In defence of socks and sandals

The path to martyrdom is one that is rife with trials and tribulations; one that involves unrelentingly sacrifice and the perseverance of personal beliefs in the face of adversity. Sometimes the path is filled with naysayers, accusing you of heresy before burning you at the stake. Other times it is paved with artfully uneven stone, lined with iconic sandstone buildings and wet with tears from debilitating and accumulating debt.

And so it was that I walked – sauntered – onto Eastern Ave on a morning that was too chilly for bare toes, too warm for complete bipedal imprisonment. The light breeze danced across my goosebumped skin, sending shivers from my head down to my clothed toes, encased in white Uniqlo cotton and Birkenstock leather. My feet revelled in this enjoyment – but this ecstasy was doomed to be ephemeral. A crowd approached, armed with smartphones. Amidst ten-second zooming Snapchats and battle cries of “What are thooooooose?” and heinous laughter, I found myself.

My very own “Eat Pray Love” flashed before my eyes, rapidly condensed into mere seconds as I accepted my fate. If I died, I would die a martyr, defending my most impassioned cause and shouting the following statements with reckless abandon into the windy abyss that is Eastern Avenue as a response to the most common question asked of me: “Why are you wearing socks and sandals?”

1. They are ridiculously comfortable

The higher powers would not have made my socked foot fit into my Birkenstock sandal like a goddamn glove unless it was destined to be. In peak summertime, the sandal is ever so slightly too loose and my feet slide around in the shoe, lubricated by sweat. No-one wants to think about or read the phrase “lubricated by sweat”. There is absolutely no lubrication and certainly no sweat when you throw a sock into the equation.

2. They are warm

Birkensocks (I have just coined this term) are a style that won’t have your mum shouting at you to “pack a jacket!” What a smart, sensible, weather-appropriate way to wear the sandal sensation without the numbness of cold toes or the crushing guilt of your $129.99 debit. Birkenstocks ain’t cheap, and you want to be able to wear these babies all summer and all winter long to maximise the efficiency of your purchase.

3. They are versatile

Fashion is often a field awash with buzzwords like ‘versatile’ but I promise you the Birkensock is a versatile trend that you can dress up or dress down. The interplay between the sock and the sandal is of utmost importance here – pineapple sock + metallic sandal = “I’m quirky and experimental”; white sock + black sandal = “I listen to Yung Lean”; any sock + white sandal = “I spent too much time curating my Instagram grid”. Shaking up your combinations means you can channel all three of your Internet personas.

Pulp Editors