Foot problems such as corns and calluses are generally harmless unless they cause you pain when you walk. They are also preventable problems, mainly through the use of properly fitting shoes and socks. However, many people really don't like socks, to the point of not wearing them whenever possible. Yet this one act is enough to make your feet develop more corns and calluses. Socks are not only used for looks and for warmth, but for cushioning as well. So, if you don't like wearing socks, you need to take extra steps to prevent foot problems.
Verify Your Shoe Size and Width
First, ensure you're wearing the right shoe size and shoe width. Shoes that rub against your skin create those corns and calluses, so you need footwear that doesn't rub up against your skin. Your shoes should be long enough to let your toes move freely, and the shoes should be wide enough so that you're not feeling the sides of the inside of the shoes against your feet. Many people know their shoe size but don't understand how shoe width plays a role in foot health.
Add Cushioned Insoles
Add cushioned insoles to the shoes you want to wear without socks. The insoles will add a protective layer for the sole of your foot, reducing the risk of plantar corns and calluses. These insoles last a few months or so, depending on how often you walk, and they are inexpensive. You may have seen them in drug stores and big box stores.
Change Your Walk
As funny as that sounds, it's true. Many people have a step that is not the best. Sometimes this is a matter of how their feet simply are; for example, sometimes people pronate or supinate naturally, and they need orthotics to help change their step. Other people, though, don't know any better and place pressure on the wrong parts of the feet when they walk because they never learned otherwise. You can go to a foot doctor to have your walk evaluated.
Re-evaluate Those Socks
If you don't want to wear socks because you don't like socks, that's your prerogative. However, if you don't want to wear socks because the ones you've been wearing create marks on your skin, make your feet feel uncomfortable, or create rashes, it could be the sock material or fit. Try non-binding socks that fit a little bit more loosely and see if those help.
If you're not sure where to start, visit a foot doctor or podiatrist to have your step and walking pattern evaluated and to get help with any existing foot issues. It's a cliche to say you need to start off on the right foot, but it's true. With proper care, your feet will be healthier, socks or not.