Sandals, Flip Flops, Birkenstocks for Men: Should You Wear Mandals


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
Today’s video is all about sandals for men; we’ll discuss whether you should
wear them, the history about it, how they are defined, and how to wear them if you
decide it’s necessary. Sandals for men are one of those weird things in menswear
that are on the one hand, very old but on the other hand, not really present in the
classical Western men’s wardrobe. Just think about the Romans and the ancient
Greeks, they all wore sandals yet wearing a pair of sandals with a suit is not
something you’d wear today. Sandals for men are sometimes also referred to as
mandals and subject of an ongoing debate especially when worn with socks.
So without further ado, should you wear sandals as a man or not?Let us start by
saying you can wear whatever you want, whenever you want in this day and age. So
the real question is would a dapper gentleman consider sandals to be in
good taste? If you’re a fan of the Gentleman’s Gazette, chances are you have
a slight bias towards the classic realm of things. That being said, let’s take a
look at the history of the sandals and how they came to be. The word originates
from the Greek word sandalon or sandalion. Sandals are defined as shoes that
leave most of your foot exposed but beyond that, there’s no universal
definition for the word. Going back, the earliest known pair of men’s sandals in
the world are over 10,000 years old. They were made from sagebrush bark .Greek
and Roman soldiers were known to fight in sandals known as Buskins.
Going back hundreds or thousands of years in history, many men wore sandals,
however, in a more recent history, sandals have pretty much fallen out of favor for
the classic well-dressed man. So how did that change come about? Well on the one
hand, shoe making got a lot more sophisticated than just slapping certain
pieces of leather onto your foot. Probably, the climate in Europe
also contributes to the fact that a closed toed shoe has been the standard
for men for over a hundred in Europe and the Western Hemisphere. Of
course, each country and culture will have their own standards and there is no
universal truth. Also, if you think about it, most places that experience
temperatures below 50 degrees in the winter or 10 degrees Celsius will
probably not want to wear sandals all year round. Looking back the 1930s and 1940s,
which are often considered to be the golden era of classic menswear, you will
have a very hard time finding men wearing sandals. All the illustrations
and photos from magazines usually show men either barefoot on the beach,
sometimes they wear espadrilles, or if you look at Cary Grant in this photo, he
wore socks but not sandals. It was really much more common to see men wearing
loafers sometimes with socks even when they wore shorts or espadrilles which
have fallen somewhat out of favor especially in the US. Even though in
places like Spain or Italy, they’re more prevalent. Today, probably the most
popular sandals are flip-flops. In the US, they didn’t really become popular
until the 1960s but these days, you can see men wearing them all over the place.
Now, as a side note, I’m a citizen of the United States, Germany, and Brazil and the
flip-flops known in Brazil as Chinelos are something like the unofficial
footwear of Brazil. People there will wear it everywhere but it’s a hot
tropical climate and it’s something that is very casual. Back in the day, even in
Brazil, men wore hats, full suits, and shorts were only something that you’d
wear by the beach or when you were playing tennis or for other kind of
sport activities. As soon as you were done at the beach, you changed back into
street clothes, however, with the catalyzation of fashion and menswear in
particular, things have changed quite a bit.
So a lesson we learned from back then was that every garment had a
specific purpose. So should you wear sandals today or not? Now, just think
about it this way, have you ever seen an outfit that you thought looked better
that was based around sandals than if it would if it had regular shoes? Well, I
haven’t. So maybe you come up with something, if you do, please share in the
comments below. At the end of the day, if you care about style and you want to
achieve the classy look, I strongly suggest you stay clear of sandals in most
situations. Why do I say most? Well, there are always exceptions. For example, you’re
at the beach, you’re at the pool, or a spa area, of course,
that’s when you wear sandals such as flip-flops. When it’s practical and it
makes sense and the climate around you commands it, absolutely. What about a
cruise ship? In a tropical climate, yes, wear sandals, it’s okay. Now on the other
hand, there are 68 reasons why men shouldn’t wear sandals. Just kidding! I’m
just listing six here even though I think there may be more. First of all,
don’t wear sandals because most of them look really cheap.
Just think of Tevas, Birkenstocks, or flip-flops. Most of them are made out of
cheap materials and that’s what they look like, cheap. Even if you upgrade and
you invest a few hundred dollars in Salvatore Ferragamo flip-flops, they’re
still just that, flip-flops. When I grew up in Germany in the 80s and 90s,
Birkenstocks were a traditional house shoe and nothing else. No one would ever
dare to wear it on the street until they became more popular in the US. Models and
stars like Heidi Klum would wear them in public and so it became more and more
acceptable to wear these shoes in public. Back in the day, people would have been
ashamed to be seen in the street like that. Because most sandals lack the structure,
they’re oftentimes glued and use very inexpensive materials such as plastic
heel caps, maybe rubber, and just materials that are
not high-end. Of course, there are exceptions and we found some really nice
high-end sandals and I’ll talk about them later.
The second reason sandals are not ideal for men is that most men don’t have
pretty feet. Now, most women I know really take good care of their feet, it’s just
something they know they want to pay attention to because often times they
wear sandals that expose their feet and they literally want to put their best
foot forward. Now, the same isn’t true for men. Hairy toes, ungroomed toenails,
calluses, warts, and other stuff is just not pretty to look at. Of course, you can
do some nice toe nail grooming with our manicure pedicure kit which you can find
on our website here or you can go and have a pedicure which is not
unusual anymore in 2019. At the same time, it’s a lot of work to keep up with it
and it’s still not very classy look even if you have a high-end pair of
sandals. The third reason is no one really wants to see your feet unless, of
course, you’re a foot fetishist. Just think of the person behind you on the plane
or on the bus taking off their shoes and putting them right next to you, I mean
isn’t that ugly? The fourth reason sandals are not a good option for gentlemen
is that they’re a fashion faux pas, more often than not. Just think of country
clubs, weddings, nice restaurants, or cities, in general. These are all not good
places to wear sandals. Why? Well, they weren’t made for that environment. Of
course, if you’re at the beach, if you are anything where it’s wet, if it’s really
hot outside, then sandals can be a better option even
as a man. Which brings us to the next point number five, sandals will make you
look like you didn’t put much care and effort into your outfit. Sandals are a
convenient casual look that you can just slip onto your shoes but it’s nothing
you’d ever want to show up to for interview, for example. Now, if comfort and
convenience is very high up on your priority list, how much longer does it
take to put on a comfortable pair of boat shoes or maybe espadrilles? Not much,
really. Yes, as I mentioned, sandals do have their
place, pools, spas, and so forth, that’s the right place for them. Other than that,
skip them. Also last but not least, sandals can be bad for your feet in the
long term especially if you walk a lot. The lack of structure is just not
conducive and the foot bed is usually quite flat. You are also more likely to
end up with splinters or dirt on your feet so all good reasons to skip the
sandals unless it’s really necessary to wear them. Obviously, we’re not big fans
of sandals at the Gentleman’s Gazette but sometimes, they are necessary. In
those cases, we came up with two different models that even I would wear
if the circumstances call for it. The first ones are Huarache sandals. They’re
popular in Mexico, they are made out of woven leather that look distinctly
casual. Oftentimes, you can find them with a leather sole or a rubber sole. This model
here came from Etsy, it cost $56.00 shipped to the US. It has a crepe
sole and it’s a very nice casual summer shoe that covers most of your foot but
because the leather is woven and unlined, you still get the airflow you would get
with sandals. In my opinion, this is a much better option than most men’s
sandals out there especially flip-flops Tevas and Birkenstocks.
Another classic look are fisherman sandals. If you look at this model here from
Church’s which retails for four hundred and ninety five dollars you can see the
similarity to a men’s dress shoe. It’s Goodyear welted, it has a slight heel,
it’s made out of good quality leather, lining is nice, overall, it’s a quality
pair of footwear that rivals that of regular dress shoes. It also has a closed
toe so people don’t necessarily see any toes or toe hair, you have big air
pockets and you can wear them all day long. That being said for $495 are an awful
lot of money to spend on sandals and personally, I’d rather invest my money
in let’s say a woven leather penny loafer for example. I think they’re just
better summer shoes that look better and the Huarache sandals, I can see me
wearing them they’re a shoe for $56 that you can easily wear they don’t break the
bank and it’s just perfect for those one or two occasions when you need them per year
or season. Of course, if you live in an area directly by the beach then yes, you
need more sandals, you wear them all day long but at the Gentleman’s Gazette, we
don’t really focus on beach wear style. So last but not least, if you decide
to wear sandals how should you wear them? I think they look best when worn with
shorts, maybe a polo shirt, maybe it’s so hot at the beach that you don’t even
need them, that’s okay too. If you get those fisherman sandals, you can maybe
even get away with wearing them with a pair of linen pants or let’s say a pair
of seersucker pants or slacks that are longer, it just has to be a distinct
summer fabric, otherwise, it just looks out of place.
One thing you should always avoid is to wear your sandals with socks and yes, I
know many of my countrymen do that but it’s just an awful look
that should just never ever happen even if you don’t care much about style. In today’s video I am
wearing brown fisherman sandals from Church’s paired with a pair of
seersucker shorts that is checked in red and white from Polo Ralph Lauren and
a no-name polo shirt without any logos in pale gray

100 Comments

  • You covered the topics a lot better than most of YouTubers out there who will just full blown hating on sandals so hard it should be flagged as hate-speech.

    Also, I think cultural background plays quite a lot. There are countries which formal traditional wears would be look as good even if it worn with leather sandals.

  • Birkenstocks are alright for a doctor's receptionist or a pool attendant – the same way short sleeved shirts cry: "bus driver".

  • I would be happy to wear well designed leather sandals with shorts instead of more casual options. Other than that though there seem so many better or smarter options for hot weather. I have loafers where the leather is perforated, beautiful soft leather lined Italian suede laced shoes and laced shoes with a woven lattice interworked leather body on top, all of which I can wear without socks and all of which are cool on my feet. Those fisherman's sandals are exactly the style of sandals I would choose if I wear to wear them (and there are cheaper versions)

  • Basically it's all dependent on CONTEXT

  • Flipflops are trash

    Sandals are fine, especially with socks that contrast with the pants and sandal color. (Brown sandal, white ankle socks, black pants and any normal t-shirt, in any color other than maybe neons like yellow, green, ,orange and pink)

    Another outfit that might work even if it isn't the best looking, polo shirt, preferably some kinda pastel color, tan or khaki shorts that go past the knee, white socks, and tan-brownish sandals.

    Granted i also have crocs for every season so what do I know

  • Allow me a word about socks and sandals: with dark socks a close color match to the leather of the sandals AND only with long pants , they are a welcome change in the summer.
    I do not like the feel of leather against bare feet. Also there should be a law against men wearing shorts in public…IMHO! Thanks for the great videos!

  • Literally laughing 1 times for 1 reason

  • I have a nice pair of Cobian flip-flops that cost around 80 USD. Nice and not cheap looking. I wear them only for dress down casual times. Blue jeans, shorts like Patagonia, and etc. I have been told that my feet are healthy looking by both women and podiatrist. I work hard at keeping them that way. I grew up on the beach, and these have been a part of my life since the 1950s.

    On a side note, how are you legally able to have multi-citizenship in the USA and other countries. Last I have heard, this is very illegal in America.

  • I. Think. Sandals. Look. Very. Cool. When. Worn. By. Buddhist. Monks. !!!

  • Should I wear no-show socks with boat shoes?

  • Men should definitely not wear them…. nooooo body wants to see a man's feet seriously!!

  • Well, like you said, their is no universal truth… I live in Nigeria, Sandals and flip-flops are norms over here. How do I wear my caftan, senator or my traditional clothe without sandals on a Friday.

  • NO! NEVER!

  • Well since you brought it up, a beach wear episode…or a series would be great!

  • Am I the only one who thought the fisherman sandals looked good with socks

  • Raphael, I just love how professional and unbiased you are; even on the topic of menswear you genuinely dislike.
    I'm also really happy that you introduced us to the Huarache sandals, as well. They do look like nice alternatives to most of the "summer footwear" that are out there for men.

  • The Roman soldiers' caligae were not sandals, strictly speaking, but modular combat boots. In hot weather, they obviously looked like sandals. They permitted the feet to dry out quickly after fording streams, and subsequently avoid blisters on long marches. In colder, wetter, climates, they could be worn with foot wraps, socks, or a combination of both, in order to be the equivalent of modern combat boots. Thus, roman caligae should not be used as a pretext to tastelessly wearing socks in sandals. Unless you want to wear a toga instead of a suit.

  • OMG, so presumptuous! So British style of eye. Someone is trying to hard.

  • Daniel Craig as James Bond in the tropics wearing linen slacks and a linen sport shirt with leather flip flops would not look right in regular shoes. In Texas, it’s too hot during most of the year to wear boat shoes or other closed toed shoes unless you’re working. Any extended time outside on leisure time is too hot for leather shoes.

  • Ha, I’m sure plenty of ladies are saying “Look at that cool guy in those goodyear welted sandals.”

  • More of a sneaker man my self

  • Hobbit feat 🤯

  • The only time a man should wear flip flops or sandals is at a beach or pool. unless you cannot afford another pair of any other shoe.

  • Link to the Huarache sandals?

  • Wouldn’t wear sandals for money. Flip flops to the beach. That’s all.

  • Where to get that woven leather dark brown loafers from? A link would be appreciated.

  • Sandals and flip flops are perfectly fine, but like anything else need to be worn appropriately. However, if you want to wear them you need to take care of your feel. Moisturize, remove callouses, pedicure your nails etc. They should never be worn with socks and only with shorts or swimwear. Nobody should wear Birkenstocks. LOL.

  • No. Never!

  • Can I hug you? you are far too cute.

  • I live half the time in Hawaii and California and it’s cringe when grown men wear cheap slippers. They remind me of summer… no class.

  • Sandals are the trademark of the peasant

  • I always wear my suicoke sandals with socks and them looks so good ❤️

  • YOU SHOULDN'T

  • 4:47 M/S Star Pisces, originally M/S Viking Kalypso built in Finland 😁 it was a regular here on Åland until 1991

  • I wear sandals occasionally because I live in a tropical island in Japan so it’s a common look out here. But nonetheless, I saw someone the other day with a button up, gold watch, dark blue jeans and….. sandals. Way to just throw your entire look away lol

  • If you live in Tropical countries, you would know why Sandals are the big deal. People in the middle east, whole of Asia, Hawaii, Pacific, Africa, etc wear sandals. Off course we know when to wear them…

  • Have you looked at mohinders shoes? I have a pair of the original water buffalo woven set which are great going on holiday in warmer climate for casual events (wither it be the beach or walking along the seaside on a pair of jeans/linen trousers), agree on no socks with them or if you have to the dark ankle socks

  • Here in Malaysia, sandals like flip flops is the official go-to shoes since it's so hot here.

  • That A big NO NO! I only wear sandals at home.

  • MANdals! 😂😂😂

  • This dude kinda resembles Carl Brown from Guitarlessons365.

  • you sad chinelos bad I'm portuguese

  • Oh Raphael , If you ever visit Australia you will have a heart attack , LOL Flipflops , and sandals are the normal . It must be the climate I guess . They are however useless against snake bite . Actually now that I think about it you may not want to visit Australia ,LOL

  • Fun fact: Ancient Rome soldiers wore sandals with socks! (socks was made out of wool using one knitting needle way of knitting. Have a pair from reenactors, it is VERY durable, no holes for almost 2.5 years)

  • I definitely wasn't ready for images coming my way in this video

  • Sandles perhaps, don’t forgot a pedicure.

  • i see more more guys wearing crocs than fisherman sandals they are never cheap for guys

  • I’ve never been called dapper while wearing sandals.
    I vote “no” to sandals unless your at the beach or poolside or on a boat

  • For what God’s sake are you citizen of Brazil?

  • Love my Doc Marten “Charro Brando” sandals and constantly get complements when I sport them. They are not your typical sandal and are still very boot-like.

  • ich habe von dir wirklich viel gelernt, danke dafür!

  • I am from Rio de Janeiro and people wear sandals anytime, it's just boring. I much prefer a pair of loafers or boat shoes.

  • I wear socks and sliders 😂

  • You guys should do a diet and exercise video. Honesty. It seems to be a taboo topic to offer advice, however, there is few other items more important than diet and exercise. @gentleman's gazette

  • You would not survive in Florida

  • Girls = nice feet with cute little toes
    Men=. gnarly feet with nasty hairy toes

  • Dear God, those pictures of men's feet will haunt my nightmares for weeks. Are those human feet?

  • I have a beautiful pair of dark brown leather sandals from Ralph. They are beautifully made with a stacked leather heel. I wear them near the water or when it's 90 degrees or above. They look good with flat front shorts and a t-shirt. Simple.

  • In Florida, we wear sandals with dress shorts n shirts as a common trait.Speciallyif living coastal.

  • I live in Texas. So I wear sandles and shorts 9 months out of the year. Olukai has many classy sandles that are quality, don't break the bank ($500 for your example 😳) and are very comfortable. Reef is your go-to for cheap but good sandles.

  • No one should wear Birkies. Ever. Flip flops are awesome. Very few men can pull off sandals. I say this, living in a beach town. If you are a man, questioning whether or not you can wear sandals, the answer is no! If you could rock sandals you would not have to ask the question. If you have somehow convinced yourself that you are the one man of a thousand who can wear sandals, do NOT wear them with socks! Man sandals are hideous enough, socks and sandals make the look even worse. Wearing them is inviting others to make fun of, and beat you up.

  • Why not.

  • Raphael, do you speak/understand portuguese ?

  • I live in Pakistan, Whenever It Rains We Have Knee deep water on our roads, so we wear flip flops or sandals with shorts or casual trousers. Secondly our summers are very very hot and Most likely during day in casual environment when u r grocery shopping or lounging we wear sandals instead of shoes Because shoes are impractical options in these scenarios. Other than these times we wear shoes.

  • This past weekend, the wife and I had a staycation in West Los Angeles

    At the high-end hotel we were staying at, there was obviously a wedding on Saturday. I witnessed a wedding attendee wearing a black bow tie and suit to match…

    … wearing flip-flops.

    Makes my teeth itch.

  • I grew up in Hawaii sandals were standard, but even there when you go outside the beach or neighborhood you were close toe shoes. As a proper gentleman outside of the above listed places sandals are never acceptable in my opinion

  • I love your videos, but I do not understand your animosity towards sandals. You look great in all of them! (not talking about slippers and flip-flops here.) I think that if you wear nice leather sandals in the city with shorts or summer pans and a polo or casual shirt, it looks great and is very appropriate in days when it gets over 30 Celcius.

  • haha.. du hast deine deutschen wurzeln vergessen @ weisse socken in sandalen lol – was ich zur zeit wirklich hässlich finde und wohl ein neuer trend ist, das tragen von socken in adiletten.. das sehe ich hier in deutschland immer öfters – ein absolutes no-go

  • What is wrong with hairy toes?
    Fisherman sandals is what my mother would threaten me to wear as a teenager. I HATED them and still do.

  • Thank you for the history lesson. 🙂

  • LOL never socks with shorts unless you play soccer or live in a retirement village in Florida ! 😊🧦👟 Huaraches – knew they were there but kinda in the back of my mind until you mentioned. Maybe not gentlemanly but sounds good for the back porch, grilling,riding the lawn tractor on a hot humid day. Surely more protection than the current "cap-toe ? " leather sandal I occasionally wear now.

  • There are many different types of sandals not covered here for time reasons I’m sure, but what about Tevas ? They are much more supportive and fashion aware.

  • Sir , I am from India . Here , the kurta pajama dress looks good with sandals. Can you please check that out , thanks.

  • The only outfit that looks better with sandals is the Lorica Segmentata.

  • Please slow down your talk and talk one by one because we are your fan from oversea cant catch it….we feel little dificult to understand…please we love your chanel

  • i think you should get a haircut. it looks messy.
    and NO to sandals, slippers,open footwear

  • Howdie gentle, if got a lil Q for u?
    In ma g-hood we got some epic hardcore gangsters, these G's wearin' buffalos with tiny jeans and a smoking?
    Is that an idea of your channel or wth is going on in my hood?

  • I have a pair if sandels purely for things like runnning the garbage out, picking up a delivery, or for showering at the gym.

  • Indian Chappal are great too , but not comfy

  • Sandals and Flip-Flops – YES !
    With socks? NO

  • Cultural context is important! While I agree with you in general, pachuco huaraches are really snappy with a guayabera and linen trousers. Espadrilles in Texas seem to shout "I'm pretending to be a New Englander!" I'd feel the same about someone from New Jersey wearing cowboy boots.

  • Here in South Africa it is sunny most of the year and in summer men do wear sandals, but men here only wear them with shorts or jeans if they wear sandals away from the beach. As an Italian I find it quite strange to see men with sandals and socks, as many German tourists wear them, and we think it looks funny. Definitely no sandals with trousers apart from jeans!

  • U? Brazilian?

  • Those Fisherman's sandals are completely fine and great sockless with shorts. A more classic and classy option than most others. I can't even understand why there is any debate about it on a channel for classic clothes like this. Will set you apart from all the others wearing flip flops, sliders etc

  • Personal opinion here, unless your showering in the locker room or at the beach/pool men should not wear sandals. I especially ditest those brown sandals that Dave Matthews fans wear.

  • I hope those aren't your feet in the video. If so. My condolences.

  • My Rules:

    1 – Never wear sandals outside beach or your own house (when guests are not around)
    2 – If you have to wear sandals, for god sake, do not put socks!

  • Flip flops are for wet situations. pools, public showers, beaches.

  • If you ever have a foot issue like athletes foot an attractive and well supporting sandal is the only way to go. If I have to be outside for a long time in direct scorching sunlight I wouldn’t care what anyone thought. I’d want my feet to remain cool and breathe. In a shoe your foot is in the dark. I’m not big on flip flops at all though.

  • Please Wear them all the time. Flip flops i adore em

  • Release video Complete Repp necktie Tie & bow tie guide

  • Men should never wear sandals. Not only do they look ridiculous, no one wants to look at your feet. There are plenty of alternatives for casual summer shoes, such as loafers, driving shoes, boat shoes, espadrilles, etc… I would discourage every man from wearing them even at the beach, but wearing them at any other public place should be a felony.

  • no human foot, even of the most beautyful women, are as wonderful as good made shoes, so, no sandals!

  • 6:49❤️❤️

  • I'm from Brazil, and here we use flip flops for everything.

  • Oye you're wearing huaraches

  • In sweden basicly everyone does this:

    May to august = t-shirt, shorts, sandals or rainclothes… some years u need jacket and long pants too but not every year.

    September to april = veeeeryyyyy muuuch clothes and boots.

    In my case… if i should not wear dress shoes, boots or sport shoes i have to wear sandals.
    I can’t wear shoes that you not tie or in some way tighten. I can’t wear loafers, espandrillos or shoes in similar ways.. boat shoes i can’t wear either actually. But the key for me is that you tie or tighen the shoes/sandals in any way

  • Check a Peshawari chapal .what do you think of those

  • Notice the awful "slides" especially with socks are not mentioned. Because "slides" are not even in the Gentleman's vocabulary.

  • If the Spartans had Jordan's, we wouldn't be here

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