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If The Shoe Fits
Room for Squares
by Philip Wong on Aug 08, 2008
Itís said that you can tell a lot about a man just by the clothes he wears. For instance, a neatly pressed shirt and a nicely starched collar might indicate diligence and care. Conversely, a sloppy look might be an external signifier of some inner disorder over love and life. Simply put, the clothes make the man. But if the body over which these clothes are worn is the temple, then the feet must surely be the altar, and the shoe its god.
One of these days, you should take the time to just sit at a sidewalk cafť; you can learn so much just by observing. The first thing youíd notice is that there are a lot of unnecessary Crocs out there. The second thing youíd notice is that someone needs to send out another memo regarding the retirement of Ugg boots. Like, stat. Obviously, a lot of people never got the first one.
At some point in the afternoon, when youíre done critiquing and lamenting everyone elseís unfortunate tastes in footwear, you might finally realize that the disparate choices in pedi-styles arenít only causes for despair. Theyíre also a wake up call. When one manís tossed aside moccasin is another manís newly minted driving slipper, the possibilities become endless. And when the possibilities are endless, so can be the well intentioned infractions.
Letís dispense with the obvious first Ė the leather boot. Leather, whether laced or not, is constricting, confining and conducive to suffocation. For all these reasons, they are the choice footwear (well...general wear really) for bondage enthusiasts the world over. When conducting affairs with a man in leather boots, be careful not to find yourself in any quick dress situations. Theyíre a bitch to get on, especially when youíre simultaneously scrambling to get out of your harnesses.
If the boot is the ultimate in fetish footwear, then the opposite of that must certainly be the flip flop. The name alone brings to mind a distinct lack of conviction, a devotion only to the lackadaisical. Flip flops should be reserved for the beach and little else. Maybe taking out the garbage or walking the dog. Rarely does San Francisco weather call for flip flops, and if it did, it still shouldnít be okay. That laidback, devil may care attitude of anybody who feels itís alright to parade around the city virtually shoeless would still be an act of criminal laziness. But if for some reason you absolutely have to wear flip flops, at least have the decency to help yourself to some Gold Bond beforehand.
Somewhere between the leather boot and the flip flop is the horrid leather sandal, a hybrid so horrendous, so atrocious, Roman gladiators wouldnít touch it with a ten foot pole. And yet, so many gay men do. I donít get it. If you want to go casual, why not go all the way? To surround your foot in leather, only have to then have sections of it cut out somehow seems horribly inappropriate, not to mention grossly outdated. Where in our code of conduct does it say that itís alright for anyone under the age of 65 to wear leather sandals?
The three samples named above are just a few drops in the ocean of available footwear options. I havenít even begun to touch on other favorites like the black dress shoe/white sweat sock combo, the ratty old Chucks, or the Birkenstock/white sock combo. Itís not that any of those is a fashion abomination per se (except for the black shoe-white sock thing....yuck!). After all, who am I to speak? I used to wear Buffalo platforms back when I wanted to be a Spice Girl. But generally speaking, we should use our heads when outfitting our feet. If the occasion fits, so should the shoe.
by Philip Wong on Aug 08, 2008