Do you wear socks with boat shoes?

There are some things one needs to know before deciding whether you can wear socks with boat shoes or not. To have the classical look of putting on boat shoes, one needs to use any socks in addition. However, if he needs an extra layer of protection he can wear socks with the boat shoes.

However, if the wearer feels the outfit is incomplete without socks he is welcomed using socks with the boat shoes. So alongside the traditional gesture of boat shoes, there is also personal preference that makes the final decision about the wearing of socks with boat shoes.

socks boat shoes

What are boat shoes

Boat shoes are a summer outfit that is worn to keep the feet cooler in hot summery conditions. The shoes are usable with almost any outfit. Let’s talk in detail about boat shoes.


Many users think boat shoes are only usable when you are riding on a boat or when you are near any water resources. But the fact is not like this, because boat shoes are made for any conditions and anywhere to wear during the hot summer season to keep the feel cooler.

However, the shoes were invented in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry. When he found out the black outsoles are not providing enough traction on the wet deck of the boat and to solve the situation, he invented shoes with extended traction. As the shoes were invented to provide extra traction on wet boat decks, it was named boat shoes.


The shoes come with an open-top design, which provides enough air ventilation inside the shoes keeping the feet cool and dry for an extended period. The upper panels of traditional boat shoes are constructed with leather, and it is treated with waxing or oil.

The leather upper construction prevents the water from entering inside the shoes as the oily structure successfully repels the water. Even if somehow the water enters the shoes, it comes out because of the open-top design. The shoes are designed for barefooted use, not with socks.

For barefoot use, the makers designed the shoes with moccasin-style stitching. In this stitching method, they attached the tongue to the upper panel with rounded stitching on the surface of the shoes. Some shoes also come with canvas upper construction, but with the capacity to repel water.


The shoes are constructed with rubber outsoles and it seems pretty similar to other shoes as well. But the use of non-skid and sipped outsole design creates more than enough traction on any wet surface as well.

Wearing socks with boat shoes

If you ask me whether you can wear socks with boat shoes, I will say yes, you can. But the fact is wearing socks with boat shoes damages the traditional footwear style of the shoes. As the shoes come with a low-cut design, wearing socks isn’t appropriate.

However, you can still use socks with the shoes if you feel it completes the style on the feet regarding your follow a few basic instructions.

Choose low-cut socks for this

As boat shoes come with a low-cut design and are not made for wearing with socks, it might disturb the fashion if you wear traditional socks. However, low-cut socks won’t get visible and at the same time, they will provide the comfort inside the shoe that you were searching for.

Stay far from water while using traditional shoes

Well, you may not agree that traditional socks will disturb the fashion of boat shoes. And for those, who don’t agree with this, I would suggest using traditional visible shoes staying away from water. The sock won’t be helpful when the water breaks into the shoes.

What should you do to wear boat shoes with socks

To complete the outfit by wearing boat shoes with socks, you can do a few interesting things. Following the things discussed above will extend the fashion even after wearing the boat shoes with socks breaking the traditional rule.

No-show socks are preferable

You can do two things by wearing no-show socks with boat shoes. The first one is ensuring comfort and make a complete footwear style regarding your want. The second one is, not breaking the thumb rule of wearing sockless boat shoes as the socks remain unseen to the others.

Look for a striped design on the socks

Traditionally boat shoes are made to wear while boating and the striped design will go nicely in those situations. Sometimes, if you are wearing more than one color outfit, striped socks will add an extra style to the whole outfit.

Select the right color

When you use low-cut socks, it’s not necessary wearing matched color socks. But it is essential when you are using traditional socks. These socks will stay visible and if they don’t match with the rest of the outfit, it will be a disaster of a choice.

Choose short pants: It’s up to the user, whether he prefers long pants or short pants. But when wearing boat shoes with socks, short pants come over long pants. If someone still chooses long pants, he should ensure having a matched color socks to the pant’s color.

When you can’t wear socks with boat shoes

Even though wearing socks are allowed with boat shoes conditionally, they are not appropriate in a few situations.

Cold or snowy day

Boat shoes are made for the summer season, not for the winter season. The purpose of boat shoes is to provide a cooler temperature in the feet of the user keeping the excessive heat far away.

Rainy day

Although boat shoes can repel water and also bring water out from the inside, they can’t when you are using socks. So using socks with boat shoes is completely prohibited on a rainy day.

During work out session

Your feet will constantly sweat during workout sessions and because of using socks inside, the boat shoes won’t succeed in soaking the moisture from the feet.

With formal dress

Boat shoes are not made for formal dressing and no matter how well you are dressed up, using boat shoes as footwear can ruin it.

Benefits of wearing socks with boat shoes

Before wearing socks with boat shoes, it’s necessary you know the benefits of such footwear.

1. Reduces the chances of infections: Using socks with boat shoes reduces the chances of bacterial and fungal infections to a great extent.

2. Forms extra protection: If you need an extra layer of protection for your feet, you shouldn’t think twice about wearing socks with boat shoes.

3. Provides extended comfort: If there is any pain around the feet area, and you are feeling a lack of comfort, you are suggested to use socks with boat shoes.

Why not wear socks with boat shoes

Although wearing socks with boat shoes is allowed, there are some reasons why one shouldn’t use socks with boat shoes.

1. Disturbing the traditional fashion: Traditionally, boat shoes are made to wear without socks barefooted. And by using socks, the person disturbs the traditional fashion of the shoes.

2. Can’t soak away moisture: The inside of boat shoes are made of soaking moisture and keep the feet cool even on the hottest summer day. But using socks inside the shoes reduces the capacity of soaking moisture.

3. Makes the shoes inappropriate for water resources: When it can’t take the water out or soak it, the shoes don’t remain appropriate for water resources. And I have already said, keep only wear traditional shoes when you can keep yourself far away from water resources.

Final words

Boat shoes are indeed a good addition to your summer outfit as it provides a cool and comfortable feel throughout the day. But whether you want to wear it with socks or without socks is finally up to you.

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