PUT AWAY YOUR FEET YOU HEATHEN
May 22, 2015 11:20 AM   Subscribe

As summer approaches, the hotly contested debate about the appropriateness of flip-flops rears its ugly head. In the no-flip-flops-allowed corner is Slate's Dana Stevens. Coming to their defense is Megan Carpenter over at RawStory.

While the articles themselves are from 2013, the issues they raise are timeless.
posted by grumpybear69 (161 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I appreciate on dating sites when women specify they do no tolerate flip flops. It saves me the trouble of rolling my eyes at them in person.
posted by echocollate at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2015 [41 favorites]


This is something that I have a hard time caring about very much.

I personally do not like flip flops, because they don't stay on my feet. I am extremely unperturbed by other people's choice of summer footwear.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:25 AM on May 22, 2015 [32 favorites]


I always thought this was a fake-issue, like something people were ironically het up about, but then a guy blocked me on Twitter after I brought up that his intense, emotionally-wrought protests against men wearing flip-flops illustrated more about his ideas about gender and sexuality than it did fashion.

People take this shit seriously, but in the end, it's just a personal weirdness on their part that they attempt to convince us is some kind of fashion thing. But it's not.
posted by turntraitor at 11:25 AM on May 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


I suppose this is one of those "shoes on or off in the house" or "stand or sit while wiping" debates.

(Unless you're at home or in a gym shower, I'm firmly in the anti- camp here, thanks)
posted by trunk muffins at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2015


So, uh, Tevas or Chacos?
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, uh, Tevas or Chacos?


Chancletas from a bin in a bodega.
posted by turntraitor at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love flip flops and wear them all summers. Haters to the right, sorry.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:29 AM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I personally do not like flip flops, because they don't stay on my feet. I am extremely unperturbed by other people's choice of summer footwear.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
posted by josher71 at 11:33 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've never owned a pair of flip-flops that didn't trip me while going up stairs, or feel like they were about to fall off of my feet with every step, or get loose gravel in them, or weren't otherwise just a total pain in the ass to wear. When I'm out and about, mobility and an ability to react to changing terrain conditions is a must. Flip-flops do not have these qualities, and there is nothing wrong with people who demand them from their shoes.

But canvas slip-ons, on the other hand? PERFECT SUMMER SHOE.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


they're perfectly acceptable and appropriate footwear for the summer, but i hate them in big city situations because it just leads to filthy toes on display. there is nothing pleasant about visible grime beneath poorly maintained toenails on people of any gender. why don't they love themselves
posted by poffin boffin at 11:35 AM on May 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


I wear flip flops virtually every day of the year, save on ski vacations. For those days I have my Georgia Boots clogs.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:35 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am in the "I hate wearing flipflops, but I don't mind if you wear them" camp.

I do mind a little, though. That constant slap-slap-slap is just... ugh. It's something I can deal with, but it's not something I enjoy.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:36 AM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


also let me take this moment to complain about the guy who goes to the evening yoga classes at my gym who has visible foot fungus in the form of hideously yellowed and deformed toenails and still uses the communal mats like a fucking animal

i dislike him and wish him great ill
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2015 [25 favorites]


I don't hate them, and have a low opinion of people who are overly concerned with what other people wear.
posted by Foosnark at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


I don't like that guy, but he is not as bad as the guy who spent all of Pilates class last night farting in my face.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


I cannot stand the feeling of my heels being whapped by flip-flops, so I'm out.

But Dana Stevens is anti-Crocs, so fuck her sideways.

No, I would not wear flip-flops on a filthy NYC street or subway car. But, then, my first question would be WHY HAVE I MADE THE POOR LIFE DECISION TO BE ON A FILTHY NYC STREET OR SUBWAY CAR?
posted by delfin at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sorry guys, it's flip flops. Latches are pretty over these days.
posted by All Out of Lulz at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I live in Florida, where flip-flops are part of our native uniform. I wear them constantly and love them, but I'd support legislation on the mandatory daily wearing of Uggs if it meant never hearing that damn slap-slap-slap-slapping because people are too damn lazy to learn how to walk in flip-flops without doing it. Yes, it can be done. I manage every single day.
posted by _Mona_ at 11:42 AM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I live in Southern California and when not at work or in a slightly more formal setting, I wear flip flops all the time from March to, like, October. And I am most assuredly not alone. You'll slide my Rainbows off my cold, dead feet.
posted by yasaman at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't care what people wear, but I do dislike the lie that flip flops are comfortable. They aren't. Other types of sandals can be comfortable, but flip flops are just plain awful. I can see people aging for charles or convenience, but not comfort.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


People give a surprisingly serious shit about what other people wear, and I really don't understand why. Well, I do, but I hate understanding why.
posted by odinsdream at 11:44 AM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've changed my opinion about flip-flops repeatedly.
posted by Kabanos at 11:44 AM on May 22, 2015 [82 favorites]


Kabanos: relevant.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:46 AM on May 22, 2015


I have worn flip-flops in some capacity almost every day for over half a century. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Rain, sleet, snow and heat so intense they melted to the asphalt. I'm too old to change now. You will have to pry them off my cold, dead feet...
posted by jim in austin at 11:47 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I'm out and about, mobility and an ability to react to changing terrain conditions is a must.

tactical flip-flops. used by real Navy SEALs!
posted by indubitable at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am not a flip-flop wearer but I am all about the strappy cute sandal during the summer. Flip-flops feel so flimsy and thin, and they are terrible at staying on my feet.
posted by Kitteh at 11:49 AM on May 22, 2015


even worse than flip flops is high heeled shoes that are sandals but have no ankle-adhering thing and then not only are you flip flopping around but the shoe with a giant spike on the back isn't even actually attached to your foot.

strappy sandals are at least better than those things because they have straps to strap them to your foot.

i wear flip flops to like take out the trash or something. i don't know how people actually walk anywhere in them for any length of time.

(but then again i can totter around in 3.5 - 4" heels so it's kind of funny i don't know how people walk in flat shoes)
posted by sio42 at 11:51 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm also in the "wear what you want, but that sound is gross as fuck, seriously it's like you're being paddled along by two tiny BDSM fans who have gotten confused about what round part of your anatomy they're up on".
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


You'll slide my Rainbows off my cold, dead feet.

I have actually heard that you're statistically less likely to survive a plane crash if you're not wearing lace-up shoes. You lose your footwear during the crash, and (assuming you've survived the actual crash sequence) you can't quickly exit the wreck because you're now John MacClane-ing around with glass in your feet.

So, more likely, we'll find your Rainbows twenty yards away from your shoeless, cold, dead feet.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2015 [22 favorites]


Since I moved to Hawaii, shoes are strictly reserved for sports or traveling to the mainland.

A not insignificant percentage of the population doesn't even bother with the slippers and just goes barefoot.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 11:53 AM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wear flip flops when I'm at home, in lieu of house shoes, but not outside. I don't like getting my feet dirty. Also sometimes I like to let my big toenail grow until it looks like my toe has a hi-top fade.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:53 AM on May 22, 2015


I have actually heard that you're statistically less likely to survive a plane crash if you're not wearing lace-up shoes. You lose your footwear during the crash, and (assuming you've survived the actual crash sequence) you can't quickly exit the wreck because you're now John MacClane-ing around with glass in your feet.
It wasn't a life or death issue, but I have a relative who broke her ankle when she had to emergency evacuate a plane by sliding down the inflatable slide thingie. She was wearing high heels, and she twisted her ankle on impact. She swears that you should wear sneakers every time you fly. I am not totally convinced, though, because the chances that I'll ever get in an accident where it matters are super low.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:55 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


what about those Japanese geta? you even get to wear special socks that conform to your big toe and second toe so the the little thong slides in between them.
posted by ChuckRamone at 11:55 AM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have actually heard that you're statistically less likely to survive a plane crash if you're not wearing lace-up shoes. You lose your footwear during the crash, and (assuming you've survived the actual crash sequence) you can't quickly exit the wreck because you're now John MacClane-ing around with glass in your feet.

I generally wear actual shoes when travelling by plane. Flip flops take up less room in your bag than shoes, and also that way you don't have to be barefoot when the TSA makes you take your shoes off. Though I don't even know why they make you take flip flops off, it's not as if there's any room for an explosive device in the soles of flip flops wtf. Admittedly I've worn flip flops on a few one-hour flights between southern California and the Bay Area though.
posted by yasaman at 11:59 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I can't get involved in this. I'm late for my No Fucking Socks With Sandals meeting.
posted by Splunge at 12:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [21 favorites]


Flip-flops are not something I am good at walking in (I tend to shuffle), but they don't look as weird as Uggs, cycling gear, wraparound reflective sunglasses, or those pointy witch shoes people are always wearing to work. So I say go for it.

TROLLING ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED
posted by freecellwizard at 12:04 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


This FPP makes me extremely comfortable in my "don't read Slate, don't even bother clicking on Slate links because by definition, a Slate link contains nothing of value inside" policy. Almost as comfy as when I wear my flip-flops.
posted by skewed at 12:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I live in New Orleans and sometimes it's just too damn swamp-hot to put anything else on your feet other than the bare minimum of material required to keep them from making contact with the ground. Pair that up with some linen shorts and a double gin & tonic and life edges towards bearable.

... but this is also a city where no one gives a shit whether or not you're dressed all fancy. I've never heard anyone speak out loud against flip-flops. To each his or her own, though - if you frigid yankees want to judge me then try walking my dog for a mile in my flip-flops and then we'll talk.

Tevas, though? That's where the line of humanity and decency is drawn.
posted by komara at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was anti-sandals for most of my adult life until I went tubing and a friend loaned me a pair of Chacos. My life was forever changed that day. MANDALS FOREVER.
posted by eamondaly at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't really wear flip flops because one of my legs is shorter than the other, and getting a custom lift put on cheap shoes seems silly. Instead in the summer I wear lightweight flats-style vibram five finger shoes (I can put a wedge lift inside). This keeps me firmly in the controversial footware category.
posted by antinomia at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe that flip flops are part of the ongoing infantilization of the public in general, along with grownups wearing baggy shorts and sports jerseys. Sure, wear what you want, but don't expect me to take you seriously.
posted by monospace at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


My toenails are ugly. No flip flops for me.

You can do whatever the hell you want, but I hear they are not good for your feets.
posted by allthinky at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate the feel of something between my toes. Ugh.
posted by jeather at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Not just any flip flops. Flojos!
posted by triage_lazarus at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have zero problem with flip flops. Especially ones that are shiny and gold. I wore them all summer long, for years and years, until they actually started hurting my feet and I switched to inexpensive strappy sandals that are honestly not much more than flip flops, but they don't hurt my feet on long walks. I do not wear flip flops when in NYC, but they are fine throughout most of the South (where I live) and can be decent things to file away in your purse when circumstances require you to ditch your cute high wedge sandals and walk a spell after a summer wedding in Charleston or a party in New Orleans.

Now shorts? Shorts are of the devil. And absolutely never for me.
posted by thivaia at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Went to replace some flip flops at my local fave shoe outlet and found that Reebok has substituted their excellent design for something much less desirable. Argh.

Yeah, flojos. Calzaleta used to sell a sturdy, plain design for one dollar a pair. Now I feel lucky to pay "only" $10 "on sale" for something only marginally better.
posted by telstar at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2015


ongoing infantilization

This is why we see babies wearing them all the time, along with heels, and other forms of footwear that require skill and dedication.

I went through three years of flip-flop training so I could sit on a beach with a bucket of cheap Mexi-lager, and you have the gall to question my sacrifice?
posted by turntraitor at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


The only time I ever wore flip flops in the summer was when I lived in NYC. What's the deal with that?
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2015


the very tedious anti flip-flop position seems easily and irrefutably destroyed by the following simple argument: "fuck you".
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2015 [37 favorites]


Also by taking off ones flip-flop and smacking that person in the face.
posted by Kabanos at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, flip-fops. I live in the Taint of America's Wang, and it is summer here from May through October. Anyone who has a problem seeing my gnarly, dirty feet with jagged, unclipped toenails can feel free to tilt their head up a few degrees and stare at my neat-and-tidy cargo-shorts-clad crotch instead.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


ongoing infantilization

Wait are you Simon Pegg?
posted by freecellwizard at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]




Feet are horrifying and shoes are boring, so I really just want people to not force me to look at either one. And if you bare your toenails, for the love of God, clean and trim them once in a while. Otherwise, flipflop or whatever, I don't care.
posted by emjaybee at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was slinging donuts I bought myself a pair of food-service crocs to wear (easy to hose flour and other assorted mess off them). They are very comfortable. The shop is gone but I still wear those crocs almost every day.
posted by Chrischris at 12:31 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


The main problem with flip-flops is that they are a solid indicator that the wearer does not understand that the world is an inherently chaotic, dangerous place, and that any of us without warning might suddenly be required to run like hell, stride across burning cinders and broken glass, engage in kick-fighting for self-defense, or find themselves in any one of the innumerable unexpected situations where sensible footwear might mean the difference between life and death.

Also, yes, 90% of feet are horrifying. Have you ever noticed that toes are basically little useless mutant fingers? Bookended by one that is monstrously huge and swollen compared to the others, and one that is curled up like a little cocktail shrimp, vestigial and purposeless and yet steadfastly clinging to its right to be present on the body? Feet are inherently problematic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2015 [42 favorites]


Have you ever noticed that toes are basically little useless mutant fingers?

cannot...unsee...
posted by Tarumba at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2015


freecellwizard: "... those pointy witch shoes people are always wearing to work. "

They make me laugh. Fashion is sometimes hilarious.
posted by Splunge at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I always found them uncomfortable to walk in.
posted by jonmc at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Taint of America's Wang

Oh, but Taint of America's Wang
For you and me
Taint of America's Wang
Something to see, baby
Taint of America's Wang
Home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses
For you and me
Oooh, yeah
For you and me
posted by Kabanos at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just because toes don't grip well doesn't mean that they're useless, though. They've just undergone selection to match our bipedal lifestyle instead of, say, an arboreal lifestyle. If you amputated all your toes, you would have a comparatively hard time walking and running.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I believe that flip flops are part of the ongoing infantilization of the public in general, along with grownups wearing baggy shorts and sports jerseys.

and don't get me started on shirts without collars, fucking philistines. The Gymkhana Club is right and correct to ban them all.
posted by vanar sena at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


But canvas slip-ons, on the other hand? PERFECT SUMMER SHOE.

Man, in theory I want to agree, but if you wear socks they look odd because even low-cut socks poke out awkwardly, and if you don't wear socks they seem to get super gross within a matter of days, particularly in a hot-ass East Coast summer.

I feel like leather somehow doesn't have this problem (breathability? innate antimicrobial activity?), but I personally refuse to wear boat shoes because of traumatic exposure to Ivy League finance d-bags.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


one that is curled up like a little cocktail shrimp, vestigial and purposeless

Nah, the little toe's purpose is to break when you stub it and so encourage greater attention to one's surroundings.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


The solution is black Chuck Taylor high tops. They go with everything.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:02 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am pretty strongly in the no-flip flop camp. The human foot is fucking disgusting and ugly, and anything that keeps them covered is a good thing.

What really bothers me about them is the sense of entitlement their wearers have. Wearing a pair of "shoes" that are easily removed does not make the entire world your living room. If you must wear shower shoes in public, keep your "shoes" on your feet and your feet on the floor. Don't take off your "shoes" and sit cross-legged -- or, worse, perch -- in your seat. Others have to sit there, and they probably don't want your sweat and grime on their clothes and skin. Don't be a self-centered asshole just because you're wearing sandals.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


The solution is black Chuck Taylor high tops. They go with everything.

I thought we settled this in the last contentious footwear thread.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Places where it's acceptable to wear flip-flops: the beach, the pool, the shower at the gym.

Places where it's not acceptable to wear flip-flops: anywhere that isn't the beach or the pool or the shower at they gym.

Thank you.
posted by the sobsister at 1:06 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


ChuckRamone: what about those Japanese geta? you even get to wear special socks that conform to your big toe and second toe so the the little thong slides in between them.

Actually, you don't wear tabi (cloth socks) with geta, geta are for clomping around sockless on the garden or the mud, or for going to festivals in summer. They're basically the Crocs of Japanese footwear.

What you're looking for is either setta or zori, which do in fact look a lot like flip flops but can be worn with formal clothing.


For my part, you will take me my flip-flop-like sandals from my cool, well-aireated dead feet. But I'm wearing a pair of Ipanemas right now at home, so yeah.
posted by sukeban at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why Feet Are Considered Gross, The Breakdown:

5% the dirt and germs from outside
5% the smell of foot sweat
10% lax grooming (e.g. untrimmed nails, calluses)
80% other people say so
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


the world is an inherently chaotic, dangerous place, and that any of us without warning might suddenly be required to run like hell, stride across burning cinders and broken glass, engage in kick-fighting for self-defense, or find themselves in any one of the innumerable unexpected situations where sensible footwear might mean the difference between life and death.

Or it could start to rain. that is when flip-flops are a bad call. otherwise, I wear 'em pretty much all summer, including to the office. With shorts. I think it's asinine to wear long pants when it's above 80 degrees.

Some people have hideous faces. We don't compel them to wear masks.
posted by stargell at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel like leather somehow doesn't have this problem (breathability? innate antimicrobial activity?), but I personally refuse to wear boat shoes because of traumatic exposure to Ivy League finance d-bags.

Penny loafers? That might have the same baggage, but otherwise they're the leather, sockless, slip-on, non-boat shoe you've been dreaming of. Personally, I grew up with bros wearing Rainbows, so my associations with boat shoes (which I wear) are way nicer than my associations with flip flops, at least on men.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


All I know is that I enjoy bothering my teenager by calling them "thongs" instead of flip flops. (I grew up in California where we also used the term zoris so when she objects to thongs, I use that them instead. )


Ps: Saltwater Sandals FOREVER!
posted by vespabelle at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wear whatever you like, but know that I will be judging you according to idiosyncratic preferences derived from childhood experience, random ideas picked up from books, my own deep fears about fitting in/being different and some fuzzy, largely inaccurate ideas about an idealized sartorial past! Plus some notions derived from received ideas about whiteness and masculinity! Know too that I will never turn my gaze on myself to wonder why I spend all this effort judging and so little effort interrogating where my "judgment" comes from!
posted by Frowner at 1:16 PM on May 22, 2015 [45 favorites]


Also a link to a Collectors Weekly article about flip flops so you can bask in their awesomeness.
posted by sukeban at 1:17 PM on May 22, 2015


I'm gonna assume that those of you defending the general use of flip-flops are residents of San Diego, Hawaii, or Key West, and I won't debate you on the sartorial choices mandated by the alien landscape of your homeworld.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Look, I'm from East Tennessee, so y'all are lucky that I put on shoes at all in the summer.
posted by teleri025 at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Some people have hideous faces. We don't compel them to wear masks.
YES YES THIS IS CORRECT YES!
This whole "ewwww feet are ugly" thing is body-shaming bullshit.
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:22 PM on May 22, 2015 [20 favorites]


If you amputated all your toes, you would have a comparatively hard time walking and running.

Ok but who suggested that tho
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:30 PM on May 22, 2015


Cinderella's sisters?
posted by sukeban at 1:34 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]




The thing about flip-flops that confuses the bejesus out of me is, how do you people wear them without foot sweat being a major issue? Because seriously, every time I buy a pair and try to wear them outside the apartment, within about ten minutes the soles of my feet are so sweaty that I slide right off the shoe. It is not cute. But then, foot sweat tends to render every sandal useless... even my Dansko sandals with the cloth-covered footbed eventually get all damp and sad and entirely too rubby. Thank god most of my summer dresses look halfway decent with low-top Chucks and a pair of low-cut athletic socks from Old Navy that barely show above the top of my shoe, otherwise I would be a sweaty blistered mess from May to mid-September.

Stupid sweat glands. Is foot Botox worth it?
posted by palomar at 1:37 PM on May 22, 2015


Have you ever noticed that toes are basically little useless mutant fingers?

Speaking of horror....
posted by Existential Dread at 1:38 PM on May 22, 2015


Ok but who suggested that tho

Someone said toes were useless mutant fingers, but if they were actually useless then getting rid of them shouldn't affect anything. Proof by contradiction, they are actually "useful mutant fingers," qemfd, summa me now, etc
posted by en forme de poire at 1:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I loved flipflops as a kid but my grown-up feet do not agree with them anymore. Especially the piece that goes between your toes.

For summer, I do like sandals, even in the city, but they cannot have that piece that goes between your toes, they must be flat, and they must be securely attached to the feet.

There was a period a while ago when you would see twenty-somethings in the winter wearing coats and flip-flops. I haven't seen that in a while. Around that time, there was a picture of a girl's sports team visiting the White House in which the girls were all wearing nice summer dresses and flipflops. It caused a lot of controversy and I thought that was where the whole vocally anti-flipflop thing came about.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:40 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


This whole "ewwww feet are ugly" thing is body-shaming bullshit.

Ridiculous. The part of an animal's limb that makes contact with dirt and rocks is just not going to be a lovely thing, absent a lot of grooming. Because it takes damage and bears weight. Hooves and paws are filthy messes too, much of the time.

This is not about "shaming" people anymore than saying "wow, car tires get really dirty and nasty when you drive" is about shaming cars.
posted by emjaybee at 1:41 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Hooves and paws are filthy messes too, much of the time.

Ahem, my cat has beautiful paws, thank you.
posted by Frowner at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015 [14 favorites]


Really I think the main reason a lot of us don't like flip-flops is you often see them on older guys wearing shorts and tucked-in polo shirts, they remind us of our dads, we resent their clothing choices for deep-seated oedipal reasons, "Oedipus" means swollen foot, QED, book 'em dano
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't understand just how much time apparently other people spend looking at other people's feet. I really don't notice if someone's feet are or aren't clean. They're feet; they touch the ground - in my mind dirt isn't unreasonable.

But then I was that guy who "wore shoes (which includes flip flops) approximately 10 times during his college years and was otherwise barefoot. I had a letter from the California Health Department stating that there wasn't any rule against a customer being barefoot in a business that I'd break out for "the man."

Now, I'm older and have mellowed (and I like my carpet's being clean-ish), so flip flops are what I wear when I'm outside. In Ontario. Sure, I'll have boots in the car to avoid frostbite if there's a breakdown, but moving from my car across a parking lot isn't a problem even in the -40 with windchill. Deep snow isn't an issue; I'll just remove my flip flops then (the snow is clean) so I can keep my flip flops dry (and unslippery).

Do you know how a cat acts if it's got tape on it's feet (or Kitten Mittens)? I feel like that with my feet covered.

Seriously, I give zero fucks about looking at other people's feet or their foot coverings. I admit that I think "Foot Fetishist" immediately if anyone comments about my bare feet or flip flops. I'm wondering how much further in life I'll get in life before I end up blurting out loud "It's disgusting to involve someone non-consensually in your fetish."

It's a minorly sad chapter in my life that I've taken up running. I rarely do it barefoot (and low distance at that), so not only am I wearing shoes (sigh), but I'm wearing expensive shoes that I replace more than yearly; stupid 200+k/month running habit.
posted by nobeagle at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Personally, I grew up with bros wearing Rainbows, so my associations with boat shoes (which I wear) are way nicer than my associations with flip flops, at least on men.

Yeah sorry, didn't mean to tar you with that brush, just to explain my own personal idiosyncratic reaction. I should probably get over myself since I even admit that boat shoes look totally fine.

The part of an animal's limb that makes contact with dirt and rocks is just not going to be a lovely thing, absent a lot of grooming.

But like... how many people's feet actually make a lot of contact with dirt and rocks anymore? Almost everyone wears some kind of barrier between their feet and the ground.

Also I would like to offer the counterexample of this rabbit raising its paw, which is totes lovely and cute. (On preview, semi-jinx with Frowner!)
posted by en forme de poire at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2015


This whole "ewwww feet are ugly" thing is body-shaming bullshit.

Hm. OK. Well. Now, I don't actually think that personally, BUT. I have opinion about things that are appropriate and inappropriate.

Generally I don't bother anyone with my opinions, but I still have them.

Like, wear something black and formal to a funeral. And not flip-flops. Am I going to lay into you after the funeral for wearing flip-flops? No. Sheesh. But they're not appropriate for a funeral. Well, most funerals. Maybe they'd be fine at Jimmy Buffet's.

Should you wear flip flops to most job interviews? No. Too casual. I'm sure people have been interviewed and even been offered jobs in flip flops, but still, not suggested.

The same thing goes for lots of articles of clothing.

Now, my main thing with flip flops is people who wear them all the time - if it's like 10 celcius outside, put on some shoes! What are you doing? How are your feet not really uncomfortable? But again, I may be over here grimacing and shaking my head but generally I move along with my day in short order.

We're at the beach? Wear flip flops. Picking up more Corona at Safeway in August? I probably am not even going to notice. You love flip flops? Be my guest.

Now, as for body shaming - some people think feet are ugly. There it is. Not everyone has to like everything. Totally aside from your specific comment I feel like lately the main thing Metafilter can't tolerate is intolerance. It's hard to argue in favour of intolerance, but I will go along with it existing and tolerate it for generally unimportant things. Some people hate feet. Some dislike fedoras. etc, at al.

So be warned flip-flop wearers of the world: some people do not like your feet. You're probably going to have to deal with it.
posted by GuyZero at 1:58 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would totally wear flip flops if I was at the Bush White House. You see, it would be awesome, because I have limited control over my toes, and my shoe would slide off and I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this because BAM my flip flop would be in the air before the Secret Service had a clue, angled in towards Bush's inane grinning face, turning like a seat-seeking missile as he dodged, and making fucking impact.
posted by angrycat at 2:21 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


posted by trunk muffins I suppose this is one of those . . . "stand or sit while wiping" debates. (Unless you're at home or in a gym shower, I'm firmly in the anti- camp here, thanks)

You're anti-WIPING?!
posted by mattdidthat at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


People take this shit seriously, but in the end, it's just a personal weirdness on their part that they attempt to convince us is some kind of fashion thing. But it's not.

So... if it *was* a fashion thing, then it's something people *should* take seriously?

they're perfectly acceptable and appropriate footwear for the summer, but i hate them in big city situations because it just leads to filthy toes on display. there is nothing pleasant about visible grime beneath poorly maintained toenails on people of any gender. why don't they love themselves

Could be they have reasons not to in fact not love themselves.

Could be that some people just like spending their attention in places that don't include all the grooming regimens.

The latter is a mistake, of course, given that not adhering to all the grooming regimens will invite others to have uncomfortable feeling they're not entirely in control of and construct narratives around why. On the other hand, trying to include all the regimens is also a mistake because it's impossible and takes up time you could have used for things you care about. I hear some of the feminists are familiar with similar related dilemmas but I'm not sure I'd know much about that.
posted by weston at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2015


"be warned flip-flop wearers of the world: some people do not like your feet"

Yeah well I don't like their faces so they'd better cover up. Can't stand when someone wears a hat that just covers the top of their head and not the whole thing.
posted by komara at 2:29 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Be warned foot-not-likers of the world: some people have visible feet. You're probably going to have to deal with it.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


The only time I've ever been offended by exposed feet was on the Madrid Metro, when they had an obvious stench associated with whatever microorganism was consuming them. Other than such cases, wear what you like. Personally, I can't stand the feeling of something between my toes, and prefer to my feet covered in case of emergencies, as mentioned above.
posted by mollweide at 2:45 PM on May 22, 2015


Look, I can't stand Crocs, and my gut reaction is to look askance at adults who wear them, but that's my problem to deal with. Wear what you like.
posted by wintermind at 2:46 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Be warned foot-not-likers of the world: some people have visible feet. You're probably going to have to deal with it.

This is also true.

Yeah well I don't like their faces so they'd better cover up.

As is this. Some people may not like your face and will actually treat you pretty badly as a result. Maybe they're small, petty, ignorant or just plain mean, but there it is. Intolerance. Clearly you understand the concept.
posted by GuyZero at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2015


Feet are not inherently gross. Dirty, blackened feet and blackened worn out stained sandals are. Your feet WILL get gross walking around outside in flip flops. This is a fact.

I also agree on the sound, but mostly on dirty feet being disgusting. That's kind of an irrefutable argument imo.

Normal sandals make this a lot better with the lack of flapping and dragging around, and keeping your foot completely on them. They're not perfect, but they're better.

I feel like a lot of moralizing and stuff get mixed up in this. The fact is though, your blackened dirty feet are filthy and gross. Feet aren't gross, but dirty feet are.

Man, in theory I want to agree, but if you wear socks they look odd because even low-cut socks poke out awkwardly, and if you don't wear socks they seem to get super gross within a matter of days, particularly in a hot-ass East Coast summer.

There's such a thing as no show socks. They changed a lot of my friends lives.

Personally I just wear tigers or Adidas or something with low socks and don't care, but I'm also a scruffy cyclist dude so ymmv.
posted by emptythought at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Y'know I think most of us on Team Cover Your Damn Feet Up are pretty IRL tolerant of other people's footwear choices but if you can't let your irrational hangups about foot-exposing shoes out in a thread whose entire premise is a debate about the acceptability of flip-flops then where, I ask you, where can you?
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:12 PM on May 22, 2015 [12 favorites]


I can handle anything in the footwear world except the old men down here (Fl.) who wear socks with sandals. Ugh.
posted by notreally at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2015


I am of the belief that some feet are ugly and some feet are pretty. I don't care what you wear on them. YMMV of course.
posted by Splunge at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2015


Can I assume there's considerable overlap between the foot fetish crowd and the no-flip-flops crowd, because I honestly can't remember the last time I noticed another person's feet, much less in any critical capacity.
posted by echocollate at 3:34 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Absolutely. And I am tired of my flipflopped feet being policed for their fuckability.
posted by Cookiebastard at 3:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can I assume there's considerable overlap between the foot fetish crowd and the no-flip-flops crowd

I HATE FEET. I never, ever want to see them or think about them or know about them, not mine, not anyone else's.

I might have a problem guys
posted by trunk muffins at 3:45 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


That settles it: this thread has convinced me to buy my first pair of Chacos.
posted by TwoStride at 4:08 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think of flip-flops as summer uggs.
posted by srboisvert at 4:10 PM on May 22, 2015


I will say that a nice leather sandal like rainbows addresses a lot of the complaints levied against flip-flops. They're crazy comfortable, I have scrambled over all sorts of weird rocks and terrain in mine, and they don't make the slapping foot noise.

Living in Santa Monica may have warped my perception of what's acceptable, but one of the things I frequently comment on liking about Los Angeles is that virtually nowhere has a dress code, so in general I'm just not a big fan of people deciding what it is and is not "proper".

You all have permission to wear flip flops to my wedding and/or funeral.
posted by flaterik at 4:38 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was a young punk, heavy black leather boots were the go to fashion footwear for me, winter and summer. Then I got older and my feet told me it was time to change up. I went with tevas and chacos for many years. Now my feet tell me that they will insist on sweating, being uncomfortable , and smelling badly if I don't wear socks with my footwear of choice. So, yes I'm that old guy who wears socks with his sandals. You're welcome.
posted by evilDoug at 4:39 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, wear what the hell you want. You don't need permission for anything.
posted by evilDoug at 4:41 PM on May 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I literally can't wear flip-flops, my toes start screaming at the idea of holding the entire shoe onto my foot and blisters erupt. Feh. I wish I could move to Hawaii, but I don't know how I'd deal with not being able to find sandals that actually strap onto my feet, which I have to wear. Do they offer any there?

Mostly I don't care all that much on other people's, except for the aforementioned irritating flip flop shoe noise (ditto clogs). But I do think it's ridiculous to be wearing them in cold weather. I don't care if you're in California--if it's 39 degrees outside right now, put on some dang real shoes.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:48 PM on May 22, 2015


I give everyone permission to wear whatever footwear they want on their feet, no matter the weather. You want to put on flip flops in the snow, go ahead. Seize the day, my friends.

(Yes, folks, I wear flip flops, I wear Uggs. Heaven help me.)
posted by discopolo at 4:55 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


A not insignificant percentage of the population doesn't even bother with the slippers and just goes barefoot.

MY PEOPLE!

I hate shoes. HATE THEM. I only wear shoes when I absolutely must. Socks, sure, I love my collection of funky socks. But shoes suck, and I resent having to wear them. I have been known to go out for my afternoon stroll without any shoes on in warm weather. The neighbors think it's weird, and I have no fucks to give.

Flip flops? Nope. I hate having things between my toes. I don't care what other people have on their feet - or don't have on their feet, as the case may be - so long as they leave me alone about what is or is not on mine.
posted by MissySedai at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't care what people wear on their feet. I'm a big sandal-fan, and am currently madly in love with the Propet sandals I bought that are basically flip flops, but with an extra strap across the instep that keeps them from, well, flip-flopping. (Also, in all my years of wearing flip flops in and around Boston, on the T, etc., my feet never ended up as filthy as that Slate article describes. Never ever.)
posted by sarcasticah at 6:17 PM on May 22, 2015


The only part of the anti-flip-flop article that gave me pause was the breakdown of how they actively damage your feet over time. Which isn't applicable if you're just wearing them for brief periods (as even the author admitted didn't bother her).

For the rest, I was like, "Yeah, I also hate being in a sandwich shop about to dig in when suddenly I hear that SHLAP SHLAP SHLAP sound directing my attention to the hairy, grimy little Vienna sausages at the end of some dudebro's feet and there goes my appetite, but what are you gonna do?"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


You do what I do and passive aggressively mumble about it after you leave.
posted by Justinian at 6:53 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a couple of pairs of brightly coloured flip flops (an orange pair and a bright green pair.) I wear them at home and out running errands. I also have very nice looking feet and keep my toes all spiffed up and nicely polished. Do'em myself. In the summer I look pretty good from the ankles down.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:54 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't care about flip-flops on other people for reasons that will shortly become obvious, but I can't wear them myself because I can't stand having anything between my toes.

A couple years ago I lived at a campground for the summer. It was practically empty during the week, so when I needed to take the dog out I'd just slip on a pair of sandals and go, not caring what I looked like. So one day I accidentally discovered how fucking comfortable it is to wear socks with sandals. I cry bitter tears that it's such a faux-pas. Someday when I'm old I will stop giving a fuck what people think and I will be That Guy.
posted by desjardins at 9:08 PM on May 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Does anyone have any actual reasons why wearing socks with sandals is a faux pas, or is this just a thing we've all agreed on like avocado baths?
posted by squinty at 9:12 PM on May 22, 2015


I find it weird that the dirt that would normally accumulate on one's shoes is somehow much more disgusting if it gets on your skin. Feet are completely washable. If I'm outside and any part of me gets dirty, I'm having fun, being productive, or both.
posted by LindsayIrene at 9:13 PM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have wide feet. It's hard to find shoes or sandals that are comfortable. Flip flops are almost always comfortable. So ... I don't care one iota how you feel about them! Enjoy staring at my not-grubby but cool and comfortable feet.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:23 PM on May 22, 2015


Does anyone have any actual reasons why wearing socks with sandals is a faux pas, or is this just a thing we've all agreed on like avocado baths?

In an ideal world, do what feels right.

For the real judgy mcjudgerson world, there's a rule of thumb: Are you German? If so, go for it, and if anyone says anything, say, "I am German"; this is a sufficient excuse. If not German, either do not attempt, or work on your German accent.

It's all to do with Birkenstocks. They were introduced to North America from their native Germany a couple years after they were invented (this is the late sixties) and the respective cultures around them are just really, really different. In North America, they've always been big with Peppermint Patty hippie types who want to be barefoot but don't want a hunk of glass in their foot; in Germany, they've ALWAYS been worn with socks. No one knows why.

That's really the only sandal you could really even consider wearing with socks. Anything with a thong is out, and I don't think woolly work socks would pair very well with those gladiatory things with all the straps.

(Should... Should I be bathing my avocados?)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:03 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I was a young punk, heavy black leather boots were the go to fashion footwear for me, winter and summer. Then I got older...

I'm completely the opposite. I'm middle-aged and wouldn't be caught without my boots. The thought of flip-flops or sandals of any sort gives me nightmares. Just imagining being exposed in such a way. Shudder.

I don't care if other people wear what they want. And I'll admit the boots do get hot, even my desert boots, on a humid summer day. But I can't imagine any alternative. Any relatively flimsy footwear, even Chuck Taylors, just makes me feel as if I'm completely unprotected.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:55 PM on May 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


For the avocado bath I was thinking of Mitchell and Webb's take on The Rules about bath colours.

Thanks for the explanation about Birkenstocks.
posted by squinty at 12:17 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Essential in shared shower situations (like dorms or gyms, unless you have a particular fondness for fungus between your toes). Also incredibly useful during summer, around the house, and when you quickly need to duck down to the shops. I think if you tried to tell your average Australian that they were no longer allowed to wear thongs, they would put you on the barbie.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:36 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


You would look pretty strange wearing high heels or even fancy flats or sneakers in Hawaii in the summer. Slippahs, as they are called, are the norm, as in a lot of hotter climates. Regardless, live and let live? Even the etiquette freaks seem kind of over reaching to complain about what someone wears, minding their own business, walking down the street.
posted by branravenraven at 1:27 AM on May 23, 2015


Socks and sandals is also really common in Scandinavia. I used to laugh, but then I started to get it, and now I am grateful for the look.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:47 AM on May 23, 2015


can I make a small diversion here and mention how much I loathe long toenails? even ones that are on stylish women all polished and pampered. they just squick me out in an inexplicable way.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:37 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Full disclosure, I do own some horrible footwear. I even own a pair of flip flops, but they are for gym shower purposes only, and I got them when I injured myself and absolutely couldn't wear anything else - don't ask me what happened, I don't even recall. I was as shocked as anyone that I had to purchase a pair.

I cannot abide flip-flops. The main reason is that it exacerbates the scourge of Slow Walking that plagues Minneapolis. If a dude is wearing flip-flops, he tends to walk like he pooped his pants and is trying to balance the deuce so that it does not fall out one leg of his manpris or the other. It also live near campus, so there will be herds of flip-floppers taking up the entire sidewalk, shuffling slowly forward, fshlop fshlop fshlop

I do not like feeling like I want to punch people in the butt.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:32 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


WHY HAVE I MADE THE POOR LIFE DECISION TO BE ON A FILTHY NYC STREET OR SUBWAY CAR?

Because NYC is a magical place where poor life decisions can also be awesome life decisions and if you want to experience that particular kind of magic there are sacrifices to be made.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:38 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


can I make a small diversion here and mention how much I loathe long toenails? even ones that are on stylish women all polished and pampered. they just squick me out in an inexplicable way.

Wait, that's not a thing is it? You mean long fingernails?
posted by Rock Steady at 4:54 AM on May 23, 2015


Spending a few summers in Australia gets rid of any hangups about thongs. They're super-comfortable everywhere, especially if you always end up at the beach. My boss even wore them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:15 AM on May 23, 2015


Am I right in assuming there's no crossover between the "feet are gross" camp and the "absolutely no shoes in the house camp?"
posted by thivaia at 5:32 AM on May 23, 2015


Wait, that's not a thing is it? You mean long fingernails?

Long toenails are sort of a thing, a little bit. Not ridiculously long and clawlike, but just a little longer than all-the-way trimmed. Do a google image search for "French pedicure" to get an idea. (Some of them just give the illusion of longer toenails, but most people need a little length for a French.) The search results are not gross unless you are inherently disgusted by all feet, or by slightly-long toenails.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:50 AM on May 23, 2015


Spending a few summers in Australia gets rid of any hangups about thongs
Case in point [NSFW]

...if a dude is wearing flip-flops, he tends to walk like he pooped his pants...
Can't agree [NSFW]

from the SBS show Housos
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 6:33 AM on May 23, 2015


emptythought: I'm also a scruffy cyclist dude so ymmv.

No matter how I squint, I can't read that last bit as anything other than 'yummy'.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2015


Flip flops always rub the skin raw between my toes -- I've never worn them long enough to develop the calluses there. So I'll wear them for a short trip but never longer, because it leads to pain and unhappiness.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:25 AM on May 23, 2015


Am I right in assuming there's no crossover between the "feet are gross" camp and the "absolutely no shoes in the house camp?"

No, because socks. Wearing shoes indoors is rude here, if you're visiting someone anyway. Fortunately people have socks. It is seldom sock-less weather here.

;_;
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:46 AM on May 23, 2015


A few random thoughts while reading this thread:

How does the anti-flip flop crowd feel about Five Finger shoes?

Toes aren't mutant fingers, they are spares.

Would Aleister Crowley say "Wear what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law?"
posted by TedW at 8:26 AM on May 23, 2015


I find it weird that the dirt that would normally accumulate on one's shoes is somehow much more disgusting if it gets on your skin.

because in nyc this dirt is made up of the shit, piss, beer puke, and concentrated garbage juice of 15 million people and dogs and the occasional leashed cat, and at least a dozen coyotes apparently. i don't allow people to wear street shoes inside my house because i don't want that gross nasty crap walked all over my floors. why on earth would i want that on my feet.


Do a google image search for "French pedicure" to get an idea.

but it's just a line drawn on the nail? it doesn't mean that the nail is long? that would be so uncomfortable.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


How does the anti-flip flop crowd feel about Five Finger shoes?

They are hilarious. Makes a person look like a muppet from the ankles down.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:45 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


they smell like old sausages in a ziplock bag that someone threw in their backpack before a 10h hike and didn't find til 3 days later.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:50 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


How does the anti-flip flop crowd feel about Five Finger shoes?

A rusty poisoned dart hurled spitefully into the eye of decency
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:15 AM on May 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


For serious, Deadspin said it better than I could. FF shoes not only look ricockulous; their claims led to a class action lawsuit that they settled out of court for, for $3.75 million.

Or as GQ put it:

They became part of a whole look: the "Aw, dude, I just finished this killer 10K" look. The look that suggests you've run straight from the trail to the Greek yogurt section of Whole Foods with this really smug, really active smile on your face. If you are one of these people, you know who you are and you are the worst.

"I'm running like our ancestors did," you said. But you looked ridiculous. And while you can now receive at least a partial refund for the money you spent on these shoes, no cash settlement can buy back your dignity.

posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:47 AM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


So strange. Seems better to have your feet aired and out in the open in hot weather rather than encasing them in sweaty little boxes.
posted by geeklizzard at 11:45 AM on May 23, 2015


If you think five finger shoes are freaky, wait until you see jikatabi. I'd buy all of these in a flash if I didn't know that people would freak out.
posted by sukeban at 11:46 AM on May 23, 2015


Fashion is all about judgement fOr looking sloppy, unkempt, jiggly, or poor. I didn't make the rules and I don't want to enforce them but it's not like you'll see me wearing flops anywhere more than 2 miles from a beach. If you wear them to work, you're saying, either, "I don't believe this is a professional work setting" or "I don't care about this job". If you're cool with those statements (or you're working at like a surf shop) fine, but don't think your boss isn't thinking them.

It's good to reexamine your own fashion snobbery every few years tho. There's probably someone out there who still thinks you can't wear sneakers to work too.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:52 AM on May 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


sloppy, unkempt, jiggly, or poor.

This is my new line at Target btw.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2015


The articles and responses in this thread have evoked quite a response from me, so I apologize for not properly quoting in this comment.

Comfort: When I wore shoes regularly, my feet would constantly sweat, no matter the socks, the weather, the type of shoe, and so on. Then I'd take off those shoes and have to deal with the stink until my feet aired out. My feet might occasionally get a bit sweaty (not nearly as bad as with shoes), but it's much more quickly resolved. As for "what's wrong with me" and "how am I not uncomfortable in 10C weather", it's because 10C isn't cold. In fact, it's quite refreshing on those days to spread my toes a bit and feel the cool air get into places it doesn't normally. Even walking barefoot in snow is kinda nice; it only starts to suck when the snow stuck to your feet starts to melt, leading to cold, dense water.

Aesthetic/Cleanliness: The dirty feet and unkempt toenails mentioned are likely because the wearer is only a gym-shower, beachfront, quick-errand besandled person. I would think that most people who wear constantly notice these things more and resolve them. Also, if I come to your house and you don't want me to track in anything on my feet (since I almost always take off any footwear unless I notice otherwise), I will gladly wash my feet and then my hands. It's actually quite a nice feeling to rub your feet with a washcloth and hot water. I do this regularly and started doing it even when I was wearing shoes (see above). This is totally a thing that should come back.

Ergonomic: My feet are flat and narrow. So flat as in: "Don't like the noise that flip flops make? Here, enjoy the sound of my feet making suction cup noises if I walk barefoot". I have foot meat that spills out all over the place; my footprints do not look human. As much as cobblers have come up with shoes for the flat- and narrow-footed, they still suck for my feet and the way I walk. Wearing sandals or being barefoot means that I can alter the way I walk or stand easily. Sometimes I'm lazy and just pronate. In some cases when I'm standing, I'll manually (hah) arch my feet and shift the load to the balls and outside of my feet. There are even times where I walk completely on the outside edge of my feet, so that the bottoms are pretty much facing each other. So yeah, "mother nature knew what she was doing" my ass. "You need proper arch support!" people tell me, then they actually see my feet and sheepishly say "oh, well, there's nothing we can do for you". So, fuck shoes.

Appropriateness: This is probably the one that pisses me off the most. It's the whole class/status thing that drives me nuts about society and culture. Obviously, I don't give a fuck about the fashion aspect; clothes are simply a tool for environmental comfort and modesty -- a bit of societal appropriateness that I do accept. Fortunately, I have a job where I can wear whatever most of the time. I did buy some Vans at the behest of the CEO for when we go on client visits, but even then, I avoid wearing them. I lug them around when I travel, just in case someone is a potential shit about that. Don't like the fact that I don't wear shoes? Fuck you, I'm really good at what I do and it's your fucking loss. As for weddings and funerals, I fortunately don't get invited to such occasions. I like to think that people would want me to be myself at those events. Despite that, when I have had to do such things, I deal with it and suit up.

So, now that I've unloaded some white male entitlement about having to deal with this one thing occasionally, shall we discuss shorts versus long pants next?
posted by bonje at 12:54 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


but it's just a line drawn on the nail? it doesn't mean that the nail is long? that would be so uncomfortable.

arrg no sometimes I'll see actual long toenails how the hell do you even fit them in shoes or not shred your sheets it makes no sense. And I am totally fine with feet in general.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:04 AM on May 24, 2015


So, now that I've unloaded some white male entitlement about having to deal with this one thing occasionally, shall we discuss shorts versus long pants next?

First Affirmative Constructive: Jorts are a blight on humanity when worn by anyone but toddlers or time travelling ravers from 1996.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2015


This is a battle in my house; my husband is anti-flip-flop which, whatever, I don't have to walk around in your shoes so your choice, but when we go to the beach and he's still in sneakers and socks, I look at my life, look at my choices.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:26 AM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you wear them to work, you're saying, either, "I don't believe this is a professional work setting" or "I don't care about this job" or I'm ultra-pregnant and my feet are too swollen for real shoes and I'll be damned if I'm buying bigger shoes for these last 3 weeks. Nobody said a thing about it to me. Pregnant women (and others dealing with similar issues) get a pass.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:31 AM on May 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jorts are a blight on humanity when worn by anyone but toddlers or time travelling ravers from 1996.

...and cutoffs aren't jorts. Just so we're clear.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2015


In Australia we call flip-flops "thongs". I had a mate back in high school who came from a dirt poor family. I went around his place one day after school to shoot the shit and noticed he was wearing only one thong. I said "Hey, did you lose a thong?" He said "Nah, I found one."

He wanted to go to the beach to see if he could find one for the other foot but it was getting pretty late and they had nothing to eat so I shot through.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:05 PM on May 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wait, surely no one actually believes that cut off jeans are a blight on humanity? I would personally suggest some kind of desensitization therapy if that's the case - I mean, that must be like believing that t-shirts are a blight on humanity, or knit hats are.
posted by Frowner at 4:09 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Places where it's acceptable to wear flip-flops: the beach, the pool, the shower at the gym.

Places where it's not acceptable to wear flip-flops: anywhere that isn't the beach or the pool or the shower at they gym.


Related?
posted by Start with Dessert at 4:28 PM on May 24, 2015


No, cutoffs are fine. Especially if you're Tom Selleck. I'm talking about jorts.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:29 PM on May 24, 2015


Thank god.

/dozens of us!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:07 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


My combination of swim fins and compression stockings fashionably adumbrates the gap twixt Je ne sais quoi and savoir faire.
posted by Chitownfats at 12:37 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


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