If you’re a member of a special society or group that loves men’s bare feet and toes, or if your partner or spouse has a foot fetish and loves admiring, touching or more with respect to your toes, congratulations. You’re in a special minority.
Unless one is adjacent to a pool or a beach or still living in a cave, ancient Greece or ancient Rome, I think one can safely deduce that very few people in polite modern society want to look at a man’s bare feet or toes out in public. Very few.
The result of a Google image search of “men’s sandals” yields tons of images of tragically unattractive sandals from online retail sources, but very few images (if any) with actual feet in them. There’s a good reason for that: feet are ugly. Those resources want to entice people to actually buy sandals. If brands shot closeup detail images of a man’s foot wearing a sandal, they’d force men to visualize just how unattractive they are and probably miss the sale.
If someone took a survey asking women or gay men which part of the male body they found the least attractive, I’m fairly confident that feet or toes would make the top of the list. And here we are, at the beginning of another season where men step out in public in footwear that obligates the non foot fetishists among us to gaze upon the nastiest part of the male anatomy.
Women are excepted from this because their feet are, quite frankly, prettier. They also do something most men are simply unwilling to do by grooming their feet with pedicures and often painting their toenails in beautiful colors, producing a foot that is much lovelier to look at than a man’s.
For men, there are many other options for easy, casual, slip-on footwear when it’s hot outside. We’ve got canvas sneakers, loafers, boat shoes and, my personal favorite, espadrilles. One might try to argue that they think those options are unattractive. As I’ve said before, exposed feet and toes are uglier. Trust me.
This is not to say I don’t love my Havaiana flip-flops. I do. But I only wear them when I’m out in the courtyard, at a pool or at a beach.
“But George… I want to be comfortable.” Yeah, I get that. But there’s a line somewhere, and people make a choice about whether or not to cross it, in the interest of comfort or anything else. Onesies are comfortable, too, but I don’t see a lot of those when I walk past the craft brewery at happy hour, bro. Not yet, anyway.
And then there’s the other justification: “I don’t care how I look.” No need to state the obvious. We get that, too. And it’s a boner killer.
Further reading: Instead of Flip-Flops.