Trendzilla

Top-of-the-list sandal for guys: the flip-flop

Go anywhere this summer (and hurry up 'cause we hate you)—the Louvre, Evita's tomb, Frida Kahlo's house, Nixon's point break—and you'll spend a lot of time looking at other people's bare feet. It sucks.

Guys are kinda ugly all over anyway, but even a lot of women have ugly feet in sandals. So it's really the sandal lobby's fault: there's really only a few sandals that are worth a damn.

Top of the list for women is probably the T-strap sandal—which is rather fetching for some reason—followed by almost anything dressy or with a heel. Women get a big fat pass here because they're pretty and because they can paint their toenails and get pedicures and smell nice. Know any guys with a pedicure?

Top-of-the-list sandal for guys—it's right up there for women, too—is, oddly, the flip-flop. I had to look at a lot of Texas feet last week in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport (where they rack The New Yorker upside-down and, oddly, the Muzak is always New Order) to figure this out. After that women's lacrosse incident last year when the players wore flip-flops to the White House, I hated flip-flops, but they are simply so streamlined they can't be visually objectionable. They are, however, very casual; the only White House event you should wear them to is a clambake at Cotton's Point, the break outside the former Western White House in San Clemente. They're perfect for guys, though—easy and impossible to screw up.

Otherwise, guys have a short list of good sandals. I hate slider sandals 'cause they remind me of shower sandals—which are always verboten—or else the International Male catalog which I read in the late '80s without irony or knowing that . . . you know. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't hate Flojos. They look like these '60s sandals my dad bought from some hippie company up north: utilitarian without being terrible.

And they don't have Velcro. This is key. Velcro is sometimes acceptable on a shoe—the leather Chuck Taylors with Velcro closures being the prime example—but on a sandal? Never. Someone should have told the middle-aged couple I sat across from on the flight back to John Wayne. Wire-rimmed glasses, T-shirts tucked into high-waisted shorts, Velcroed sandals—it was all like an audition for the live-action King of the Hill.

 
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