Summer’s almost here, and with it comes all the great things that accompany warm weather: elbowing kids out of the way when the ice cream truck arrives. Stealthily peeing in public pools. Calling in sick to work in order to check out new theme park rides until you do, in fact, make yourself sick. And, of course, the opportunity to air out your gnarly feet and wear sandals.
Now, when we say sandals, we don’t mean “mandals.” Mandals, in addition to being a grotesque word, attempt to be somewhat formal, and you should never be able to see a man’s bare foot in any kind of a formal setting … unless you’re at a beach wedding in Cabo … and the guy presiding over the ceremony is an Elvis impersonator. In fact, we think you should always stick to thong-style flip-flops. Another tip: Your sandals are not precious family heirlooms, so if you’ve been wearing the same pair for several years, they’re probably extraordinarily funky, and you may need an upgrade. Like these …
Havaianas Brazil Flip-Flops ($18 and up @ Amazon.com)
The company has been around since the early ’60s, but the Brazil model was created for the 1998 World Cup, which Brazil … didn’t win. But these understated flip-flops are already classics, adorned only with the Brazilian flag and company name on the strap, and the country colors around the sole. Thanks to a completely flat footbed, they’re perfect for anyone whose feet are bothered by arch supports. You can get them in black, white, gray, dark brown, marine blue, citrus yellow, or amazonia (it’s a fancy word for green).
Montrail Lithia Loop ($25 and up @ Amazon.com)
Whether you’ve just finished hiking, shooting hoops, or evading Johnny Law, your feet need to recover after you’ve put them to work. With strong arch support, soft straps, and a footbed that conforms to the shape of your foot, these Montrails help your feetsies feel like they’re walking on marshmallow covered in cotton balls. Uh, what we’re trying to say is, they’ll stop your dogs from barking. They’re available in three different floridly named color combos, but in a nutshell, they’re green, black, and brown.
Merrell Barefoot Water Paciki Wrap ($70)
Merrell’s oddly names sandals are thin and lightweight, but still manage to provide strong support. Designed for water wear, they’re quick-drying and slip-resistant, though we’d still be careful fording rivers in them. Wear them while fishing, playing water sports (heh heh), or kicking it on the sand with a margarita in hand. Available in “aluminum” (grey-green straps with a black footbed), all black, or dusty olive (pictured).