What Happens To Your Feet If You Always Wear Socks?

As long as you wear the right kinds of socks and change them regularly, then it’s perfectly fine if you wear socks all day long (and even at night).

That said, there are some risks and potential problems you should be aware of. We cover these issues below and include tips on how to safely wear socks for long periods. 

Are Socks Good For Your Feet?

Are Socks Good For Your Feet?

It may be tempting to wear a pair of loafers or trainers without socks, but that’s not a good idea. Socks are not just important for style and fashion, they also protect your feet. 

  • Socks protect your feet from friction with the shoe. Most shoes cannot match the soft fabric of socks. Constantly wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters, calluses and corns. For diabetics, simple calluses or blisters can quickly grow into serious infections.
  • Absorbent and breathable socks keep your feet from getting sweaty. They absorb perspiration from your feet, and allow it to evaporate. Without socks, your sweat is likely to pool in the shoes, making them uncomfortable. 
  • By keeping your feet dry, socks reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections such as athlete’s feet. They also keep away bad odors. 
  • Socks provide extra cushioning for your feet, which is especially beneficial if you spend a lot of time moving or on your feet. 
  • During cold weather or if you tend to get cold feet, socks can help keep you warm. The extra heat from socks also increases blood flow to your feet, helping keep them healthy. 

Of course, all these benefits are only possible if you wear the right kind of socks. Socks that are not absorbent or breathable can actually harm your feet. 

What Happens If You Always Wear Socks?

We’ve seen wearing the right socks is good for your feet. What about spending most of your time in a pair of socks?

Surely, that’s gotta be bad, right?

Not necessarily. You can wear socks all day at work or as you go about your day, come home, shower, and change into a comfy pair of sleep socks and you’ll be fine.  

This might be necessary if you live in a cold place or during winter when you cannot stay barefoot even for a moment. 

Other people have medical conditions such as hyperesthesia (over sensitivity in the feet or hands) that requires them to wear socks all the time. 

There are misconceptions that wearing socks all the time can make your feet smelly. Others believe it can lead to infections like athlete’s feet. 

But as long as you wear the right kind of socks and change them often, it is totally fine to spend all day and all night in socks. 

Your feet can breathe fine through a pair of socks. 

Is It Bad To Wear Socks to Bed?

Many of us already spend all day wearing socks. But what about at night? Is it okay to sleep while wearing socks?

Yes, it is okay. In fact, it is necessary for some people to sleep with socks on. 

If you are one of those sleepers whose feet get cold at night, wearing a warm pair of socks to bed can greatly improve your sleep quality. We recommend woolen socks. 

Unlike a hot water bottle or an electric blanket, socks will not make you overheat, they are safer and they are also cheap. 

Here are other benefits of wearing socks to bed. 

  • After moisturizing your feet in the evening, put on a pair of socks and sleep in them to keep your feet soft and moisturized. This can help you treat or prevent dry and cracked heels. 
  • Believe it or not, socks can also improve your sex life. According to the BBC, more couples attain orgasm when they wear socks. 
  • Wearing socks can help manage Raynaud’s disease. This is where cold temperatures cause toes, fingers and other parts of the body to get cold and numb. Sleeping with socks keeps your feet warm and reduces the chances of a Raynaud’s attack. 
  • Wearing socks can also reduce hot flashes in women. By keeping the feet warm, socks help maintain good blood flow to the feet. This helps dissipate excess body heat through the feet and lower core body temperature, which reduces the risk and severity of hot flashes.

Should You Wear Compression Socks All The Time?

Compression socks are different from regular socks. They have a stretchy design that applies gentle pressure against your legs and feet to improve blood flow. 

Compression socks are prescribed to manage or treat vein problems like edema (swelling), deep vein thrombosis and phlebitis. Here’s a short video on how compressions socks work. 

You should only wear compression socks during the day and take them off before you go to bed. 

That’s because when you are lying down while asleep, gravity is not pulling down on blood, so veins in your feet and legs function normally. There’s no particular benefit to wearing compression socks to bed. 

If anything, there’s a risk they can block blood flow to your legs especially if they bunch or roll up. 

If you want to wear compression socks in bed, clear it with your doctor first. Also, make sure you wear a different pair to prevent odors and infections.   

Which Are The Best Type of Socks To Wear?

While they are often more expensive, socks made from natural fibers are the best to wear. These include merino wool, alpaca wool, silk and bamboo. 

Woolen socks are great for year-round comfort. They keep your feet at a comfortable temperature regardless of how hot or cold it is. They are especially great for winter or if you live in a cold climate. 

Cotton socks are also good, but they have some downsides. 100% cotton socks are soft and highly absorbent. However, they tend to hold onto moisture. 

This is a problem if you sweat a lot. Your feet will stay damp, which can lead to odors and infections. 

Instead, opt for a polyester and cotton blend socks. Despite what you may have heard about polyester, it’s actually a great synthetic fabric. 

It is incredibly strong and durable. Premium polyester socks are soft and comfortable. But one of the best qualities of polyester is its quick-drying ability. 

If you sweat a lot, they wick away that sweat and it quickly evaporates into the air. That’s why polyester is one of the best fabrics for hiking socks

We recommend socks that contain mostly polyester with a bit of cotton. You get the softness and breathability of cotton and the drying performance of polyester. 

But if your budget allows it, natural woolen socks are still the best option. 

Another synthetic material that’s surprisingly good for socks is nylon. Like polyester, nylon absorbs moisture and dries fast. So you don’t have to worry about sweaty feet. 

For the best comfort, look for nylon socks that are blended with natural fibers such as wool or cotton. 

The bottomline is that these days you can get comfortable socks in just about any kind of fabric. What matters is the quality of the socks. 

For example, socks that are too thin may not provide adequate cushioning and friction protection. On the other hand, socks that are too thick and plush can overheat your feet or make your shoes too tight.

Also avoid rough socks or those with large seams. They can cause friction and feel uncomfortable on your feet. 

How Often Should You Change Socks?

You can wear socks 24/7 for the rest of your life and you’ll be fine as long as they are not the same pair of socks. 

Socks hold on to sweat, dead skin cells and dirt. If you stay with the same pair for too long, your feet will start to smell. You will also be at risk of fungal and bacterial infections. 

Change your socks at least once a day. Wear one pair in the morning and change into a clean and fresh pair in the evening. Be sure you clean your feet in between. 

If you swear a lot or have a foot odor problem, consider changing your socks more often.

The Kind Of Shoes You Wear Matters, Too

Even an expensive pair of woolen socks will be useless if you wear non-breathable shoes. All that sweat will collect in your shoes, causing many problems. 

Shoes made from natural materials like suede, leather and canvas are highly breathable. 

If you wear synthetic shoes, make sure they offer some kind ventilation such as a mesh. 

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