The days are getting warmer, and I can't help but notice the overwhelming number of men wearing flip-flops out there on the streets. Though I'm happy to report fewer Croc sightings (read my Croc rant from last summer), it seems that rubber sabots are not just for surfers and rice farmers anymore.
I fully support equal-opportunity footwear for men and women, but I draw the line at flip-flops. Sure, they might be the most basic and popular form of footwear in the world, but I'm not happy that guys think it's okay to wear them out to dinner, or to work, or anywhere else in public with me for that matter. They kinda work well on the beach, at the pool or in your gym locker room, but for me personally, flip-flops look best on young women with small, tidy-looking, hairless feet and pretty pink toenails. Yes, I know they are cool and comfortable and go with everything, but they're also a little bit gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I am truly sympathetic that there aren't a lot of macho sandals available for men, but in my opinion, flip-flops are the second assault wave of Global Pyjamafication. It's bad enough that a growing population of men and women think it's okay to wear track suits and yogawear to work, or to a nice restaurant. I'm sorry, but it's not okay to wear shower shoes either. So let's look at the options:
Sport sandals: Also known as "mandals" - they're great for hiking, camping, weekends, etc., but they leave that black gunk all over your feet and between the toes, so you might as well wear sneakers.
Fisherman sandals (aka Jesus slippers): The leather classic. Great for work, or with dressy attire. Looks stupid with white socks. I think this is my favourite mandal option, though I suppose they can be too heavy on really hot days, and they are rarely available in colours other than black or brown. I'm not suggesting these should be available in other colours, because there are only a few good men who pull off powder blue mandals.
The slip-on: Not so bad for casual hanging out, but they still make that annoying slapping sound like flip-flops, and they're a one-way ticket to a podiatrist. There's a guy in my office who wears these things (with black trouser socks...mmmm sexy!), and you can hear him approach you from 50 feet in any direction.
Espadrilles: There's a fine line between "shoe" and "sandal" and that line is covered in mesh. They are cool and comfy, but offer excellent coverage, and I actually like these on guys, but one of my male friends said it best: "I kinda feel like Sonny Crockett. That cannot be good."
Clogs: Probably best left to the Dutch.
Incidentally, senior management recently released a memo to all staff in my office regarding summer dress code, and the wearing of "thongs" (aka flip flops) is now strictly prohibited. The women were aghast and organized a protest because they interpreted this to mean underwear, not footwear. I cannot help but view this as a win-win situation. No flip-flops + no underwear = friendly workplace.
So, what are your feet wearing this summer?
Stay tuned this week for part 2 in this series, when Katrocket goes "in search of a better man" to go with the sandals.