Down here in Exeter that rogue vagabond we like to call Summer has poked her head out once or twice to say hello, but then left us bare ankled in our boat shoes afterwards.
I think there's an argument that boat shoes can be worn year round. Sure I’m biased, but also stubborn. I don't go anywhere without a pair of my favourite deck shoes, and that means socks are a non-starter. I just can't bring myself to do it, my feet miss the unrestricted freedom that unlined leather quality boat shoes provide... After all, it's not like we often have to slug through snow here in Devon, but there are certainly some chilly mornings that I wish I wasn't so foolish.
I know what you're thinking, how do you go sockless year round without your deckies becoming a hazardous smell zone. It is a question my wife has certainly asked. I went in search of answers and found a great step by step strategy on the Art Of Manliness website:
1. Wash your feet, and repeat - No cheating, you have to dedicate time to specifically washing your feet every day. Don't skim over them in the shower, and an extra wash after a day out will certainly do no harm.
2. Mix up your shoe selection - When you go sockless you're wetting your shoes with sweat. Give them time to dry in between wearings. After all, if the shoe is wet, it's going to smell and by wearing them you'll just make them more pungent.
3. Help them dry with a cedar shoe tree or newspaper - Shoe trees are great for helping to maintain the shape of your shoes, and cedar ones will work double time to absorb the sweaty residual moisture from the lining of your shoes. Doesn't hurt that they smell nice as well. A wad of newspaper will do the trick if you don't have a shoe tree to hand.
4. Foot powders and sprays are your best friends - Look for ones which contain talcum, which will absorbs sweat, and baking soda which neutralises odour. A little bit of powder before you set off for the day will go a long way to help keeping your feet dry and stopping the odour before it starts.
Of course, all these steps work even better when you're starting with a new pair of shoes. With summer close enough for us to almost reach out and touch, feel comfortable to set aside your trusty standard brown deck shoes in favour of something with a little colour.
I personally enjoy soft washable leathers like these in the summer as they're nice and easy to look after no matter how active you are in the summer. Alcyone G2 in Pink is great with jeans for the ladies and Pacific G2 in Navy is great with chinos for men.
Feel free to comment below, we want to know where you wear your boat shoes, and how you wear them. If you've got photos please post them on our wall on Facebook, or Google+. Let us know if this guide has helped give you the confidence to ditch the socks for good.