Experts recommend grooming before men put on sandals this summer 

click to enlarge Men's feet on the background of lush green grass - BIGSTOCK
  • Bigstock
  • Men's feet on the background of lush green grass

Heading into work at Oklahoma City’s trendy new 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City, Kenneth Wayne dresses the part. As director of operations, Wayne has a very GQ style and appearance. But when the workday is over, the first things to come off are his shoes.

“I am usually barefoot around the house,” he said. “If I go out, however, I am definitely a sandals kind of guy. The Birkenstock style is what I prefer. Of course, I own flip-flops, and having a pair or two is almost a necessity of life.”

As Oklahoma’s spring melts into summer, more men opt for a more casual look. But putting their feet on display means making sure they don’t gross people out.

“I have a foot care regimen I follow,” Wayne said. “Mostly, it consists of the weekly nail clipping and then an occasional pedicure. I don’t usually put that on my calendar; I just do it whenever I think I need it. And I am probably due for one before my feet start making a cameo during this warm weather.”

The first time he had a pedicure, Wayne said he didn’t know what to expect.

“They started using these scrapers, and all the dead skin started flying off. I was like, ‘I’m so sorry!’ The lady laughed and said it was normal,” he said. “But there’s no embarrassment having a pedicure. The only embarrassment comes later in conversation. I get kind of shy about it when it comes up in conversation around my buddies.”

Experts say it’s as important for a man to take care of his feet as it is his face.

“Taking care of your body from head to toe is always recommended,” said Kourtney Ziai, a barber at Carwin’s Shave Shop, 5710 N. Classen Blvd., in Classen Curve. “Men are definitely taking better care of their skin these days. We get a lot of guys coming in here, ready to have a skin care regimen so that in 10 to 20 years, they are not looking as aged as their parents.”

Carwin’s is a full-service shop stocked with popular products designed to help turn back time.

“Over the last few years, men have seen what it looks like if you don’t take care of your skin versus what it looks like when you do. And this goes for every man,” Ziai said. “I have men come from all over Oklahoma, guys who may be farmers and work outside all day and they want to take care of their skin and their feet. So it’s not just the metro kind of guy.”

Putting your best foot forward is simple, Ziai said. It’s a matter of getting used to a new routine.

“Put lotion on your feet, and clip your toenails. Those are really the two main things you need to do,” she said. “Of course, you can also use a loofah in the shower to remove the dead skin and have a pedicure when you need it. But I highly recommend men take care of their feet all year, not just in sandals and flip-flop season.”

When it’s time to remove the socks and expose those hairy, pale feet to the summer sun, take the time to make them as presentable as possible.

“A lot of men do not cut their toenails, and I don’t know what that’s about,” Ziai said. “If you don’t do anything else, at least cut your toenails. You don’t want gross, crazy-man feet.”

Print headline: Stepping out, To complete summer’s hot trend of cool, open men’s footwear, a little grooming goes a long way.

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Mark Beutler

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