Monday, October 31, 2005

Guy Summer Footwear

Daniel wrote in to us: "RE: Tevas. Okay, okay, I get the point!...But this begs the question: What else is a guy supposed to wear with shorts?"

Daniel, you made me smile. It looks like we've had a breakthrough. Give yourself a pat on the back, and hunker down for the shoe lesson. Summer may be over for us in the Northern Hemi, but down South the summer is just beginning, so half of you can figure out what to wear right now, the other half can think about this for next summer. Below I've listed a few options, but they're not the only ones. It is difficult, though, to write an article like this. I think most women will agree it's a lot easier to say what's wrong with men's footwear than what's right. But, I'll make an attempt.

There are a lot of alternatives for guys to wear with shorts, and my personal favorite is tiny socks with some kind of sneaker. This, once again, does not mean tennis shoes, although a break of this rule by a guy is not nearly as bad as when a girl does it. I'm thinking in particular about our skater friends - they have a style all their own. And while you may not skate, there's nothing saying you can't gank their style. A nice pair of Vans, old-school Chuck Taylors or Pumas, such as the pair at left. The hip-hop community also introduced us to the beauty of Adidas and K-Swiss, so feel free to rock a pair of those. Whatever you do, don't get a sock that goes any higher than your Achilles tendon. Your socks should be so low that it almost looks like you're not wearing any - that's how the style goes nowadays. You can get a ton of these pretty cheap at any athletic store. However, stay far, far away from moccasins or those hideous canvas slip-ons. You don't want to look like a sixty year-old man if you're not one. Besides, with shoes like these you can usually get away with tying them once in a while and just slipping them on most of the time.

So let's say, as Daniel so astutely pointed out, that it's just too hot for socks. Flip flops have now become a much more viable option for men now that shoe companies have learned that men don't just want to wear bigger versions of what women are wearing. There are a lot manlier flip flops in the world, such as the pair at right, by DC Shoe Co. Guys may be shy about trying the thong, especially if they've never worn such a thing. The part between the toes can be a bit uncomfortable for the first-time wearer, but I urge you to 1) give the shoes a good test drive at the shoe store, and 2) give them a chance. They are comfortable and still manly, as our surfer friends have demonstrated to us. These are especially great for a day down the shore. My boyfriend still wears sneakers. We haven't reached this level of lessons yet. He'll learn when his feet get sweaty.

If the flip flop just doesn't do it for you, a thongless version is another option. You may remember that Adidas introduced the slip-on sandal with the pegs in it. I personally found that once you've been wearing the peg shoes for a couple of days you don't even notice them, but they can be a little painful at first. Other companies have really capitalized on the slip-on fad and have made pegless versions, like the pair of Etnies at left. These shoes could not be more comfortable, but what may not make you comfortable is exposing your toes. If you have hairy hobbit feet, fear not. Most men do. Besides, hair is masculine. If you had perfectly smooth, hairless feet, I'd worry. As for the toenails, I can't express how important this is. Make sure they are respectably short, even and neat. I'm not saying you have to go for the full pedicure - but huge kudos to you if you do. The bottom line for summer has to be manly comfort, but remember - we are always watching you.