To flip-flop or not to flip-flop?

Local journalism student Emily has beef with the fashion police:

Dear San Francisco Footwear Elitists,

Yesterday, in a blatant act of defiance, I did the unthinkable: I wore flip flops outside of my house. I wasn’t going to the beach, I wasn’t even going to the park, I just didn’t give a fuck.

I rode Muni, I walked around, I lounged at a cafe in Hayes Valley, all while letting my feet enjoy the Indian Summer weather. And believe me, they loved it. They missed their soft brown leather Rainbow flip-flops. Meanwhile, my friends were in their usual footwear, Doc Martens and ridiculous Jeffrey Campbell heels. Yeah, no thanks, I already have a low tolerance for heat so I will spare my feet from the discomfort.

I’m from San Diego and as a result I essentially spent the first eighteen years of my life in flip-flops and jean shorts sitting on the beach. I knew early on that this habit would not be welcomed in my new home for obvious climate-related reasons, but I quickly learned that that was not the only restriction.

Read on.

[Photo by Carina's mom]

40 Responses to “To flip-flop or not to flip-flop?”

  1. GG says:

    This is easy: Women can always wear flip-flops when it’s hot out. Men should never wear flip-flops (or any kind of sandals*), unless they’re at the beach or in Europe.

    *ESPECIALLY Birkenstocks, which are not acceptable anyway, including at the beach.

    • GG says:

      (anywhere, not anyway)

    • Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric perform their immortal non-hit, “Men In Sandals”. Check it out.

    • tk says:

      Agreed. There is a double standard, and maybe it’s unfair, but that’s the way it is. I rarely see girls with ugly feet wearing sandals or whatever, but when it comes to guys, every day in SF it’s like looking at a podiatry textbook. I’ve seen enough gnarled, hairy toes and dark yellow ingrown toenails to last a lifetime. Put some fucking shoes on.

      • Bill says:

        Gotta agree with GG and tk here. Flip-flops are cool on the ladies, especially ones with delectable toes, but on guys it’s always a no, unless you’re at the beach on in Hawaii. I hate walking along and inadvertently getting an eyeful of fratboy Hobbit toe.

        Also, suppose you have to run? Like, away, for some reason? You’ll be easy prey….

        • kusfwtf says:

          I’m more offended by the phrase “delectable toes” than any hammerhead toe I might see out there. Even the inexplicable toe hanging over the end of the flip flop doesn’t make me want to puke as much as what you just wrote.

          • Bill says:

            Wow, I figured a teeny foot fetish would be fairly innocuous around these parts, at the very least. Thank keerist I didn’t get into my whole hapa/hermaphrodite/goldenshowers/latex thing. I apologize for any puking.

    • batman says:


      GUY or GIRL ? dont matter as long as you can pull it off with yo out fit ! ( EVEN BATMAN HAS BAT-FLOPS !)


      • GG says:

        Agreed, I should have clarified. Women should refrain from wearing sandals if their toes are all gross-looking (as do I, when I have a 4-week-old pedicure with the polish chipped off halfway). Sandals should only be worn when toes are looking *D*E*L*E*C*T*A*B*L*E.

  2. scum says:

    This is a non story, lot’s of people where flip flops in S.F. Even when it’s foggy. I am a dude I am wearing them.

  3. why says:

    arch support people!

  4. anthony says:

    People who have a hard-off for other people wearing flip-flops need to chill the fuck out… probably cranky from their foot and back pain.

    i treat my feet like a treat my hands: i keep them groomed and clean and i only glove them when the task so requires (which is mercifully rare). It is important to avoid cheap corner-store ‘flops for regular use – my Olukais have all the arch support i need and have attractive leather-uppers to boot!

    Emancipate your feet!

  5. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Seriously? Wearing flip-flops on Muni?

    Hope your tetanus vaccination is up-to-date.

  6. danfinger says:

    I find it funny that some ‘adults’ here in SF still haven’t graduated from 8th grade mentality and still give a fuck what other people wear.
    Precious tiny egos need SOMETHING to shore up their pathetic superiority complexi.

    • GG says:

      Wait, did you just try to use “complexi” as the plural of “complex”? I shore up my precious tiny ego by acting as the grammar police, as evidenced by my prior post.

      Time for me to STOP posting comments on this thread now.

    • batman says:

      you do realize that the fact you pointed out this…makes you as egotistical as those you speak of right ? just making sure you know when you being stupid….

  7. no fish today says:

    50% of girls need to take a cheese grater to their heels.

  8. MrEricSir says:

    Wow, a lot of foot fetishists ITT.

  9. tonyjoe says:

    I’m on my feet all goddamned day. I’m a blue collar motherfucker that wears work boots and walks for fucking miles at my job. When I get home the first thing I do is take those nasty ass boots and socks off and let my feet breathe. If the weather is cooperative I’ll wear flip flops all over the place. It’s not like your feet come in contact with the ground. It’s no different from a woman wearing open toed sandals. What people should be complaining about is men wearing Toms.

  10. Heather says:

    Flip Flops on MUNI or in the TL gross me out. However, it ridiculous for anyone to make up fashion “rules” and actually expect anyone else to follow them. Who cares what other people wear? If you don’t like hobbit feet, don’t look at them. Get over yourself and let people get on with their lives.

  11. Heather says:

    Dear grammar police, I forgot to put the word “is” in my second sentence.

  12. Matthew says:

    I’m gonna go to a bar and eat half of a torta that I was eating at a coffee shop, all while wearing flip flops and calling flautas taquitos.

  13. Bob Dole says:

    I wonder what happens if a woman wearing those flat super strappy sandals does if she inadvertently steps on a pile of shit (human or dog) while walking down somewhere vile like mid-Market or Haight.

    I gotta agree with everyone else. Peeps shouldn’t be wearing open toe shoes if you got Shrek looking feet with major talons for toenails.

  14. Prunella says:

    This is precisely why I moved away from flip-flop land (SoCal).

  15. pg says:

    Wait wait wait, is this really the fashion issue we’re tackling in the mission? Open toes? If I wear my flip flops to Dolores Park on Sunday afternoon, they don’t even register on the ugly scale. Flip flops fall wayyy behind of the “my jeans are so tight my ding dong is clearly visible” issue. Don’t even get me started on that.

    I love my flops. But I’m sensible. Do I crack ‘em out when I’m headed to the TL? Sweet Jesus, no. Do I wear them on a saturday night out? Nope. And if I step in dog shit while en route through the haight, how is that your problem? It’s just a risk I’m willing to take to be comfortable.

  16. jess says:

    For the ladies… why does it have to be either flip flops or 5″ heels?? What about just cute sandals? Your feet can breathe, get some sun, AND express at least some nominal thought of personal style.

  17. Brock Keeling says:

    Oh, San Diego.

  18. milkshake lover says:

    I never ever wear flip flops out in the city because there are way too many disgusting things on the sidewalks, and flip flops offer minimum protection at best. Same thing for any strappy sandal type shoes. Whenever I see anybody wearing them, I cringe. And I have seen girls get freaked out about something gross spilled or splashed onto their previous pedicured feet. Just wear some real goddamn shoes and you don’t have to worry about it!

  19. scum says:

    Do the make open toed Toms?

  20. Jon z says:

    My roommate who used to work at home (in the mission) would wear flip-flops year round, maybe with jeans maybe with shorts…

  21. BK says:

    Do what you like Flip-Flop girl — just don’t expect me to swoon.

  22. carina says:


  23. Kyle says:

    Flip flops (for me) are comfortable because they don’t give my feet cramps like shoes do. I wear them throughout the warm season (I live up in Washington, so it’s cold most of the time), no matter what people say. I seriously don’t see why guys can’t wear flip flops, if we keep our feet groomed (Which I do).