7 Facts You Should Know About Wearing Sneakers Without Socks

Have you ever worn your sneakers without socks?

If you have done it before, you’ll probably notice the foul smell coming from both your shoes and socks by the end of the day when you remove your shoes.

Socks are much more important in our daily lives than we give it credit for.

They can help fight off odour.

The antimicrobial properties of certain fabrics in socks can also help fight off foul smells.

So, what are some consequences of not wearing socks with your sneakers?

What Happens If You Don't Wear Socks With Your Sneakers?

#1 Your Foot Starts to Smell

Many people, me included, want to wear sneakers and slip-ons without socks.
However, the lingering odour is the main concern.

Why Does Being Barefoot in Your Sneakers Make Your Feet Stink

I conducted a little experiment by wearing a pair of leather shoes and a pair of sneakers without socks.

The leather shoes and sneakers used in the experiment were of similar shape, and covered about the same area of foot, and were worn for about similar duration.

The result of the experiment shows that regardless of the type of shoes worn, being barefoot caused a more foul smell than when worn with socks.

I also found that leather shoes had less of an odour than sneakers.

So, why is there smell when you don’t wear socks with your shoes?

The reason is simple: the moisture content is much higher when socks aren’t worn. 

Sweat in Your Feet

When you are barefoot in your shoes, the sweat from your feet is not being absorbed and wicked away by your socks.

Depending on the fibre of the sock, some socks have strong moisture-wicking capacity and can pull sweat and moisture away from the skin and into the exterior of the fabric making it easier to evaporate. 


Your foot is a breeding ground for bacteria.

When you don’t wear socks with your shoes, the skin of the foot directly touches the insides of your shoes.

This results in a lot of bacteria sticking to your shoe.

The moisture content is also high because there are no socks to absorb moisture in the shoes.

In addition, when observing the generation of bacteria in the shoes, the result is that the bare feet have more bacteria.

#2 Your Shoes Start to Smell

The bottom of your shoes are very dirty, but the inside of your shoes are just as filthy.

The dead skin and sweat from your barefoot when mixed with the sand, dirt, and grime picked up inside your shoes can cause a toxic buildup.

This buildup can cause serious foul-smelling stench and can ruin and discolour your shoes.

#3 Uncomfortable For Your Feet

Besides fighting off odour, socks can help ease the friction caused by walking.

Expect blisters and chaffed feet if you’re going without socks.

#4 Your Shoes Will Become Old Much Quicker

If you decided to go barefoot in your shoes, not only will they start smelling like mouldy cheese, they will they get old much quicker.


The lingering smell can be difficult, if possible, to remove.

Even with multiple washes, the smell may not be completely removed.


The accumulation of dirt and grime in your shoes can affect and permanently damage the soles of your shoes.

By taking out a few seconds to put on a pair of socks, you can prolong the life of your shoes while keeping your feet smelling clean and fresh.

#5 Blisters

Blisters form when there is frequent pressure and rubbing on the same area of your foot from your shoes.

Wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters, which can become infected.

#6 Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs between the toes.
The symptoms are characterized by scaly itching, rash, redness, and overall discomfort.

People who confine their sweaty feet in a dark and tight-fitting shoe all day long are more susceptible to it.

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in a damp and dark environment.

If your feet are basking in sweat for long hours, it creates the optimal damp environment for the fungus to flourish.

Your feet is safe from fungal infections if you keep it dry.

If you have sweaty feet, it’s recommended to change your socks a few times throughout the day.

#7 Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails is a painful condition that can cause soreness and swelling.

It occurs when the toenail (from usually the large toe) digs down and cuts the skin.

To prevent ingrown toenails, wear a pair of moisture-wicking socks that allow your toes to move freely.
It is important to keep your feet clean and dry, as cut skin can cause infections to arise.

How Can I Fix This?

Socks are the number one solution to prevent your shoes from smelling. 

However, if your shoes are starting to smell, use a deodorant antiperspirant for your feet to control foot sweat.
Pay close attention and care to the areas between your toes and the sole, as these areas are more susceptible to sweating.

You can also opt for an antibacterial insole before heading out.

To prevent odours, wear a pair of socks that has strong moisture-wicking capacity.

If you must go barefoot in your sneakers, wipe your entire foot with a sweat wipe or wet tissue, and dry thoroughly before putting on your shoes.

We also recommend drying your shoes thoroughly for at least a day to completely remove moisture before wearing them again.

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