I know that it may seem to some people a futile if not even silly subject, but in the male world it is debated more often than you think.
Yes, because, if during three seasons out of four the problem does not arise, since it is relatively easy to find shoes that are comfortable in spring – autumn – winter the same cannot be said for summer. Because in summer it is a bit hot, so wearing formal shoes while outside there are 25-30° can be un pleasant.
There are some decoys that can be implemented to remedy this, but they need to be well agreed between them.
I will not go into the style discourse too much because, apart from a few key points, I think it is a very, very personal subject. Basically many of the tips you will find here are also applicable to the women’s shoes world.
A fundamental and essential point in bringing formal footwear in my opinion is that it is never done without the sock. For a talk of continuity of style in the relationship between dress and footwear, the sock accessory is not negligible. It’s really a punch in the eye when it comes to aesthetics. From the vast majority of enthusiasts it is considered a vulgar and tasteful choice, very superficial and crude.
Are there any exceptions? In my opinion, yes. Of course they depend on the style of the shoe. For the aforementioned majority the only model that can be used without socks is the “boat-shoe” the boat shoe. And so far everything’s ok.
I’m more of a possibility for other models.
For example, moccass, or loafer, being a more carefree shoe model allows some licenses in certain cases. First of all, the color. This plays a fundamental role in the perception of the foot-shoe-role relationship.
If a moccass is particularly light and light-pastel in color or even dares more vivid colors and is combined with an openly informal and carefree clothing, the matching “without stocking” is acceptable to me. A beige nappa moccasic and thin leather bottom, extremely flexible, goes well with a cotton or linen suit and keeps away from the choice of sneakers that in my opinion is the real slove. The well-dressed gentleman’s sneaker is the loafer. With colors it is nice to play and take licenses in the summer: a nice blue, green, red or pink loath possibly with shaded colors is a real joy for the eyes and mood and is absolutely acceptable to walk relaxed and comfortable during the warmer seasons. Obviously in the office, during meetings or formal events it must be left well in a shoe rack, unless it is a lakefront-sea-channel aperitif between colleagues.
Therefore, for me certain models of classic footwear are permissible without the use of the sock provided that they convey a sense of lightness, comfort and disengagement both in construction and coloring.
Now let’s get into a more “serious” discourse, what compromises the comfort of use without stocking?
First of all the shoe invoice. By this I mean first of all the quality of the leather that composes it, without exception for any part of it. none! Because the foot is infinitely weaker than the shoe and sticking it naked in a badly made article amounts to a conviction.
What are the characteristics that should be essential?
First of all natural materials which translates to leather everywhere. Upper, lining, sole everything must be leather-leather. Because the skin absorbs sweat and releases good amounts of it in a short time allowing breathability.
The part of the shoe that is most in contact with your foot is the lining. This must be high quality, soft and flexible leather. One of the best materials you can find for this is lamb: very soft, flexible, total comfort in any situation and in any shoe. Lining is a point where the attention of the manufacturer often becomes more vague because so is that of the buyer. If you have the chance then choose unlined shoes, for me the top but they need a very good construction and upper leather as it absolutely must not scratch at any point.
The inpid: obviously leather and possibly interchangeable since sweat will sooner or later ruin it.
The sole: the leather is the best material, which must be no more than 3mm thick. I’m between 2.5 and 3 sincerely for mine. And even this must be of good quality, not cardboard, and be wary like the plague of recycled leather. These are waste and residues of leather ground and held together with adhesives that ensure everything except breathability. It seems obvious to me to say but derby or oxford maybe double or triple (!) sole worn without socks are absolutely ridiculous, they squeal with everything else like a knife on a blackboard.
The upper: Here separate and important speech. Crucial point of this in a warm environment is the type of tanning to which it has been subjected. Tanning is the process that allows the skin to become imputable and maintain all its characteristics over time.
There are two tanning modes, vegetable and chrome. The first is absolutely preferable especially in warm periods because the skin maintains very high breathability characteristics, will hardly release color on feet-socks and minimizes allergic reactions. On the other, it is more difficult to find shoes with a “shimmering” appearance that have vegetable-tanned leather. The chrome tanning from a coloring base to the skin more stable and homogeneous we say so then the colors manage to have more easily certain shades and keep them unchanged.
Attention I said “hardly” not impossible. The aforementioned effect can also be achieved on the “vegetable” leather but the shoe must be really of excellent workmanship since the manufacturer will have worked with waxes and technique to make it take on such an appearance. Compared to chrome-conciated skin, vegetable skin quenching is generally stiffer and firmer, although much depends on the recipes and fattening used. The beauty of this leather is that the nuances are increasingly evident with the passage of time.
On the other hand it is much easier to find cheap shoes that easily have a more “formal” appearance with chrome tanning as the colors that will then be possible on this type of leather will present themselves as totally uniform, shiny, mirrored also.
This, however, makes it possible to find this feature as the value for money becomes more evident. So, if you plan to use them without socks forget it because they will make the foot suffer: it sweats, swells and the reaction between sweat and upper-lining components (a good lining if the price is not adequate is hardly found) can easily lead to irritation and bad smells.
We can then make a brief digression on men’s shoes into another wonderful material that is raffia. Here the skill and attention of those who produce them must be at very high levels to ensure that it provides that absolute comfort in scorching heat conditions that only such a material can give. Everything in it must be of excellent quality. Very soft material and expert labor will produce a fresh, comfortable, fascinating item. Probably the greatest difficulty in the production of such a shoe is to ensure that despite being unlined you do not rub on the skin of the foot, thus fulfilling its task of shoe yes style but above all comfortable in warmer climates.
For me the shoe of the relaxing summer gentleman should be that. Of course it requires a certain degree of savoir-faire and carefree bearing that perhaps in Italy is not really part of our cultural baggage as far as the men’s shoe is concerned but in the past it was easier to find it in certain areas of Italy, so who knows you can not see a return. At the moment it is easier to find it than non-European brands.
Now let’s go briefly on another topic that can make the use of a shoe without socks more or less pleasant: your nutrition.
It sounds amazing but what you take daily through food affects various factors including the acidity of your sweat. It is certainly nothing new that the body expels by sweat some principles taken from nutrition and that some are also receptable to smell. So even adjusting your own nutrition can bring benefits as the foot, naked and forced into a potentially warm environment, is one of the areas where on average you sweat the most and combined with movement this creates a mix of factors that can compromise comfort.
Eating foods rich in sugars, alcohol or with a high degree of acidity is well known neither for circulation nor for our liver which, poor, if contaminated by certain substances fails to process them properly and transmits this malaise to the whole body. Not least the feet that will be more susceptible to swelling and acidic secretions that will bring skin irritation and unpleasant smell. If you add a sedentary life or maybe hours sitting at a desk you can well imagine what the result is. So avoid using shoes without socks even if you plan to move little, so you will avoid swelling. And don’t think about taking them off while they’re swollen, you won’t be able to re-tuck them in anymore!
So, here we come to the final conclusions. I repeat, PERSONAL conclusions regarding taste and style.
If you want to preserve a certain style even during the warmer months but give yourself small digressions you can do it with taste and a minimum of attention.
I like colored shoes a lot in spring-summer and I don’t disdain socks-free style.
Gentlemans, you have the choice.
But as always, good steps!