sandal scandal

Famous Men Weigh In on the Great Flip-flop Debate

Marc Jacobs is clearly a fan.
Marc Jacobs is clearly a fan. Photo: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs

It’s Beach Week at the Cut, and time to continue the ongoing debate: Should men wear flip-flops? The discussion reawakened last week when Marc Jacobs paired suits with sandals in his spring menswear collection, prompting an in-office divide. As it turns out, there are certain criteria: Is the wearer in need of a pedicure? Is he at the beach? Is he at all concerned with urban hygiene? Here, 17 famous men step in with their thoughts:

Seth Meyers:I have been anti-flip-flops for a long time. When I see a person running to catch a plane in flip-flops, I’m cheering for them not to make it. I don’t want the people on that flight to have to be on a plane with a guy in flip-flops. I don’t like the sound they make. People running in flip-flops haven’t planned their life well enough. If you’re going to be wearing flip-flops you need to leave early so that you don’t have to be in a position where you have to run for anything. In a zombie apocalypse, I’m going to try to stay near a guy in flip-flops just because that’s the first guy that’s going down. I’m very anti-flip-flops.”

Mike Birbiglia:I’m against it. I’m deeply against it. We need to stop it now, because male foot hygiene is just deplorable, abhorrent.”

Wyatt Cenac: “It’s good as, like, beach- or poolwear. I don’t know, flip-flops in the city just terrify me because you’ve basically opened yourself up to a foot massage from a rat. I think as long as your feet don’t look terrible, I feel like everybody, anybody who wants to put their foot in a flip-flop, go with it. Just make sure your feet don’t have any horrible dangling nails and don’t be that person on the subway clipping their toenails.”

Chris Hardwick:They’re the most uncomfortable shoes to wear. They dig in between your toes. They’re only functional for sand. You’re supposed to sweat in them and wear them in the sand. I just don’t think a shoe that’s named after the onomatopoeia of the sound that it makes should really be … That’s just me. There are some dudes that can totally pull that off. I would look like a douche bag if I did. There are certain hipster types, I think they can pull it off. I don’t think I’m one of those types. I equate flip-flops with Jimmy Buffet. There was a period when mullets were considered rad and chic, or I think it’s sort of like how fancy restaurants will try to do a gourmet version of mac ‘n’ cheese. Like, okay, it’s good, but it’s still flip-flops.”

Ben Schwartz:I’m fine with it. Is that bad?”

Vince Staples:See, I’m not really rockin’ with the flip-flops. If you rock the flip-flop with the sock, it has to be in the house. Outside in the flip-flop is not a good move. Marc Jacobs is out of his mind. He’s trippin’ right now. It’s not my thing. I gotta see the collection because he has one of those minds — it might work. But I don’t know, it does get hot sometimes, you might need to rock the flip-flop in 80-degree weather.”

Jidenna:You know, flip-flops with a suit is actually a very old tradition in Africa. It existed for as long as the suit has existed in Africa. What Marc Jacobs is doing is great for him but it’s an old thing. You go to Nigeria, all the most wealthy men wear flip-flops and sandals with suits. I do [wear them] but usually when I’m in Africa.” 

Horatio Sanz:Hell, no. I’m against it. I wouldn’t wear flip-flops on the beach, that’s how against it I am. I just think that I have a fondness for women’s feet and if they want to wear sandals I’m fine with it.  It’s not like I have a fetish, but when I see guys with like Fred Flintstone feet, you know, I don’t need to see that. I’ve been through a lot of things, I don’t need to see men’s feet ever in my whole life. I hope this isn’t a trend that continues.”

John Gemberling:Well, if you’re in the neighborhood like walking to a bagel place or something, maybe throw them on. I never would wear flip-flops for years then I got a pair at TJ Maxx for cheap. Now that I’m in L.A. I’ll just fucking wear them because you get in the car and then nobody sees them and you can just look like a pajama shithead because who cares.”

Gilles Mendel:You know, flip-flop doesn’t sound sexy. You know what I’m saying. When you say flip-flop it makes me think about what I see sometimes when I travel in this country. I like the sandal idea, or more like the Birkenstock thing. Flip-flops are okay when you are going to a spa.”

Jason Mantzoukas: “Categorically I would not advise anyone to [wear flip-flops] in the city. It’s just disgusting.” 

Bobby Moynihan:I’m totally for it. Where is it okay? Everywhere. Comfort should rule all. We’re all dirty people, there’s dirt everywhere, flip-flops aren’t going to change anything. Flips-flops are wonderful. Even if you’ve got ugly feet, do it. I don’t care, do what you’ve got to do.”

Noah Wyle: To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair. I did play on a lot of athletic teams, and sometimes it’s required gym showerwear. I believe that’s what they’re designed to be, shower shoes. I’m probably not the right guy to ask, because these legs haven’t seen the sun since 1978. I’m not even a shorts guy, let alone a flip-flop guy. Definitely no flip-flops with suits. It doesn’t mean you can’t rock some tennis shoes now and then, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Zach Woods:Some people are phobic about pathogens on the streets and getting like a staph infection from, like, the side of the subway car. I think people who are phobic about flip-flops are maybe like giving their caution too much power and they should just live a little. I’m okay with it. I think do what you feel. I’m not going to tell people what to wear on their feet.”

Dennis Haysbert: I wear flip-flops. I wear them anytime I think about it.”

Patrick Warburton: Flip-flops serve a purpose. They’re great at the beach, but you know, they can be kind of gross in other environments.”

Fabolous: “I don’t see that in my near future. I can never say never but I don’t see it right now.”

Reporting by Diane Gordon, Marcus Jones, Trupti Rami, Katie Van Syckle, Valentina I. Valentini, and Kat Ward.

Famous Men Weigh In on Flip-flops