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Posts Tagged ‘Sandals’

Sandals – Shoewear of the Gods

There’s a few things in life I’m anal-retentive about, one of those things for sure is sandals. Living here on the Gulf Coast I wear sandals at least 11 months out of the year. So as spring arrives, I thought I’d give the sandal-challenged men a few hints that might save you some time and frustration.

Apollo, trying on sandals at the local Kappa-mart, about 650 B.C.

Apollo, trying on sandals at the local Kappa-mart, about 650 B.C.

Focusing on comfort, style, and price, I’ll point to to my favorite styles and brands that I think the average joe will enjoy, and all under $70 bones a pair.

There’s a huge variety of styles: thong, flip-flop, open toe, slide, athletic, heel-strap, full coverage, dress, shower, fisherman, nautical and lace-ups. Materials used in the making of sandals are almost endless: Leather, rubber, plastic, cork, cloth, hemp, nylon among other synthetic and natural materials. And of course price can vary from 99 cent dollar-store specials to well over $100 and up.

Columbia Slate Slide III

Columbia Slate Slide III

There’s three basic styles that I believe everyone should own: thong, slide and heel-strap or “full” sandals.

thong – for beach, poolside, gym shower

slide – everyday wear, boardwalk, casual dining, shopping, light walking

full – camping, hiking, watersports, heavy walking

The reason I left off the other styles is because I believe these three can generally cover most situations, although you may have a need or want for one of the other types, for instance, a pair of 2 buck flip-flops are fine if you’re hitting a public beach and don’t want to worry about your shoes being stolen while you’re out in the water. Or you may do a lot of kayacking or canoeing that a tight-fitting, quick-drying water-shoe type sandal would be best.

Teva Men's Fossil Canyon - full sandal

Teva Men's Fossil Canyon full strap

I’m also going to complety skip over “dress” sandals, mostly because I’ve only once found a pair that I thought hit the comfort, style, and price bullseye, and they’ve long since stopped making them (expect to pay $150 or more for a decent pair of dress sandals). If your slide sandals don’t look dressy enough, try some slip-On pennyloafers (Sperry’s topsiders come to mind) Oh, and never, ever, ever wear socks with sandals, and only with pennyloafers if you’re wearing slacks.

Now for my recommended brands:
Teva, Columbia, Sperry, and one style of Crocs. The reason for the first three brands is because they each have good quality sandals across the board at a good price; and virtual none make a bad sandal. Teva for example has over 70 styles to choose from, so even if you stick to my recommendations, you’ll still have a good variety to choose from.

Crocs Athens - thong

Crocs Athens - thong

Why crocs? As I stated, just one style from their line-up, the “Athens”. And it’s because I believe they are the perfect thong style sandal. They are low priced, very comfortable, and extremely durable.

Although the plastic foamy shoe brand is famous for their clog-type fugly wear, the Athens thong is sleek and stylish, perfect for pool, spa, shower and even the beach with a variety of colors and easy rinse cleaning.

While my favorite all-time sandal style are the slides, this year sandal makers have read my mind and began making a hybrid slide -full sandal, in which the heel strap is removable.

Best all-round sandal  - Columbia Sun Scape w/ removable heel strap

Best all-round sandal - Columbia Sun Scape w/ removable heel strap

Columbia’s Dorado and Sun Scape styles both have this feature, making the Sun Scape my best all-round sandal pick for this year. Let’s hope the other sandal makers follow suit.

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