As soon as we have the first day warm enough to go sockless, around mid-May or so, I generally do, until the Fall. I know that socklessness has become something of a de riguer look among the fashion-for-fashions-sake crowd, but simply put, it doesn't work with all shoes, and certainly not all of the time. Softly constructed moccasins or canvas sneakers are the only acceptable choice, with penny loafers (a kind of moccasin) the only hard shoe allowed. Double monk straps, tassel loafers, oxfords of any kind, even white bucks, worn without socks are the mark of the fashion slave, not the well appointed adult. Wearing those ding dang "pedi socks" with such shoes in order to ape socklesness while actually wearing socks is akin to non-alcoholic beer, de-caf coffee, or diet soda...pointless.
Pictured above is a pair of Eastland camp mocs I recently purchased new online for $79. Camp mocs, along with boat shoes and blucher mocs, are the quintessential no-sock shoes. Softly constructed and painfully New England, one might venture to sat that wearing them with socks is simply wrong. This pair is constructed of reasonably good leather in the traditional style.The toe is a but boxy, but it wears down quickly as it softens.
They have a proper camp sole, and sturdy raw hide laces. So far so good.
The tag on the outside is not ideal, but I can live with it. Hell. even my Quoddy's have a tag like that. But...
They're lined in some kind of gross synthetic. After only one wear, they stink. Using a synthetic liner is really bad design, as this shoe is practically meant to be worn without socks. So I ripped the lining out.
This is what we have inside, and I am left with a fully unwearable shoe. Anyone know where I can get a pair of leather linings? You see, leather is natural. and as such, shoes lined in leather don't stink, regardless of how the feet that wore them may have sweat in them.
Later, I found a pair of L.L.Bean blucher mocassins in nearly unworn condition at a thrift shop. Classic though they may be, I am leary of these shoes, as the last pair I bought wore out really quickly. The leather is not as good as the Eastlands, for one thing.
And the soles are awful, all wrong. But they are lined in leather, and they don't get all gross after one wear. Plus, the shoe laces wear out really fast.
So, which is better? The shoe well made of good leather with the crappy, stinky liner, or the crappy plasticy knock-off from the company that invented the style, lined in leather. Both are,in my opinion, a terrible compromise, especially given the provenance of hard wearing old yankee thrift atached to both brands. But I digress.
If you're going to wear shoes without socks, be sure the liners are natural. If not, the ensuing stink will not be worth any idea of suffering for fashion you ever had. It will just be gross. And don't ever wear hard dress shoes without socks with a suit. That's just bad.
See, told ya' it would be shallow.