Sandals are the perfect summer shoes, even if the Internet keeps trying to tell guys otherwise
As consistent as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, there is one thing you can count on the Internet for when the days start getting longer and warmer: thinkpieces on why men shouldn’t wear sandals.
It’s a trend that seems to have started around 2010 and taken deep root by 2013. Like Nickelback and Comic Sans, hating on guys who wear sandals has become a national pastime adopted by outlets across the country in need of a summer story. For certain, they are not completely without merit; you probably shouldn’t be wearing sandals to work unless you are a spokesman for Billabong, and definitely don’t rock flops on a first date. But the language used in these critical pieces turns the heat all the way up to 11.
Adequate Man stated that “Birks are bad, and should be avoided/burned in dumpster fires.” D Magazine added, “Save for bondage suits and ponytails, flip-flops are the most horrifying thing a man could possibly wear outside of the comfort of his own home.” Mashable came into the conversation saying, “Whatever the terminology, their rampant prevalence on the streets is one of the most nauseating things about summer. And because they are so heinous and a sin to men everywhere, they must die — and do so quickly.” “A national scourge.” said Gawker. Even we at Business Insider threw our share of easy punches, saying of sandals: “they're inferior shoes, and they don't cover up much — including your disgusting feet.”
I find this criticism befuddling. Sure, I understand that sandals are casual attire, and by no means do I advocate you wearing them to a funeral or on the subway or to your dream job interview. But guys, it’s totally okay to wear sandals. I promise. In many cases it’s preferable to closed toe shoes! The suns out and you want to pop outside, hitting the corner store for a sandwich or walking to the park to play some soccer where you know you’ll prefer to be barefoot, dismiss the haters, slide on your flops and be on your way.
And I’m not alone in this thinking. When Men’s Fitness asked 100 women “Do you like when guys wear flip flops?” 71 responded in the affirmative. Despite all of the hate expressed in the previously cited pieces, the empirical evidence I examined on the subject showed that women are okay with, or even approve of guys with some open-toed footwear. Sure, it's important to take care of your feet if you're going to commit to wearing flops for an extended period of time, but you should be doing that anyways, and if a desire to wear sandals will encourage you to do so, all the better.
It's 2016, do what you love, wear what you want, and if writers on the Internet tell you you're wrong to do so, so be it. Below are some of our favorite picks for summer sandals; they're functional and fitting for your summer activities.