Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

August 12, 2010

Socks with shorts

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Shoes,Shorts,Socks — Mr. Henry @ 9:26 am

Each summer morning before deciding on his day’s choice of footwear Mr. Henry scans the weather report, looking in particular at the temperature. The question he poses himself is not whether he will wear shorts and a polo shirt, his default hot weather costume, but whether the temperature will climb so high that his poor feet will boil in closed shoes and as a consequence he must wear sandals.

If sandals are the day’s choice, a more ticklish problem arises, namely, whether to wear socks. If the temperature will reach 90 and above, the decision is clear. Sockless sandals are the only choice. But what if rain is predicted? What if he plans to spend time in gelid air-conditioned interiors? What if he plans to be outdoors among bloodthirsty mommy mosquitoes? Aren’t socks necessary, even with sandals?

Mr. Henry wears socks proudly. With the confidence of a Scandinavian giant gamely navigating the avenues of midtown, Mr. Henry remains blasé if hipsters with tattoos and slouched trousers should cast derisory glances at his stockings.

In defense of socks:

  • When hiking Manhattan’s valleys, you need expedition footwear. To protect against chafing on long walks, socks are a must.
  • Sandals that expose bare footflesh cannot protect against scrapes and scratches, vectors for the introduction of exotic, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Save yourself, man!
  • The mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the wilderness, and she adores your ankles.
  • Chilled air sinks to the floor. Half an hour of such temperatures and your arthritic toes – old soccer injuries – start barking, not to mention your plantar fasciitis.
  • Who admires your knobbly, hairless, vein-riddled ankles, anyway?


  1. Going on 40, and being reasonably fashionable, I stumbled across a friend of mine who is in his late fourties and found him wearing black socks with sandals. To this day we still tease him. As a big fashion NO! At what age do we cross that line as men and think socks with sandals is ever acceptable!?

    Comment by Robert — August 12, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  2. If that is Paul Newman up there, the man can seriously do no wrong.

    And Mr. Henry, although your reasons for socks with sandals are sound, it still just isn’t a good look.

    Comment by Glinda — August 14, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  3. Would fisherman sandals work? They are like shoes
    Paul Newman is the only man who can get away with that…

    Comment by Klee — August 18, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  4. And now you may resign, Mr. Henry, as a style adviser for men. I miss Izzy!

    Comment by os — August 18, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

  5. Resign??? Not on your life.

    Mr. Henry has an ironclad contract of a thousand a week no matter where his fashion sense may lead. To defend this sinecure he will personally man the barricades – in his stocking feet if he has to!

    Comment by Mr. Henry — August 18, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  6. Take heart, Mr. Henry. After my initial shock, I must concede that if socks can be worn with high heels, as recent fashion photos show, then they can certainly be worn with sandals.

    Comment by Ann — August 31, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

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