What Socks to Wear with Boat Shoes

Boat shoes have become a well-known summer staple, just as visible on the high-street as they are on the deck of a boat. They are incredibly comfortable, stylishly casual shoes that give off a relaxed, preppy image. 

Though boat shoes look relatively similar to loafers, there are some key differences that set them apart and classify them as purely casual footwear. 

Firstly, they are lace-up shoes, while loafers are built without laces - boat shoes are ALWAYS laced.

Secondly, the soles of boat shoes are razor cut (siped) to provide better grip - imagine wearing smooth-soled shoes on the slippery deck of a boat... 

And that’s it! 

They’re both excellent footwear choices when it comes to comfort, but boat shoes are purely for casual wear and should not be paired with a suit. So, with that in mind, what socks should you wear with boat shoes…?

Choosing socks to wear with boat shoes

Choosing socks to wear with boat shoes largely follows the same rules as with pairing socks and loafers. However, since boat shoes are purely for casual wear and are by their very nature less versatile a footwear choice than loafers, you should bear this firmly in mind.

Indeed, boat shoes lend themselves to being worn without any socks at all - they are breathable and comfortable both with or without socks, though we would recommend slipping on a pair to ensure that both your shoes and your feet don’t start to stink!

Therefore, the classic look with a boat shoe is to have the ankle on display (either by pairing with shorts or with rolled-up trousers), with no (visible) sock being worn. However, this classic look can be challenged to provide a truly preppy classic look - if done in the right way. 

Types of sock to pair with boat shoes

With that in mind, your first choice of sock to pair with your new boat shoes should be a no-show sock. These socks are purely functional, with the aim of providing your feet with greater comfort, preventing slippage within the shoe - and helping your feet and shoes to fight potential stink! No shows are designed never to be seen, so colour isn’t as important with your other sock choices. However, you should try to pick up no-show socks in neutral colours to pair with the colour of your boat shoes - just in case they are seen. Often, white is the best choice.

If you want to opt for a more preppy look, then you should look for crew-cut socks in muted, pastel colours. You can pair boat shoes with white crew socks and jeans for a stylish look, or - if you’re feeling adventurous - go the whole hog and pair them with some stone shorts and a polo shirt to emulate that preppy 80s classic look. Just make sure that the socks don’t steal the show - the colours you choose should compliment your boat shoes, shorts and shirt. White is the perfect choice, once again, but pastel colours are also excellent options - lighter brown and grey tones are great choices. 

Best socks to wear with boat shoes

So, let’s take a look at some of our top Pants&Socks recommendations for socks that you can pair with your shiny new boat shoes:

1. BOSS Men’s Invisible Socks

BOSS Men’s Invisible Socks

Naturally, our first port of call (port… like where boats dock…?) is an excellent pair of no-show socks by BOSS. We’d recommend picking these up in white - but since they’re designed to remain invisible beneath the line of your boat shoe, you can get away with black for sure. 

These socks are trimmed with silicone on their interior for enhanced grip, so you won’t have to worry about the socks slipping off your feet within the boat shoes. The combed cotton, meanwhile, provides the gold-standard in comfort and breathability for your feet - and the yarn utilised is certified sustainable - a great bonus. To complete the look, the BOSS logo is stitched subtly near the toe. 

2. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Footie Socks

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Footie Socks

Aren’t we great? Here's excellent choice for a slightly better value no-show sock to pair with your new boat shoes. More silicone grip in the heel will keep these socks in place and hand-linked stitching provides extra durability. 

These Tommy Hilfiger Footies also come in an extra colour - ‘jeans’ - for added versatility if you choose a navy toned boat shoe.  

3. Panos Emporio Organic Cotton Men’s Tennis Crew Socks

Panos Emporio Organic Cotton Men’s Tennis Crew Socks

If you want to opt for that classic preppy look, then these crew socks by Panos Emporio fit the bill perfectly with their clean, white, ribbed construction that’s just itching to be pulled up your legs. 

The Panos Emporio logo is subtly embroidered into the leg for a minimalist look and the clean white will pair perfectly with any boat shoe - white is the most versatile colour of sock, after all. 

Moreover, the organic cotton used is GOTS certified and incredibly kind to Mother Nature, grown without the use of pesticides or toxic fertilisers that may harm the environment. And, of course, it is incredibly soft, breathable and comfortable. 

 4. FALKE Walkie Light Men’s Socks

FALKE Walkie Light Men’s Socks

Slightly less preppy in design than the Panos Emporio Tennis Crew socks, but coming in a wider range of pastel colours, FALKE’s Walkie Light socks are not only incredibly versatile, but perhaps some of the most comfortable socks you can wear in 2022.

Stitched from top-of-the-range merino wool for comfort, durability and breathability, these Walkie Lights are perfect to pair with your boat shoes for a more understated preppy look. We’d recommend picking them up in either ‘sand’, ‘graphite’ or ‘ivory’ - these will go perfectly with brown leather and stone coloured shorts. 

What socks will you wear?

Whether you’re opting for a classic no-show look or want to emulate the classic preppy looks of the 80s, boat shoes are incredibly versatile in the casual space. While it is inadvisable to wear socks that clash with your shoes or outfit, you still have plenty of options when choosing the perfect socks for your new boat shoes. 

For the no-show look, we’d recommend some BOSS Invisible socks in white, or Tommy Hilfiger’s Footies. Both are excellent options, with BOSS providing added quality and TH better value and more colour options. 

If you want preppy, yet clean, either Panos Emporio or FALKE are the perfect choice. Both create incredibly high-quality socks in both clean white and appropriate pastel colours to pair with your boat shoes. 

So,which look will you choose? 

Now that you’re clued-up on how to wear socks with boat shoes, you can browse our full range of socks. And, if you want more helpful tips and tricks for both pants and socks, you can check out the rest of our Below the Belt Blog

Now, look lively, sailor and report to the deck in your new boat shoes and socks combo!