Some time between 2008 and now it became socially acceptable to wear Worishofer sandals. They’ve replaced Crocs as the ungainly (it would be unkind to say ugly) but practical casual shoe of choice. These German-made sandals have been photographed on hipster-starlets like Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dust and are being sold, in an array of thirty-three colors, right alongside Thunderbirds and Chuck Taylors, at every cut-rate shoe store on lower Broadway.
The most popular style of Worishofers, the basic slide, reminds me of the classic Dr. Scholl’s exercise sandals. Like Scholl’s, Worishofers were developed by a physician in the service of orthopedic health. Unlike Scholl’s, Worishofers are entirely structureless; they’re lightweight and feel more like slippers than street shoes. Scholl’s have smart hardware: a sliding metal buckle and rows of bolts pinning the narrow strap to the sculpted oak sole. Worishofer sandals look like they’ve been glued together from scraps of vinyl. They don’t have the gorgeous object-quality that the most alluring shoes have.