"Do I want to be fast or slow?"
That is the first question you should ask yourself when considering whether or not to take the time in transition putting socks on.
With that being said, wearing socks doesn't mean you are slow!
There are loads of advantages to both wearing and not wearing socks.
An advantage to not wearing socks is you'll be faster through transition. When it comes to shorter races (Olympic and shorter) these transitions can make a huge difference.
Lauren and I have both been beat in swim, bike and run, but because we had faster transitions had a faster overall time, putting us on the podium!
Another advantage is you don't get the soggy, squishy sock feeling as you dump copious amounts of water on yourself during hot races.
Disadvantage of not wearing socks? Blisters. And other discomforts.
Ultimately, to run your fastest you need to be comfortable, no matter the race distance.
This is why, for longer distance races, I like to recommend taking the time to put socks on. If you lose 30 seconds in transition, but can run 10-20 seconds per mile faster (or more!) because you aren't dealing with hot spots and blisters it's a huge win!
Are socks right for you? Make the choice that will enable you to run your best race.
And of course, always practice the way you plan to race!