Can You Wear Socks In The Pool?

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The pool water serves as a near-perfect replacement for water in the sea, hence the reason why we take out time especially in the summer to cool off. As clean as the water may look, you may notice a strange occurrence of some people wearing socks in a public pool and will make you wonder if it is healthy or acceptable to wear them in the pool.

It is absolutely normal if these questions run through your mind, after all, most people don’t wear socks to swim. Another big question that will make you search the net for answers regarding this is – Can you wear socks in the pool?

The answer is quite simple, socks are allowed to be worn in public pools, however, there are specially designed socks, not the regular ones you normally wear inside your shoes or for bedtime. Thus, you should not wear regular socks to a public swimming pool.

Here is why- These common socks are made of mainly cotton material, which when loosen and broken-off can cause problems to the pool filtration system. 

Not quite often, would you see people wearing socks in the pool, but it does happen from time to time and you may wonder why some public pools have outlawed the use of socks in the pool. Read until the end to know other reasons why ordinary socks are not acceptable to be worn in public pools and why you shouldn’t wear them even in a private pool.

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Why am I not allowed to wear regular socks in the pool?

Originally, socks is essential clothing designed to be worn on land, there’re far from serving the purpose of swimming in public pools. This is because, as you may already know, regular socks have adverse effects on the pool filtration system and other additional effects which we’ll discuss below.

1. They bring external contaminants into the pool.

Water pollution is a major issue with wearing socks in the pool. Normally, any outside clothing carried into a pool may bring in bacteria, germs, microorganisms, and even chemicals that poses threat to our health. Keeping the pool safe and healthy should be our major concern considering the health-related hazards that can come with failure to do such.

If everyone decides to wear their normal clothing to the pool, there’s no telling how many amounts of bacteria and pathogens would be lurking above and beneath the pool.

 The Center for Disease Control and Prevention explained that these bacteria and pathogens could cause several related unpleasant symptoms which may include; diarrhea, cough, congestion, ear pain, eye pain, skin rashes, or stomach ache.

Although there’s no doubt that public pools are equipped with chlorine, which serves to purify water, it can only do so much. Once impurities become overloaded in the pool water, it demands treatment or purification beyond chlorine alone. You should also know that most public pools are improperly treated more often than you could imagine.

Your socks may prevent damage from blisters, but it is surely not worth the risk of water contamination and infection. At the end of the day, you should be more concerned about your health and the health of other swimmers before diving into the pool with your socks on.

2. Regular socks can get lost in the pool

You risk losing your socks in the pool as they’re not exactly designed to remain on your feet underwater. Your socks are made of material from cotton and wool and once it gets soaked, it becomes relatively heavy. At the end of every swim, socks easily go missing due to this extra weight, which can cause the socks to pull out easily. 

You wouldn’t want to come across it when you’re having your swim especially if it is not yours. Contamination risk and filtration problems aside, socks floating on water are naturally repulsive. In a public pool, a certain measure of respect should be adhered to by everyone. 

Losing and leaving pair of clothing (s) inside the pool is a sign of disrespect to other people, which may easily offend them by irritation, and most people would even abandon swimming for that day totally.

3. The pool filtration system is clogged by Cotton fibers (from socks)

Socks, as we may know are made of materials from cotton and wool. Most socks averagely have 75% to 85% of cotton as composition. However, it may not be entirely made of 100% cotton, but this does not prevent problems relating to the filtration of pools.

You could see this problem with a quick experiment during laundry, when you remove your socks from the washing machine, you can see that the cotton material lines are still present in the water even after removing the socks from it.

Sadly, the effect of these lints from socks is even more active in pool water as a result of the high concentrations of chemical cleansers. The lint from the cotton will eventually find its way straight into the pool’s filters, this shouldn’t happen. 

You shouldn’t be worried about cotton alone, as there’s a significant amount of socks containing the composition of wool. Just as much as cotton, wool lints, will also cause the same complications associated with the filtration system.

Imagine if too many swimmers are wearing cotton or wool in the public pool, the lints from them will amass pretty quickly and such a high amount of lint can hurt the performance of the pool’s filtration system. It may even get to a point where pool maintainers would have to remove the lints manually.

To avoid such problems, it is natural that pool owners prohibit the use of cotton material, wool, and socks in the pool altogether. By this, they can save the filtration of the pool, expenses for maintenance, and the health of other swimmers alike.

Is wearing regular socks prohibited in pools?

Through the above explanations, you can tell that socks are a greater risk to several aspects in a public pool. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to see pool owners, place a strict prohibition on socks in pools. However, adherence to or effective ban on socks depends on the ideology of the management of the pool you’re using.

Officials, of some of these pools, are yet to know the consequences of socks in the pool, so they may not place a ban or stop people from wearing socks in the pool.

Generally, it is best to stick to not wearing socks in the pool even if there are no rules against it now that you are aware of the threat it poses. Wearing socks in public pools doesn’t only affect the health of others around or the filtration system, it also affects you too in many ways.

Your health will be at risk plus you wouldn’t want to damage the pool’s filtration system that could end the business or activities of your local public swimming pool. Then you would have to go far to get another public pool, sure thing is that we wouldn’t want that to happen.

What are the best socks to use in the pool?

Now that you’re aware of the fact that regular socks are not ideal for swimming in public pools, you may be interested in knowing if their alternative type of socks to wear that’ll be of no risk to the pool and at the same time keep your feet blister-free. The good news is that they’re specially designed socks for swimming that are not made of cotton or wool. 

These socks are a composition of materials that are more than suitable for use in the pool such as; polyester, elastane, spandex, and neoprene. The most popular and effective of the socks listed above is neoprene. It doesn’t only keep your feet balance but also maintains a suitable comfort.

It is specially designed as form-fitted so that it will not weigh down your feet unlike regular socks would do underwater. So if you want to swim in a public pool with your socks and without any negative consequences, you should go for any of the water socks listed above.

It may also interest you to know that there’s an alternative to water socks if you’re not comfortable with them. You can go for water shoes instead. Water shoes have more rigid soles, which make them more firm and stable compared to water socks. This extra stability may exactly be what you are looking for.

There are numerous types of water shoes you can choose from in markets and store these days. You can also order online from online stores with your specifications.

Whether you decide to go for water socks or water shoes, we suggest you conduct research on them; the right size, specifications, and design that fits you. The last thing you would want is to get into the pool only to notice that your footwear is too loose or too tight. 


Can you wear socks in the pool?

Yes, you can. However, you shouldn’t wear regular socks in the pool- this is because regular socks are made of cotton or wool that removes lints capable of contaminating the water or affecting the filtration system of the pool.

Instead, you should wear specially designed socks known as water socks or you can choose water shoes as another option. Whichever you go for, just ensure you don’t swim in that pool with regular socks.

What are pool socks?

Pool socks are specially designed socks manufactured specifically for swimming in the pool. Some people find it comfortable with swimming with socks in the pool, which made manufacturers came up with the idea of designing special socks in opposition to wearing regular socks in the pool, which according to research (regular socks) is partly responsible for causing problems in pools.

Does wearing socks in the pool affect our health?

Wearing water socks in the pool, poses no threat to our health, whereas regular socks have been proven to hurt our health.

Germs and bacteria are usually contained in regular socks and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,  these bacteria and pathogens could cause several related unpleasant symptoms which may include; diarrhea, cough, congestion, ear pain, eye pain, skin rashes, or stomach ache.

So we strongly advise that you swim in water socks instead, to avoid this.

Conclusion – Can You Wear Socks In The Pool?

Thankfully, manufacturers have come up with alternative socks to wear in the pool to avoid challenges caused by regular socks in public pools. Now, that you’re aware of the risk of wearing regular socks in the pool, inform others who are fond of swimming with regular socks, so that they don’t continue to contaminate the pool. Remember your health and the health of others are of greater importance!

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