We all have our pet peeves — those pesky little nit-picking things that drive us bananas, and send us to the moon for no particular reason. Currently holding the number one spot on my ‘rub-me-the-wrong-way’ list is how the lowly flip-flop has become an actual summer shoe of choice at work and beyond. Ladies, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.
I can hear the grumblings already, but I stand firm: flip-flops don’t belong anywhere but on the beach. No matter how hard you may try to rationalize the comfort, the ease or the casual-Friday excuse, wearing flip-flops at the office is just not acceptable. Slice it and dice it any way you can, flip-flops ain’t shoes.
At this point I’m sure you’re thinking…What have flip-flops ever done to you? Why such hostility towards a little piece of plastic? Let me break it down for you.
1. Wearing Flip-Flops Says You’ve Given Up.
Can you imagine going to a job interview or showing up at an important business meeting wearing flip-flops? No, of course you can’t. So why then is wearing them on a regular old work day any different? Would your peers or superiors for that matter, take you seriously? Think about the top pros in your field. Now think about their feet. Are you picturing their feet? Good. They’re not wearing flip-flops are they? Nope. Didn’t think so. So neither should you. Lately I’ve realized that I find less and less comfort in the fact that while say we’re an increasingly evolved society, many of us continue to degrade the level of human decency displayed in the daily act of dressing — especially at the office. Foregoing five-inch heels for flats makes sense. But flip flops? It’s like you forgot to put on shoes. What’s next? Torn T-shirts and short shorts? We can all do better. I know we can.
2. Summer Style is More Than Just About Skin.
It’s a joy in the summer to lighten up in the style department, but that doesn’t mean slipping on Daisy Dukes. I mean wearing lighter weight clothes, happier colors and fewer layers. Deciding how to do that is the key. If you want to wear easy, comfortable shoes that can handle a hot, sweaty, swollen foot (and we’ve all been there), surely we can find an alternative to flip-flops. There are so many stylish and comfortable sandals to choose from that there’s no excuse to show up in something you’d wear in a gym shower. Try an open-toe flat slide, a strappy gladiator sandal, a jeweled thong sandal with a low heel or one of the new, bare flat-forms. All are excellent (and chic) options for summer footwear.
3. Have You Ever Seen How Dirty Your Feet Get In Those Things?
If you live in an urban environment — or almost anywhere on planet earth — you are exposed to dirt on a daily basis. Imagine the filth on the sidewalks, on the floors of subways and buses, and even in shops and restaurants. Now imagine your feet wholly exposed and offered up on a piece of rubber to that world of germs. Your feet might look clean and pristine when you leave your home, but a couple hours later, you might not even recognize them. You’re not just wearing flip-flops to the office, you’re wearing the filth your bare feet picked up on your way in.
4. Bare Feet are Susceptible to Broken Glass, Insects, Who Knows What Else…
Regardless of where you live, there is always the possibility of insects, dogs and vermin that might like to get friendly with your feet. No thanks. Don’t give them the opportunity. The more protected your feet are walking down the street, the less likely it is that you will survive an encounter with broken glass or other sharp objects without losing some blood. You might as well be barefoot.
Flip-flops are also the least likely of any kind of footwear to give your foot any kind of real support that it needs in a shoe. There’s no arch to speak of or real cushioning for the ball of the foot (where we really need it). Sure, you might argue that paper-thin gladiator sandals aren’t supportive either, but at least they’re leather, so they provide some protection.
So, the next time you are dashing out the door for the office, take a moment to consider what you’re putting on your feet. Instead of sliding into flip-flops, slip on a pair of summery sandals or sweet ballet flats. Because that one day that you’ve got those hideous plastic cut-outs attached to your feet will be the day that you missed an opportunity to impress the heck out of someone actually worth impressing!