Are Black Socks Bad for You? 6 Facts About Black Socks

Are Black Socks Bad for You?

I went to my friend’s house the other day. 

We were chatting away over a glass of wine when she caught a glimpse of my (black-socked) foot. 

Sensing a little perplexity in her voice, she asked, “why are you wearing black socks?”

Thinking it was an opening line to some kind of joke, I looked at her and just laughed.

She looks at me seriously and continues, “you do know, they’re bad for you, right?”

I shrugged it off and didn’t give this conversation much thought until last week when I received an email from one of our readers with a similar question. 

Is this really a thing? Have you heard of this before?

Because, I’ve never heard of it. 

Come take a look at my sock drawer - a good 60% of it is full of black or other dark-colored socks. 

Is your sock collection just like mine - full of black socks or other dark colours?

If it is, then this article is perfect for you. 

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this myth. 

By the end of this article, you’ll find out whether it’s time to switch out your sock closet for white socks, or business as usual.  

Nothing Wrong With Black Socks at All

black socks

Scientifically, there is nothing wrong with black socks for healthy feet. 

So, if we’re talking about health, why do people think white socks are better than black socks?

There’s a lot of speculation going on as to whether black socks should be worn or not. 

Some claim the opposite and believe that white socks are the ones that should not be worn. 

Are Black Socks Bad for Athlete's Foot?

The short answer is: NO.

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.

Perhaps you can opt for a pair of sandals once in awhile during hot summer days. 

This way, you can air out those toes.

Why Do People Think That?

So, why do some people think black socks are bad for athlete’s foot?

Remember, the dark and damp environment that is needed for the fungus to grow? 

Some people attribute that “dark” environment to black socks.

However, dark does not equal black. 

Black is just a hue-less colour, while dark means the absence of light. 

To combat athlete’s foot, you don’t need to throw out your black or dark-coloured socks. 

Pay attention to keeping your feet and toes dry. 

For people with sweaty feet, air our your toes once in awhile by going sock-less and shoe-less at home. 

On warmer days, ditch those tight fitting shoes for a pair of sandals.

On days where socks are needed, you might want to opt for a pair of breathable socks made from synthetic fibres. Their strong moisture-wicking property draws sweat from the inside of your sock to the exterior where it can evaporate faster.   

Are Black Socks Bad for Diabetics?

The short answer is NO.

While it is true that there are benefits of wearing white socks for diabetics, other sock colours including blacks socks are not actually “bad” for you.

The reason why white socks are recommended is because some people cannot feel their feet. Wearing white socks will allow the wearer to immediately notice wounds - blood, pus, drainage or other signs of injury in their feet. 

Why Do People Think That?

While black socks definitely won’t take a toll in your feet health or overall well-being, white socks are recommended for diabetics.

It simply makes it much easier to spot injuries than a pair of black socks. 

However, if your white socks don’t go with the outfit you are wearing, don’t sweat it. 

You can definitely still opt for a pair of black socks. 

Just make sure to keep them clean and monitor your feet for any injuries that you might not see as easily with a pair of white socks. 

Do Black Socks Make Your Feet Smell Worse Than White Socks?

white socks

I’ve heard so many people claim that their feet smell ten times worse at the end of the day when they wear a pair of black socks. 

While with a pair of white socks, the smell of their feet is much more bearable.  

Have you ever had a similar experience? 

Do you have any guesses as to why that is?

This boils down to the question. Why does our feet smell?

The underlying answer is sweat. 

Everyone sweats, regardless of the temperature of the year. 

People with hormonal changes, teenagers, pregnant women tend to sweat more. 

Feet start smelling if the sweat soaks into your socks and shoes and you don’t let it properly dry before wearing them again.

Sweat decomposes from the bacteria on your skin. When this happens, you smell the distinct foul “feet smell”.

So, how does black and white socks come into play here?

You’ve experimented with wearing black and white socks for similar amount of hours, while doing the similar things like going to work.

But you notice that your feet smell like dead skunks on days you wore black socks. 


If this is the case for you, check the material of your black and white socks. 

It could be possible that they are made of different materials. 

Some types of fibres have strong moisture-wicking properties. This allows your sweaty feet to stay relatively dry. 

Some fibres are also odour-fighting. 

Rather than it being due to the sock colour, the rotten cheese smell you notice while wearing your black socks is probably due to the difference in the material of your different coloured socks.

Is the Dye in Black Socks Bad for Your Feet?

sock dye

Long ago, it was believed that the dye found in coloured socks caused blisters and other foot complications. 

This was because dyes and synthetic material used to produce coloured socks were not as advanced as it is now. 

Nowadays, I’m confident to say black socks and any other coloured socks are just as good as non-dyed socks!

Unless you have an allergy to the dye used to make coloured socks, there are no health hazards with wearing coloured socks.

Are Black Socks Considered Bad in the Cycling World?


Traditionally, cyclists have worn mid-length to long white socks.

While it is still the case to this day, you can also see other colours on the feet of cyclists.

It all depends on individual style. 

White gives off a classic and timeless style, however, they get dirty and old-looking easily.

You’ll probably end up replacing them much quicker than if you opted for a pair of black socks.

Are Black Socks Trending?

Colour coordinating your outfit with your socks is quite important.

Just because your socks only poke out a little from your shoes, don’t overlook this.

The general rule of thumb: Match the colour of your shoes with the colour of your socks.

Black socks against a pair of black shoes. 

Imagine this:

The young man standing beside you at the bus stop sporting an all-black sleek-looking suit ensemble.

But when you look down towards the feet - a pair of thick and bulky white socks. 

It quickly ruins the whole image you’ve worked hard to attain.

Matching the colour of your socks to your shoes is much more important than you might realize. 

When compared to white socks, black socks look new a lot longer than white socks.

Step on some ketchup or pasta sauce at home? 

On a white sock, that stain is going to take some serious scrubbing to come off (or partially come off). 

With a black sock however, the dark colour will probably just cover that stain anyways.

Our Verdict

Good news, fellow black-sock lovers! There’s no need to throw out your black socks and replace them with a lighter shade.

They possess no hazard to your health. 

The sleek and classic style of black socks, and their ability to look new for a long time are just a few reasons why you should keep a few extra pairs in your sock drawer! 

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