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The Sandal Debate

6 years ago by

The Sandal Debate

How do you feel about sandals in the city? 

I’m all for them – when it’s hot, I need to let my toes breathe! But Brie will never wear sandals in the city. I see her side; some New York streets are pretty filthy, so you end up having to scrub your sole for a good five minutes at the end the night. Getting into bed without washing your feet? Fuhgeddaboutit.

Ok, so I agree with Brie on flip flops. No real New Yorkers wear flip flops in the city (it took me a minute to convert, being Australian and all…). For me, there’s nothing worse than sweaty feet. And, after all, a little dirt never killed anybody…

What do you think? Should sandals be banned from the city, saved only for the beach and its nearby streets?


Add yours
  • Sandals in the city, pas de problème. The key is to have a good foot scrub at home to exfoliate the grime from the city streets that has gathered on your feet at the end of your day.

  • I live in Los Angeles and wear sandals sometimes. I know before I go out that I’m going to have to wash my feet afterwards. I think sandals should be limited to the weekend, but not banned from the city completely because then everyone would have pretty bad sock tans, no?

  • I live in San Diego so my opinion is that sandals are vital. It’s unnecessary & unbearably hot to sport socks with shoes every time. However, I am not a flip flop fan. Sandals are cool & useful around here. Not sure about New York. :]

    // ? itsCarmen.com ?

  • There’s nothing like soaking your feet after a day of walking around the city – so go ahead and wear your pretty, structured sandals!

    Warm Regards,

  • mariana marques May, 11 2015, 1:45 / Reply

    i live in brazil and here some people wear flip flops all the time. it’s common, when you visit rio, to get amazed how people walk around at night, or even work, in sandals and they look so cool and fresh… but i think it depends on the city’s atmosphere… definitely, new york doesn’t suit on flip floppers. :)

  • Of course sandals when it’s hot! Or at least some kind of open shoes. Everything else is torture. But sometimes I am a little ashamed when the grime builds up too heavily during the day.

  • I live in LA and I love sandals — they’re a must!


  • I dont think its new york specific.

    Most places are dirty and you take the dirt home with you.

    And we need to wash our feet no matter what when we get home, in my opinion. It baffles me when i see people wear shoes inside the house or put it up on the bed. Argh !

    and the solution: 100% leather flats that breathe, toms, other linen/canvas flats.

    And have two pairs to rotate them out. Wearing the same shoe every day builds sweat and bacteria. and wear them out fast.

  • Jennifer May, 11 2015, 3:35 / Reply

    It goes both ways so great on warm days to let your feet breathe but then getting covered in muck is not lovely either. But should they be banned? No. Just maybe a good scrub or caution when wandering about ????

  • I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and live in the Netherlands now. Flipflops are for the beach. Furthermore there is a sandal for every occasion. I have smart ones for work, glitzy ones for going out, and a bazillian flat ones for walking around the city. Boiling sweaty feet are a breeding ground for all sorts of micro-organisms, not to mention odours, Grme, you wash off ;).

  • Ben moi je vis à Paris donc les rues sont sales c’est sûr, mais je trouve ça tellement agréable de respirer par les pieds que je m’en fiche, ça vaut largement le coup de se laver les pieds. Et puis de toute façon je déteste me coucher sans me doucher avant !
    Mais moi je me suis jamais posée la question et je ne savais même pas que c’était était une. J’ai juste toujours porté des nus-pieds partout.
    Juste une fois une fille bretonne que j’avais croisé m’avais fait une réflexion du style et je m’étais dis “n’importe quoi la nana”… Comme quoi !

  • Flip flops are a poor choice for any urban environment. Dangerous and dirty. I say, “yes” to sandals and “yes” to canvas sneakers, and other closed toed options. Of course, if you live near a beach or in the tropics, flip flops are a reasonable option.

  • I am all about sandals in the city : NY, paris or LA.
    My go to are Birkensticks for every day since it is so confortable to walk with and at the same time so fashion (I know not everybody agree about that…). And beautiful sandal like the sezane’s one for week-end and parties !!!!
    I wear sandals from may to october and I have hard time to put shoes on when it becomes to feel cold again…

  • In Chicago most people wear sandals all summer including flip flops though lots of people bike and wear shoes with coverage. My feet get more dusty than grimey (eww btw) but sandals are gentler on pedicures and I do wash my feet when I go inside (I splurge on a special scrub and soft towel to make the extra work more pleasant). If you do a lot of walking sandals don’t always make sense because its hard to find cute ones that don’t give you blisters.

  • ah voilà une question primordiale ! Moi les gens qui sont en tongs ou autres chaussures totalement ouvertes en ville me débectent un peu ! Oui c’est tres tres sale (et pas que de la poussière à Paris) mais en plus souvent ils ont les pieds immondes à la base et nous imposent leur vue ! Et puis gros risque de se faire marcher sur les orteils (surtout dans le métro) ! ;-) Bon je n’habite pas une ville avec de chaleurs extremes donc la chaussures fermée est tout de même supportable

  • I live in Moscow. Difficult to wear sandals while running around the city all day – water is dark brown when washing feet in the evening. For those taking cars it’s easier ;)
    Prefer balerinas! Sandals are for parks on weekends.

  • But which sandals do you think satisfy all requirements this summer, Garance? I am waiting to spend….!

  • I guess it depends …I live in Vancouver which is by far the cleanest city I know so wearing sandals here is great. However, I am from Sofia, Bulgaria and I know how it feels to wear sandals in a dirty city :(

  • Lansky May, 11 2015, 7:30 / Reply

    Je suis une fille de ville. J’aime beaucoup la chaleur. Je suis totalement pour les sandales dans toutes situations (ou presque). Je n’aime pas porter des chaussures fermées. Lorsqu’il fait vraiment chaud, j’ai les pieds qui enflent légèrement alors je me vois mal porter des ballerines ou encore des sneakers durant la période estivale.

  • Lindyl May, 11 2015, 7:40 / Reply

    In Sydney women are still wearing flip flops in winter. It’s lazy! Cold, wet feet. I say close your toes. Sandals in the city are fine come spring, but thongs…never ever ever.

  • joanne May, 11 2015, 9:56 / Reply

    I was born and raised in New York. How can you NOT wear sandals? It’s so humid in the summer time and my toes need to breathe.

  • Katerina C May, 12 2015, 2:36 / Reply

    Well, I live in a big city, far away from beaches, so no flip flops, no too summer looking sandals / in bright colours, in beach-y materials :)/ but black or tan sandals without a lot of decoration with a basic pedicure / red, dark, nude, no coral or pink or other beach colour/ is definitely ok.

  • Margot May, 12 2015, 3:10 / Reply

    I do wear sandals in the city, and my toes do get really dirty sometimes. Sometimes they actually look dirty as well. But in the summer I rarely care about it, and I find washing my feet at before bed to be soothing and relaxing.I think the conditions of your feet plays and important role in the quality of your sleep.

  • I’m with Bree here. And I’d like to add something else: what if someone steps on your foot and you loose your sandal? That’s a fear I have, specially on the subway. Am I paranoid? Well, yes, a little bit.
    But dirt and rude people ar two things that don’t combine beautifully with sandals.

  • Faire comme on le veut !
    Je suis une adepte des havaianas et dès qu’il fait beau, je mets ou mes tropéziennes ou mes tongs.

    Rester le pied enfermé quand il fait beau : JAMAIS !!!

  • In my opinion it’s impossible to walk without sandals during summer, also in the city, especially in Italy (I’m from Rome).
    Life, Laugh, Love and Lulu

  • I love the opportunity to wear sandals in London as it so rarely gets hot enough, and otherwise my feet will stay pasty pale! I get it though, the streets are gross :S

    Anoushka Probyn – A London Fashion Blog

  • I spent the bulk of my 20s and 30s running around NYC in the latest flop or sandal. Then one day, while stuck on a crowded subway, I noticed a strong smell and looked down. I realized it was the combined smell of the sweaty and dirty feet rising with the heat from the ground. Taking a closer look, I was overwhelmed by the mass vulgarity of the bulging, scarred and sometimes hairy feet. I no longer wear sandals in the city.

  • Ouh là là surtout pas ! Les sandales en ville c’est un peu la liberté, moi je suis ultra pour ! Et tant pis s’il faut se laver les pieds 30 minutes ensuite !


  • Elena G. May, 12 2015, 8:12 / Reply

    As a Greek national that lived in NY for a couple of years, I had the exact same dilemma! In the end I decided that leather flip-flops and sandals are ok, as long as they are not too beach-y! Of course anything plastic is out of the question, especially during days with extreme humidity… I also learned the hard way that espadrilles are not suitable for NY’s unpredictable summer weather; RIP my favorite pair of Soludos never meant to be drenched by that 10 min rainstorm!

  • In Paris, wearing sandals is a big no-no. It’s so dirty… But try to wear sandals in Tokyo and you’ll that at the end of the day, your feet still look clean !The first time I wear sandals in Tokyo, I was so surprise when I discovered that the back of my feet was not black… Love it !

  • L'épingle May, 12 2015, 12:16 / Reply

    Des sandales avec des semelles en bois. Avec ça je me sens plus isolée du sol. J’achète le même modèle depuis des années (K.A., boulevard Saint-Germain) et je les teint. J’en ai de toutes les couleurs.

  • I’ve killed my poor feet in sandals in Paris and London for years – not only do your feet AND sandals get filthy (you know when you have to clean the inside of your sandals with Crealine H20 and a cotton pad every evening that you live in a dirty city) but my feet always get messed up / dry / gross as well as covered in grime. The answer: ESPADRILLES. Super comfy to walk around in, though some Parisians think they should only be worn near the beach, I’ve started to see people wearing them in Paris – and in London of course no one cares about rules like that. The only downside is that you get a tan to precisely halfway down your foot, which looks totally bizarre when you do wear sandals.

  • I don’t mind wearing sandals in the city, but I find that american sandals are so thin that a few weeks of substantial walking will destroy them. I would have more sandals if I could find anything with a sole that could handle concrete.

  • What’s wrong with flip flops in the city? I wear sandals in the city – no problem. I always take a shower before going to bed anyway – to gross to sleep in whatever the day brought on me :)

  • Lisa Walker May, 13 2015, 12:49 / Reply

    When in doubt– flip flops. But I do live in Venice Beach…

  • Aucune New Yorkaise digne de ce nom ne porte des flip flops??????? Sérieusement?????? Non mais venez donc du côté de Tompkins Square Park (ou de n’importe quel playground New Yorkais) et on en reparle (à moins bien sur que les mamans New Yorkaises ne soient pas considérées comme des New Yorkaises dignes de ce nom :-) C’est la chose la plus snob et condescendante que j’ai entendue depuis longtemps… ;-)

  • Je suis d’accord! C’est vraiment snob ;)

  • Martine May, 22 2015, 12:25 / Reply

    I see no problem with wearing sandals in the city. Wouldn’t you wash anyhow? I mean I wash my..well everything at night. So no prob. I don’t wear backless shoes. Even my Birkenstocks are the type that have a back part. Thats because they simply don’t feel secure to me. I hate the feeling of being about to step out of my shoe. But thats just me. Why on Earth would anyone NOT wear sandals in the Summer?

  • Sandals means freedom for me! sandals means sunshine, blue sky, hot weather. Means showing off your feet, your toes, your nails,… in the end of the day, your sensuality, !

  • Sandals, flip-flops – whatever one feels good in and is connected to in terms of personal style for sure. What I would consider is not dirt – it can be washed away anyway. I would consider wearing sandals/flip-flops/slip-ons only if there would be a possibility to have my feet hurt – so I would take this factor into considerations. One needs to be aware of broken glass on the sidewalk, some insects in the park or in the areas with flowers…I got stung by a bee wearing sandals in the city once. And there is also one thing: when talking about style, it is also great to wear a sandal suiting your foot shape (this one goes for me especially as I have wide feet). And second thing: when I do not wear socks, I have a deo spray with me to use when entering someone´s house etc. In my country we put off (?) our shoes before entering the house. So to visit someone with my bare feet — I carry one pair of inside slippers and a good deo spray, just in case!

  • Je suis pour, moi non plus je n’aime pas porter tous les jours des baskets, parfois je trouve mes orteils crades en fin de journée mais d’un point de vue confort je me sens mieux le pied à l’air. De plus (truc pas classe attention), la chaleur plus les chaussures fermées me donnent des petites boutons d’eau, sorte de mini cloques et des mycoses entre les orteils… Âmes sensibles s’abstenir ! :)

    Bonne journée au Studio :)

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