Why Won’t My Child Wear Socks?

 Mother holding toddler having a tantrum while pulling off sock

What to Do When Your Kid Won’t Wear Socks

What may seem like a simple part of your morning routine may be a major source of stress for your child. Putting on socks and shoes is a complex process for little kids, especially toddlers. It may lead to long screaming fits solved only by a calming yet annoying tune about a baby shark, or something similar.

When your child refuses to wear socks, it’s important to find out why that little piece of fabric bothers them so much. There are several ways you can get your toddler to finally enjoy wearing their socks, and shoe inserts that replace socks like FLAT SOCKS Kids are the easiest, most hassle-free solution for kids who hate socks.

Reasons Why Kids Hate Socks

Every child is unique. One kid’s reason for hating socks might be different from another’s. The following are a few common explanations for why some children don’t like having socks on their feet.

Girl sitting on bed with bare feet crying and pointing at the floor

A Need for Independence

Clinical psychologist and parenting expert Wendy Mogel suggests that young children who are overscheduled, overindulged, and under constant pressure to achieve may show their need for independence through tantrums, particularly over wearing socks.

A lack of responsibility and play time outside of sports, academics, or concerts leaves some children feeling too dependent and somewhat resentful. According to Mogel, “Parents find themselves caught in a situation where kids are saying, ‘You can make me do a lot of things, but you can’t make me put on socks.’”

Sensory Issues

Kids aren’t used to wearing socks and shoes like adults are, so toddlers may find the feeling of socks on their feet overwhelming. The strong sensation of a rigid toe seam, tight ankle cuff, or wrinkled fabric feels unbearable to kids with sensitive feet. FLAT SOCKS Kids are non-slip and go in your shoes instead of on your feet, eliminating these common sock problems.

Your child might also dislike wearing socks if they have sensory processing issues. Kids with hypersensitivity may respond to certain textures, sights, sounds or smells in a more intense manner than children with normal sensory responsivity. Your child might perceive wearing socks as “painful.” What you see as overreacting is their way of communicating that they feel overstimulated.

It’s (Not) A Phase, Mom

Chances are, you don’t remember the days when you used to kick and scream at your parents about wearing socks. Most kids are unable to put on socks on their own until at least three years old due to the development of the brain and fine motor skills. Eventually, they move out of this phase and before you know it, they’ll be asking to borrow the car keys.

Shoes Are Too Tight

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes one size bigger than usual just to make sure there was room for your socks, too? Sometimes, going up half a size makes your child’s shoe feel a lot less cramped, giving their piggies room to wriggle and enabling them to wear socks without their feet feeling constricted.

Are Socks Even Necessary?

Perhaps you’ve given into your kid’s ruthless tantrums a time or two and let them go commando in their Stride Rites or wear crocs to school. We’ve all broken once or twice, but you really should consider why you should wear socks, including:

  • Warmth: On colder days, wearing socks can keep those tiny tootsies warm especially when going out to play in the snow. FLAT SOCKS Kids can be worn with other socks for added padding in winter boots or shoes, as well.
  • Blister Protection: Socks provide a soft, padded barrier, protecting kid’s feet from rubbing inside their shoes and causing painful blisters.
  • School Dress Codes: Many schools require kids to wear socks and closed-toe shoes to keep their feet protected as they run and play throughout the school day.
  • Extra Cushioning: While most children's socks are pretty thin, FLAT SOCKS Kids have a soft layer of foam that may provide some cushioning for growing joints.

Little girl putting on socks

How to Get Your Child to Wear Socks

Try working with your child to find out why socks bother them. This can be a good bonding experience and makes kids with hypersensitivity feel more supported. Five easy ways you can help kids get over their sock fear and actually enjoy wearing them include:

  1. Encourage Independence – Kids with a sense of independence are more likely to take on responsibilities like putting on their own socks. Getting to choose what they wear makes them more prone to wanting to wear that outfit, too. Only help them as much as they need the help.
  2. Understand Their Emotions – When you place an expectation on your child around something they believe to be painful, it can cause a lot of frustration. This big source of anxiety and stress is easier to resolve when you show your child that you understand what they’re feeling.
  3. Choose FLAT SOCKS Kids – Eliminate daily sock tantrums with FLAT SOCKS Kids. The best sock for kids who hate socks, they feature a slim, no-slip design and soft, cushy feel. Plus, your child will have an easy time putting these barefoot shoe inserts inside their shoe all on their own.
  4. Buy the Right Shoes – The wrong size shoe can affect how socks feel on the feet. Consider choosing children’s shoes that are easy for them to put on alone like slip-ons, rubber boots, or tennis shoes with Velcro straps.
  5. Make Socks Fun – Why not have a totally awesome Outerspace sock to go with those light up shoes? Socks with fun patterns allow your kid to dress up and play every day, making socks fun! FLAT SOCKS Kids feature cool designs like rainbows, paint splatter, dinosaurs, and more.

Boy placing FLAT SOCKS into shoe

The Ultimate Socks for Kids Who Hate Socks

Imagine a morning without endless tears or shoes being thrown across the room all because someone’s socks are on the wrong way, fitting weird, or on at all. FLAT SOCKS Kids are a sockless shoe insole for toddlers and children that substitute or replace the need to wear socks over your kid's feet. The trimmable design makes it so you don’t have to worry about sizing problems. Plus, they’re super easy to slip right inside your kid’s shoes before heading out the door.

Boy placing Outerspace kid’s sockless shoe insole inside shoe

Want a barefoot shoe insert for yourself, too? Check out original FLAT SOCKS in a range of colors and prints for a no slip, no stink, no show sock that sets your feet free.


Stevens, Heidi. (2017, May 8) Why kids rebel against tyranny of socks. Chicago Tribune.

Children’s Hospital of Orange County – Developmental Milestones: Dressing Skills

Pietro, S. (2016, February 2). Sensory Processing FAQ. Child Mind Institute; Child Mind Institute.