Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)
Undesirability of Wearing one Shoe or Sock
1649. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "None of you should walk wearing one shoe; you should either wear them both or take them off both.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that it is undesirable to wear one shoe in one foot and leave the other foot uncovered because one does not look respectable in this condition, and cannot keep a balance in his gait. This is also bound to be exposed to ridicule.
1650. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "When the lace of one of the shoes of any one of you is cut off, he should not walk with the other until he has got the lace repaired.''
Commentary: The shoe-laces used in Arabia at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) were different from the ones which are used in modern times. The shoes were then so designed that they could not be used without laces. It was like a strap which kept the shoe tied to the foot, and if it was broken one could not use the footwear at all. For this reason, it was ordained by the Prophet (PBUH) that one should first get the strap repaired and then use the pair of his shoes. If this was not done, one would be then wearing one shoe and leaving his other foot bare. There is no harm, however, if one has to do this under some compulsion.
1651. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) forbade a person wearing (tying up) his shoe while standing.
[Abu Dawud with a good Isnad].
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that it is undesirable to put on one's shoes (or socks, etc.) in the standing position. Some religious scholars are of the opinion that this is more of an advice than an order. By prescribing the manners of wearing one's shoes, it has been illustrated that the Islamic teachings cover all spheres of life.