The Seven Worst Shoes a Guy Can Wear (And Some Acceptable Alternatives)

Back when I was single, I would spend entirely too much time judging and/or
ruling out potential suitors based on their choice in footwear. In my humble
opinion, the shoes you choose to present yourself to the world in say a lot about
you as a person: your style, your fun level, your character, your virginity, if you
are a serial killer or not—you know, just basic things we all want to know about
the opposite sex within a few seconds of meeting them.

I once remember sitting on the floor at an airport waiting
for my flight, having all sorts of men’s shoes directly in my
line of vision, and just feeling so…hopeless. And confused?
And jaded. There was a fleeting bright spot when I spotted a
pair of old school high top Nikes! But that small spark of joy
was quickly extinguished and replaced with sheer rage when a
pair of Vibram Fivefinger “shoes” followed behind them…

As I sat there, I audibly gasped in horror as I continued to witness some of the  other styles men were proudly, naively gallivanting around in, like flip-flops. Yes,  beach shoes at a freaking airport. It’s honestly difficult for me to even type. (Clay  sees absolutely nothing wrong with this, by the way. Which is very upsetting but I  don’t really have time to address that right now.) 

Disclaimer: before you judge me, please understand that it’s not shallow to judge  a man by his shoes. It’s actually ridiculously efficient and considerate. If a woman  can tell from the jump that you two aren’t a match simply by your choice in  footwear, then she is saving the both of you time, energy and embarrassment.  (Mainly embarrassment for her, because being seen with you at a public  establishment while you’re wearing a pair of camo Crocs is nothing short of  mortifying.) 

So on behalf of women everywhere and/or anyone with working eyeballs,  I’m breaking down the worst shoes a man can wear. If you wear any on this  list, don’t panic-- I’m also including some great options you can switch to if  you want to save your reputation or be considered a viable candidate for  sex by the opposite sex. 

1. Crocs

I’m starting off strong with one of the most alarming and frankly most offensive shoe  styles available on the market. Here’s a  helpful comparison: Crocs are to shoes, as a PT Cruiser is to vehicles. A PT  Cruiser with flames/racing stripes and some weird stuffed animals sitting on the dashboard.  

I realize Justin Bieber is trying to make Crocs a “thing” again, guys. If you know me, then you know I love Justin more than any adult mother of three should ever  admit (we’re talking weekly dreams about him leaving Hailey Baldwin and  professing his love for me. And by “weekly” I obviously mean “nightly.” Barton is  becoming concerned at this point.) Despite the burning in my loins for the Biebs, I  still cannot condone these. 

If you have a pair just chilling by your backdoor for yard work, out of sight of  guests and innocent bystanders, I’m still not happy about it BUT I will let it  slide. But if you’re consciously choosing to casually slip your feet into a pair of  Crocs—unironically—to just go about your day, there are some much larger  issues at hand. Issues I’m not capable of unpacking with you here. 

2. Flip-flops

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but no one  wants to see your naked feet and EVERY SINGLE ONE of your toes just hanging out and  flopping around in everyone’s faces. (Okay,  probably literally all of y’all need to hear this.)  

It’s bad enough that we have to catch even a  glimpse of men’s feet in the shower or in bed  with us at night. Please don’t subject us to them  while we are trying to grocery shop, peruse the mall or, worse, while we are trying to eat a meal. For the love of God, do not  saunter into a restaurant or any place where food is being prepared/consumed  with your flops on.  

I’m not a monster, everyone. I realize guys need summer footwear, too. So, the  only place I will allow flip-flops is the beach or the pool, and only if we are in a  good mood. (If I’m already annoyed at my husband, the sight and sound of flip flops flopping all over the place will tip me over the edge and bring me to a dark  place.) 

3. Bad Loafers
Loafers are like contestants on The Bachelor: there  are some good ones, and then there are mostly bad ones. Really, really bad ones. The gems pictured  here fall under the latter category. Do not wear  these loafers.  

Is the guy wearing these a frat guy or a balding dad  of three? Did he go to a store and consciously pick these out and think it was a good purchase? Or was it just an honest mistake? I  have a lot of questions. It’s all very unclear.  

I’m also going to include boat shoes in this category. Boat shoes are pretty  terrible and most of the time the person wearing them hasn’t even been near a  boat in the last decade. But I can guarantee they HAVE been in a store to buy  Croakies and PFG shirts and cheap beer. 

4. Super pointy-toe boots

Unless you are Keith Urban or Lenny Kravitz, you are  not allowed to wear these boots. So, that really  knocks a lot of you out of this shoe style, sorry.  

I live in Nashville so I feel like I’ve seen my fair share  of these sorts of boots from guys who are trying to be  “artsy” or trying to make it in the entertainment  industry in some capacity. They are usually paired  with skinny jeans—and not just skinny jeans, but  

SKIIIINNNNNY jeans. We’re talking “…where, but,  how…um, where is your penis in there, buddy?” type  of skinny jeans. So, ultimately, this makes pointy toe  boots even more upsetting on so many different  levels. Don’t punish your toes by cramming them into  these things unless you are performing at the CMA Awards.  

5. Jesus sandals

Or Tevas, or Chacos, as I think they’re referred to? I don’t care what you call them-- if they tie around your  ankle or, worse, if they have any sort  of Velcro and some multiple strap  action, you need to understand and  accept the type of life you are  carving out for yourself. A life of zero  females, zero respect from other  guys and the awkwardness of  constantly reading about your terrible shoe choices in articles like this for the rest  of your life. Do you want this life? Well, DO YOU??? 

Also, if you are guilty of ever referring to your sandals as your “Mandals,” you are  dead to me and to the rest of society.

6. Uggs

I have never come face to face with a man in  Uggs, and I hope to God I never have to, but  I’m constantly scared that I’m going to  encounter it.  

“No one would do this, Hayley. Get real,” you  say. I pray you’re right, you sweet naïve soul,  you. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to let my  guard down just yet. 

We need to be prepared and stay vigilant, just  in case there’s a guy out there thinking about  slipping into a pair of Uggs one day. You  know, just pondering the idea of it, just toying  with the thought but each day getting closer  and closer to actually following through with it.  

I want to cover all my bases when it comes to something this important. So if  you’re tempted to slip your feet into this furry blanket in the shape of a shoe,  don’t do it. Or I guess you can wear them, if you want to look absolutely  ridiculous. 

7. Vans

Do you have a mortgage? A bank account? A  car? If you answered yes to any of these  things then you shouldn’t be wearing Vans.  


I’m also going to add TOMS to this category,  or really any type of flimsy canvas slip on  shoe. TOMS had their time to shine back in  2006, unfortunately; let’s move on and try to  pretend like it never happened. 

Honestly guys, I’m dangerously close to including Converse Chuck Taylors in this  category too, but I feel like a lot of Youth Pastors wear these in order to feel more  relatable to the teens at church, and I wouldn’t want to get in the way of Holy  work.

“Okay, well then WTF do I put on my feet?” – You, after reading this, sliding your bad loafers underneath your desk inconspicuously. I thought you’d never ask. 

Now for a few acceptable options, in no particular order.  

-Old school Nike’s (like Air Force 1’s, high top or low top) 

-Low Top Trendy Sneakers (like Vejas) 

-Cool lace up work boots (like Timberlands) 

-Certain Oxfords (like Nisolos) 

-Pretty much any regular, generic sneaker (like Nike Air Max, On Cloud running  shoes, Adidas UltraBoost) 

-Certain flip flops, but ONLY FOR THE POOL (Rainbow and Hari Mari Dunes)

Photo by Michelle McAfee on Unsplash