The style and comfort of Hey Dudes make them one of the most versatile shoes to add to your wardrobe, but for many first time owners they can feel a bit tricky to style at first. When I got my first pair of Hey Dudes I was confused if I should wear them with socks or not?
Hey Dude’s shoe design makes it possible to walk around sock free, whilst also providing enough room inside the shoe to add socks should you wish. Various benefits like the breathable materials, removable sole, and lightweight design make sockless strolling possible, but customers should still be cautious with sweat which may cause a build up of odors inside the shoe.
Personally I like to wear mine with ankle socks, to protect the inner lining from foot sweat.
In terms of fashion, wearing your Hey Dudes with or without socks is totally fine, depending on your preference. It should be noted however that ankle socks or no show socks tend to look best with these shoes, as I demonstrate in the below image:
Of course, fashion is subjective and some might like the full sock look with their Hey Dudes (as pictured above), but if you prefer the ankle sock and Hey Dude combination like me, you can get my unisex ankle socks on Amazon here.
Here is a video of me showing how Hey Dudes look when paired with different socks, so you can get a good visual before making your decision on how to wear them for yourself:
Let’s delve into the design details that make it possible to wear Hey Dudes sockless and what to look out for when doing so; after all, just because you can wear Hey Dudes without socks doesn’t mean that it’s always the best option. It all depends on occasion, practicality, potential cleaning requirements and fashion faux pas.
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Should You Wear Hey Dudes With Or Without Socks?
The versatility of the Hey Dude models makes it possible to roam freely without socks or make a more elegant and professional statement with them. Hey Dudes are incredibly comfortable for everyday outings and have a design that looks simple enough for some business casual gatherings too.
However, what was the shoe initially designed for? Is it preferable to wear socks with Hey Dudes, or did the designers intend for users to wear them barefoot?
Simply put, Hey Dudes were designed to be versatile. The decision to wear socks is entirely up to the customer and what situation they are dressing for. Hey Dude’s design has various benefits that make both options equally effective and desirable; however, most customers are concerned with how they feel without socks.
For example, wearing most shoes without socks can cause discomfort with the interior scathing and bruising the heels and upper. Moreover, shoes with a tight grip are prone to sweat build-up, resulting in odors.
Luckily, Hey Dude has various qualities that make them stand out above the competition, especially regarding versatility. Their design allows users to wear them without socks comfortably, and the breathable materials will reduce sweat build up inside the shoes.
However, wearing closed shoes without socks, under any circumstances, has disadvantages regardless of how practical or versatile the shoe is (more on this to come).
Your may also like: Do Hey Dudes Run Big Or Small? (Photos & Size Chart)
So, even though you can wear Hey Dudes without socks, you need to be aware of the consequences when moving around for long periods, as no shoe can altogether avoid the wear and tear of daily use. Let’s look at Hey Dude’s qualities that make them appropriate for various scenarios.
Hey Dude Design features
Various design features make Hey Dudes appropriate for different outings, and for wearing with or without socks.
Firstly, the interior materials are comfortable and have a soft feel on your feet. Whether it’s a canvas, textile, or Polyester blend, the materials ensure that your feet won’t get hurt when using Hey Dudes Sock-free. Plus the materials feel flexible and snug when worn with socks too, as there is ample space inside the Hey Dudes to add a layer over your feet.
Some of the models Hey Dude provides have a leather lining on the outside and foam lining on the inside. This is a benefit for most customers as the design looks quite formal, but the feel is similar to the slippers you’ll wear at home. As a result, whether you choose socks or not, the shoes are effectively lined and cushioned, resulting in a soft interior that won’t hurt your feet.
The shoe’s upper is exceptionally flexible, primarily due to the innovative flex-&- fold technology Hey Dude is known for. It bends and stretches with your movement to avoid pressure on the feet.
A flexible upper is beneficial when wearing socks or no socks, as wearing thick socks can diminish the width within the shoe, and wearing no socks means your feet will come in direct contact with the upper. Whether your socks are a bit thicker than usual will not be a massive problem as the upper flexes with your movement, nor will it push against your bare feet when moving.
The ultra-light sole almost makes it feel like you’re not even wearing shoes. Although this is ideal for customers who prefer wearing socks, as it adds to the general comfort of the shoe, it’s most beneficial for those who prefer no socks as your bare feet won’t carry unnecessary weight, causing tension on the arch of your feet.
If the soles of the shoes are pretty heavy, lifting them with your feet will cause your arch to push harder against the upper. If you are not wearing socks, you can cause the arch to bruise over time as it will constantly have to lift the weight of the sole. Luckily, Hey Dude’s design makes moving light resulting in less tension.
The removable insole is beneficial for many reasons. Not only is the standard insole of Hey Dude made of memory foam, but you can remove it for a more effective option depending on your choice. If you intend on spending time walking the city, you can keep the Hey Dude sole and add socks to increase your comfort and look stylish.
On the other hand, if you want to spend a day at the beach, you can replace the sole with an exercise sweat absorbent sole and slip your bare feet into the Hey Dudes.
However, it’s not necessary to make adjustments to the standard Hey Dudes if you intend to use them barefoot. Without alterations, Hey Dudes can be worn without socks because the design lends itself to this option.
Is It Fashionable To Wear Hey Dudes Without Socks?
It’s not unusual to see customers walking around with Hey Dudes without socks, but how fashionable is this look? Many people enjoy wearing socks with their sandals, but most find it distasteful, not to mention unprofessional. So, even though it’s common to wear Hey Dudes without socks, is it fashionable?
It has become more popular for men and women to wear shoes without socks, especially during the summer, but some general guidelines ensure they look stylish. The most basic guideline is to wear shorts or crop pants. The goal is to accent the ankle while not attracting too much attention.
Wearing dress shoes without socks has become a popular trend among men, which inspired other customers to do the same with different brands of shoes. Although loafers have been a popular choice with shorts long before the dress shoe trend, it did help to cement the no-sock style with popular brands like Hey Dude.
Most sockless shoe trends follow a similar style, whether it includes your basic causal style for men or even a more popular style with sports shoes like fashion designer Melody Ehsani is known for displaying. The trick is to crop the pants slightly to accent the ankle and tighten it around the ankle to avoid the pants flapping.
In other words, if you intend to walk around sockless, don’t wear normal pants with loose openings.
In addition, the color choices are also vital as you can make the shoe a centerpiece in your style if you favor a fashion statement. One of the benefits of Hey Dudes is that they have a wide variety of patterns and colors, making them ideal for a combination of styles.
Therefore, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Wearing Hey Dudes without socks is a fashionable choice, and due to the nature and design of the shoe, it’s even more appropriate and applicable than other fashion trends like sports shoes and dress shoes.
What Is The Best Style Sock For Hey Dudes With Shorts?
Although we’ve established that Hey Dudes were designed to accommodate ‘sockless’ walking as well as the fact that it’s fashionable to wear them this way, many people prefer to wear socks no matter the weather (this is definitely the case for me!).
Generally speaking, if you are going to wear long pants with Hey Dudes, it doesn’t matter which socks you use as they will be covered. Break out the crazy patterns and go nuts!
However when you’re wearing shorts standard socks look a bit odd, and in my experience some ‘no-show’ socks that don’t connect at the ankle tend to slip out of place when moving too. So, what are the best socks to use with Hey Dudes if you’re wearing shorts?
Lightweight ankle socks are great options when wearing Wallys and Wendys; depending on how loose your shoe is, you might require thicker options, but a part of the sock will stick out above the top.
Here’s how my Hey Dudes Wallys look with ankle socks:
However, most ankle socks will only show a small layer just above the shoe, which looks great in my opinion.
On the other hand, famous no-show socks (or secret socks) that tighten around the arch of your feet instead of the ankle are better options as they are generally cooler, more convenient, and stylish compared to the others, as they create a seamless invisible look.
It’s important to ensure that you buy a brand that has a strong elastic stretch that keeps the sock in place, as your heel and arch are not as stable as your ankle. Socks slipping off throughout the day is super annoying!
Why Hey Dudes Work Well Without Socks
The primary concern for customers when it comes to wearing socks without shoes is the odor. Besides the design that needs to be comfortable enough to avoid bruises on the feet, wearing shoes without socks builds up a lot of sweat, and if there is no sock to capture most of it, it leaves stains on the materials and causes the shoe to stink over time.
Therefore for a shoe to work well without socks you need two components in the design; proper air circulation and washable materials.
The design of the most popular Hey Dude models (Wendy & Wally) not only have materials that are soft but also breathable. The breathable materials allow air to circulate through the shoe keeping the interior cool and, most importantly, dry. If the sweat inside the shoes stays moist without proper circulation, it will stain the materials and admit an odor.
In addition, Hey Dude’s complete design is washable. The ultra-light sole combined with the flex and fold technology makes washing them extremely easy, and the materials were specifically modified to withstand the rigidness of a washing machine and the chemicals of the soap.
As a result you can comfortably and confidently wear Hey Dudes without socks and if they start to smell over time, as all shoes will, you just throw them in the wash without fearing you’ll damage the quality.
Why Should I Wear Socks With Hey Dudes?
Besides the fact that wearing socks is generally considered more formal, there are general aspects you should consider when wearing socks with Hey Dudes.
In general, you decrease the chances of friction when wearing socks. Even though Hey Dudes offer cushioning and soft materials, wearing socks will prevent unnecessary bruising.
Moreover, depending on the thickness of the sock, it adds extra layers, which result in a tighter grip. If your Hey Dudes feel a little loose you may want to add socks to make up the space.
Remember that the shoes have an easy-on action meaning you can’t tighten the grip once the shoe is on; therefore, it’s beneficial to wear socks to increase the snugness as the wear and tear over time causes the shoe to loosen.
The extra cushioning that socks provide makes the whole shoe feel a little more stable when worn. Hey Dudes don’t offer half sizes, meaning the shoes might feel loose without the added layer of a sock for those who are in-between sizes.
In addition, allowing your socks to absorb sweat is much better than the shoe itself, as socks are cheaper and can be replaced (and cleaned!) more easily. Although Hey Dudes can be washed, it’s more convenient to replace and clean the socks, not to mention protecting your Hey Dudes from foot sweat increases the longevity and usability of the shoe.
The Best Hey Dudes To Wear Without Socks
Although different Hey Dude models are made for men and women, the core structure is very similar, meaning they have an identical form with similar materials.
For example, the Wendy model for women has a slightly altered design to the Wally, but it still consists of all the beneficial elements that make it a great shoe to wear without socks. The Wally and Wendy are the most popular models of Hey Dude and are synonymous with the brand. They are iconic!
Both these models have a removable insole, cushioned interior, and, most importantly, a washable quality. Both are designed with an easy-on action, allowing you to slip them on easily.
Putting them on can be challenging if your bare feet are wet, as the dampness might result in resistance when trying to slip them past the leather lining, but the stretchable materials will aid with that.
Both these models will look quite stylish with shorts if you favor ditching the socks for a summer outing. The breathable materials will provide enough circulation, especially in hot weather.
The men’s Paul and the women’s Karina models have a more traditional sneaker look which might be more appropriate with socks. Still, they have similar characteristics to Wally and Wendy, making it possible to wear them without them.
Then, of course, the obvious models like the women’s slip-on and the men’s sandals are specially designed for sockless usage, but they lack some of the favorable characteristics Hey Dude is known for.
The Best Hey Dudes To Wear With Socks
Hey Dude has models they refer to as ‘boots’ for male and female customers. Although the models are categorized under the same name, they look significantly different.
The male boots have a traditional style and design, making them more appropriate with socks. The boots have a breathable quality, but due to the height and thickness, they won’t be as effective without socks as the Wally’s.
Most male boots, like the Scott and Duke Shield, are lined with wool making them too warm for barefoot summer strolls. The material is still breathable, but wearing socks is advised as customers will be prone to scathing and bruising, mainly due to the increased weight and materials surrounding the ankles.
Overall, the men’s boots are designed to increase the warmth within the shoe’s interior, making it more appropriate during the winter as the sweat build-up will soak into the wool a lot during the summer. Therefore, socks will be necessary regardless of the season.
On the other hand, women’s boots are much more like a slipper than men’s working boots. However, a thick wool lining surrounds the ankle, so you’ll have a similar issue to that of the men’s boot.
The wool tends to increase the sweat build-up as it is warmer than the other materials. As a result, you’ll be much more prone to odors when using boots sockless than the other models.
Another factor to consider as well is that Hey Dude does not indicate that the boots are washable, meaning that any odor problem that will arise from wearing them sock-free will be difficult to fix.
The most popular Hey Dudes shoe models can be worn with or without socks. The qualities and design of the shoes allow customers to use them for various occasions as well as clean them easily should foot odor build up as a result of not wearing socks. Proper air circulation and the washable quality makes it possible to wear them sock free consistently, and the style also allows for a more formal ‘sock-wearing’ occasions.
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Lorna is a footwear geek and the founder of Wearably Weird. She created a YouTube channel in 2021 for fellow footwear fanatics, dedicated to detail-rich footwear reviews and info. She has a fashion media qualification (awarded in 2011).