Looking for sandals that actually look good with socks? Here are fifteen options.
Initially an “anti-fashion statement,” the socks and sandals trend is officially here to stay. Actually, a lot of men’s staples, like jeans and flannels, have made a similar journey. Sandals that actually can look good with socks are a particular breed, though, and just not any sandals fit the bill.
Fortunately, the fifteen choices here do — and they all do it in different ways to suit different personal styles.
Here are our top three recommendations from the list:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
15 Sandals That You Can Wear With Socks
Some sandals in our lineup are high-end for that upscale resort aesthetic; others have a stylish everyman look (Birkenstock’s specialty), while many go back to their normcore roots.
Regardless of what you’re going for, this combination is undeniably comfortable. So if you’ve never tried it before, now’s a good time to experiment.
Again, Birkenstock is a go-to brand for the comfortably stylish approach, so the Bostons are the first of a handful in this round-up.
Arguably, this clog-style slip-on was one of the pioneers in showing people that socks can indeed look good with certain sandals.
It’s the perfect shoe for entry-level socks-with-sandals wearers because the closed-toe style makes it more akin to non-sandals.
Plus, the suede version’s napped quality is a closer match to sock material. There are several versions, though, from shearling-lined to leather. They’re all equipped with the famed Birkenstock footbed, making them super comfortable to wear.
The Birkenstock Arizonas are the next step up into full-on backless and frontless territory. However, I’d still consider them easy to wear for guys new to the combination.
They’re a true traditional sandal, with the leather and suede versions pairing well with basically any casual outfit you can think of.
The interesting thing about the Arizonas is that they cast a wide net of wearers, from regular joes just trying to be comfortable to the fashion-forward.
Rick Owens even has a rendition. That’s probably why this model has such a wide range of colorways, from monotone anthracite to the loud and cheery colors of the EVA versions.
The Chaco Z comes in a few colors, with the basic Cloud version in green, black, and brown serving as the core line.
They’re like the field watches of the sandal world in that they make rugged look attractive and are built with practical materials like polyester jacquard, plain-to-see rubber, and polyurethane.
The Z line is equipped with a third strap that travels beneath the front straps in a sash-like manner, creating fashionable webbing and extra security. Some of the saucier colorways include the trout-inspired Thomas Rhett collab and the mountain range-clad New Belgium.
Teva Original Universal Sandal
The most iconic Teva Originals are the ones that are Pottery colorways, for example, the black and taupe, because their Southwestern-style patterns pair seamlessly with wool socks (especially speckled ones).
They add just the right amount of crunch, making a casual outfit look more cultured.
The Universal Sandals also come in more playful styles, like the 90s-inspired primary color version. They all look great, but the earthy Pottery, Canyon, and dark-colored versions are the most versatile.
While the Fuoris are as organic and raw looking as the Bostons, I think the thicker belt combines luxuriousness with a sort of swashbuckling vibe — especially with that brass buckle.
The back sole features an exquisite marbling, like the kind you’d see on decorative accents in a gentleman adventurer’s home library. Also, the suede upper and leather lining are both Italian and LWG-certified for their eco-friendly approaches.
The Hapsfords are like a “Clark-ified” rendition of a huarache sandal. It uses the huarache’s design language, with its dapper silhouette and cut-out peaks. But, it’s built with robust, purposefully unfancy materials.
The use of matte pebbled leather in neutral colors and the synthetic outsole give it a utilitarian workwear look. All that to say, it is a practical shoe. It offers effective arch support and a heavily cushioned footbed that makes these comfortable to walk in all day.
The Birkenstock Milanos are literally a stylish take on the ironic sandal, the kind from the ‘90s that often had plastic hardware and velcro.
Birkenstock levels up the original template by using thicker fasteners, aesthetically thoughtful materials, and metal hardware. The brand-signature cork sole contributes to the raw look as well.
The leather versions are quintessential to this model and partner well with thick textured socks. There’s also a subtle camo, a not-so-subtle camo, a pebbled leather, and much more.
Timberland’s signature outdoorsy aesthetic comes through in the details of the Rosindales. Some examples include the exposed-grain backstitch and the outsole.
It has a lighter toned-down version of their boot tread, which also makes these guys pretty grippy for sandals.
The best part about these shoes is that their simplicity makes them a blank canvas. You can wear them with loud, colorful socks for an irreverent tone, designer socks (Gucci G-patterned ones, perhaps) for a fashion-forward approach.
Or, for different vibe, pull on some dark neutral socks to keep in line with the sophisticated take on dad style that this shoe already inherently encapsulates.
The last Birkenstocks on this list are the Luganos, the slightly edgier cousin of the Arizonas. Instead of the straps going straight across, they criss-cross, resulting in a sort of braid which gives it a touch of complexity.
And though this is more style-forward than the Arizonas, this design also covers more of your foot, making them less intimidating to new sandal wearers. It’s also that quality that makes them combine beautifully with socks.
Dockers Newpage Quarter Strap
The Dockers Newpages are as close as you can get to those three-point adjustable ‘90s sandals without going full ironic.
They’re affordable, practical, and super comfortable. Its soft lining and memory foam cushion footbed make these easy to wear for long periods of time.
On the style front, the tumbled faux leather and classic use of velcro give a casual aesthetic. However, the contrast stitching that happens on literally every surface, including the outsole, provides visual accents that elevate the overall look.
Nisolo Huarache Sandal
The reason the Nisolo Huarache Sandal pairs well with socks is that it’s about as sophisticated as a leather slip-on.
It covers so much of your foot that it’s almost a cheat. Still, it’s as casual and breathable as any sandal, with its traditional wicker-like weave.
Speaking of, the full-grain leather is hand-woven, while Nisolo boasts 0% net on the carbon front and 100% living wages. Unsurprisingly, the leather here is LWG-certified. This soft but sturdy shoe has a shock-absorbing midsole and a comfortable leather lining.
The unadorned criss-cross upper of the UGG Wainscotts are effortlessly cool with or without socks. It’s less about the bells and whistles of the design, and more about the craftsmanship and materials.
The full-grain leather construction is supple but strong and is vegetable tanned and polished with natural waxes (by hand, of course).
In addition to this sandal’s breathability, the impressive stitch-free technique that holds everything together prevents rubbing. Top that off with a dual-density footbed, and you’ve got style and function.
Bruno Magli Empoli
Undoubtedly the luxury pick in this roundup, the Empoli from the Italian leather masters over at Bruno Magli is simple and elegant yet meticulously designed.
The traditional sandal construction tempers the dress-shoe-like taper of the footbed. It features two stories for a hint of dimension, which is also provided by the middle strap that goes over the vertical connector strip.
The full-grain Italian calf leather is strong, buttery, and will patinate and develop more character as it ages. This is a wonder because these sandals are handsome right out of the box.
Allen Edmonds Nantucket Slide Sandal
While slides deserve their own roundup, the Allen Edmonds Nantucket Sandal is the slide representative here because of its three-layer strap-like upper.
It’s also made of leather, giving it a more luxe look than most slides with an off-duty athlete look. It’s this infusion aesthetic that makes the Nantuckets easy to pair with socks.
And while the pebbled black footbed almost looks like leather, it’s a molded rubber for easy flex, even with thick socks.
Comfort-focused Pikolinos serve up a more modest cross-braided sandal with the Tarifas.
It covers more than other similarly-designed braided shoes, meaning you can wear tonal socks to fill in the gaps or a slightly different color to create accents in the front and back.
The calfskin leather is super soft and hand-sewn. This, along with the pliable synthetic sole, offers a lot of bend right out of the box.
Socks You Should and Shouldn’t Wear with Sandals
Woven socks in neutral colors are always a safe bet, whether you’re wearing more casual Birkenstocks or high-end Bruno Maglis. Go for softer materials, like cashmere blends, when pairing with dressier sandals and thinner weaves with closed-toed, non-clog sandals like huaraches.
Avoid white athletic socks, especially for shoes with a lot of foot exposure and especially if you’re wearing shorts.
If you want the combo to be as stylishly subtle and as non-irreverent as a pair of
Speckled and heathered wool socks partner well with suede sandals because they both feature texturing.
FAQs About Socks and Sandals
Answering your questions about wearing socks with sandals…
When Did Socks With Sandals Become Popular?
The Normcore movement in the late aughts saw the rise of people wearing socks with sandals as a statement. From there, it was a slow journey into popularity because of how practical and comfortable the combination was.
In fact, the Japanese have been wearing socks with sandals for centuries for the very same reasons we do it today.
Do You Wear Socks With Walking Sandals?
While walking sandals are made to be breathable and worn without socks, you can pair the two for style purposes or to prevent blisters from happening as quickly.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Socks With Sandals?
It can prevent rubbing and blisters, and it can keep your feet clean as well. It can also keep you warm on cooler summer evenings.
Final Thoughts on This Controversial Topic
If you want to wear socks with sandals in a stylish way, it’s important to pick the right pair. Birkenstock does an excellent job of designing sandals that pair subtly with socks, while Dockers and Timberland are all about that function factor.
It’s a matter of what look you’re going for. At the very least, it’s a super comfortable partnership.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!