Did I Say That: Wearing socks with sandals, 'no one wants to look at someone's gnarled toes'

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani bemoans the endless cycle of shoveling snow.

Joe Pisani /

We live in troubled times when everyone is telling everyone else how to live. Whatever happened to live and let live? In my own home, I’m a victim of self-righteousness. I get called out if I don’t agree with the herd mentality — especially when it comes to big issues like whether I should wear socks with my sandals.

I want to be an individualist, but people around me insist I do things their way. None of the fashionistas will go out in public with me. What’s the big deal? It’s not like I’m forcing them to go to a Trump rally or buy Goya pinto beans. I’m entirely non-political. My socks aren’t even red, white and blue.

Nevertheless, I’ve been told this is a major fashion faux pas, especially if you wear support hose that goes up to your knees. OK, I’m not that bad. I don’t wear knee socks with Bermuda shorts because I don’t want to look like Don Knotts in “Three’s Company.”

I’m pretty sure what Dame Anna Wintour, the demigoddess of high fashion, would say, and my four daughters and one wife would agree with her. In case you never heard of the 11th Commandment of Fashion, it’s “Thou shalt not wear socks with sandals.”

For me, it’s a question of hygiene, comfort, aesthetics and pride. Your feet stay clean, it feels good, and people can’t see what my daughters pejoratively call my “crinkle toe,” which is a medical term commonly used by podiatrists. It’s also been called “triangle toe” because instead of oval, it is shaped like a triangle. But that’s enough public discussion about my foot anatomy.

For the sake of common decency and to spare my fellow man and woman the horror of looking at it, I keep it safely ensconced in a sock.

I don’t know who came up with this rule that you have to be barefoot when you wear sandals. It might have started sometime around 1300 BCE when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and everyone was in such a rush to leave they didn’t have time to put on their socks. And I’m willing to bet Jesus and the 12 Apostles never wore Dr. Scholl’s support hose with their sandals.

I decided to do a little research to see what’s behind this prejudice, so I googled the question, “Is it OK to wear socks with sandals?” An article in GQ — that’s short for “Gentlemen’s Quarterly” for all you uncool guys — immediately appeared. I quote from it: “One of the most cardinal style rules—never wearing socks with sandals—has been broken with zero regard by the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Tyler, the Creator.”

Now, if you don’t know who Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Tyler, the Creator, are, you have no business reading my hipster column. My first reaction was, “I’m a trendsetter just like Kanye West, who could be our next president; Justin Bieber, who could take over Nancy Pelosi’s job, and whoever that third guy is.”

For all I know, they could have seen ME wearing socks and sandals and thought, “This dude is a free spirit. I want to be like him.”

Actually, there were several million other responses on the Internet, and they were all negative, which makes me wonder: Don’t these know-it-alls have anything better to do, like solving climate change? (Does Greta Thunberg wear socks with her flip flops?)

This brings me to another controversial issue. I don’t want to anger the women of America, but I urge them not to wear flip flops to work because it could put their toes in danger, especially in Manhattan, where there’s a potential foot injury around every construction site and on every crowded subway.

Besides, no one wants to look at someone’s gnarled toes, even if they are painted candy apple red with the precision of Leonardo da Vinci. So for the betterment of humankind and in the interests of public safety, I urge everyone — man, woman and household pet — to wear socks.

Joe Pisani can be reached at joefpisani@yahoo.com.

Editor’s note: The editor of this publication does not endorse Joe Pisani’s pro socks with sandals statement.