It’s true, I do. I love flip flops and summer footwear. Before I get into the sartorial portion of this post, I have to admit that my favorite flip flops are a pair of 3$ ones that I got at Cliff’s Variety in the Castro around 4 years ago that are black but have colored stripes in the side part of the footbed. They’re almost worn out but are so comfy and I love them so they get to stay for dog walks and quick trips to the supermarket. They are not acceptable (for me) going out footwear, and this post is not a do/don’t, just a what I like/don’t like – and you can take it from there.
It’s easiest for me to start with what I don’t like. In big, bold, huge letters, I DO NOT LIKE (because hate is a strong word) BIRKENSTOCKS.
I know that they’re comfy. And I know that people swear by them. I just think they’re pretty horrendous. Again, if you like ’em, go for it. I don’t think there’s anything classy about them, and mostly they just scream lesbian or European tourist to me. Especially when worn with socks. Which, I know you don’t need the reminder, but you should NEVER do that.
I also don’t like the kinds of sandals that are barely air-conditioned shoes. Like these, from Born:
In the category of “outdoorsy” sandals, or sandals that provide more support than flip flops do, I don’t like Tevas.
I actually own a pair of these and have kept them probably because they were kind of expensive (and if you want them, they’re yours,) but I don’t find them to be terribly comfortable, and don’t offer the kind of support and function that I’d like an “active” sandal to provide.
For outside summer activities which may or may not involve me jumping into a river or lake, I REALLY like Keen sandals. I know that I’ve talked about how much I like their shoes, but the first pair of Keens that I had were sandals. I am completely icked out by bugs and icky things like wet seaweed and river beds. These are PERFECT for keeping my feet away from such items, and also, the toe is covered which protects my feet when I’m biking or climbing up river banks. They also dry very very fast, which is a bonus.
Now for form instead of function. There’s no reason why you can’t rock a really nice pair of flip flops as going out wear during the summer. I’m partial to leather, either black or brown, for this type of flip flop. Paired with jeans or khaki’s and a button down shirt rolled up to the elbow this kind of footwear makes for a really stylish, classic casual look.
These are made by Chaco, but I also really love these from Cobian:
I also think that this offering, from Puma, are really fun, and I can see myself wearing them while on a deck or boat or rooftop with a frosty beverage in my hand while watching the sun set.
One thing to pay attention to when selecting flip flops is how they really fit your feet. Often times they’re really flat, with very little arch support, which is really not great for your feet, and will likely leave you feeling not so great after wearing or walking in them for a long time. I had to ditch my “but they’re just flip flops!!” pricing mantra a few years back when I realized that by spending a few extra bucks, I was buying a pair of shoes that don’t hurt and last for more than a few months.
Additionally, there are SO many different kinds and colors of flip flops to choose from, you’re practically guaranteed to find a pair that you will be the unique owners of in your town, and you can definitely find some that perfectly express your personal style.
What’s your favorite summer shoe option? Do you LOVE a pair that I hate? Tell me why!