We have two words for you: Socks & Sandals
Ok, now what are you thinking?
Dorky dad? Hippy mom? Roman Gladiator? Is this controversial sock and sandal pairing oh-so-bad-and-everything-wrong or oh-so-surprising-and-wonderfully-right? Is it practical? Is it nonsense? Is it practical-nonsense? Is the somewhat eccentric return of the dynamic sock and sandal duo just passing through? Did it ever go anywhere? Maybe, just maybe, could it be here to stay?
We have news for you; this love-it or hate-it trend has been around for a very long time. We also have a hunch that it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Socks + Sandals is a Trend in 2022
Socks and sandals are decidedly trending in 2022. This peculiar resurrection has been—in part, influenced by celebrity socks-in-sandal sightings on the likes of Taylor Swift, Kaia Gerber, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Rhiannon, and Cindy Crawford, to name a few. The power of modern-day influencers should not be underestimated. However, the seed of this resurgence was likely introduced when the term “normcore” dropped into the cultural lexicon in 2009.
The normcore aesthetic is all about “normal” clothes, influenced by the popular staples of the late ‘80s and ‘90s—in other words, clothes that appeal to the masses, prioritize comfort, and are considered, well, normal. High-waisted ‘mom-jeans’ are a righteous example of this movement, as are button-up shirts, sweatpants, bulky sneakers, and of course, the object of our focus: socks worn with sandals.
What kind of sandals? Every kind of sandal is the correct answer, but if you guessed Birkenstocks, you have been tracking the trend. Birkenstocks - originating in Germany - landed with impact in the U.S. after importing began in the late 1960s. This open-toed European sandal was all about comfort, ease, and support; and became one of the fashion hallmarks of the cultural revolution of the 1960s and ‘70s. Easy-on, easy-off, and easily paired with socks for an added layer of warmth to extend wear time when temperatures dip. Adding socks to sandal couture brought the benefits of extra cozy comfort; it also became an easy way to accessorize the sandal, lending a touch of color, texture, and personal flair to the comfort trend. Mind you, the classic Birkenstock and sock pairing was never the only way to wear socks with open-toed shoes; there are as many ways to pair socks with sandals as there are different types of sandals—even flip-flops and toe-socks are longtime friends.
Admittedly, before getting rebooted back to the future, the sock-accessorized sandal did take a small dive into the “dorky” end of fashion’s closet for a decade or two or three. Regardless of those years of being misunderstood, in 2022, when everything old is new again, pairing socks with sandals is no longer considered a fashion faux-pas, or is it?
Socks With Sandals: Yes or No?
From hippie to hipster and every dorky mom and dad look in-between…the controversy over whether socks and sandals are a match-made-in-heaven or a match-that-should-have-never-been-made, may never rest.
Those on the no-socks-with-sandals team are firm in their opinion that socks and open shoes—intended to showcase bare feet—should not cohabitate. The word “nerdy” has been referenced, as well as “lazy.” For some, the main reason for NOT wearing socks with their sandals is simply a matter of personal taste; they find the combo offensive or ugly and consider it an egregious fashion mistake. On a more practical side, some non-sock and sandal wearers are mystified as to why one would pair socks with an open shoe made for warm, balmy weather.
We can’t win them all with our love for sock and sandal pairing, but we will certainly try! There are many reasons why this quirky revival has hit its stride; it might be trending, but we think it has all the prerequisites for becoming a classic staple representing practical and precocious fashion.
Socks + Sandals are Not Just a New “Weird” Trend
Speaking of fashion staples, we would like to point out that what may seem like a recent “weird” trend in foot fashion has been making waves around the world for thousands of years.
In 2010 an ancient Roman burial site was accidentally discovered in North Yorkshire and dated back 2000 years. In this dig, evidence of Roman sandals, along with the preserved remains of what would have been sock fibers, were identified. It makes sense, right? We know Romans loved their sandals. Why wouldn’t they opt to pair them with socks when the temperatures dropped? It would be a sensible way to extend the life of one’s favorite footwear through changing seasons.
Japan has a well-documented history of sock and sandal-wearing. Split-toe Tabi socks were made first from leather and later cotton, and designed for wearing with Zori sandals—a hard-soled flip-flop style shoe. Since it is traditional in Japan to remove one’s shoes when entering most indoor spaces, Zori were easy shoes to slip on and off quickly. Tabi socks would then stay on the feet and could be worn like slippers, keeping the feet warm, comfy, and clean.
Are you a flip-flop and sock-wearing type? If you haven’t yet tried them, our Ninja Socks are the perfect split-toe sock to help you take the leap!
Fun, Foot Friendly, and Functional
Besides being a super cute, quirky, and comfy way to dress up the average sandal, wearing socks is a practical way to keep sensitive feet happy. By absorbing sweat and helping to keep feet dry, they protect feet from forming blisters or slip-sliding around in the moisture of a hot or muggy day. If you have extra sensitive skin, as many do, wearing organic cotton socks will lessen your proclivity for rashes or other testy skin conditions.
Make a Fashion Statement
Although we may be borrowing somewhat from ‘dad’s closet’ with the return of retro sock and sandal pairings, we have also made long strides from the lost-in-time corner of the closet. With fabulous choices at our disposal, there is no limit to how creative one can be when pairing various sandal styles with the multitude of sock options currently available. Whether dressing for a special event or making a no-fuss run to the corner coffee shop, your feet can be as comfy or fashion splashy as you choose. With so many creative and colorful choices available, you can let your feet direct your mood and let the walking do the talking.
Pairing Up with Socks and Sandals
From Birkenstocks to evening pumps; and outdoor all-purpose sandals to sophisticated flats, there is no limit to what type of shoe a sock can be paired with. Below, for those who have never given this trend a try, find a few suggestions to get you started. As for those who already believe in the magic of socks and sandals, enjoy perusing; no doubt you will find the next best sock to add to your expanding collection.
Do you love to be the life of the party? Are you looking for something extra to twinkle up your favorite new cocktail dress, summer skirt, cute capris, or culottes? Sheer socks will make your friends and coworkers do a double take! Offering playful and dressy designs, choose between hearts, stars, bananas, flowers, and even skeletons— our personal favorite.
Organic Hemp Ribbed Socks
Leave plain, old white ribbed socks in the past and get used to living your color with our organic hemp ribbed socks. They are soft and thick but not too hot and perfect to pair with a more generous-sized sandal like a Birkenstock. Best of all, besides being organic and made to last, unlike many other brands, we offer them in several fun color choices.
Everyone needs our Replant Pairs; whether paired with sandals or sneakers, these organic cotton socks feel as good on your feet as they do for your heart. With every Replant Pair purchase, we donate $1 toward planting trees in California, Oregon, and Washington, where reforestation programs are ongoing. These socks make an excellent match for anyone—especially the planet. They also make a great gift for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Currently, Replant Pairs are available in many colors with cute tree designs. Many more designs are in the works!
Have we changed any minds?
So, are you a lover or a hater? Is the sandal and socks mash-up a fashion no-no, or are you wondering how you ever wore sandals without them? No matter which side of the socks with sandals fence you may be on, if you haven’t yet, we encourage you to at least give this controversial partnership a one-time try. As with many of our sock and sandal converts, you may get more than you bargained for—in other words, there is much more to this current fashion frenzy than meets the eye.