Saturday, July 2, 2011

Flipping and Flopping

HANK: I did it! And it means summer is here. I broke out--the flip flops! I love flip flops, I'm sorry to say, especially since some report just came out saying they're bad for your feet. No arch support, no toe protection, probably dangerous. Whatever. I don't wear them to the grocery store (which seems a little skeevy), or out in public to anywhere but the beach, but I do wear them at home! Like bare feet, only cuter.

Thing is, they are SO CHEAP and somehow I find them irresistible. I even just bought some from the MBTA, the subway system in Boston, because they have a map of the subways on them. Silly, yes. I have some that are stars and stripes for the Fourth of July. One foot is stars, one foot is stripes. And since they often only cost five dollars, you get all the fun of buying shoes without any of the drawbacks. (Drawbacks being spending too much money.)

If I showed you how many flip flops I have, I'd be embarrassed. But let me say there is a place in our house my husband calls the flip-flop room. He is, of course, exaggerating.

But wearing flip flops is such a sign of summer to me! What's your, um, stand on flip flops? Let's talk about your summer footwear. Espadrilles? Wedges? Bare feet?

RHYS: I go barefoot most of the year (in the house and garden) but I've never been good with flip flops. Strange feet, I guess. My summer uniform is a pair of Naturalizer Natural Sport sandals that are supportive enough to use for hiking. I have been looking for a pair of cute but elegant espadrilles because I decided that flat is too dorky. Could not find any. Either so high that I had to duck through the doorposts, or flat. What happened to the two inch heel for people who are not Hank and thus in danger of breaking their ankles in high heels?

ROSEMARY: home, on the beach or in hotels. Nowhere else. It drives me batty when I see girls dressed for work or an evening out and wearing flip-flops on the streets of New York. I see broken glass, rocks and just plain schmutz! Why would you subject your freshly pedicured little piggies to that without some protection? But what do I know - I still wear Crocs.

It does kill me to put my beloved cowboy boots on hiatus for the summer. I'm just not one of those gals who can wear boots with a floral dress without feeling like I should have a hat and a guitar. My go-to summer footwear? Wedges. As high as I can find them so I look as tall as Hank.

(HANK: Have you seen these very cute very French-looking Tom's espadrille wedges?? Love them.)

JAN: I'm with you Ro, I always feel a little bit of sadness when I put away my Uggs and Frye Boots for the summer. My feet look a lot better covered all the way up to the knees, but I love flip flops. Not to sound like a commercial or anything, but I especially love the "fit flops" (any brand will do) because they offer such support for your foot that you can wear them anywhere. I think someone should pay me a royalty for saying that, though, don't you?

HANK: OOh. What are fit flops?

DEBS: I live in Texas, dearies. I put on my flip flops the beginning of April and wear them until October. I go barefoot most of the time in the house, or wear molded spa flips flops. Can't wear Hank's $5 pairs--foam bottoms have zero arch support. If I'm doing something that requires a bit more support than the spa flips, like cleaning or gardening, I wear my incredibly dorky Tevas. (And don't tell anyone, but in the winter I wear the Tevas in the house with hand-knitted socks. The epitome of dorkiness.)

HANK: We'll never tell!

DEBS: And yes, I wear flip flops out. Everyone here does. I have several nice leather pairs. But next year I want fit flops (and yes, Jan, I think you should get royalties). I bought a pair of Sketcher tone up-boots last winter (same principle, I think), and loved them so much I practically had to be pried out of them. And I'm sure my rear end looked the better for wearing them:-)

ROBERTA: Debs, I've got you beat in the dorky department: Birkenstocks with socks:). I can't wear flip-flops because of chronic plantar fasciitis. But I have four or five pairs of Mephisto sandals in different colors--expensive but I can walk just about anywhere in them and that means a lot! I can't imagine there's a pair of shoes out there that would cause me to have to duck under a door Rhys!

HALLIE: I have no idea why but I cannot wear any shoe with a toe thong... or you know that, whatchacallit. In the house all summer I'm barefoot.

I just bought a wonderful pair of sandals from a company (Alegria) that (okay, I know this sounds REALLY dorky) designs shoes for women whose jobs require them to stand a lot (nurses) - they're cute though not remotely sexy and incredibly comfy. And I can wear them on an all-day walking-around visit to New York, though I carry a pair of ankle socks in my purse if my feet start to hurt. Talk about dorkiness squared.

Running out right now and googling Mephisto...

JAN: Fit Flops, for the uninitiated (and this gets me even more royalties) are supposedly designed so you tone up your legs and butt while you walk. I sort of doubt that (here's where they deduct royalties) but they are designed with thick, and supposedly contoured bottoms, that let you walk as far as you might with good walking/running shoes. Much more support than say, Keds. I have foot problems too, Roberta, but maybe different ones.

ROSEMARY: Roberta, I knew you had Birkenstocks...ever since you posted that picture of yourself in overalls. I thought "that girl has worn Birkenstocks!"
I have a pair of Mephistos, very comfy. And in Hank's honor, I bought two pairs of flip-flops today at Wal-Mart...sequins and a slight wedge for drinks on the deck and plain red for everyday. I'm all set. BTW..I also bought a hula hoop! Will keep you posted on how that goes.

HANK: You know, you guys are all SO CUTE. You really are.

How about you other Reds? Summer shoes?


  1. Fun Saturday post! I can't walk barefoot anymore, so I have my slip-on Birkenstocks for in the house and my lovely black buckle-ups for outside (the Rio style, slimmer straps). That's it. Nobody would ever call my footwear fashionable, but I'm way beyond caring about that.

    The only flip-flops I wear are in the shower and poolside at the gym. After over a year of getting plantar warts lasered off the soles of my feet, I do not go barefoot in public. And speaking of that, for plane travel I have to wear shoes and socks. Creeps me out to see all those bare feet walking through the same screening device


  2. Schmutz! Rosemary, my Queens friend says that word.

    As for flip flops, I have hated them since I was a kid. That toe post thing hurts my toes. I hate looking at feet (except baby feet), so I don't wear anything that shows my feet. I wear sneakers in public or my clogs around the house.

    When someone mentions espadrilles, I'm reminded of my goofy sister who broke her ankle running down a grassy hill while wearing her espadrilles. I don't think she has worn them since.

  3. Yes, Edith, bare feet at the airport..yuck. I bring socks, always.

    Melissa, you don't like to look at feet? Hmm. ANd I agree, baby feet--any kind of baby feet, human or animal--are adorable.

    Deadly espadrilles, huh?

    I'm off to--return some shoes, actually, talking about deadly, with heels too high even for me. Back soon!Who else has a flip flop story?

  4. Three summers ago I officiated at the outdoor wedding of dear friends here on the coast of Maine where everyone was asked to wear flip flops in honor of the bride, who is a big flip-flop wearer. It was a riot. Elderly grandparents, toddlers and everyone in-between was flip-flopping around. Something of a contest developed over who was wearing the coolest ones.

    Personally, I find flip flops uncomfortable because of the toe thingy. But for that day I managed to find a pair that was both tolerable and matched my outfit. I wore them during the ceremony and an hour or so of the reception before switching back to my amazingly comfy Ecco sandals.

    Brenda B.

  5. Rosemary, I'm so happy to hear someone else wears Crocs. I wear mine in the house because there are a lot of shoes I can't wear since my foot and leg surgery. No flip-flops because I have a scar between my first and second toe. No Hank heels because my foot won't bend enough to fit in anything over two inches.

    I'll gratefully take any sandal suggestions. No slip-ons, no piece between the toes and no heel. And nothing that looks like an old-lady shoe. How hard can that be? I'm desperate. I will wear these Crocs in public if I have to.

  6. Weird Croc story....I was wearing them when I spray painted the fake trees for last year's Crimebake banquet. I had polka dot toes for a while.

  7. Oh, have you seen the flats-like crocs? Made of the same stuff, very comfy, but like croc-like ballet slippers. Very very nice.

    If Audrey Hepburn wore crocs--yeesh--she'd pick these.

  8. Brenda,
    Flip flops are not created equal. Some toe-thingy's hurt and some don't. I'm not sure why. Also, I think that you might build callouses or something, because the toe thingy used to bother me, but now it doesn't (unless its a bad design)

  9. All right, I missed adding to this before it was posted and I'm so frustrated! Because who doesn't like talking about shoes? Especially when accompanied by cute pics. Nice job, Hank.

    I'm a Keds girl, myself. I have 'em in all colors, and I wear them from May through the end of September without socks. I have a few flip-flops of course (and BTW, my 18-year-old daughter and her friends simply call them "flops") but I've never gotten the hang of keeping them on and have an alarming tendency to lose them if I start walking at my normal brisk pace.

    I suspect one of the great unheralded generational markers is whether you think flip-flops are for strictly house-pool-beach use or if you wear them everywhere.

  10. They call them flops, Julia? I'm so old. Okay, changing.

    Keds are adorable. With laces? Or do you take the laces out? I see now they *make* them with the laces out. Sigh.

  11. Don't own such things. Saw too many of them in Florida. But they made for fun reading. And great photos.

  12. Don't sweat it, Hank. At my age, I usually associate the word "flops" with different body parts than my feet.

  13. Can't do flip flops because of the thingy between the toes. As my daughters said, my feet have gotten gnarly. But I love Keds, and I'm so grateful they do so many cute things with them these days. Watch out for those that have been rubberized on the inside--they give me dermatitis. Terrible to be so fussy about what shoes you can wear--I figure it's part of aging!

  14. Gotcha, Julia. I'm with you. Just as long as it doesn't have to do with books. And in that case, you have no worries, my dear.

  15. This post and all the comments have been both hilarious and disturbing. I love shoes (and flip flops or flops) but I have never thought this much about shoes ever. : )

  16. Did you all know that flip flops keep you from getting bunions?

    I go barefoot in the house and flip flops, preferably with a sight wedge, outside all year long until it goes below 50 degrees. If I really need to go out in the cold winter, it's light-weight Keds, but they do hurt my toes.

    I have arthritic feet and my sisters who have the same problem are amazed that I can't walk in shoes and the two of them can't walk without them. One wears Birks and one wears soft leather loafers. It amazes me how 'crippled' become once I put anything on my feet. Need a cane to walk it's so bad.

    I have every day flip flops and pretty flip flops to go out dressed up.

  17. Love all those flip-flops and red and white shoes. Happy 4th everyone!

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