Fashion

These Clogs Are Helping Me Weather the Lockdown Blues

This whole situation has reminded me how much I enjoy wearing my Birkenstock Bostons.
IMAGE Jonathan Evans
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Yesterday, I opened the front door of my apartment building and ventured out onto the sidewalks of Brooklyn. Under normal circumstances, this would be a daily, even many-times-daily, occurrence. But that's not how it goes right now. With a distressing number of people either refusing to give everyone else six feet of space or not wearing a mask—or both!—I've come to view going outside as stepping into the gauntlet. It's rendered me homebound more often than I would like (or, in truth, is at all healthy for my mind or body).

Basically, at this point, I need to bribe myself a little just to do my fair share of the household errand-running. Considering my specific proclivity for men's fashion and style, it might not come as a surprise that I do this with shoes. Say what you will about the ritual of getting dressed up and going outside, but over the course of lockdown, I've discovered that for me, the key to overcoming stay-at-home inertia is a pair of clogs.

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Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed Clogsbirkenstock.com

Photo by Birkenstock.
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I've owned the same pair of Birkenstock Bostons for years, but they didn't get a whole lot of wear in the Before Times. Bare heels at the office seemed a little brazen, and Birks and socks (while a very good thing that I fully endorse) inevitably invited commentary. I'd wake up, thinking about giving it a go, and usually settle for sneakers instead. That translated into the weekend, because, like I said: inertia.

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A global pandemic is pretty effective at upsetting old routines, though, and lately when I go out, I've been delighting in sliding my sockless feet into the ergonomic embrace of my Bostons. I may be breathing into a mask and fogging up my glasses, but my heels, about as far as you can get from a mucous membrane, remain blissfully uncovered. My arches, never too good to begin with and now even worse from too much couch time, are supported. I look down at the wedges of my feet and I feel good about what I'm seeing.

It's a small thing, but it helps. I walk around a little, dodging the maskless and the prematurely assembled, and my clogs keep me from sinking (too far) into moroseness. They remind me of that weird sense of optimism that I felt years ago, when I bought a pair of shoes that for decades prior had smacked of uncoolness and thought, "Well, maybe I'll make them look cool." I'm still not entirely convinced that I do, but I'm looking forward to the next time I wear them nonetheless.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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