No wonder foot fetishes are mainly a guy thing.
December 29, 2005 6:06 PM   Subscribe

Why do girls get all of the totally sweet shoes?

I ruin shoes with great haste, and thus I often find myself trying to find new ones. As I'm browsing in stores or even online, it keeps hitting me: shoes for guys are just so boring! It's all greys and browns and maybe a little green or orange stripe or something, but overall it's just ladieswear that's stealing all of the energy out there.

Take KangaROOS, which are typically pretty crazy shoes. women vs. men: did masculinity miss the color train?

And let's get pragmatic: Since my size 13 feet aren't going to fit in girl shoes anytime soon, can anyone recommend some non-boring men's shoes?
posted by soma lkzx to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I wondered something similar a couple of years ago, about socks. Then I thought "fuck it", and now I buy all my socks from the women's department at Target. Now I have seasonal cats on my feet all year round!

Except Thanksgiving. Why don't they make Thanksgiving socks? Why?

Maybe you could just do something similar.

Oh, the shoe size thing. Can't help you there.
posted by interrobang at 6:18 PM on December 29, 2005

You just know someone is going to scream "Metrosexual!" at you now. :)

I bought some boring, black, Rockport shoes for considerable cash and am totally thrilled by comfort and their long-lasting-ness.

However, your question is about stylish men's shoes. Check into Fluevog's for men. When I was younger, cooler, and cared about such things I had some nice pointy-toed ones. Then I switched to army boots and that was cooler, IMO.
posted by Kickstart70 at 6:18 PM on December 29, 2005

maybe i can just wear shorts and women's socks all year round to make up for my lackluster below-the-ankle performance. thanks, interrobang!
posted by soma lkzx at 6:21 PM on December 29, 2005

Go for it, soma!
posted by interrobang at 6:23 PM on December 29, 2005

you do know that zappos allows you to do searches by color, right?
posted by hindmost at 6:27 PM on December 29, 2005

Yeah I have been noticing much more interesting mens' shoes in the past couple years. Have you been to a nice urban department store or down to the funky neighborhood in your town lately? If you've fallen into a FootLocker rut or worse, you may have a nice surprise waiting for you out there.
posted by scarabic at 6:27 PM on December 29, 2005

Jon Fluevog in Vancouver makes cool shoes for guys and dolls. Available at Zappos (link above)

interrobang - what would you like on your thanksgiving socks? Little turkeys frolicking in seas of cranberry sauce?
posted by seawallrunner at 6:42 PM on December 29, 2005

as much as i hate the tons-of-links-in-one-sentence, especially when paired with a rhetorical question, those tons of links are pure cash money. thanks hindmost!

i'd never heard of fluevog before, but if you name a men's line of shoes "angels" you've gotta be a badass. any other recommendations for brands or specific lines?
posted by soma lkzx at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2005

Jo Ghost made some awesome men's shoes this year though I've never seen them online. They were a bruisy bluish-purple color and they made them in red as well. Sold out everywhere, even though they were $400. Couldn't find my size and hit every store in the city.

Other manufacturers who make colorful or cool men's shoes (and are sold at Zappo's) include Esquivel, Jean-Michel Cazabat, Vincini, Stacy Adams... they're usually expensive though.

I personally can't stand Fluevog shoes and find them both uncomfortable and ugly, though some people do seem to go ga-ga over them. They remind me of popular "alternative" music. Just cutting edge enough to interest those bored with Aldo but not unique enough to appeal to anyone who'd avoid Aldo in the first place. :)

Cydwoq sticks to regular colors but has unique cuts/designs. They're my fave shoe and today I even bought a women's pair, though I asked for opinions first.
posted by dobbs at 6:56 PM on December 29, 2005

If you stretch the definition of "shoes" to incorporate all footwear, you'll find that you can get New Rock boots in all sorts of exciting styles and colours. Well... kinda!
posted by Chunder at 7:03 PM on December 29, 2005

damn, that zappos site rules. I was looking at online shoes the other day, but I've never seen anything like that. Nice.
posted by delmoi at 7:07 PM on December 29, 2005

I just went looking for the design-your-own-sneaker site and they seem to be gone. Nuts.
posted by Tubes at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2005

delmoi, Zappos is pretty cool but they don't ship outside of the USA, which sucks.
posted by dobbs at 7:19 PM on December 29, 2005

i just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out where customatix went before i finished the sentence and saw that they disappeared. if anyone would like to pine longingly for them, i direct you to this article.
posted by soma lkzx at 7:20 PM on December 29, 2005

How about these Doc Martens? Go cat go!
posted by mono blanco at 7:29 PM on December 29, 2005

No snarkiness intended in that post soma. Josh Rubin of seems to have a big sneaker jones and he frequently posts about interesting sneakers . Not all of them are colorful, but they are unusual. Be warned that he frequently blogs about expensive or limited edition shoes.
posted by hindmost at 7:33 PM on December 29, 2005

Hey, I have Thanksgiving socks! They're blue, and they have Pilgrims and Indians on them. Sweet!
posted by Nice Donkey at 7:35 PM on December 29, 2005

The expensive link was supposed to go here but the actual link gives you more selection, so it's a wash.
posted by hindmost at 7:36 PM on December 29, 2005

I think you don't quite get men's shoes.

There are lots of men who LOVE shoes and pore vast amounts of energy and money into them, and there's a thriving market to purvey to those men.

It's just that flashy colors and styles have never been the axis for male shoe-passion. It's all about absurdly fine and/or rare grades and types of leathers and hides, master handcrafting, and ultra-custom fit.

Talk to the guy you know with the best suits or the nicest dress shirts and ask him to tell you about shoes. He'll introduce you to a world you never imagined...
posted by MattD at 7:53 PM on December 29, 2005

No size 13 colorful men's shoes? Scroll to the right for much, much more. Warning: extemely gaudy.

Also, although ebay's men's shoe finder doesn't offer the color-search option the women's does, you could check the "Search title and description" box to for multi, polka dot, or even orange (to match those
thanksgiving socks.)
posted by ellanea at 8:16 PM on December 29, 2005

MattD: I think men's shoes don't get me. They don't get me because I'm not boring. I'm the kid with the 2' spoiler on the back of my shoe jalopy, not old man richpants wearing the infiniti. just a different market!
posted by soma lkzx at 8:35 PM on December 29, 2005

Dirk Bikkembergs, baby! (Particularly if you can find older ones, before he went all sporty. (Though there's also some great sporty ones in weird colors.) I have a truly ridiculous old pair that are held on by a giant metal loop that digs into the top of my feet. They're like the Frankenstein's monster of shoes.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:08 PM on December 29, 2005

Browse some Pumas. They got the brown and black down pat, but they've also rocked some of the most amazing color combinations I've ever seen. So beautiful I want to put them on a shelf and never wear them. Their California line from a couple years back was particularly stunning.

Also, to address your initial question, guys have more trouble mis/matching colors. Going with a safe bet color in footwear takes some of the guesswork out of it.
posted by samh23 at 9:11 PM on December 29, 2005

i always see cool guy stuff at Product Dose (shoes, jackets, they always have a lot pants for some reason). I just wish they recommended girl stuff, too.
posted by echo0720 at 9:12 PM on December 29, 2005

Wow, so many of those shoes were just hideous. Who wears red, blue and yellow, garish red, blue and yellow no less?

I'm actually just chiming in to remind you that while you asked for colorful shoes, most of these links are to colorful sneakers.

You may already be aware of this, but there is a quite a difference between a fashionable man's shoe and a fashionable sneaker. The former are pretty much exclusively issued in black or brown (there are the odd exception like black/white wing tips). Please, do not wear sneakers to anything like a business meeting or any initial meeting with someone over 30. (Strictly speaking if you are the artist/genius type you can wear whatever you want.)
posted by oddman at 9:50 PM on December 29, 2005

Soma, I should assume you're having a bit of fun, but just in case you're not: there is nothing whatever boring (to a shoe enthusiast) about a sublime pair of shoes. If you care about shoes you ought to study at the feet (hah!) of those who live and breathe shoe-lust. Before you know you'll be FedEx a plaster cast of your bare feet to Milan to get lasts carved just like every other member of the cult.
posted by MattD at 11:20 PM on December 29, 2005

One word: Tsubo.
posted by fraying at 11:42 PM on December 29, 2005

Ok, one more word: Camper.
posted by fraying at 11:44 PM on December 29, 2005

Why do girls get all of the totally sweet shoes? ... overall it's just ladieswear that's stealing all of the energy out there.

Because of the people on the planet who would use the words "totally sweet" to describe shoes, or who would think of shoes as possessing "energy," 99.44% of them have a vagina.

As I'm browsing in stores or even online, it keeps hitting me: shoes for guys are just so timeless and elegant!

I have taken the liberty of correcting your sentence above.
posted by kindall at 12:01 AM on December 30, 2005

oddman: Yeah, I should have specified that i'm mainly [only!] a sneaker-wearer. And yes, many of those shoes are amazingly hideous. Some are good fun, though.

kindall: I think the people who use "totally sweet" are most likely to be fourteen years old and in television dramas of the West Coast. Thank you for noticing my careless oversight.

mattd: All in fun! Some day when I become a mature human being I'll probably come back to you, grovelling for basic yet elegant suggestions.
posted by soma lkzx at 6:03 AM on December 30, 2005

posted by shoepal at 6:37 AM on December 30, 2005

shoepal: very nice - if pricey.

soma: it's not just the shoes, unfortunately!
posted by odinsdream at 6:47 AM on December 30, 2005

I wear the cheap line of New Balance sneakers. I've worn 3 different colors the past three years: lt. gray, blue, and currently yellow. Next might be green, maybe something else. They come in tons of colors. Same goes for many of the Puma lines, and the Saucony Originals line. I wear a size 12, and have super-wide feet, but the NBs fit great--extremely comfortable. Glancing at your 'roos links, though, I might be a bit too drab for your tastes. Not a lot of mens' shoes in pastels, it's true. I haven't worn a pair in years and years, but Reebok has a neat option: they let you custom-color their retro sneaker line. Good luck finding something.

A bit later...There's a guy I work with who's totally into shoes, but not in the fine leather/custom fit/swanky Italian suit way. He claims to own about 80 pairs of basketball sneakers, and I believe him. There's a lot of plastic and space involved in many of them. Some of them belong on a wall.
posted by carsonb at 7:20 AM on December 30, 2005

Yeah, I should have specified that i'm mainly [only!] a sneaker-wearer.

Well, therein lies your problem, I think. As colorful and funky as sneakers can be, they're always sneakers, which are generally a very boring cut.

I used to only wear sneakers because all dressy shoes I found felt like bricks on my feet. Then, I spent some extra money on a quality pair of shoes and have never looked back. One cannot really explain, verbally, why someone should spend $300 or more on a pair of really good shoes. No one will believe them. A shoe is a shoe is a shoe... far from it. But once you find the pair that's right for you, I think your sneaker days'll be over.
posted by dobbs at 8:33 AM on December 30, 2005

I like my Merrells.

Tough, comfortable, durable, and just slightly colourful.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:44 AM on December 30, 2005

Check out Onitsuka Tigers - some really interesting designs (based on their vintage models), and they come in all kinds of crazy colors. I bought a pair of their Ultimate 81's, and they were the lightest, most breathable sneakers I've ever had.
posted by sluggo at 10:14 AM on January 1, 2006

« Older How do I remedy fecal incontinence?   |   Whats the story of my mystery tattoo Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.