First of all - I know a few of you clicked on this article and are currently sharpening your knives to tear apart what is rather a polemic title, which is why I’ll go ahead and nip this in the bud by saying - Okay, I agree that this title is a bit salacious and there are rare (and I do emphasize the word rare) occasions in which flip flops are allowable which I'll touch upon in this piece; I will dull it down to ‘Why men should mostly never ever wear flip flops.’
Better? Good - let’s get into it.
Science and Medicine Say They’re Pointless
There's no evidence from the science or medical community that sandals or flip flops are good for you in any way. Sure, they’re fine to wear if you have a specific foot injury or skin condition that requires open and continuous exposure to air (shout out to fans of "The Night Of"), but for most guys with feet that are perfectly fine, flip flops do nothing for you.
Any podiatrist will agree that flip flops give you zero cushion to the impact your feet and shins receive, as well as any sort of support to your arches. In fact, by design, flip flops lack a shank (which is the supportive structure under your arch in all shoes) which is known to lead to plantar fasciitis.
So medically, flip flops serve no function - in fact, they actually capable of harming you.
Not Only Are They Pointless, They’re Dangerous
Flip flops are not only terrible for your feet and have been known to cause serious injury over time, but they are dangerous all around. There are numerous instances of flip flops getting caught on escalators, random gaps on paved walkways, and people obliterating their toes (which are wide open to the elements) on random sidewalk obstructions that wouldn’t phase a person wearing normal shoes.
If you don’t believe me, try a Google image search of “flip flops motorcycle accident” - I advise doing this when you have nothing in your stomach.
Last But Not Least - They’re Hideous
It wouldn't be a Buck & Breck article unless we touched upon the aesthetic values of flip flops - which are non existent.
They are hideous, cumbersome, and awkward bits of leather (or worse, plastic) that are loosely attached to your feet. Flip flops are almost universally panned in the fashion world so if the medical ramifications or the propensity to injury didn’t qualify your disinterest in flip flops, read these words carefully - they are offensive to anybody with functioning eyes.
So for all of you guys out there who think you can “get away” with wearing them, trust me when I tell you that you can not and have not pulled them off - ever. Anybody who has told you that you look good while wearing flip flops are either lying to your face, secretly hate you and are goading the downfall of your fashion aesthetic by encouraging you to wear them, or just have monstrous tastes.
Either way, you’re not winning.
Well...Can I Ever Wear Them?
Sure, there are moments where flip flops are okay. Let me list them for you:
- At the beach, pool, or any direct proximity to a body of water
- Your home
- At a spa
- No, there is no 4, that's it.
Unless you’re a gladiator, marooned on a desert island (which technically satisfies the first point), or the son of Christ (who really technically wore sandals), you should never wear flip flops.
As I’ve said before, I hate being a negative nelly without providing you with a list of alternatives or options for footwear in lieu of flip flops. Check out a few I’ve picked below.
Rivieras - Pavillon 20 Whisky
These are great, they look slick, and come in a variety of color combinations that can match any outfit. What's great about Rivieras is that they come with different options of shoe material, so you can really customize these to fit whatever lifestyle. You can typically find these for $75.00US, or possibly cheaper if you find a good sale online.
Sperry - Top-Sider Gold Cup Authentic
These Sperry Top-Siders are a timeless, classic slip-on that can be paired with almost any casual outfit. If you're going out for an errand, a quick walk with the dog, or even a walk down a trail by the beach, these shoes are good to go for any occasion. They usually run up to $160.00US for a pair, but you can find them for a cheaper price at bigger outlets or box stores - good example, I found a pair at Nordstrom Rack for only $99.97US (click on the button to see).
Soludos - Embroidered Smoking Slip Ons
These shoes are a bit more bold, but are definitely on-point when it comes to something easy you can wear during the spring or summer seasons. They come on and off quite easily, and are a great alternative for kicks to wear to the beach. These run $75.00US for the more elaborate embroidered pairs, but can be as cheap as $42.00US.