Last year, I wrote a little column on how much I hate mandals, or man-sandals, and, believe me, I still stand behind what I wrote, but as I dished some criticism out to one of the sports guys yesterday - one of the hottest days we've had so far this year - I realized that I am kind of a jerk.

Not because I hate mandals, they are awful and totally deserving of my loathing, but because I did not provide alternate footwear suggestions, and as a journalist, that's just irresponsible and a complete jerk move. I should always provide enough information to my readers because I think one or two of them may even take me seriously sometimes.

So, real quick, here are three suggestions for man's summertime tootsies.

Checkered Vans slip ons

Now, these don't have to be checkered, but when I was a kid, the neighbors who lived two doors down had a daughter and she married a black man, so they had a little boy around my age who was a little of each race and I just thought that was really awesome because, for me and where I grew up, that was really different. My point is, the kid wore checkered Vans slip ons and in hindsight, I'd say it took my thinking he was awesome to a full-on crush on him.

Will simply wearing checkered Vans enable you to lure in girls like trout on a good day of fishing? Yes. I think they will.

And they are made of canvas, so they aren't going to be very hot. Whether you wear socks with them or not is up to you and should be dependent on whether or not you are dealing with foot odor issues. Even if you are, though, you can throw those babies right in the washing machine when their start peeling the paint off the wall.

Oh, and I'm fully aware many of you will find these shoes unsightly, but that's just the world we live in and I am going to have to live with the fact that you are wrong.


If I used the word "cool," I'd say Converse sneakers are pretty cool, but I don't, so let's just say I think they are swell.

I don't currently, nor have I ever owned a pair for the simple fact I wear a woman's size 9 1/2 and I think they make my feet look as though I should be in Clown College - which, I should mention, is something I haven't ruled out for a future career move.

The best thing about Converse is that they are customizable on their website, so you can create the sneaker of your dreams for a semi-affordable price depending on your income.

Converse also come in canvas so you have that going for you as well.

Boat shoes

I used to think boat shoes were lame, but I've reconsidered my stance. I now approve of them and would go as far as to encourage men to wear them because, let's face it, if you wear boat shoes, I may think you have a boat, and if I think you have a boat, I'm going try to become friends with you because, for one, you have a great personality and you're fun to be around, but mostly because I think you have a boat and I love an excuse to wear nautical attire.

I know none of these are open-toe footwear, but it boils down to this:

I just have a thing - which is my thing, OK? This is a column and I'm sure there are women with foot fetishes and all, but I, personally, do not want to see your hairy toes and I especially don't want to see your toenails, because, for some reason, toenails that aren't painted really freak me out. It's a weird thing I have, I know. It doesn't bother me at the beach or a pool or a very casual setting, but in normal every day life I still can't handle the mandals.

I wish I could love every part of a man's body, but I can't and I apologize for that. I understand a man's foot gets just as hot as a woman's in the summer, and it's not fair we can parade around in whatever contraptions we can get to stay on our feet, but life's not fair and mandals are the worst.

(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)