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The 10 Commandments of Men’s Sandals

  • Kempt Staff

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The latest from Beach Week, our effort to send you to the shore in style this summer.

We would be remiss to spend an entire week talking about the beach without addressing the uncomfortable subject of sandals—especially now that the more leathery end of the spectrum has begun creeping into menswear.

The sandal has long plagued man with questions regarding decorum, stylishness and indecent foot exposure. Luckily we’re here to guide you on your quest to enlightenment with:

The 10 Commandments of Men’s Sandals...

1. Thy Sandals Are Always Acceptable at the Beach. This goes for everything, including your boilerplate rubber flip-flops.

2. Or Anywhere Neareth a Body of Water. We like to keep the radius somewhere in the 500-foot range of anything swimmable—which means poolside bars and beachfront restaurants are usually fair game.

3. The Rubber Stoppeth Here. That’s it. The above two should cover just about anywhere you can wear flip-floppy sandals in public (that means health spas, locker rooms and the privacy of your own place are still okay).

4. Birkenstocketh Within Reason. The humble leather slip-on sandal is enjoying a bit of a moment in menswear, but that doesn’t mean you should be wearing them with your Italian suit—or to any occasion that calls for one.

5. But Thou Are Notteth Jesus. So skip the hemp rope straps. (And the hacky sack, you dirty hippie.)

6. Nor a Gladiator. That means your leather sandals should not feature any straps that ascend above the ankle. Unless you’re Russell Crowe. He gets a pass for life.

7. Choose Thy Sock Wisely. Once a sure sign of anti-fashion, wearing socks with sandals is slowly becoming fashionable, er, acceptable. It’s about wearing the right sock—something with a formidably chunky knit and not preceded by the word “dress” or “tube.”

8. Mindeth Thy Hygiene. This should go without saying, but feet pose a more tricky proposition. Keep a clipper handy and some tough-actin’ Tinactin. You can also opt for a professional pedicure, but that’s a conversation for another time.

9. Speaketh of Fungus. Just forget all of the above and put on some light cotton sneakers. Save everyone, yourself included, the trouble.

10. Notteth a Bad Idea, Actually. Really, you can avoid all of this trouble with a good pair of summer sneakers. Or espadrilles.