epigram 01: on men’s feet

These feet rule: only if your feet look as good as Constantine’s may you disregard this epigram (Capitoline Museum, Rome)

From head to toe, true gents are discreet,

And never neglect to cover their feet.

With the exception of those times that they are immediately engaged in aquatic activities, men’s feet should be covered at all times in public.  That is, completely, not partially, concealed.  Even under the best of conditions, those meatpegs men walk around on are pretty ugly; Taste demands their concealment from an innocent glance.  No thong sandal, scuff, Birkenstock nor definitely the dreaded flip flop can take the place of a nice  loafer, Oxford or boot.  Those vaguely sandally things may provide a modicum of protection to the wearer’s sole, but does not protect the rest of us from the vision of the foot itself.

For those men of the world who are not be persuaded that this service to humanity is worth the price of their personal comfort, we beg them to consider their own advancement in every arena of their existence, since clearly availing ourselves of their ego is the only trick that may work.  History and popular culture are full of examples of the men who have and continue to run the world, and they do it in full-on footwear. Behold:

Without his fine boots, Napoleon would have caught frostbite crossing the Alps.

Without cleated sneaks, David Beckham would have had a Tinfoil Foot at best.

Pres. Obama’s shoes tell us that even when he puts his feet up, he’s still a hardworking guy just like the rest of us.

Would the ladies think that Don looks Draperesque in flip flops?

Action heroes depend on proper equipment, down to their toes, to execute their proper action.

Yo-Yo Ma could never have tapped his toe to the top of the charts as the World’s Favorite Cellist if it was just his big piggy slapping out the tempo.

What kind of a figure would Professor Snape cut in a pair of Keen slip-ons?

Colin Firth has been nominated for dozens and dozens of acting awards and scooped up an impressive number of them, always wearing shoes.  How many Oscars, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Build Awards and BAFTAs do you have?

The efforts of Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to spread European Modernist architecture all over the globe were greatly enhanced by their footwear (bonus points for the spats, Mies).

“One small step . . .”  Neil Armstrong wouldn’t have been able to moonwalk without his footgear.

And neither would this guy.

Clearly, shoes are a key to the success of all these icons from entertainment to law enforcement, from the performing arts and sports, politics and lady killers.  What do they all have in common, aside from performing with general awesomeness?  One word: shoes.  Few men can get away without them–although, to be fair, we should note the exceptions.  So, unless you’re this guy:

or this guy:

or this guy:

don’t go unshod!  But you don’t have to take our word for it.  This guy has been telling you about proper footwear for ages:

Be a good neighbor, wear your shoes.

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