Should You Wear Socks With Boat Shoes?

Whether socks should be worn with boat shoes is a much-debated topic among true enthusiasts. On one hand, purists will argue that boat shoes are specifically designed to be worn without socks. After all, their leather construction is intended to be comfortably worn barefoot. In maritime conditions, which boat shoes were originally designed for, wet socks aren’t fun. Boat shoes remain the perfect style to take on every challenge and opportunity with a balance of confidence and comfort.

On the other side of the debate, pro-sock advocates argue that the old rules are meant to be broken. Your style is a personal choice, and your creativity shouldn’t be limited by someone else’s conventional rules. You’re setting your own course, so what matters most is that you are taking on every experience in a way that follows your internal compass. Style is an adventure.

Style, however, isn’t the only factor to consider when deciding if you should or shouldn’t wear socks with your favorite pair of boat shoes.


The majority of boat shoes are true to the original boat shoe design, using leather construction both inside and out. Leather is breathable, meaning it’s less likely to retain moisture and more likely to keep your feet dry. That’s perfect for situations were your feet are likely to get wet - so you can go sailing, relax by the pool, or go for a long walk without worrying about your shoes retaining moisture.

Socks, however, are made from dozens of different materials, many of which absorb moisture and counteract the breathable properties of leather. Cotton is especially notorious for its lack of breathability - it can absorb 27 times its weight in water, trapping moisture against the skin. This quality is responsible for coining the phrase “cotton kills,” because of how it draws heat away from the body.

Wet socks can lead to odors, fungus, and cold feet, so if you’re considering a pair of socks either A) pick a synthetic, breathable pair, or B) wear them in cooler, dryer temperatures where sweat and moisture are less likely to be an issue.

For those who experience chafing or hotspots, socks are often a necessity, adding an extra layer of padding between the foot and the shoe. Samuel Hubbard boat shoes are crafted using a buttery-soft glove leather lining for extra comfort. Many boat shoes have no lining, or a minimal lining, which can lead to discomfort for some wearers.

Socks are especially useful for fall and spring, adding warmth and allowing you to wear boat shoes in cooler temperatures.


If you prefer a more traditional boat shoe style but want the comfort of socks, pick a no-show sock, some of which are cut extra low specifically for wearing with boat shoes.

If you’re someone who feels comfortable charting your own way, or who prefers making a statement, then you have the option to be bold with a patterned pair of socks. They can quickly become a conversation-starter when worn with chinos or shorts. Extra points to the most adventurous among us for wearing festive socks during the holidays!

If you’re somewhere in between flashy and low-key, pick a solid colored pair of socks that color match the rest of your outfit.

Even though boat shoes are no longer worn on daring sailing expeditions, they are the perfect choice for your everyday adventures. Whether you would wear socks with them or not, they’re a part of your journey - so set sail, go for a walk to a beautiful beach nearby, or dive into some other incredible opportunity ahead. The right shoes make every step a breeze.

Shop Boat Shoes From Samuel Hubbard

Thinking about a new pair of boat shoes? Check out our collection! Samuel Hubbard boat shoes are designed to go anywhere and everywhere that you do. We believe that empowering others for their journey starts from the ground up. Handcrafted construction from the finest materials means all-day comfort wherever you go.

Samuel Hubbard boat shoes