Wednesday 11 April 2018

Toes Galore

Best Foot Forward

A handsome foot is a physical feature to be much admired. I readily admit to being a bit of a foot fancier; we Pisceans often are. My checklist: fine lines, elegant toes, strong and grounded whilst still conveying fleetness and lightness, and impeccable grooming. I'm even very fair on the Question of Hair. If a man-about-town's foot sports such desirable characteristics, by all means put all or part of it on display. In the perpetual summer of Classical Art, we rightly see a lot of the elegant foot, either bare or in a fancy sandal.

In the perpetual summer that it seems to be in this neck of the woods, we're seeing instead rather a lot of this:

And, typically, these Hobbit Feet are barely disguised by a slim chevron of rubber in the form of a flip flop (a.k.a. "thong" around these parts). Calling them Havaianas and charging $30 for them does not, in my book, qualify thongs to be considered shoes*. The sole purpose of the rubber thong is to insulate against hot sand at the beach or communicable skin diseases at the public pool ... Even the Romans knew that.

Salvom Lavisse: Thongs Required

The visibility of feet rather waxes and wanes in the Urban Society. It was once only the privilege of the Hermit or the Saint to go unshod. I do feel, though, we've hit Peak Feet now. The suburbs are saturated with Mani-Pedi emporiums, where the dollars you save not buying proper shoes can be diverted to making the perpetually exposed foot a bit more palatable to the eye ... Or not, as in spite of this, heels and toes of all qualities and states of grooming are flaunted on men, women and children, throughout the year and as accessory to every situation and pastime. Around here, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was The Law.

As I'm rather like fotherington-tomas, ("Hullo clouds, hullo flowers"), when I go about my day, my inbuilt fascination with feet means the overabundance of toes makes it hard to look away. This prolonged and deliberate eschewing of shoes has, sadly, turned this connoisseur right off the publicly exposed foot, ("Hullo hooves, hullo talons"). There was a time when I would have laughed rather heartily at the suggestion of adding socks to either sandals or thongs, but I now understand there is more than just practicality or warmth at play when one looks at the ancient marvel of the split sock, favoured by many sandal-wearing cultures in the past. If our present state of affairs is all a gesture of convention-flaunting, it is no longer subversive or edgy; surely we must be about ready for the Trend-Setters to declare the Hidden Toe to be the New Thing and start to give the bare foot a bit of mystery again.

Safely Under Wraps

* Disclaimer: I will don them to scoot down to the Communal Laundry in warmer weather, but they are never worn beyond the grounds of the Pipistrello condominio.


  1. As any podiatrist will attest, feet are two of the most important parts of your body. You'll find that without them in tip-top order, getting around is problematic. And that just the most obvious problem. Having healthy feet and toes should be a priority for anyone that cares about enjoying a long and well travelled life. And I visit my podiatrist regularly.

  2. We've had lovely weather here in the UK but today I misjudged and wore Birkenstocks to work. The weather turned out to be cold and grey and my Tiffany Blue toe nails ended up looking more grey and bruised than fun and flirty lol

    1. Hello adrienne,

      Thank you for visiting again! I shall not judge you on your Birkenstocks, I hear they are much beloved by those who wear them. It is perhaps up to you to institute the addition of socks as a fashionable accessory when the weather doesn't behave? Their original wearers, the Germans, would applaud you, I'm sure!

      I quite like blue toe-nails, they can seem like a sprinkling of little turquoise cabochons.


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