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Can You Wear Ankle Boots without Socks? Sure, But We’ve Got a Clever Trick to Try Instead
Christian Vierig / Getty Images

We’ve gotta say, we absolutely love showing a flash of skin between the top of our chic new ankle boots and the hem of our cropped jeans or flowy sweater dress. But such a streamlined look pretty much means you have to wear your ankle boots without socks, right? Not quite. Even if you prefer the no-sock look, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo the cozy necessity completely (yes, even for very short or deep-cut booties).

Can I wear ankle boots without socks?

Short answer: Sure, but it’s not a good idea. According to Dr. Ashley Bojrab, DPM, PPG – Podiatry, “Wearing socks keeps the feet dry and prevents conditions such as athlete’s foot. Going sockless can also result in conditions such as blisters or sores on the foot. Odor can develop if you don’t wear socks, since your feet have a lot of sweat glands.” So, yeah, blisters, fungal infections and smelly shoes don’t exactly make for a good time, no matter how chic you look sans socks.

So what are my options?

While we don’t advise skipping socks completely, there are definitely ways to at least make it look like you’re going barefoot in your booties.

Invest in a variety of no-show socks. There are a ton of different styles to choose from depending on the cut of your boots, that will still offer enough protection from blisters and the like. If the boot shaft comes up a bit higher, say right above the ankle bone, we recommend choosing socks that hit right at or below your ankle to provide as much coverage as possible without being seen. Even better if they have additional padding at the back to prevent slipping or rubbing along your heel.

For shorter booties or styles with a V-front, opt for a pair of low-cut socks more akin to peds (remember those little nylon slips you used to find at shoe stores?). Our favorites come with either a higher heel or a rubberized strip along the back, both of which prevent slippage, so you don’t have to worry about bending down to adjust your socks all day.

You should also consider the width of the opening of your boot. When you look down, do you suddenly see a flash of contrasting color? If you can see it, someone else might able to spot your socks, but luckily the solution is super simple: just choose socks that match either your skin tone or the color of your boot. Lauren Ralph Lauren and Hanes have plenty to choose from, but Etsy is really the place to go if you’re having trouble finding something that perfect shade.

Is there a way to make high socks look cute with ankle boots?

Absolutely! If you’re worried about irritation at the top of your boot shaft, consider a pair that matches the color and finish of your boots—so a matte black pair for black suede or satin-finish chocolate-hued socks for brown leather. Try to find socks that hit no further than one inch past the top of your boot. (If it goes too high, you could always fold down the top of your sock to hit exactly where you want.)

Of course, if you’d prefer to try out a peek-a-boo sock, why not have some fun with it? Brands like Happy Socks, Hysteria and Stance all specialize in hosiery that’s meant to be seen—think glittery lurex, vibrant color combinations, eye-catching patterns and other quirky little details. Test out different fabrics, prints and colors to see what looks best with your booties. And while we stand by our aforementioned one-inch rule, you could go a smidge higher if your “look at me!” socks are truly a sight to behold—especially if they’re trimmed with a touch of lace.

Shop our favorite no-show sock styles below to achieve the look of wearing ankle boots without socks in comfort and style.

RELATED: How to Wear Ankle Boots in 2020 (Including 2 Styles to Retire)

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