15 votes

Too anxious to google for shoes, help?

I nearly sent this text to the only man who I can imagine would take my call on the subject, but I've chickened out and decided it will be easier and probably more fruitful besides to post it to the forum I trust, rather than use up my allowance of inane, insecure questions for him..

"I think that was a boring question I asked you, here is a different one-- I hate all my shoes, they're inconvenient and bulky. I don't mean to press you into service as an ambassador of anything, but I remember you wearing flip flops most days and that example has lingered with me as one of practicality and personal style. The problem is I can't bring myself to browse either online or especially in person, I become immediately frustrated and anxious as I open up to the possibility of needing to deal with my body in any sense, let alone to shop for it... if I could live without them (my feet) I would, I have decided. Can you recommend a source for slip on summer shoes which is not off-puttingly branded or grossly masculine? I mean that in the sense that their primary aesthetic cannot be "Don't look at my feet! Suffice yourself with the knowledge that they are Large and In Charge!!"

30 comments

  1. [4]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Birkenstocks or Tevas would be my recommendation. Tevas are more hiking/sporty, but both are predominantly black/brown and not hugely branded. I don't think of them as specifically masculine, but...

    Birkenstocks or Tevas would be my recommendation. Tevas are more hiking/sporty, but both are predominantly black/brown and not hugely branded. I don't think of them as specifically masculine, but as a dude it may be invisible to me.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Qis
      Link Parent
      Those brands have facilitated the kind of compromises I have had to make as I have avoided this problem. I don't mean that I dislike a masculine shoe, but I wouldn't like to wear a cloggy hunk of...

      Those brands have facilitated the kind of compromises I have had to make as I have avoided this problem. I don't mean that I dislike a masculine shoe, but I wouldn't like to wear a cloggy hunk of rubber that pretends to neutrality by appearing only in unobtrusive blacks/earth tones.

      1 vote
      1. soks_n_sandals
        Link Parent
        For open-toe shoes, I really like Bedrock Sandals. I've worn Teva and Chacos and Bedrock is my favorite by far. I also have really big feet so finding a good shoe is hard.

        For open-toe shoes, I really like Bedrock Sandals. I've worn Teva and Chacos and Bedrock is my favorite by far. I also have really big feet so finding a good shoe is hard.

        1 vote
    2. Don_Camillo
      Link Parent
      only wearing teva flipflops since a decade now, never going back. if you go the flipflop route, get something high quality, something with leather or fabric between your toes. will still be...

      only wearing teva flipflops since a decade now, never going back. if you go the flipflop route, get something high quality, something with leather or fabric between your toes. will still be cheaper than a "proper" shoe.

      1 vote
  2. [2]
    mat
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a pair of Salomon RX MOC and they're super comfortable, very breathable, extremely lightweight and only slightly branded. They have a slide version too which are more step-in/step-out if...

    I have a pair of Salomon RX MOC and they're super comfortable, very breathable, extremely lightweight and only slightly branded. They have a slide version too which are more step-in/step-out if you prefer that sort of thing.

    Mine are a good three years old now and still look and feel new. The insoles are leather so you can wear them without socks and your feet won't get all nasty.

    Also TOMS might be worth a look. I have some of those and they're pretty good but I don't wear them much because I just prefer trainers.

    4 votes
    1. Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Was about to recommend these as well, thank fuck for Tildes' comment box being at the bottom of the thread though. I have the slide on version, and they're extremely comfortable. Salomon in...

      Was about to recommend these as well, thank fuck for Tildes' comment box being at the bottom of the thread though.

      I have the slide on version, and they're extremely comfortable. Salomon in general is my brand of trust when it comes to shoes.

      3 votes
  3. [4]
    monado
    Link
    I wear Adidas NMDs and Ultraboosts, usually at the outlet they can be found pretty cheap. The NMDs are really breathable, but the midsole is a bit hard and they don't come with insoles, not like...

    I wear Adidas NMDs and Ultraboosts, usually at the outlet they can be found pretty cheap. The NMDs are really breathable, but the midsole is a bit hard and they don't come with insoles, not like that was a problem for me. The Ultraboosts are a bit tighter, but the midsole is a lot more comfortable, like walking on clouds. I love them both to be honest. You'll have to looks harder for the slip-on variants of each.

    Vans are really great, or so I've heard. They're worn by both sexes and aren't really attention grabbing unless you go for some exotic pattern. They are usually slip-on as well.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      mat
      Link Parent
      This almost certainly won't apply to everyone but my osteopath told me to throw my Ultraboosts away because the aggressive drop and very soft sole was contributing to my back issues. I have since...

      This almost certainly won't apply to everyone but my osteopath told me to throw my Ultraboosts away because the aggressive drop and very soft sole was contributing to my back issues. I have since bought some much firmer, zero drop trail shoes which are more comfortable for my feet for longer periods and my back pain also appears to be slightly better.

      Agree they are like walking on clouds though. And I do have to give Adidas props for being just about the only large-scale trainer manufacturer who seem to give a shit about both the planet and not using slave labour (Nike, I'm looking at you especially, you utter bastards)

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        monado
        Link Parent
        Hmm, that's an interesting angle to look at it from, I'm a teenager so I haven't gone to specialized doctors for back pain and whatnot, but I have heard conventional wisdom that having comfortable...

        Hmm, that's an interesting angle to look at it from, I'm a teenager so I haven't gone to specialized doctors for back pain and whatnot, but I have heard conventional wisdom that having comfortable shoes isn't the best for you down the line, at least when working out.

        Also, screw you, Nike.

        1 vote
        1. mat
          Link Parent
          Eh, it's a super personal thing, just thought I'd share for interest. Some people might benefit from some Ultraboosts. Although my current zero drop running shoes (which I don't run in) are...

          Eh, it's a super personal thing, just thought I'd share for interest. Some people might benefit from some Ultraboosts. Although my current zero drop running shoes (which I don't run in) are incredibly comfortable but they're not soft. They took some "wearing in" to get comfy when I first got them but if they're anything like several previous pairs I've had from Inov8 they're only going to get more and more comfortable until they're worn out. My last pair I could, and did, walk all day in without any discomfort.

          fwiw my osteopath says if I'd gone to see her when I first got occasional twinges in my early twenties I probably wouldn't have had to to spend the last 20 years in varying degrees of pain. She reckons most people have some amount of postural problem, it's just the body is good at compensating so the problems either don't become an issue, or more commonly, only show up many years later when your musclo-skeletal system runs out of fault tolerance. At which point they're rather harder to fix than if they're addressed early. In my case, if I'd known when I was your age that my right leg was a few mm shorter than my left, most of my adult life would probably have been less uncomfortable.

  4. [6]
    kayelcio
    Link
    Honestly not sure this fits your criteria, but I've worn Onizuka Tigers almost exclusively for about 15 years now. They make a slip-on version of their Mexico 66 line. They come in a variety of...

    Honestly not sure this fits your criteria, but I've worn Onizuka Tigers almost exclusively for about 15 years now. They make a slip-on version of their Mexico 66 line. They come in a variety of color schemes, from pretty plain to pretty out there. Admittedly they aren't the cheapest nor highest quality, but I usually have a couple pairs at I time which I rotate, which gets me a few years out of them. Otherwise they are the most comfortable/lightweight shoes I've ever worn.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Ugh... you just reminded me of their Limber Up Asian line that they discontinued and I've never been able to find anywhere. Now I'm pissed again.

      Ugh... you just reminded me of their Limber Up Asian line that they discontinued and I've never been able to find anywhere. Now I'm pissed again.

      1. [4]
        kayelcio
        Link Parent
        Apologies for upsetting you, but out of curiosity, what was it about that particular line you liked so much?

        Apologies for upsetting you, but out of curiosity, what was it about that particular line you liked so much?

        1. [3]
          culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Sigh... it's more of a white whale thing, because I've never actually owned a pair myself. The first time I heard about them was apparently just when they were at the end of their production run...

          Sigh... it's more of a white whale thing, because I've never actually owned a pair myself. The first time I heard about them was apparently just when they were at the end of their production run and I wasn't about to spend 100 bucks on a pair of sneakers... but damn if they don't look good. Plus, I'd liked the look of Tigers before but couldn't get past the almost total lack of cushioning, and these looked like they fixed my only gripe.

          1. [2]
            kayelcio
            Link Parent
            Totally fair, and true the two styles I've worn (Ultimate 81 and Mexico 66) are pretty lacking in the cushioning/support department, though they are still the most comfortable shoes I've ever...

            Totally fair, and true the two styles I've worn (Ultimate 81 and Mexico 66) are pretty lacking in the cushioning/support department, though they are still the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, possibly because I'm flat footed.

            Certainly not trying to sell you, but they have been coming out with some new lines like the Delegation EX and Fabilac which appear to have a bit of a chunkier sole, though I cannot attest to the cushioning.

            Again, sorry to bring up a potentially sore subject.

            1 vote
            1. culturedleftfoot
              Link Parent
              Ahhh don't mind me, I'm just being grumpy. I hadn't checked out any of their recent stuff til you posted, so now I'm in the know.

              Ahhh don't mind me, I'm just being grumpy. I hadn't checked out any of their recent stuff til you posted, so now I'm in the know.

              2 votes
  5. [5]
    kfwyre
    Link
    I've never bought from this company so I can't vouch for them, but maybe something like this? They're branded and sized as "women's" shoes, but this particular style appears gender-neutral to me.

    I've never bought from this company so I can't vouch for them, but maybe something like this? They're branded and sized as "women's" shoes, but this particular style appears gender-neutral to me.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      Qis
      Link Parent
      This is closer to the style which I think is interesting me. It is hard to get past the women's branding but I have found some writing about gay men getting into ballet shoes as a style, which...

      This is closer to the style which I think is interesting me. It is hard to get past the women's branding but I have found some writing about gay men getting into ballet shoes as a style, which these remind me of.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        For what it's worth, I'm a gay man and would have no problem wearing these shoes. I actually was legitimately eyeing the rainbow ones as a pair of cute pride shoes for myself! Nevertheless, I wish...

        For what it's worth, I'm a gay man and would have no problem wearing these shoes. I actually was legitimately eyeing the rainbow ones as a pair of cute pride shoes for myself!

        Nevertheless, I wish you the best of luck in your search and I hope you find what you're looking for.

        1 vote
        1. aphoenix
          Link Parent
          For what it's worth, I'm a straight man and I have a pair of shoes that are quite like this in grey.

          For what it's worth, I'm a straight man and I have a pair of shoes that are quite like this in grey.

          2 votes
  6. MonkeyPants
    Link
    Boat shoes. Socks not required.

    Boat shoes. Socks not required.

    2 votes
  7. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I hate bulky shoes. I've been primarily wearing minimalist shoes for the past couple of years because they're good for everything I do, and insanely comfortable, but they're pricy, and not...

    I hate bulky shoes. I've been primarily wearing minimalist shoes for the past couple of years because they're good for everything I do, and insanely comfortable, but they're pricy, and not slip-on.

    Tom's are pretty nice, and yes, they make men's shoes, they're the same as the womens, by and large. I have a pair. They're not insanely durable.

    The next thing I'd recommend for something more durable would be the classic Vans slip-on. I tend to use their laced shoes, but once I wear through some shoes I've got, I'll be adding a pair.

    My main shoe, however, is the Xero Shoes Prio. I've got a black pair I've had for two years, and a blue pair for a year and a half. They're not a slip-on, but run some Lock Laces, and they may as well be, and even with laces, I'll typically just slip them on/off. They're really comfortable, the black, even with their reflective bits, are real low-key. Alternatively, they have the Hana, again, not a slip-on, but not bulky, and quite comfortable.

    2 votes
  8. Adys
    Link
    I don't know how helpful this is but since there isn't often topics about shoes I thought I would chime in.. Ice skating the past six months has made me much more aware of my foot size and shape....

    I don't know how helpful this is but since there isn't often topics about shoes I thought I would chime in..

    Ice skating the past six months has made me much more aware of my foot size and shape. I feel it may even have shrunk a little. In any instance I'm now comfortable wearing 39 (EU) size shoes (possibly even going down to 38 in the future), which is the latest pair I bought. For context, my previous pair was FOUR sizes above that at 43!! (Though I usually wear only 41)

    So whatever you buy next, especially if your foot shape is nonaverage, I would recommend trying smaller sizes than you might be used to and look at a shape fit rather than size fit. Though if you shop online that is a lot more difficult of course...

    2 votes
  9. Contentus
    Link
    I have huge feet. Therefore I don't like wearing sneakers (i'm a casual guy) that draw attention to my feet. I've had a pair of these for YEARS and they are still almost brand new:...

    I have huge feet. Therefore I don't like wearing sneakers (i'm a casual guy) that draw attention to my feet. I've had a pair of these for YEARS and they are still almost brand new: https://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/unisex/veg_supreme_black/11915_p.html

    The only downside is that they have the brand name on the front but if I'm wearing jeans it becomes hidden. I also have some formal shoes (for office work) from the same brand but the sole on those eroded very quickly and I had to have it fixed. They look very good and have no branding.

    1 vote
  10. Qis
    Link
    I think I will have a difficult time committing to an option from this set of suggestions but I am grateful you people for genuine responses; tildes is a part of the internet which I would like to...

    I think I will have a difficult time committing to an option from this set of suggestions but I am grateful you people for genuine responses; tildes is a part of the internet which I would like to hang onto

    1 vote
  11. Wulfsta
    Link
    I really like Shoes Like Pottery, my feet are wide and they fit them well. I've had maybe four or five pairs now.

    I really like Shoes Like Pottery, my feet are wide and they fit them well. I've had maybe four or five pairs now.

    1 vote
  12. jcdl
    Link
    I'm really enjoying my Allbirds. Fitflops are another safe bet for light and comfortable shoes.

    I'm really enjoying my Allbirds. Fitflops are another safe bet for light and comfortable shoes.

    1 vote
  13. Akir
    Link
    I'm a pretty big fan of Dockers' slip-on shoes myself. I'm not sure if you might consider them "grossly masculine", but they are very traditionally "shoe" styled shoes. As far as fashion goes,...

    I'm a pretty big fan of Dockers' slip-on shoes myself. I'm not sure if you might consider them "grossly masculine", but they are very traditionally "shoe" styled shoes. As far as fashion goes, they just stay out of the way.

    1 vote
  14. tomf
    Link
    Skip everything and find a pair of Onitsuka Tiger: Mexico 66's -- it is by far my favorite shoe. However, be prepared to get a lot of compliments on them by randos. They're super comfortable....

    Skip everything and find a pair of Onitsuka Tiger: Mexico 66's -- it is by far my favorite shoe. However, be prepared to get a lot of compliments on them by randos.

    They're super comfortable. Probably the only shoe that I can stand all day in.

    amazon search

    I've got black leather ones with the brown design. They're seemingly rare, but the second I find another pair in my size, I'll buy them all up.