this little piggy made me puke


I wasn’t going to write a blog, because I think there’s only about fourteen people on the Web today, but I just saw all this press about the new surge in flip-flop popularity, and never one to miss having my finger on the carotid artery of pop culture, I have to weigh in.

To wit: I cannot fucking stand men in flip-flops. Sandals are bad enough, but flip-flops make my fucking skin crawl. It’s fine at the beach, or somewhere utterly casual, but when men start wearing them to red carpet affairs and to the various meetings we have, I have to draw the line. Step up, gentlemen! I wore shoes to your meeting, and so should you. Your hairy toes and disgusting Man Toenails are so distracting that I can’t think.

Call me an old fart, but there’s something disrespectful about the flip-flop away from casual environments. Women can wear them all they want, because their feet are generally pampered (and sexy) but men’s toes should be heard and not seen. By the way, it’s not always appropriate for women either – when the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team wore flip-flops to the White House, I was disgusted. I hate Bush as much as your average thinking, sensitive American, but you can bet I would have worn shoes to his home.

Now, doctors are saying flip-flops destroy your heels and ruin your career. What else do you need to know?

Solution? If you absolutely fucking HAVE to go without socks, try those Keen Newport Sandals that Kent, gay men, and I like:


Your feet will have all the oxygen they need, and you can keep them the hell away from me. Frickin’ YUCK!

0 thoughts on “this little piggy made me puke

  1. Mom

    Flip flops on women are equally nasty. Not at home or in the garden or out walking the dog on the beach or… well, you know. But even to the store, come on. I wear TIVAs a lot, because its as close to bare feet as I can get in the summertime. But even those are a bit much in any even moderately formal situation. Certainly your meeting guy should have left his flip flops home by the pool.
    My particular pet peeve is loafers with no socks. Do those guys REALLY think we don’t know their feet are sweaty ans smelly? echhh. At least with sandals they get some evaporation going, but in loafers? If god had meant us to have slimy feet inside our shoes, she wouldn’t have created socks.

  2. CP

    I couldn’t agree more. of all the blogs you’ve ever written, this might speak to me the most. thank you for articulating almost EXACTLY my feelings on men’s feet, women’s feet, the whole flip-flop fiasco invading our culture like a fungus, and this issue in general. on which you are not only the voice of dissent but reason, and I stand proudly among you in my sneakers.

  3. Isis

    Keens ROCK. Why limit yourself to the sandals? I own about 5 different pairs of Keens, and I love love love them all. Love them.

  4. Beth

    I routinely wear flip-flops (Merrells, with more coverage and arch support) around the house and to walk the dog, but I’m always a little surprised to see the number of women on the subway, on their way to work, with their piggies hanging out. I mean, that’s a great way to get them stomped on. And no matter how groomed the feet were to begin with, they get pretty grimy as the day progresses. Ick.
    And on that note, have a fabulous holiday weekend, everyone!

  5. alan

    I love my flip flops, but I really only wear them around the house and yard. I don’t like the ones with the thing between the toes though, I always get a blister from them. Ian, I’d be glad to send you a high resolution close-up of my sexy man feet to use as your desktop background.

  6. grumphreys

    sorry, ian, i’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. flip-flops and slip-on sandals are seeing a resurgence because of their sheer comfort, and i’m all for it.
    when facing ultra-hot weather, you can wrap your dogs up in their own personal leather sweat boxes, or let them breathe a little. is it really so strange that people are choosing the latter, social conventions be damned?

  7. Deb

    Worse than anything you’ve mentioned, is wearing socks with sandals. I h-a-t-e it.
    And as for wearing shoes w/o socks, this reminds me of those bygone days of summer camp. My dad absolutely insisted that we wear socks with our shoes and sneakers, because of the aforementioned hygiene issue. But at the time, the *thing to do* was wear your Keds without socks. So I would actually walk out of the house with socks on, change on the bus to camp, and do the reverse on the bus home. What a rebel was I!

  8. CL

    Hey, look, 14 people on the ‘net and nine have weighed in! You are so popular.
    I hope everyone has a great weekend and a fabulous fourth.

  9. emma

    I may get some flack for this opinion, but I despise the things called crocs that people are wearing today. The biggest offender is this family of three I know who all have matching crocs – the poor little five year old boy has no idea how silly they look.
    And me, when I head to the beach or am out in the yard,I just wear my 15 year old mule Birks and keep my toes covered until the last possible minute.

  10. GFWD

    Ian, what straight man even notices another man’s feet? (Not that gay men necessarily do. And if they did, there would be nothing wrong with it.) I’ve known some guys since our freshman year at Carolina and to this day, I don’t even know if they have feet. I presumed they just hovered.
    Unless the people wearing flip-flops are gnawing on their yellowed toenails at the dinner table or propping their feet on your desk at eye-level during your pitch meetings, just don’t look down there. The one caveat being, of course, if their feet smell like stale cheese. Then, by all means, insist that they get some fungal powder, socks and shoes.
    I used to wear the flip flops that split the big and second toes. I then switched to Birkenstocks. Bought one pair in 1995 and another in 1999. Still have the ’99’s. My main summer footwear, however, are the Nike “teva-esque” shoes. Got married on the beach wearing them and just picked up a second pair last year. Comfortable. Practical. Water proof (or at least they dry relatively quickly) and cushioned like a regular tennis shoe.
    Men in man clogs should be slapped so hard that they fly out of the said clogs and land in a pair of Tevas. Emma, I know the shoes of which you speak. Everytime I’ve seen a friend of mine in them, I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to guilt or ridicule them into something else. My success rate on said badgering is 0%.
    Which leads me to think they just might be comfortable. Dang. Well, I can only hope they are prohibitively priced so I wont’ even be tempted to try on a pair.

  11. Jodi

    Man clogs are difficult. The only pair I accept are worn by a chef/catering friend who wears them mostly because they are the one pair of shoes that wipe clean. The top I mean. Those of you who have restaurant worked will note that the kitchen environment lends to some manky shoes with shoelaces that you can boil and make stock with.
    The trendy ones that are bright plastic with holes defy this utility and all wearers should immediately and permanently Stop Breathing-

  12. Lee

    I’m with ghumphreys and LURVE my flip flops! I can hardly wear anything else in the summer time. I feel like a kid who just wants to play all summer long and if I have to go to work, at least I can wear my flip flops! My whole office wears flip flops and while we may not have a retirement savings plan, but we luvs our flips.
    And speaking of, I just got a new pair of Reefs last week at WB and they just rock. Comfy. mmmmmmm….
    I would not, however, wear them to a meeting where other people wear shoes. Maybe that’s why I hate meetings?

  13. Steph Mineart

    Flip flops never stay on my feet, and I feel naked wearing them. Plus they feel terrible to walk around in for any distance. I’ve never been a fan for anything other than running out to get the paper from the front step.
    But keens rock! Sandals with decent arch support — who knew that existed?

  14. John Schultz

    Flip flops are acceptable attire except in business settings.
    If you have problems with Boat Gravy, then you need to wear socks and shoes.
    I prefer the addidas adelettes to true flip flops.

  15. k

    Yeah. I’m totally fine with flip flops for both sexes. As long as you don’t have nasty feet, showing them is a-ok with me. I actually have never really understood why so many people think they are distasteful or repellant. They’re feet. Sure, sometimes the guy next to me in yoga has feet that smells like wet dog and dried apricots, but that’s probably because he’s had them trapped in nasty black office socks and shoes all day. Go ventilation. I like keens too though. I’m a friend to all. Except stinky office socks. Gross.

  16. Lookuhs in Austria

    I was the one who made my dad (Kent) get the Keens in the first place. I’ve been rocking them for 2 years and I’m pleased as fuck.
    I’m on tour in Europe right now and Keens are the only shoes I bothered to bring.

  17. xuxE

    YES! a shoe discussion, happy friday!!
    i totally agree, men in thongs = bad, unless you are a professional surfer. i will make an occasional exception for a particularly suave pair of italian leather sandals, but they really must look like something you would wear in morocco. dsquared2 has a pair i particularly like.
    the ONLY thongs i own or have owned are this stylish pair from an italian company called “THINK” which i am in love with. about as close to something like birkenstocks as i will get.
    i do own a pair of crocs, but they are strictly for the house. more practical than fluffy slippers when you have two large dogs and a cat. i haven’t worn plastic shoes out and about since my 8th grade jellies.
    but i gotta tell you, i am really not digging those keen sandal things, ian. unless you are on a long distance hike or something. how about the adidas climacool line? breatheable AND stylish, like a sneaker that almost isn’t there? or how about the timberland humbolt in dark brown? now THAT is a sharp men’s sandal, also very outdoorsy and a great value.

  18. DFB's&T's

    Based on his heart-rendering advocacy of silky boxer-briefs and Keens, I hereby nominate Ian for Star Jones’ vacant seat on The View. He would bring a breath of fresh feminine air to the show to offset the masculine Rosie.

  19. kent

    I don’t care what people wear. I work at a place with a dress code, and you don’t know how much I hate that. I used to be able to wear jeans to work, before they got serious about enforcing it. But at the hospital they can’t tell the patients and their families what to wear, so I see every imaginable get up, and some I can’t even imagine before seeing them.
    But as someone who has had foot problems I take shoes very seriously. Keens and Adidas Superstar 2Gs have that right balance of comfort, cushioning and support.
    On the socks-with-sandles tip: I agree that looks pretty awful with shorts — though Keens with white socks are permissable if you’re actually out hiking. But with long pants, especially jeans, socks and sandles are the height of comfort. And I’ll tell you why:
    What makes for cold feet is constriction and sweat. Socks with sandles addresses both issues. I’ve been outside in subzero weather in socks and sandles, and my feet stay warm, because they’re not constricted and the sweat wicks away instantly. I’m miserable in insulated boots, which are too hot and sweaty indoors. Your feet can stay warm even when its cold, if you give them half a chance.

  20. ken

    My job is super casual (my 60 year-old boss was wearing a Sub Pop t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops the other night), so I can wear (and do) flip-flops, Crocs, Birks, sandals as do most of my co-workers. I waited until that first summer to make sure other people wore this stuff before I did but it is commonplace.
    And thanks xuxe for mentioning the footwear by the name we used to call them as kids: THONGS. When did the underwear claim ownership of the name thong?
    Since thongs now evoke butt-floss underwear and flip flops evoke the right’s oh-so-not-clever nickname for John Kerry, I say we start calling flip-flops thongs again.

  21. jif

    those keens are atrocious. and flip flops were my feets’ – and thereby yours, ian – salvation. but more importantly GERMANY KICKED SOME ARGENTINIAN ASS YO!!!!!!!In a penalty shoot out – brilliant!! One down, one more to go, VAI AZZURI!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Just Andrew

    I’m so confused. I am among the fashion clueless, always have been, doesn’t bother me, it is just my lot in life.
    Recently there was a long dicussion on the BoB about sandals on men – I’ve been wearing the sport sandals since they were invented a few years ago. Now I’m hearing that they are unacceptable, but flip-flops are OK. Now I’ve never owned a pair of flip-flops until last night…
    Heading out camping today to I stopped by Wally Mart last night for some supplies and picked up a $1.94 pair of flip-flops.
    Now I hear they aren’t OK either?
    So what can I wear with shorts? I’ve got my Timberlands that I wear the rest of the year – should I just wear those with socks pushed down around my ankles?
    The answer I’m reallly looking for, is what will attract the babes, in droves, preferably?

  23. Salem

    There may be many reasons to wear flip-flops, but I suspect comfort is not the resaon these Hollywood men are sporting them. I think it’s pure vanity. Their personal and private indulgence of $100.00 pedicures was just not as satisfying as it used to be, so they simply had to put their toe nails into the spotlight. Toe nails are the next field of battle for the man who has everything. What else could follow calf implants? It only makes sense. Next issue of People Magazine: “Hollywood’s New Leading Man, This Cutiies Cuticles take Cali by storm!”

  24. xuxE

    now THOSE are some hella tight kicks. release your inner skate punk!
    by the way – Ian do you mind if i make a little request up in here?
    if any of you actors and actresses or someone you know is interested, please check out the auditions for this movie from my friends and familia:
    the script is also hella tight. :)

  25. scruggs

    Very timely, as I had received my Keen Newports earlier in June in preparation for an outdoorsie vacation. Big fan so far. Tank of a shoe.
    And as a shoutout to, it was my first time ordering with them. Ordered the sandals in the proper time window for 2day shipping on a Tues to get them on a Thurs. However, when I checked the tracking on Wed, it showed they went out a day late and due on the Friday, which didn’t work as we were flying out Friday morning. Zappos shipped out a second pair overnight delivery at no charge and even refunded my initial upgraded shipping charge of $15 and I got them in time. I highly recommend.

  26. kjf

    ian – your favorite shoes are on sale at nordstrom for 59.90 during their anniversary sale (july 14- 30) time to stock up!


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