Friday, August 10, 2012

Toe Jam

I've been told (frequently by Eric) that having a pair of practical boat shoes is important for a number of reasons. Good boat shoes (1) have rubber soles that provide traction on wet surfaces, (2) have non-marking bottoms, which protect the deck from marks, and (3) have a sturdy structure that protect feet and toes from injury.

In my experience, the more practical a shoe, the uglier it tends to be. Some boat shoes, like Sperry Top-Siders, are actually rather cute...on other people. I don't know if my legs are too big or if my feet are too small, but whenever I put on a pair of classic boat shoes, I look absolutely ridiculous. Although my current boat shoes are halfway decent looking, other than having non-marking soles, they offer little benefit.

Eric has encouraged me to buy a better pair of shoes, and has even taken me shopping for some. While well-meaning, these shopping trips typically don't end well. What usually happens is this: Eric presents me with a pair of shoes and says, "These are really nice looking shoes, don't you think?" Inevitably, the shoes in question are the most hideous, homeliest shoes ever made. My response is usually, "If you think those shoes are attractive, and you also think I'm attractive, then what exactly do I look like?!" After repeating this scenario a dozen times, my self-esteem bottoms out and our shopping trip comes to an end. This is why I don't own a pair of good boat shoes.

When we sail, it is my job to run back and forth between the cockpit and foredeck to do various things while Eric steers the ship. Since I opted to buy a pair of semi-attractive, bad boat shoes over a pair of good, yet ugly boat shoes, I have stubbed my toes many times during the last year.

Since I am not completely willing to sacrifice the health and well-being of my feet in order to have cute shoes to wear while sailing, I finally caved and purchased a pair of practical boat shoes. Well, they are 90% practical--technically, they are flip flops, which isn't the most functional style of boat shoe:

KEEN Waimea H2 Flip Flops
Although they are sandals, as you can see, they have great toe protection:

KEEN's Patented Toe Protection
Are these the best looking flip flops I've ever worn? No, but they are practical, which is attractive in some sense of the word.


  1. i think the problem here isn't the way you look, or how you think eric perceives you to look, but rather, eric's fashion sense in general. i reference the jacket he wore to emily's wedding as a prime example.

  2. Haha, I like your take on it. Come to think of it, I have caught him leaving for work in some questionable outfits...