Can you wear Vans without socks?

Vans slip-ons have been a fashion staple for over 50 years, with styles swinging from look to look over that time. Wearing sneakers without socks is currently fashionable, but it wasn’t always the case – kids in photos from a 1970s summer are almost guaranteed to have long socks on.

When it comes to skate culture, the style has taken a parallel path to mainstream fashion, carving out its own looks and silhouettes. So are there rules about socks with Vans? Of course not. But stick around for the style and function guidelines…

Can you wear Vans without socks?

If you’re wearing Vans for short periods, it’s fine to go without socks. But if it’s warm weather, or you’re doing anything active, you’ll get a build-up of sweat quite quickly, just like with any type of shoe. That makes them slippery, then sticky, then unpleasant.

If you like the sockless look, go for a pair of no-show socks. Socks absorb a lot of sweat, and they’re easy to change and throw in the wash after each wear. They also make it easier to get your trainers on and off as your feet won’t be sticky with sweat. So it’s usually a good idea to wear socks with your Vans, even if you can’t see them.

Why do skateboarders wear long socks?

Skateboarders have a style all of their own, and the long sock is a nod to the original skateboarders of the 70s and 80s. Long socks can also offer some protection against scrapes and chafing, but fashion is probably the main reason. Skateboarders are used to scrapes.

Of course, not all skateboarders wear long socks. Some wear ankle-length socks and some choose to go sockless. But if you’re going to wear socks, it’s vitally important that you do it style, perhaps with a pair of our classic crew socks. All skaters know that.

What are skate socks?

Skateboarding socks tend to have a little more padding around the ankle and compression at the arch, which helps with support and grip when you’re doing tricks. They’re not to be confused with socks for ice hockey, which are designed for ice skates but are also called skate socks.

Vans’ skate socks are designed for flexibility, support and sweat control, with padding in all the right places to prevent rubbing when you’re on a long session. They comprise 49% polyester, 34% cotton, 11% nylon, 5% elastodiene and 1% elastane – pretty technical stuff, but it’s all to enhance comfort and wearability when you’re getting active on your board.

Do you wear socks with Vans slip-ons?

Most people choose to wear some kind of socks with Vans slip-ons, whether they’re no-show or statement, mainly to make them as comfortable as possible and to control smells. In addition, it’s much easier to wash socks than shoes so it makes sense to wear them.

No-show socks are the perfect compromise if you like to have your ankles showing but keep those footy aromas at bay. For the most invisible results, make sure your socks are the same colour as your shoes’ quarters (the part that wraps around the sides and back) or collar lining (the inner layer that touches your feet). Run our Custom Shoes tool to get a better idea.

Skaters wear them their way

Nobody’s going to start telling skaters how to wear their clothes. Sure, there’s a certain look that can mark out the skater in the room, but ten minutes at your local skate park or precinct will show you that you can wear what the hell you like. Wearing socks is a great way to stay comfy and to stop your feet and your Vans getting smelly though, so we’d recommend it.