Objects of Desire: Men’s sandals

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From the May 3, 2012 edition

Let me preface this public service announcement with a full disclosure of fashion neutrality: I write about style, but I really don’t care what you wear. We can offer advice about what to wear and how to wear it, but like any service piece, the ball is in your court after you read it. No judging here. 

Except when this decision is made: wearing socks with sandals. 

Men!

The culprits of this atrocity are usually dads from Montana who are visiting Disney World the same time I am. (Their stubby ponytails and children with names like Annabelle Bree and River Red are poolside giveaways that when they’re not rocking those practically translucent swim trunks, they’re making socks with sandals and jorts happen.)

Thankfully this delusional dad epidemic is not too prominent in Columbus.  

But what to wear? The selection of men’s warm-weather footwear is depressing.

Plastic flip-flops are mildly offensive on men no longer in college. If playing cornhole on the Oval is not on your daily agenda, you’re better than flip-flops. Treat yourself with some respect. Flip-flops would never call you the morning after.

Birkenstocks are granola. Crocs are lazy. Anything with Velcro just looks kind of silly. 

Thong leather sandals with, ahem, trimmed toenails and decently kempt toe hair is a relatively attractive option. Stick with those when wearing sandals. Otherwise, might I suggest a boat shoe or a stylish sneaker? (Try shoerepertoire.com/store.)

I know, dudes, that it blows that nothing really looks awesome on you that actually lets your foot feel fresh air when it’s 95 degrees outside, but girls have to get bikini waxes, so ... yeah. 

Also, apologies for the recent trend of the media applying the “man” or “m” prefix to anything you wear as a way to condescend your outfit choices while simultaneously defending your masculinity.

Actually, I’m kind of hoping I run into someone in Columbus this summer wearing a murse, sockified mandal, manpri and painted moob (I’m thinking ComFest) all in one outfit! Maybe he’ll even have a baby burp of a ponytail. 

Your rebellious sartorial defiance would impress me, good sir. You will have thrown down a gauntlet to my snobby footwear predilections. A mauntlet? Yes, we should call that a mauntlet. 

∙ Objects of Desire is a biweekly column that explores items Columbus shoppers crave. Follow Jackie Mantey on Twitter at @Jackie_Mantey.

Photo by Tim Johnson