Socks with sandals have always been a controversial fashion trend. (Is it a trend if people mostly make fun of it?) Some people love the coziness of the sock and sandal grouping, while others are totally baffled by the pairing, blown away that anyone would even think about covering their feet with socks and then slipping into a pair of open-toe sandals. And for good reason. The age-old faux pas is certainly a major contradiction since sandals are meant to keep your feel cool while socks help keep them warm.
Despite the general disdain, fashion is cyclical, and the look creeps back into our lives every few years, giving brave souls and celebs another opportunity to rock out with their socks out. Celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Tyler The Creator, Kendall Jenner, Sophie Turner and David Beckham have all been spotted rocking the socks and sandals look.
This latest iteration of this look aligns with another of-the-moment trend — the popularity of “dad fashion”, which includes dad shoes, dad hats, dad jeans, and so forth. There’s also the great pandemic of 2020 to consider, as it undoubtedly made comfy clothes and athleisure more mainstream.
These factors, along with the circulating ugly footwear trend, have made socks and sandals a thing once again, especially for those who find the look easy, comfortable and, dare we say it, fashionable.
That’s right, I’m not afraid to wear socks and sandals, and you shouldn’t be either. For fans of this controversial look, our time has finally come.
Whether you’ve tried it or just want to learn more, we’ve got all the tips you need to rock the look as well as some of our favorite socks and sandals pairing to help you make the look your own.
But first, let’s start with some basics. Please, for the love of all things holy (pun intended), make sure your socks don’t have holes in them. Also, please make sure they’re clean. Like seriously, we beg of you. If you’re going for a stylish look, dirty, holey socks are going to instantly kill the vibe. So please — just don’t.
Now that that’s out of the way, you’ll want to pair your clean socks with the proper sandal. Slide-on and easy-strap shoes like Birkenstocks, Crocs, or Tevas, luxury kicks like the Yeezy Foam Runners or Gucci slides, and sporty slides by Adidas or Nike, etc. are all suitable to wear with socks. That said, however, you’ll most likely want to avoid thong flip flops or other sandals that have to go between your toes. It just doesn’t look — or feel — great when your socks have to bunch up to fit into the shoe and you’ll probably end up regretting it after a few minutes or hours walking around in discomfort.
Crew socks always work well with the look. However, you could even go knee or ankle length if you’re feeling adventurous. If you really want to make a statement, you can invest in designer socks like the popular Gucci logo socks. Also, don’t feel like you need to shy away from patterns with this look. This look is all about casual fun and novelty socks offer the perfect opportunity to show off your personality. It’s also a good moment to experiment with high-low mixing, pairing a high-end sock with a lower-priced shoe or vice versa.
Feeling inspired? Take look at some of our favorite sock and sandal pairings for 2021.
Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed
Pair this classic pair of Birkenstocks with luxury socks to make a grand statement that’s both laidback and luxe at the same time.
GUCCI Logo-Intarsia Stretch Cotton-Blend Socks
LOW IN STOCK
Crocs Classic All-Terrain Clog
These all-terrain Croc clogs deserve a pair of fun, polka dot Happy Socks to make them complete. Sure, it’s definitely a look, but in a fun I’m-too-confident-to-care-what-you-think kind of way.
Happy Socks Dot Socks
Banana Republic Pool Slide
Go monochromatic with this nude-on-nude pairing of Banana Republic Pool Slides and neutral Gap socks.
Gap Athletic Crew Socks
Teva Hurricane Verge
Get back to basics in this pair of Teva Hurricane Verge sandals along with a simple pair of white Dickie’s crew socks.
Dickies Men’s All-Purpose Cushion Crew Socks
Adidas X PHARRELL WILLIAMS Chancletas Slides
Create a playful look by pairing these Adidas X Pharrell Williams slides with a pair of novelty socks like these from Bonobos.
Bonobos Soft Everyday Socks
Also Consider: Los Angeles Apparel Crew Socks With Stripes
If you’re looking for crew socks that will go with virtually any sandals or slides in your closet, then we recommend these Los Angeles Apparel Crew Socks. Los Angeles Apparel is basically American Apparel 2.0, and their classic retro three-stripe crew socks come in any color you could like. Best of all, they’re only $9.