It looks like I’m part of a trend (link to Dreher’s Crunchy Con).
This gives me a chance to spout off about something: Men wearing open-toed shoes or sandals. The Wife has tried. And tried. And tried to get me to wear sandals, clogs and other loose, open footwear – to no avail. Although I love her, and am where I am today thanks to her, there is absolutely no way she will get me to wear Teva’s, Birkenstocks, or any other kind of loose-fitting, open footwear.
Let’s face it: while some might consider the arch of a woman’s foot attractive no one in their right mind is going to find anything attractive in the average man’s foot. Worse, when I see a man who is wearing open footwear – and not wearing body armor of the type worn by the Spartans at Thermopylae along with it – I can’t help but think that the man is one or all of the following:
2. A transvestite
3. A European
4. A wuss.
There’s the old saying that nothing tells you more about a man than his shoes – and I cannot agree with that saying more. For example, if I could I would wear light but tough leather hiking or workboots with steel toes everywhere. Why? Because one minute I might be carrying dry wall up from the basement, and the next moving a sofa. Both tasks require sound footing, and nothing beats a Timberland workboot for keeping you balanced whether you are carrying a sack of compost or a baby.
If I could get away with it, I would wear the things to work. However I must be content with a classic buck or wingtip. Of course the perfect shoe for me is the Dr. Marten. Yes, I still remember my first pair fondly – and even if they have become a cliche and are now made in China, nothing says comfort and utility more than a pair of Docs.
Women change shoes the way a man changes tools. I reach for reciprocating saw in the same way that the Wife reaches for one pair of shoes. Then a few minutes later it’s over to the miter saw, and for her, a switch to the sandals.
Me? I put the shoes on in the morning and prefer not to take them off until it’s time to sleep at night. In the meantime I will walk to work, attend meetings, go to lunch, go back to work, walk back to the car, go grocery shopping, walk the dog, maybe cut the grass, clean the house, write and shower. If I need more than one pair of shoes to do all that, then I’m not being efficient. Even worse, since our home is run Japanese style, we remove our shoes in the genkan, or entry way, and the Wife yells at me if I have more than one pair there! Talk about mixed messages. “I wish I could get you to try on a pair of Birkenstocks,” she says. Yeah right. She may as well say “I wish I could get you to say a nice thing about President Carter.” Fat fucking chance, babe…
Face it: The last men who really need to wear sandals are Buddhist monks because they stand around begging or sit zazen meditating. Neither practice calls for Dr. Martens, although I have met some monks in Japan who wore them for the same reason I do.
As Dr. Seuss once said, “Feet feet feet. Oh how many feet you meet.” Well unless you are reincarnated as a cow and made into Timberlands or Dr. Marten’s, you won’t meet mine. And that’s the way it should be.