Going sockless may be the hot trend of the summer, fueled by GQ celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Jude Law… but is it sanitary? Is it contributing to a plague of foot odor sweeping the nation? According to the Wall Street Journal, going sockless gives a look of “leisure” and “effortless style.” Designers like Thom Browne have made naked ankles an acceptable trend for working professionals, rather than just something that’s sported around the boat docks on the weekends.
Why Skip Socks?
When spotted in Prada oxfords without socks, actor Josh Hartnett told a reporter, “Why do I do it? Because it’s summer and we’re allowed to, and it’s a little bit more casual.”
“The exposed ankle has to be the ultimate visual metaphor for those Ivy League notions of moneyed leisure and relaxed elegance,” J.P. Gaul and Graham Marsh wrote in The Ivy Look.
In Havana and Palm Beach, no one wore socks, reports Percy Steinhart, designer of Stubbs & Wootton footwear. “It’s sort of tacky to wear them in the tropics, I guess,” he said.
“It’s a little act of rebellion,” said style consultant Michael Macko.
What’s Wrong With Skipping Socks? Foot Odor and Infection.
According to the UK Guardian, sockless shoes “could leave [men] with fungus-infested feet” and are causing “a dramatic rise in cases of bad foot odor and cases of athlete’s foot.” Statistics show the sales of foot odor products have gone up over 10%. Online pharmacy Chemist Direct says men have been writing, asking for a product that minimizes foot odor when going sockless. Everything from foot deodorant, insoles, foot spray and athlete’s foot medicine are selling like hotcakes.
Shoes without socks decreases ventilation and causes sweat (from more than 250,000 glands in the foot) to seep down into the shoe material. This dark, humid environment is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Once a colony gets going, the bacteria eats dead skin cells on the feet and expels a gas that smells like rotten cabbage.
How to Prevent Foot Odor When Going Sockless
The Art of Manliness blog recommends washing one’s feet vigorously with anti-bacterial soap every day. Another recommendation is to stick an unvarnished “cedar shoe tree” into the shoes every day to maintain shoe shape, absorb moisture and deodorize. Pouring baking sod into a coffee filter and placing it in the shoe overnight can freshen things up a bit too, says Dappered magazine. Rotating the shoes every other day will also give footwear a chance to dry out.
Some experts recommend wearing no-show socks to give the illusion of socklessness. Wool, silk blends and new materials like DriMax are recommended by The Society of Podiatrists. Brands like Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, KB, Ninjasox, Gold Toe and Mocc Sock are recommended for people who are concerned about ruining their shoes.
However, Atlanta menswear shop owner Sid Mashburn told the WSJ, “It’s not about the affectation of the look, it’s about being sockless. If that’s a real stretch for a guy, he probably shouldn’t do it.”
Introducing The SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer…
So that’s where we come in. The solution to remove stink from shoes is to not just deodorize them, but sanitize them. Using UV light, our device kills up to 99.9% of the microbes in your shoe. Since bacteria is one of the major causes of foot odor, you can see how this is very helpful. Since we’re not able to just toss our shoes in the laundry machine, we need ways of cleaning the material that are safe and effective. UV light has been cleaning the surfaces of hospitals for years now. With the protective bag and built-in safety features, you won’t have to worry about getting any UV light exposure. Sweat is another cause of odor, so we do recommend alternating shoes every other day to allow for drying time, but the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer is a “must” for the metrosexual male because, let’s face it: athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and smelly feet are not sexy!