Guys, and gals for that matter, have been debating this for decades. Well, at least over the past two decades. And the answer? Well, it’s not as simple as yes or no.
When searching for an answer on this topic, there are so many points of view... some said it was totally okay because the “manliest men” have been wearing them since the beginning of time: Roman gladiators, “Greek gods”, African kings... even Jesus. While others look at men in sandals as downright feminine, saying things like “I don’t wear anything that’s considered woman’s clothing, that includes purses, skirts, and sandals.”
All the gentlemen wardrobe/styling books tend to avoid the topic of men in sandals. And when a book does mention it, it’s either sternly against it or indirectly snubs it.
A friend told me that he once read a rule in Esquire Mag that stated, “You lose 61 percent of your respect for a man when you can see his toes through his shoes.” (or something like that).
With that said, plenty of well dressed gentlemen opt for a luxe pair of sandals when in sunny Rio de Janeiro, vacationing in Jamaica, or simply strolling through the cobblestone streets of Sicily.
So, now you may ask-- what’s the final verdict, can men wear sandals or not?
The Traditional Vs The Non-traditional
The issue of gentlemen wearing sandals is simply a matter of the traditional versus the non-traditional. The Urban Gentleman who chooses the traditional route should not expose his toes; canvas lace-ups, decks shoes, loafers, and oxfords all worn sockless is how he keeps his feet cool in the summer months.
The Urban Gentleman that chooses the non-traditional route should wear sandals that match his style. And let’s be honest we can mentally flip through our rolodex of friends and picture which friends can pull off sandals and which can’t.
The extremely environmentally conscious type, the world traveler type, and the vintage hipster type are just a few that can be seen getting away with sandals.
But whether traditional or nontraditional, flip-flops on the beach are just common sense. And sandals are just a part of life for the Urban Gents from island countries.
If you are choosing to wear sandals, then please get a pedicure. There’s nothing worse than a man wearing sandals with unkempt feet. Make sure your toenails are cut and feet are moisturized.
The Urban Gentleman