Friday, February 10, 2017 7:35:08 AM America/New_York
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 5:16:41 AM America/New_York
Monday, February 6, 2017 7:36:15 AM America/New_York
Staying warm in the winter can be a real challenge, but it’s not an obstacle that can’t be overcome. On the other hand, or should we say ‘on the other foot’ (I guess that we shouldn’t), warming up your feet in the winter can turn into a real mission-impossible. Those damn things are always cold. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how big the bonfire you put your feet in is, your feet are still cold. Sometimes even layering doesn’t work. All the pairs of socks in this world, or at least in your drawer, won’t save you from the freezing hell you are going through. Why is this so?Read More
Monday, February 6, 2017 7:03:49 AM America/New_York
Winter is one mean piece of work. It punches you in the face really hard, with its solid fist of ice-covered hatred that is only enhanced by the bone-chilling gust of freezing winds. Your face becomes numb and your nose is red like you’ve been drinking moonshine from sunrise. Most people hate it, some tolerate it, but everyone has to agree that winter has its moments of pure awesomeness, no matter how rare those moments are…and they are really rare. They are possibly rarer than the northern hairy-nosed wombat, and that thing is rareRead More
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:41:05 PM America/New_York
Kids grow fast, and their feet also grow fast.This means that outgrowing their clothes, shoes, socks and accessories happens really fast and frequently. Like everything else for children, socks need to be changed on a regular basis due to out wear and outgrowth.
Now, you might think that it is easy to choose the right kind and size of socks for your kids, by just buying socks that are the same size as your kid’s shoe, but in reality shoe and sock sizes for kids differ quite a bit. To avoid making mistakes and buying a lot of kids socks that will fit only your family dog, there are a few things you have to know about what you are buying.
Determining the size of your child’s socks
When you start buying socks for your little ones, first thing you have to do is determine the size of the socks that will fit your child. While they are more forgiving than other types of clothing, socks that are too tight or too big might cause your child a series of problems.
One of the most important things in determining the size of your kid’s socks is their age. Sometimes the sock size will only be displayed in one of the four categories depending on their age. These four categories consist of: Infant (0-9 months), Toddler (9-24 months), Child (2-4 years) and Youth (4-8 years). These four categories are based on average size of children during that certain age, however no child is the same as all the other children. When choosing the right size socks according to age, use your individual judgement if your child is, for instance, bigger than other kids of its age.
Another very important thing to take in consideration is the shoe size of your child. As stated before, shoe size is not the same as sock size, so a little conversion needs to be made before determining the sock size. The shoes size is always represented as a numerical value, and just sometimes accompanied by one of the four categories mentioned before.
When determining the socks size by shoe size, the categories are as follows: shoe sizes 0-3 equal to sock sizes 2-3; shoe sizes 3-8 equal to sock size 4-6; shoe sizes 8-13 equal to sock sizes 6-8. Keep in mind however that every manufacturer has different numerical values of shoe sizes, so you should probably ask the seller about shoe sizes, or go to the shoe designer’s website and check their measurements, as well as using your own experience and personal judgement to avoid buying socks that do not fit your child.
Choosing the right type of socks
When choosing the right type of socks for your kids, choices fall into 3 categories: sock themes, sock cuts and sock material. Each of the choices have their own good and bad sides. When choosing socks for a baby however, the most important thing is that socks should never be too tight as they can squeeze the toes and cause discomfort, or too loose so they slide down the foot and gather uncomfortably in the shoe.
When it comes to sock themes, there are many of them. It all depends on your child’s interests, like cartoon character socks, sports teams socks, animal socks, colorful socks, music socks, space socks, fuzzy socks. With today’s abundance of choices, it is hard not to find whatever your child likes. Be creative when choosing sock theme that suits your child’s interests, and you will never go wrong.
When choosing sock cuts, there are many choices to go for: Ankle socks, Knee high socks, boot, trouser, slipper socks, performance socks, toe socks, tights and leggings. Choosing the right cut and fit of the socks depends on the time of the year, general climate of the area you live in as well as clothes and shoes your kids are wearing and at last by your own preferences. If you for instance live in warmer climates where your kid wears shorts a lot, ankle socks are the best choice for your child. If you however live in colder climates, then slipper socks, knee high socks, or even boot socks might be a good choice for your kid. Choose sock cuts accordingly.
Last, but by no means least important is the material choice for your kids socks. Wool is a great insulator and is good for both warm and cold weather. It is a natural material that is highly absorbent too. If your children’s feet do get sweaty in wool though, cotton is also a great choice. Like wool, it is a natural material that is super comfortable. It is also great if your child is allergic to man-made materials. If your child is into sports a lot, socks made of polyester or acrylic are good for them as those materials are durable, and keep their feet cool and dry.
At the end, whenever you choose to buy socks in stores or online, if you follow these tips, you are less likely to mess up your kids sock shopping and come back home with a lot of socks that will only suit your pets. Keep to the guidelines, but also your own judgement and you will never be wrong.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:40:12 PM America/New_York
There is a right time and place for everything and, while the right time and place to wear toe socks is rare, it still does exist. You can’t wear them at a fancy cocktail party and you definitely shouldn’t wear them when you are meeting your future wife/husband’s parents, but a toe-sock-wearing occasion is a real thing. Well, it may not have a name yet, but let’s hope the name I give it sticks. At least people will know the dress code right away when the invitation says toe-sock-wearing event.
What are toe socks?
First, let’s define toe socks for the ones who may not have heard of them. Toe socks are something like gloves for your feet. They are designed in such way that each toe is separated and individually encased in the sock itself, just the same way as fingers are enclosed in a glove.
There are different sizes and even diverse lengths just like with regular socks, which means that you can find everything, from a no-show, across ankle and crew toe sock even to knee-high or thigh-high. So, whatever floats your boat in the toe sock department is at your disposal. There is even a heavy-duty version of a toe sock, as much as a sock can be heavy-duty, although it’s more of a toe shoe. We’ll get to that later.
Toe socks are traditionally worn by kids because of their playful nature (both kids’ and toe socks’ playful nature), but these socks are also made in adult sizes and are worn by grownups. Again, they put this playful, cheerful spirit in focus and automatically make you look less mature, as if you were a child at heart.
The history of toe socks is relatively short and boring, so I will try to keep it simple. Of course, like many other strange inventions, toe socks come from the USA, specifically from Pennsylvania. They were designed by a nice little lady (don’t know if she was actually nice or little, but her name sounds that way) called Ethel Russell in the late 60s. To be more precise, although not many people are interested in the exact date when toe socks were first made, she filed a copyright with the United States Copyright Office on June 14, 1969. Life changing information, isn’t it?
Benefits and doubts
You might be thinking that scientists aren’t really interested in toe socks that much, but strangely, you would be wrong. Oddly enough, there have been several studies about toe socks and their benefits, but with mixed result. Maybe the best thing to do is study the testimonials of the people who use them first, and then back everything up with science.
The first thing athletes who use toe socks say is that they prevent blisters. When each finger is separated there is no skin-on-skin friction and thus blister cannot be formed. It also provides protection against hotspots which is equally important.
However, there are people who have tried them, and report just the opposite – the material in between their toes is scratchy, it is uncomfortable and the material itself is creating blisters. Now, it may be possible that they wore incorrect size or chose wrong toe socks in some other way. Who’s to say?
Another benefit, according to the toe socks aficionados, is that they are incredibly comfortable. I would compare the feeling to the one when you’ve worn loose jeans your entire life and then suddenly started wearing skinny jeans. It’s different, but you can’t actually say if it’s better or worse. You are strangled all over, every part of your skin is in direct contact with the material and it’s tightening, but you kind of like it. It’s a very strange feeling, actually, and you have to try it to know what I’m talking about.
As they are mostly used in sport activities these days, many toe socks are made from materials that enable wicking of the moisture, or to be precise, the sweat you create. However, many sport socks are created from materials that ensure this process will be done, so there is nothing special about toe socks when it comes to this part.
The biggest advantage of these socks, and especially of their shoe relative, is said to be the improvement of your performance. You might have seen people running in those toe shoes, and it is believed that they minimize the risk of injury while upgrading your running/power walking technique. In theory, they help you with their lack of heel padding. This way, they promote forefoot landing which is supposed to be healthy. Now it’s science time.
The science behind toe footwear
As I’ve already mentioned, science has done some work with toe socks/shoes (how desperate for research ideas they are) and unfortunately for the toe shoes enthusiasts, the results aren’t all that positive. The main performance-boosting idea behind toe shoes is that they make you land forefoot. Landing forefoot is supposed to be important because it’s meant to be more efficient than old-school heel-first landing. At least that is the theory, but the practice is somewhat different. Not only is it different, but it’s completely opposite. The results from an experiment have shown that heel-striking is more economical because runners use far less oxygen this way and naturally get tired a lot less.
Who knew that something that comes natural to us and was developed by many years of evolution, such as heel-first landing while running, is more economical and practical than something that we invented without any particular reason? Well, maybe it just fits some people better than others, and if you are one of them, than you surely shouldn’t stop wearing toe socks or toe shoes just because other people don’t like them.
- See more at: http://workstuff.us/blog#sthash.jnZSaUtH.dpuf
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:39:25 PM America/New_York
Even the most perfect outfit can be ruined by a poor sock choice. If you get this part wrong, you can end up looking like you know nothing about fashion, like you’ve never successfully paired a color in your life, and straight up like a clown. However, this doesn’t mean that colors, patterns and other forms of fashion statements are excluded here, but it only means that you should be careful when implementing them. The point here is to find the balance, the middle ground of this conundrum and the equilibrium in which you will be comfortable.
For this particular reason, many people choose to wear only one type of socks and they are usually plain black. Some other dull choices are also often seen, but you don’t have to do this to feel comfortable. You can start off slow and work your way up until you feel comfortable to even go sockless, although that is a whole other story. To start really slowly, let’s shed light on a few popular misconceptions.
Debunking the myths
In order to make it easier for you to know what you should do, we should start with the things that other people are telling you. Why should you trust us instead of them? Because our way is more fashion-forward, innovative, exciting and interesting, and if that’s not enough to persuade you, just keep reading and decide for yourself.
Socks go in pairs
Well, this is actually implied, but what is not implied is that you don’t always have to wear socks from the same pairs. Have you ever heard of a fashion statement? Well than, make one. Take a sock from one pair and a sock from completely different pair and wear them together. The trick here is to make the socks absolutely different in order to let people know that it is on purpose.
Another great trick is to take two socks with identical pattern, but with different colors. It will confuse people but it will look extremely cool. On the other hand, you don’t even have to do this. Just don’t match them with anything.
Socks match shoes
I don’t know who was the one to tell this lie and what was the motive behind it, but it is completely untrue. There is a bit of truth in every other myth in this article, but this one is an utter lie. What you get when you match your socks to the color of your shoes is an unnatural, bulky, awkward look that you really don’t want. It makes your legs look shorter and your feet abnormally tall and even creates a boot-looking kind of situation. Not cool, man.
Black socks are universal
This one probably comes from a more conservative time, when women showing ankles was considered rude and inappropriate. However, there is some truth in it. Black socks truly are the most universal out there, but they still don’t fit each and every outfit combination. For example, you would (hopefully) never wear black socks with brown suit.
Also, even though black socks are fitting to (almost) any occasion, they tend to get a bit boring. They show that you are conservative, that you don’t take many risks and that you don’t like to experiment. If that is you, it’s fine, there is nothing wrong with being conservative, but if that is not you, put on some colorful socks right away.
Socks match pants
Actually, this is completely true – the socks should match your pants in order to make your legs appear longer and give you a smooth, immaculate line from head to toe. Now, the only problem with this is that, once again, you come off as conservative. Again, there is nothing wrong with being conservative, but if you actually aren’t, you want people to know that. You want to show them right away that you are an amazing individual who likes to stand out from the crowd and be different, distinctive.
What to actually match socks with?
Yeah, now that I’ve bashed everything that you know about matching the socks I should tell you what you should essentially do. Well, ideally, you shouldn’t match your socks with anything. You should wear socks in all kinds of different, crazy colors, that will easily be noticed by other people and that will leave an impression of cheerfulness and awesomeness. You will, in no time, become ‘that guy with those socks’ and you will stand out of the crowd. People will recognize you by this fashion statement.
There are two important things to watch out for when you choose to clash you socks to the rest of your clothes. The first thing to know is that this is not the most formal look. You shouldn’t go to a job interview like this (depending on the job, you might even pull it off, but be sure to research dress code before you do this) and not to mention something more formal like a funeral.
The other thing to look out for is the unintentional clashing. Wearing grey socks with brown suit will look like you know nothing about colors because they are not the same, but still not different enough to make this fashion statement. Make sure to really clash, and for example wear bright yellow socks with navy green suit, or bright green socks with charcoal green suit. The possibilities are endless, but go steadily and make sure to learn from your mistakes.
- See more at: http://workstuff.us/blog#sthash.jnZSaUtH.dpuf
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:38:17 PM America/New_York
Throwing your odd, old, washed-out, or even thorn socks into garbage seems like a complete waste of material. It may not look like much, but when you crunch the numbers the amount of discarded material in one year gets really high. I didn’t personally do the math nor did I crunch the numbers, but it really is obvious.
Just take yourself as an example; you probably don’t throw away socks on daily basis, and maybe you don’t even throw them away on weekly basis, but when we get to monthly levels, the picture gets a bit different. Not almost a month goes by without a sock getting lost or thorn, which automatically makes you throw it away. One month it’s one sock, the other month is none, but some months it’s more than three or four. In a whole year you throw away at least about a dozen socks and in your lifetime you throw away a fortune.
Now, I’m not saying that those socks can be salvaged and used forever, but what you can do is prolong their life. You can find a new purpose and recycle them, and one of the best ways to do this is to turn them into fashionable accessories.
The easiest to make
When it comes to losing your socks, this is the simplest situation you can have. This means that you have one sock that is alive and well, without any holes. It’s highly usable and you should set it aside. It’s a shame to cut and disfigure this sock, so the best you can do is pair it with another sock. The weirder the better, so your socks should preferably have patterns, images or be in some crazy colors. This way, people will think you wear them like that on purpose and you will create a fashion statement, instead of stating that you recycle socks…even though there is nothing wrong with recycling socks.
The next few are pretty complicated, so brace yourself and pay attention. What you have to do is get some scissors, cut the toes of the socks and…well, basically, that is it. Did you get all of that? I hope I wasn’t too fast for you. Maybe you should write it down or something. With this simple move you actually transform your sock into a multi-tool. You can use this new invention (don’t try to patent it, I’m way ahead of you) in many ways without doing any more modifications to it.
Firstly, it can be a leg warmer which you can wear on your tights.
You can also use it as iPhone armband for jogging. Instead of spending money on a real thing, you can make it yourself, and it will be even more comfortable and easier to use. Just pull the sock (aka improvised iPhone armband) up your arm, place your phone at the top with approximately one third of the phone being above the sock, and fold the remaining bottom of the sock so that it covers and holds the phone.
Another way to use a toeless sock is to make an arm warmer out of it. You don’t have to make any additional modifications, but if you really want to, you can take the heel and stitch it together. You can even stitch a button in there and make a really cool, vintage arm warmer.
This part includes everything that needs a bit of time or skill to create. When I say a bit, I really do mean a small, tiny bit. It still is more complicated that the first few, but no hustle over these either.
If you happen to have some elastic socks, the best way to reuse them is to make hair bands. You can make several bands out of one sock, and people won’t even notice that the band was once a sock. What you need to do is take a sock, and cut it across. This will leave you with a ring of fabric which essentially becomes a hair band once rolled up. Repeat this several times until you’ve used the most of your sock.
To make the fingerless glove, you have to make two incisions. Nurse, scissors! Cut the toes off and then cut off the heel…of the sock that is. Stick your thumb through the hole where heel used to be and the rest of the fingers where the toes were. For maximum effect, sew spacing for each separate finger. Whoa, we are using needle and thread now; things are getting pretty serious.
The highest of the levels
Oh, now we are really serious. Everything in this part requires sewing, or even additional actions. But let’s not get you scared yet; we’ll save that for later. First, let’s talk about ear warmers.
It looks like socks are great for warming almost any part of your body, besides warming your feet. Making this is somewhat more complex, but I think you can still manage it. To start with, you will need two socks, so take any odds if you have or the ones that you don’t wear anymore. Start by making an ‘X’ out of them on a flat surface. Now fold them, first one, and then the other, so that each tip of the sock touches the top of that same sock. Stitch the tips with the tops, and stitch the two ends you are left with together to form a headband.
Maybe not the most complex, the coin purse is at the end because it requires something more than just the sock – the coin purse metal frame. This is fairly easy to acquire and is inexpensive, but hey, we are trying to save up here, and not to spend more money. However, if you do choose to make this, it is really straightforward. All you have to do is to sew the top of the sock to the purse frame, which is already designed to make this easy. No special advice here.
- See more at: http://workstuff.us/blog#sthash.jnZSaUtH.dpuf
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:37:27 PM America/New_York
Well, isn’t the choice obvious? Wear thin socks in the summer and thick socks in the winter, right? Actually, it’s not that easy. Of course you won’t wear thin, ankle sock when kids are licking poles outside and sticking their tongues on the traffic signs, just as you won’t wear fuzzy, knee-highs when those same kids are baking eggs on the hot rocks that were sitting in the sun the whole day. But we aren’t discussing seasonal clothing now; we are discussing different types of situations.
For example, you can’t wear thick, long socks at a fancy banquet, even if it’s freezing outside, and similarly you won’t wear the thinnest and shortest socks if you go hiking, even though it’s the middle of the summer. Each and every sock has its own advantages and disadvantages and, unfortunately, there is no sock that can fit all the positives without some negatives. That would be a dream coming true, wouldn’t it? Scientists should just keep doing their work, and maybe one day we’ll get there.
Until that day comes, we’ll have to manage with what we’ve got and make the most of it. In order for you to succeed in this, I will help you by displaying a few characteristics and best uses of thick and thin socks.
There are many types of thick socks, and naturally, the best time to wear them is during the winter. And this is not only a recommendation, it’s an order! Okay, I can’t really order you what to do, but it’s a very strong recommendation. Wearing thick socks during colder periods is crucial for your health and even for your comfort, but there is only one question left – what are the best winter socks?
It was mentioned a lot of times, but it can’t hurt to say it once again and in this context: cotton socks are not almighty. Cotton is truly a great material, but sometimes it is just overrated, like in this case. What cotton socks do to you in the winter is provide insufficient heat, i.e. they don’t give enough protection from the cold, and they don’t wick the sweat, they only absorb it. Now, this wouldn’t be that much of a problem in the summer when wet feet are only uncomfortable but dry out really fast because of the heat. However, in the winter, wet feet lead to cold feet (and not like when you are nervous about something) and cold feet over an extended period of time lead to all kinds of illnesses. Sounds like a math formula.
The best sock to wear in the winter, other than being thermal and as long as possible should partially be made of wool. What wool does is even if it gets wet from your feet’s perspiration, it doesn’t lose its insulating properties. The other part of the sock should include some sort of synthetic material, such as nylon and spandex, for additional strength, comfort and wicking properties.
When to wear them other than in the winter?
Thick, long socks with wicking properties and increased comfort are not only great for winter. Their properties can easily be utilized and exploited in some ways, which these socks weren’t necessarily intended for.
For instance, these socks are great for high-impact activities that put a lot of force on your lower body. This includes every activity that consists of running. The way that these socks help is that, firstly, they provide protection from mild injuries. Being thick and long, they can prevent scratches and small bruises. Also, they tighten your ankles, thus helping them stay in right position. Finally, wicking is crucial for these activities, and many thin socks simply don’t have this property. They are also good for hiking, as they keep you warm and insulated even if they get wet.
Once again, naturally and logically, thin socks are best for warm periods. They don’t suffocate your feet and increase sweating which means that they protect your feet from infections. But is this absolutely true? As it was shown, this doesn’t always have to be true. Some thin socks are definitely meant to be avoided and there are thin socks that make more damage than it would be made if you wore thick socks…in the middle of the summer…in the worst heat. Yes, that’s how bad they are.
Of course, I’m talking about completely synthetic socks. Many synthetic materials have wicking properties, but not all of them and not by themselves. Many aren’t that good at absorbing the moisture, and where there is no absorbing, there is no wicking. Usually cotton does the absorbing part, but if there is no cotton in your socks, then your feet will stay wet all the time and at the very least they will start smelling. Don’t even get me started on what else could happen.
Cotton is still not the best material on its own, but it’s still better than pure synthetics. What cotton will do is absorb all the humidity and at least give you the opportunity to dry your socks. Cotton also retains a lot of heat, which you don’t really need in the summer, so it is definitely not a smart move to wear only cotton socks. The mixture of cotton and synthetics is the best solution.
When to wear them other than in the summer?
You shouldn’t retire your thin socks as soon as the leaves start falling because there are many ways and occasions to wear them in the winter.
For example, if your home is properly heated, you don’t want to be sitting indoors in thermal socks. Hey will only sweat your feet which is unnecessary and should be avoided as much as possible. Also, these socks are great for sports with no impact, i.e. for sports that don’t put much force to your ankles, feet or legs. Additionally, dress socks which are used for fancy occasions are always and exclusively thin. Thick socks worn with suits are a huge no, while thin, sophisticated socks look stylish and slick.
- See more at: http://workstuff.us/blog#sthash.jnZSaUtH.dpuf
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 2:11:05 PM America/New_York
Everybody who grew up watching Miami Vice has heard the siren song of going sockless; in our dreams, we're all suave and manly enough to go the way of Sonny Crockett and rock a sweet pair of loafers with no dress socks or toe socks underneath, especially now that loafers have made such a resounding comeback. But is sacrificing your fuzzy socks to the shoe gods really worth the risk? It's all very well to ditch your colorful men's socks for a pair of sandals or flip flops, but a proper shoe? We here believe firmly in knowing your enemy, so we've decided to make your decision that little bit easier by talking about a few of the dangers of the sockless look, as well as offering some sage suggestions on how you might avoid the same.
SOCKLESS DANGER 1: THE FUNK
The feet are not always the most pleasant-smelling part of a human body; to quote Game of Thrones – this is known. But how much does wearing or not wearing proper dress socks (or toe socks, we're not here to judge) inside your shoes contribute to this? To find the answer, we're about to get biological.
As you probably know, the skin on most of your body is covered in sweat glands, and the feet are no exception - in fact, they're brimming with them, packing upwards of two hundred and fifty thousand of those bad boys. With that kind of overload, your feet are going to sweat during the day, even if you don't exercise, nevermind for those of us with more physically active lifestyles - and they'll get especially sweaty if they're cooped up in a shoe without a pair of fuzzy socks for hours at a time with little to no air circulation. Normally, a good pair of fuzzy socks would function to absorb a lot of that sweat, and as long as you change said fuzzy socks regularly (as we pray that you do - no sock deserves that), foot odor ceases to be a problem for most people. But once you take your socks out of the equation, all of that sweat if going to be absorbed by - you guessed it - the leather of that nice, expensive shoe you've got on with no dress socks. Repeat enough times and you're going to have a biological weapon on your hands (or on your feet, if you'll pardon the terrible pun).
There's thankfully a variety of products and processes available to combat this particular problem, starting with not wearing the same pair of shoes every day. Leather needs 24-48 hours in a warm and (this is crucial, gentleman) low-humidity place to dry out properly and stop those bacteria from multiplying and ruining your favorite kicks. If you want to speed up the process and get them back into action a little faster, a low-tech and low-cost hack is to pack them (not too tightly) with wads of newspaper. As you can imagine, it'll do a fantastic job of absorbing that excess moisture. Remove and replace old newspapers with new ones regularly, though - if you leave them in, you might as well not have taken the shoes (or those colorful socks) off in the first place.
SOCKLESS DANGER 2: THE FOOT ROT
This entry's title sounds like another terrible SyFy Original Movie, but the reality is much, much worse. For the lucky individuals who've never had to deal with it (science hats back on, gents), this disease is also known as Athlete's Foot. It's caused by a fungus which naturally lives on everybody's skin, but usually not in any number or amount significant enough to cause problems. It's when the fungus (scientific name tinea pedis) is given the right environment to breed and multiply that things start to get serious - and there is literally no environment more ideal for those fungi to settle down, put some Fungus Marvin Gay on and make love than the dark, warm, moist, and poorly-aerated insides of shoes sans socks. The best-known symptom of this fungal infection is redness and peeling of the skin between your toes, and, if left unchecked, it'll spread across the whole bottom of the toe and parts of your soles as well. Even toe socks won't save you here, as the best athletes have been known to get Athlete's foot despite their moisture-absorbing socks. All that peeling skin will set up a convenient breeding ground for a secondary bacterial infection, it can spread to your nails, making them go yellow and crack... and did we mention the itch? It's itchy, you guys, real itchy. In fact, the same devious fungi (with a little help from unwary and unaware men) will happily spread to your crotch area and wreak havoc there too; tinea pedis is the proud cause of the infamous "jock itch", too, and the legend will become your reality if you're not careful. It's a situation you want to avoid, is what we're saying.
This one can be a little trickier, but with care, you'll be avoiding athlete's foot with the best of them. Once again (and we really can't overstress this one, ladies and germs), moisture is your enemy here; without enough of it, tinea pedis just won't have the right stuff to get intimate all over your skin like it so desperately wants to. Therefore, both pieces of advice we gave for the previous problem can successfully be applied here: since you won't have any dress socks to change, alternate between at least two pairs of shoes on different days and keep the ones you're not wearing in a warm, dry place (direct sunlight, if possible - it helps to think of the fungi as tiny vampires and your sweaty shoes as the dark, dank crypt they'd love to inhabit). Get some newspapers or a quality foot powder in there too - hey, no one said looking cool comes easy, hot shot.
Foot hygiene, in case you haven't figured that one out on your own yet, is another huge part in the prevention of Athlete's Foot, so make sure you're washing your feet regularly. Preferably every time you take your shoes off, and with a good, strong antibacterial soap. Give them time to dry thoroughly before putting your shoes back on though, or else you might as well not have bothered washing them in the first place. It's all that, or stock up on the antifungal creams.
SOCKLESS DANGER 3: LOOKING LIKE A TOOL
The last entry on our list might seem somewhat laughable, but realistically it might be the biggest danger out there. The sockless look undoubtedly has its charm and can be pulled off neatly and nicely with the correct ensemble - but get it wrong, and all you've achieved is needlessly giving up your favorite fuzzy socks and colorful dress socks. It's like wearing toe socks with your sandals: some things just aren't done.
The solution to this sockless danger is less clear-cut than the other ones because it comes down to your personal sense of fashion more than anything else. If you're going to wear shoes without socks (be they fuzzy socks, men's dress socks or toe socks), you've got to match the rest of your clothing to that look, and match it well. For a start, that means no hipster pants - I'm talking about the "carrot cut", the ones with too much space around your butt and not enough at the calves. If you want to go out in loafers sans dress socks or funky men's socks, you'll need a pair of pants that cling to your leg all the way, preferably with a low-cut waist. As for length, why are you going out without your fuzzy socks if you're not gonna show that fact off? Pants that end somewhat above the ankle are the right choice here, just make sure that ankle is appropriately tanned before the season starts.
All in all, the "fancy shoes with no dress socks" look is one that can be great for you - if you take the right precautions. With a little forward thinking and preparation, though, you'll be pulling it off like a pro. Just remember it's not a must - a nice pair of colorful dress socks will go great with that look too, with far fewer risks.
HONORABLE MENTION: THE ANKLE SOCK
This is a cheat, there's no doubt about it, but it could be the perfect solution to many of the problems listed above: the ankle sock, AKA the invisible sock. While not as comfortable as a fuzzy sock and definitely not as cool as toe socks, these socks are small and discrete enough to almost never be noticed, even in a pair of low-top shoes. There are several brands that do a great job of manufacturing these, so shop around and see which one you like best. Who knows? The best solution to the risks of going sockless might be not going sockless at all, just choosing our socks a bit more wisely.