Fashion Terror Watch List: Shoes for Dudes

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God help us.
Dear Men and Ladies Who Love Shop for Them,

It's that time of year again. Yep, despite today's earlier shower, the sun is on its way out, and we're heading into May, which means you are about to reveal those Barney-Rubble-esque appendages at the ends of your ankles if you have not done so already.

At Runnin' Scared, we realize that footwear is a complicated beast. We heartily recommend regular at-home grooming as a first step. But after that comes the all-important question of what to slip those little toesies into for your outdoor excursions.

Let it go down in the annals of Runnin' Scared fashion history: In spring-to-summer shoes, you cannot go wrong (given appropriate prep and occasion selection) with a standard flip-flop, a Converse or other moderately hip-but-not-trying-too-hard sneaker, or a simple, preferably brown loafer of a non-douchey variety (if unclear on what any of this means, we're available for e-mail consults).

You can, however, go wrong with these. And you will.

1. The exorbitantly expensive Teva with frills.

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Thank you, Lanvin, for this mixed media concoction of foot-death, which reminds us of camp and awkward moments at the barn dance and that hackey-sacker we dated in high school and how dad used to strap the car trunk down with bungy cord on those cross-country moves. And all of those memories may be worth $765, but this shoe is not. Try in red to induce vomiting.

2. The "classic" mandal

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This one is confusing, we know, because it seems so sleek and simple, and it even has "man" in its name, but beware of the "dal." This shoe is actually a horrible odor-concentrating tube in which to encase the most acceptable part of your foot while leaving the toes and heel to hang out like the front and butt ends of a hot dog, only without the relish and ketchup that make a hot dog remotely appealing. It's like an old-man slipper impregnated a lady mule. Do not believe anyone who gives you "tips for wearing mandals"; they want you to look like an asshole. The closed-toe mandal is still a mandal, by the way. If it has lattice, it's not for your feet.

3. Jellies

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We don't care if you're a man, a woman, or a child, you should not put these on your feet because they have been crafted by the devil. Note that Crocs are the vile, bastard offspring of these creatures and the same rule applies.

4. Wellies

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As field fashion correspondent xzachbaronx Tweeted recently, "Things that are basically inexcusable: big rubber rain boots on men." We at RS have to agree. If you are a fisherman, a lobsterman, a clammer, or an extra in The Perfect Storm II, you have permission to wear these shoes with waders. If not, wade on by, matey.

5. A heinous crossbreed neither fowl nor beast

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We don't even know what to call these. Just... no. Please. Also, Tom Cruise would like his lifts back.

If we missed anything, feel free to send amendments, corrections, and tips.

If you'd like to defend your use of any of the aforementioned vehicles of torture, feel free, but we can hardly take you seriously considering what you're wearing.

Sincerely,
The Runnin' Scared Fashion Terror Team
[jdoll@villagevoice.com]

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