Socks and ‘Stocks: A Fashion Dilemma


Larson Burak

‘Stocks and socks: dynamic duo or fashion faux pas?

Choosing to wear Birkenstocks carries some distressing baggage for fans of footwear. Once broken in, the sandals are very comfortable and undoubtedly the move for your feet during summer days that require efficient changeover from being barefoot to putting on shoes. They’re long-lasting, go well with most clothing pairings and are pleasantly breezy around the toes, especially when it’s hot out. Let’s address the elephant in the room, though. Wearing Birkenstocks holds the potential for a dangerous pitfall into the risky realm of old man fashion. Yes, I’m talking about socks. 

Socks and sandals: the dynamic duo, the pairing of terror, the fashion faux pas that your grandpa has owned since 1965. The stigma that surrounds the combination is choking. Mocking comments are whispered behind hands when one sees a sandal-wearer who is deemed foolhardy enough to be caught out in public with their feet so improperly shoed. 

Whatever happened to the freedom of wearing your Birkenstocks and socks without fear of getting dissed? The sock-sandal debate was resolved when all of its complexities had yet to be examined. 

Consider this: toes are gross. Not all feet are created equal, and that simple fact becomes pretty polarizing when sandal usage enters the equation. I’m not saying that all feet are hard to look at, but a pair of callous-y size 11s that are coming fresh out of being stuffed into hiking boots for three hours has major potential to ruin somebody’s day. A nice, clean sock pulled over that foot before a Birkenstock is put on makes the world a better place. On a more pleasant note, a freshly pedicured foot that wears a sandal out to lunch has made a perfectly acceptable choice in footwear. 

Opting to accessorize Birkenstocks with a pair of favorite socks also lets a sandal enthusiast extend their wearing further into the year. Fall chills, a formidable foe to open-toed shoes everywhere, are effectively countered by some socks. As an added bonus, one could choose a fun pair of socks to spice up a usually pedestrian experience.

So please, the next time you put on sandals, make an informed decision. Ultimately, the choice to rock or not rock socks with your ‘Stocks comes down to preference, but the more intrepid sandal wearers among us might walk with socks. And that’s okay.