • That khaki suit and those double monks are phenomenal. You know what would take this outfit to the next level? A.N.K.L.E.S.

Now, I’m not opposed to this in the slightest, but I feel there’s this not so subtle danger that comes with going sockless which isn’t discussed at all.

I believe the scientific term is Stank ass feet. Don’t quote me on that though.

No socks = the sweat of your feet soaking into the interior of the shoe and just lingering. And that funk attaches itself to your feet as well as your shoes. This needs to be discussed. Because honestly, if you can smell your feet while standing up, you need to do something about it. So I did some research, some asking around, got a couple great suggestions, threw in some of my own methods and came up with these five methods for eliminating that smell from your shoes.

 

Ankle Socks or No-show Socks

Here’s something that I’ve always been accustom to using. You still get the aesthetic of that prestigious no-sock look, but without the stench that comes afterwards. I’ve used this brand I found at Costco called KB for awhile now. They’re comfortable, rarely slide off the back of your heel (has happened less than a handful of times) and do a rock solid job of giving you the look you want. They’re a bargain too. You can get a pack of 12 socks for around $6 bucks.

Sockless but with socksAnkle socks that are almost invisible. Shown here with the Cole Haan Lunargrand

This brand in particular is paired best with shoes that rise a little closer to your ankle and lean casual. If you wore some tassle loafers for example, you’d see a huge chunk of the sock and it looks considerably tacky. Kind of like socks with sandals.

Another option that I plan on trying soon is the brand called Ninjasox. Their slogan is “the zero sock” meaning that absolutely no amount of sock will show. From their gallery, they show a selection of different shoes wearing them with nothing showing. These are much pricier however and come in at $6 a pair. But maybe you get what you pay for with no-show socks. I tried some from the Kohl’s brand Apt 9, and I won’t ever buy those ever again. Apt 9’s socks are constantly falling off your heel and just feel extremely cheap. So buying a pair of Ninjasox will be a bit of a gamble, but hopefully it works out in my favor.

 

Insoles

Another valid option is to just replace the insoles of your shoes with some washable ones that are made to handle the amount of sweat that your feet produce. Some you’ll have to resize yourself with scissors by using your current insole as an outline, while others come in standard shoe sizes. Some are even baking soda based which further increases the odor fighting possibility.

sockless insolesPedag washable insoles in black or white – $8 – $9

 

Baking Soda

Speaking of baking soda, you can just use that all by itself to eliminate smells. If you suffered from a particularly bad case of “Stank ass feet ” one day, pour some baking soda in a coffee filter, place it in your shoe, and just let it do it’s thing overnight. Pretty simple and it’s impossible to mess that up. If it works in your fridge, it’ll work in your shoe.

Baking Soda for foot funk recoveryNo, this isn’t a new exotic coffee drink. 

 

The Freezer

I’ve been doing this for the past couple of weeks and it really does work! I don’t know why, but the cold supposedly kills the bacteria in your shoes (or at least slows down their growth) and has them smelling fresh. All you’ve got to do is put them in the freezer when you go to sleep, preferably in a bag, and just forget about em.

The downside to this? Your feet are going to be extremely cold for the first 10 minutes. You’ll have to do this every night since this isn’t as permanent a solution as ankle socks or insoles, but it can be an effective way of getting rid of the dreaded stank ass feet virus. WARNING: It’s not clear how the freezer will effect fine leathers, so if you’ve got expensive shoes, maybe don’t store them next to the tater tots.

Shoes in the freezerWhy does my Flinstone’s Push Up taste like leather?

 

Foot Powder/Baby Powder

Foot powder just makes sense right? Pour it in and go on with your day. I myself use baby powder. Smells fresh and absorbs all the sweat in your shoes. This method even helped my shoes from feeling tight when sweat starts to permeate. I got a new pair of tassel loafers this past weekend and after I walked a considerable length in them, my feet started to sweat and “stick” to the inside of the shoe. My toes started to rub up against the insides of the shoe, and I eventually got a blister. I lightly dusted the bottom of the insole with baby powder and that hasn’t happened since.

GB Foot PowderPlenty of options, but Gold Bond has been around forever for a reason.

 

And finally, for when you’re not wearing your shoes…

Get some shoe trees! Aside from supporting the structure of your shoes, they also absorb any moisture in the shoe, preventing any sort of foot funk to spawn. If you’re on the road and don’t want to take your shoe trees with you, you can shove newspaper in your shoes overnight. Not as nice smelling as a cedar shoe tree, but by morning the paper should have absorbed most of the swampy feeling you’d otherwise be walking around in that next day.

Do you go sockless? What’s your preferred method of avoiding foot funk? Have any additions? Let’s hear it in the comments below!

shoe trees

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