Foreigners are surprised: why do Russians wear socks under sandals?

Foreigners are surprised: why do Russians wear socks under sandals?

By the dubious combination of summer shoes with socks, Russian tourists are still recognized abroad: the anti-trend, which gave rise to many jokes and memes, is widespread in the post-Soviet space. Fashion historians have found out that we have been wearing sandals complete with socks since the 80s – for reasons of convenience and hygiene, and also because of Soviet conservatism, which denied the “capitalist order”.

Comfort vs beauty

When asked why they wear socks under sandals, our men answer very simply: firstly, it is convenient. Shoes do not rub, feet are not covered with street dust. “Most of the adult men who wear sandals with socks were born and spent part of their lives in a situation of scarcity, when it was not easy to buy good shoes, and to buy comfortable shoes is almost impossible. Therefore, they managed with sandals on socks. The hard times are over, but the habit remains,” the stylists explain.

Russians are not too worried about aesthetics and compliance with fashion trends: “Russian guys do not chase fashion, they dress in a way that is comfortable,” writes a user of one of the Russian forums.

Not only Russians

However, socks with sandals are not only a Russian feature: practical Germans also combine them in this way. Light open shoes, white socks and shorts – in this form, German tourists walk around abroad. They just want to feel as comfortable as possible, like in slippers, experts from the fashion world say. “The Germans have always had a weakness for comfortable functional things. And orthopedic sandals with cotton socks are just what you need: the socks protect against dirt and dust, and thanks to them you won’t rub your feet, ”says Lena Seemann, head of fashion at Vogue Germany. With the light hand of our designers, who beat the Soviet understanding of fashion, socks with sandals appeared on fashion catwalks. But in the West, this ironic interpretation was taken seriously, and from time to time even stars can be seen in such sets: Kanye West, Bruce Willis, David Beckham and even Justin Bieber were seen wearing socks under sandals.

But there is also a softer approach: socks with sandals are a perfectly acceptable option if you wear them correctly and do not wear, for example, white and black. The main thing is to avoid contrasts and choose socks either to match the skin tone or the color of the sandals.

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