This is a post I’d intended to write all winter, but it kept getting bumped by other topics. Even though it’s now spring, you wouldn’t know by how it feels. So, I’ll slip this post in before spring really arrives.
What’s with going sockless outside in winter? I see people bundled up in down coats, scarves, hats, and gloves — very wise — but with nothing but flimsy shoes on their feet. By people, I mean mostly young women. I’ve seen a few men without socks in the cold — very few.
It’s not that I hadn’t noticed that going sockless is a fashion trend, but until this winter I hadn’t noticed it’s a year-round style.
In warm weather, I myself like to ditch the socks with any footwear but athletic shoes. But in winter, aren’t those sockless tootsies freezing?
Maybe some of these people are wearing no-show socks or foot liners, the low-cut thingies that fit completely within shoes. These leave ankles and the tops of feet still bare, though.
When I Googled “going without socks in winter weather,” I found this stupefying advice on one fashion site: “You can get away with the bare legs if only you keep the rest of your body nice and warm. This way the cold will only bother you in one region, while the rest of it will manage to get your through the icy weather until you reach warm shelter.”
When my feet are cold, the rest of me is cold.
Health specialists note the risks, besides discomfort, of exposing feet to winter cold. Researchers have linked cold feet with a weaker immune response and thus more susceptibility to infection and illness. Tissues injured by freezing temperatures can develop frostbite, with damages ranging from irritation and itching, to permanent insensitivity to cold or heat, to amputation. Chillblains are another risk; the blistering, swelling, red patches, and itching, if untreated, can result in infection and other damage.
If you’re going from an attached garage to an office parking lot, maybe your extremities don’t need protection. (But I still think it’s smart to have warm socks and shoes or boots in the car just in case of a breakdown.) The people I see emerging from the Red Line and the Blue Line staircases in the Loop, however, haven’t driven to work. How much trouble would it be to carry ballet flats (the style I notice most) to put on at the office? Many ballet flats are foldable and fit in a medium-sized bag. Or shoes can be left at the office. And aren’t boots fashionable?
This is sounding reproachful, and how can I know that other people must be miserably cold? Some online commentators say they aren’t comfortable in socks, whatever the weather. “I hate socks. People always comment on why I don’t wear socks and why I am not cold,” one wrote. “I never get cold because the rest of me is bundled up.”
I’ll admit it: I haven’t always been immune to choosing fashion over warmth. When I was in high school, buttoning our coats was a fashion faux pas. Still today I’ll occasionally leave my head uncovered if I’m going where hat hair would be an embarrassment.
It seems sad that still in 2018 there’s always some sacrifice to make in the name of fashion. Women help their feet by replacing heels with ballet flats and then endanger them by wearing the flats without socks in below-freezing temperatures. Wouldn’t it be nice if weather-appropriate dress, from head to toe, were fashionable?
ANTI-TRUMP QUOTATIONS: THE SIXTH IN AN ONGOING SERIES
I couldn’t decide between two this week.
“An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.”
— Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., on Trump’s congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection
“We don’t have a stable, reliable figure with whom we can work in the White House.”
— Representative Gerry Connolly, D-Va., about the frustration of putting time and effort into an immigration reform bill