How To Wear Flats Without Socks

Flats are widely popular for their versatility and variety of styles. They can be part of a casual outfit with jeans or with a beautiful sundress. However, their shape isn't conducive to socks since they have a wide-open top and sit low on the foot. So, how do you solve this problem? We've researched your options and have come up with the answer.

If you don't want to wear socks with your flats, add some padded insoles for comfort and use foot powder to keep your feet dry and fresh. Also, consider using a shoe deodorant product if you plan on wearing shoes without socks. 

Nobody likes painful or smelly feet, which is why we've put together this guide to help you wear your flats comfortably. Keep reading for a discussion on the potential problems with going sockless, an explanation of the above options, and answers to a couple of other related questions.

A woman wearing light blue jeans and flats while sitting on palettes, How To Wear Flats Without Socks

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Is It Okay To Wear Shoes Without Socks?

A woman wearing jeans and flats while sitting on the bench

You can go without socks if you'd like if that's how you feel most comfortable. However, there are a couple of main drawbacks to going sockless too often. If you opt not to wear socks, you might be uncomfortable and have extra-stinky feet.


Socks naturally provide some amount of cushioning for your feet. Even if they're thin, socks help keep your feet from rubbing against the inner surface of the shoe. This is especially important with flats since, by nature, they have very little padding in the sole. Plus, flats are often made out of vinyl or plastic, which is uncomfortable when there's friction on the heel or sole.

This might not be a big deal if you don't plan on standing or walking for long. However, if your daily routine requires time on your feet, you'll quickly regret it. If you want to go sockless, you'll want to figure out another solution.

Foot Odor

The other problem with avoiding socks is that your foot odor will increase and your shoes are in danger of permanent stink. Socks absorb most of the moisture from your feet and keep it from the inside of your shoe. Then, you can wash those socks more easily and thoroughly than the shoes.

If you don't wear socks, all of that sweat goes straight to your shoes and stays there. The sweaty bacteria thrive in that dark, moist environment and will reproduce quickly. Soon, your shoes will smell terrible and will require greater attention. In addition to terrible foot odor, this bacteria puts you in danger of fungus and diseases such as athlete's foot.

Now that you understand the negative side of wearing flats without socks, we'll help you understand how it can be done comfortably.

How To Wear Flats Without Socks

A woman wearing black low heeled shoes

Let's take a closer look at how to wear your favorite flats without socks.

Add A Padded Insole

The best way to make your flats instantly more comfortable is to use a padded insole. This will make them more comfortable if you need to stand or walk but still want to wear a pair of flats. You can also find insoles that offer arch support, which is missing in many versions of flats.

Be careful that your chosen insoles aren't too tall. If they're too tall, the flats won't fit correctly and your foot will sit too high inside the shoe. Look for a pair that is an eighth of an inch tall or shorter. Also, look for insoles that are specifically designed for barefoot wear. This will usually signify that the inserts are washable so that you can keep them smelling fresh.

There are numerous products available that will do the trick. Here are a few of the best.

Foot Petals Insoles

This first pair offers the best of both worlds: comfort and freshness. They're plenty padded and can be thrown in the washing machine.

Click here to view these insoles on Amazon.

Happystep Insoles

This pair doesn't offer a ton of padding but absorbs the sweat quickly and is ultra-thin. Plus, they're machine-washable.

Click here to view these insoles on Amazon.

Dr. Scholl's Insoles

This pair will offer maximum comfort and padding. Pay attention to the sizing and make sure they'll fit inside your shoes before purchasing. Unfortunately, they aren't machine-washable, so it won't be as easy to keep them smelling fresh.

Click here to view these insoles on Amazon.

One great outfit you can pair with flats is a maxi dress. Check out this article for more information: What Shoes To Wear With Maxi Dresses?

Use Foot Powder

While machine-washable insoles are helpful in the fight against foot odor, there are other steps you can take each time you wear your flats. Remember how the cause of the odor is the sweat and bacteria in the shoe? Eliminate that by drying up the sweat immediately with a foot powder.

The powder can be applied directly to your foot. Or, pour it into the shoe if you prefer. Most powders have a pleasant smell and will dissipate by the end of the day.

There's a wide range of foot powders that you can apply each day before you put on your shoes. Some are medicated, some have deodorizing power, and others are simply meant to absorb moisture. Choose which one fits your needs most closely.

Gold Bond is one of the most trusted foot powder brands, and this version will relieve any itching or burning your feet feel.

Click here to view this powder on Amazon.

This all-natural powder will help your feet smell better immediately.

Click here to view this powder on Amazon.

Though it isn't specifically intended to be foot powder, baby powder is an old standby and will effectively keep your feet dry.

Click here to view this powder on Amazon.

Can You Put Deodorant On Your Feet?

Deodorant works under your armpits, but have you ever considered putting it on the bottom of your feet? Maybe you should! Putting deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet is a viable option.

Here's a tip: use a solid deodorant instead of a gel. A gel will remain slick for most of the day, while a solid stick will dry quickly. Whichever you choose, make sure to let it dry completely before putting your shoes on. Also, use a different stick of deodorant for your feet and armpits. Don't cross-apply, since this will transfer any germs and bacteria between the two surfaces.

How To Keep Flats Smelling Fresh?

A woman wearing jeans and flats and slipping on the rug

Now that you know how to keep your feet dry, let's talk about how to keep your flats from smelling up the room. Even if you wear socks, your flats will eventually begin to smell. The vinyl or plastic that many flats are made from isn't very breathable.

A really simple way to keep your flats smelling fresh is to store them in an open location with plenty of fresh air. Yes, closets are convenient, but they're dark and enclosed, a breeding ground for smelly bacteria.

In addition to the steps above, there are products available to put directly into your shoes to keep them fresh. Here are some of the best.

Shoeboy's Active Fresh Spray

Click here to view this spray on Amazon.

LamFun Shoe Deodorizer Spray

Click here to view this spray on Amazon.

Are your flats too big? Don't worry, there are some ways you can make them fit better, and this article can tell you how: Shoes Too Big? [7 Ways To Make Shoes Smaller]

In Closing

To make sure you can comfortably wear your flats without socks, add some comfortable insoles. To avoid uncomfortable, smelly feet, apply foot powder before going sockless. If you need more protection, use a shoe deodorant to keep them smelling fresh. If you follow these steps, you can be sure your flats will be comfortable and fresh, even without socks!

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