Close up sockless feet of a Calgary woman lounging on a couch

How to Not Wear Socks (Without Causing a Stink)

It’s all the rage these days to wear shoes without socks, but can you really go sockless without experiencing smelly feet and risking fungal infections? The answer is yes—as long as you don’t neglect basic foot care. While we strongly suggest wearing socks with shoes (except for sandals), here are our top six tips for how to go sockless without doing harm to your feet.

1. Alternate Between Shoes

Alternating between pairs of shoes allows them to dry out completely before you put them back on. When going sockless, let each pair of shoes dry for at least 48 hours before wearing them again. You can also get multiple pairs of odour absorbing linings designed for wearing shoes without socks. 

2. Wash and Dry Your Feet Often

Keeping your feet clean and dry is vital for keeping them free of the bacteria and fungus that lead to infections and bad odours. After wearing shoes without socks, wash your feet in warm water using a mild soap. Make sure to dry thoroughly between your toes, which is the place where fungal infections like athlete’s foot start.

3. Apply Antiperspirant

To prevent your feet from sweating too much, you can use foot antiperspirants, available in either spray or stick form. In a pinch, you can even use your regular underarm deodorant to help mask the smell of sweat and bacteria.

4. Use Foot Powders

Powders absorb moisture from your feet, helping them stay dry and odour free. If you don’t have foot powder on hand, you can use other powders, such as baby powder or cornstarch, to help absorb excess sweat. While most foot powders can be applied directly to your feet, you can also sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch in your shoes to control moisture and odour. 

5. Wash Your Shoes

Lots of shoes, including many sneakers, can go in the washing machine. Washing your shoes from time to time helps to rid them of the bacteria that lead to odour and infection, something that’s especially important when going sockless. If your shoes can’t go in the washing machine, take out the shoe liners and wash them instead. 

6. Use a Cedar Shoetree

Shoetrees are foot-shaped wooden inserts that help shoes keep their shape when you’re not wearing them. What’s more, cedar shoetrees help to absorb moisture and control odour. If you don’t want to invest in a shoetree, you can absorb some of the excess moisture by stuffing your shoes with newspaper or a sock filled with cat litter, both of which will help stop unpleasant smells.

If you have questions about caring for your feet, come see our foot specialists at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic in Calgary. Our podiatrist and supporting staff will be glad to help you. Contact us today to make an appointment.