Help me go sockless
July 24, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

What are some women's shoes that are really comfortable to walking around in all day without socks? (no sandals or flip-flips)

I already have some sandals, but I'd like something along the lines of a ballet flat but maybe with more support. On average I walk around two miles a day so I'm in the market for shoes that are really comfortable for walking around in the heat during summer. I'm looking at these Minnetonka moccasins, but I'm worried they will be uncomfortable to wear around without socks.

Occasionally I'll wear Vans slip-ons without socks, but it gets pretty gross pretty fast. I often see men walking around in boat shoes without socks, is that comfortable? Are they made to be worn sockless?
posted by forkisbetter to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (35 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I have Minnetonka moccasins and wear them without socks. They are absolutely like wearing pillows on your feet and the most comfortable shoes I own. I will be buying more! As a side note, they have great traction for a flat and are very cute with jeans.
posted by anonnymoose at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tsubos - they change their line-up pretty frequently, but at any given time, they usually have one or two low, sporty, soft Mary Janes like this one. The insoles are removable/washable, too.
posted by julthumbscrew at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

P.S.: The Minnetonkas run big, as an FYI--I bought a size smaller than I usually wear and the were perfect.
posted by anonnymoose at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2012

I bought these Keens at the beginning of this summer and they've been fantastic.
posted by anderjen at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I would recommend Sperry Topsiders (which are apparently quite popular now--probably the boat shoes you are seeing). If you could find women's leather ones I'd recommend those--I've had pair for the past 5 years that just keep getting more comfortable (they've been worn so much that the leather is really soft now). I'm sure my feet sweat in them but I've not had a problem with them getting smelly. I have a newer pair of canvas ones, which I would have thought would smell less (because the fabric can breathe more) but those actually make my feet feel kind of gross and they don't smell great after a long hot day. The canvas seems to be a lot more common than the leather, though. Anyway, you might look online--they come in narrow, regular, and wide too, so it's easier to find a pair that really does fit well.
posted by lovableiago at 1:30 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm a really big fan of Bass's casual women's line. I have a pair of ballet flats that I purchased their (I always buy flats a half size larger than I normally do). They are sturdy and comfortable to wear throughout the day (although I don't do a lot of walking on a regular day). One of the things I like about this particular pair is that they breathe really well. There are lots of holes in the insoles, so even if my feet get sweaty, they don't get gross or smelly. These are the only flats in the world I would wear without socks, though.

You need to get yourself some Nylon or lightweight footie socks. These won't show, will keep your feet from sweating, and will let you wear any sort of flats or other comfy shoes.

You can also buy arch support inserts. Sometimes if I am walking around a lot and my shoes are kind of bugging me, I will just stop in a CVS and get some inserts. I have high arches, so I can wear cute shoes with some inserts and everybody is happy.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2012

Clarks flats are good for this. almost always has some on sale.
posted by something something at 1:32 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mrs. gauche (who requires a bit of arch support) loves Rocket Dog flats.
posted by gauche at 1:32 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tom's are supercomfortable without socks - though they get really smelly after a few months of heavy use.
posted by fermezporte at 1:33 PM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

I am wearing Minnetonka mocs right now. I never expected to like them but my mom gave me a pair last week, and they are indeed quite comfortable sans socks. Not quite as nice as sneakers but pretty great. I find myself turning to them pretty often.
posted by mlle valentine at 1:34 PM on July 24, 2012

I love my Nike Air Rifts, plenty of support and plenty of cushion. Perfect for amusement parks and marathon shopping.

I need lots of arch support though. Lots of the above mentioned shoes would cripple me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:36 PM on July 24, 2012

Put baby powder (or even some anti-fungal foot powder) in your shoes before wearing without socks, and make sure to not wear the same shoes two days in a row.
posted by radioamy at 1:45 PM on July 24, 2012

Why do you need to not have socks? I wear extremely thin no-show liners with everything--sneakers, canvas flats, Mary Janes. No smell in my shoes, no smell on my feets, no blisters.
posted by xyzzy at 1:45 PM on July 24, 2012

@fermezporte: Tom's are machine washable!
posted by workerant at 1:52 PM on July 24, 2012

I wear these Earth shoes in the summer with no socks. They're super comfortable both with socks and without.
posted by coppermoss at 1:55 PM on July 24, 2012

It sounds awful, but: Crocs. They make little Mary Janes and ballet flats out of the same "Croslite" material as the hideous standard clogs. They are the only thing that have never, ever given me a blister when going sockless.
posted by amber_dale at 1:58 PM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

I admit without shame that I adore my Crocs Adrinas, but they did give me two small blisters in the toe area. Grr.
posted by artemisia at 2:04 PM on July 24, 2012

Merrell makes some great stuff that you can go sockless in, like these; they treat the footbed with an antimicrobial agent so they're more resistant to getting stinky. I'm pretty sure you can remove and wash all the insoles of their non-barefoot lines, too. Even their "barefoot" line has more support than a lot of other barefoot shoes I've tried.
posted by bedhead at 2:07 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't wear boat shoes regularly these days, but I was a teenager during the preppy years of the 80s and everybody wore them without socks then. Nthing the advice about the baby powder and alternating days, though.
posted by immlass at 2:09 PM on July 24, 2012

So the stuff they have out this season is a little less cute than in previous seasons, but the Privo by Clarks line is very comfortable.

I also have a pair of Naturalizer ballet flats that I found at Marshall's. They are so comfortable and look like traditional ballet flats. Due to poor wardrobe planning, I ended up hiking 5 miles in them in Scotland... up a mountain.
posted by smalls at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2012

These Patagonia ballet flats are great. My theory is that ballet flats make sense for summer because they have the minimum amount of shoe necessary while still protecting your toes & not leaving your foot totally open to city grossness. On these, the mesh part breathes but is visually subtle (at least on the black ones) and they don't rub. Support is ok as is and the insoles are removable so you can swap in more supportive ones if necessary.
posted by yarrow at 2:11 PM on July 24, 2012

I have really been enjoying a couple pairs of Rieker shoes this summer. A lot of them have small holes in them as part of the design which makes them not feel as stuffy in the heat. Mine have short heels and I can walk a good three hours in them without noticing them, but I imagine the flats are better for all day walking.
posted by waterlily at 2:17 PM on July 24, 2012

The ONLY shoes I have ever comfortably worn sockless (I'm a blister magnet) are these. (Mine are purple. I don't know if that makes a difference.)

I usually walk about 2 miles a day as a matter of course, and these are comfortable, stay on my feet without slipping around, soft and not blister-producing, and vented for maximum airflow. And they're cool.
posted by phunniemee at 2:31 PM on July 24, 2012

I'm loving my pair of Ahnu Karma flats! No chafing at all!
posted by stefnet at 2:35 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Arcopedico slippers. It's a Portugese brand developed by "an Italian scientist with an interest in orthopedics". But absolutely the most comfortable summer casual shoe in the world. Can be machine washed! The black ones I get every couple-three years (I wear them so much I wear them out) are called the 1141 Arcopedico Legendary Classic New Sec and cost $59.00. Here's their international site (it's old-skule ugly, UK site is better), and here's the page with the Classic New Sec.
posted by likeso at 2:39 PM on July 24, 2012

And, no, they don't look like old lady slippers on - they look like espadrilles. :)
posted by likeso at 2:46 PM on July 24, 2012

I have never worn Minnetonka mocs with socks. They are very, very comfortable. I also find boat shoes, such as Sperry's, comfortable without socks. But I sort of hate wearing socks.

Other shoes that I wear regularly without socks:
Dansko clogs
My beloved (but very expensive) Swedish Hasbeens. They're having a summer sale right now, though - if you're less broke than I am right now, these shoes are amazing.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 2:52 PM on July 24, 2012

I love the Cole Haan Nike line. They're the only heels I find comfortable, and the flats are fantastic too. They have leather sock liners, so they will last longer without socks than shoes with synthetic liners.
posted by charmcityblues at 3:51 PM on July 24, 2012

I really like Converse Slips (choose Style=slip on). I've worn them with and without socks and can't remember anything gross about the non-sock times, but I tend to not really notice such things unless there are blisters involved.
posted by cgg at 5:15 PM on July 24, 2012

I have a similar pair to these Puma slip-ons. They run small.
posted by quoththeraven at 6:10 PM on July 24, 2012

Um, wow, I came to this thread to recommend those exact minnetonka mocassins. I even have them in that same colour. I've been wearing them regularly in bare feet for almost a year, and the more I wear them, the less I ever want to wear anything else on my feet.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:06 PM on July 24, 2012

I've found you can wear just about any loafer without socks if you use a little baby powder (occasionally leavened with Dr. Sholl's or other foot powder) to keep your feet from getting sweaty in warmer weather (and your shoes from getting stinky). From there, it's just what fits well!
posted by acm at 7:29 AM on July 25, 2012

I've had two pairs of Jambus, and they've been great without socks. I wear them all summer long. Then when it gets colder, I'm able to wear (thin) funky socks with them.
posted by MsVader at 10:29 AM on July 25, 2012

my 3 year old Clarks Privos are starting to get smelly. I just bought a pair of Merrells to alternate them with. I was also seduced into a pair of Tsubos that I mostly love, but came perilessly close to giving my most oft-broken toe a blister. (I hate wearing shoes with socks. i don't wear socks til boot season. and then it's tights half the time.)

I was very very tempted to try the Merrell barefoot style ballet flats, but went with the ones with support instead. I needed a half size down in these.
posted by ansate at 7:55 PM on July 25, 2012

I love my Vivo Barefoot Breatho Trail shoes and wear them without socks and with the insoles removed. You mentioned wanting support, which is the opposite of these, but they're so very comfortable once you get used to them. (No blisters or anything, but my legs get more of a workout.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:20 AM on August 3, 2012

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