Time to take your dogs out for a walk. A parade even. Sure, Pride Month merits some quality time spent in roughly horizontal positions, but for many members of the LGBTQ community, much of June is spent on our feet. Whether we’re marching or dancing, running over hot sand or drinking cocktails on a concrete pool deck, our tootsies are getting the kind of hardcore workout our abs can only dream about. So this year, opt for Pride footwear that matches the fabulosity of the rest of you.
Well, Hornet is committed to helping you look and feel your best — from head to toe. On the latter front, we present some foot care and footwear tips for Pride 2018.
On the aesthetic front, Barry Eichner, co-founder of the skincare website and newsletter LipglossandAftershave.com promises twinkling toes for guys who try the Baby Foot Exfoliation Peel for men.
“This is the way to get your feet summer-ready,” Eichner says of the unusual “foot facial” kits, which include two bootie like bags containing a safe gel incorporating 16 astringent and moisturizing plant extracts.
“You put one on each foot and wear them for an hour,” says Eichner. “For up to a week after you’ll notice rough shedding from your toes and soles. “It’s honestly hard to believe how smooth and soft your feet feel afterwards. And the softness and moisturization is clearly visible.”
Amidst the wear and tear of summertime, Eichner recommends repeating the treatment every two weeks.
Northern California podiatrist Anthony Nguyen, DPM, cautions shoe shoppers to never make a decision based only on size and style. “It’s OK if you don’t want to go to a shoe store,” he says, “But even if you buy online it’s really important to try shoes on. First, you should know whether you have flat, broad or high arched feet. And then you should try three or four different brands even within that category.”
He encourages taking full advantage of Zappos’ free two-way shipping and ordering multiple pairs with the assumption that you’ll return all but one.
For multiple-hour sessions of dancing or marching, Nguyen emphasizes the importance of shock absorption. “Thin soled athletic shoes like Nike Frees are really popular now because they’re light and super-flexible. But it’s a trend that can lead to fractures. You want a shoe with a fairly inflexible sole to march in a Pride parade. And if you have high arches, you probably should not be wearing sandals, and certainly not totally flat sandals or flip-flops. For almost anyone it’s worth spending a little extra money for sandals designed with arch support.”
Cotton socks should be taken out of your summer wardrobe. “If you sweat in cotton socks,” Nguyen explains, “The heat doesn’t escape and your pores open, which can lead to fungal infection. Again, spend a little extra for microfiber.”
Finally, says Nguyen, you should rethink your use of Desenex and other anti-fungal sprays. “It’s fine to spray your feet if you’ve already got a fungal infection,” he says, but preventative medicine is the wiser move. “If you spray the insides of your shoes after you take them off for the day, 80% of the potential for infection will be gone before you wear them again.”
Moving from fungi to fun, let’s take a look at June’s stampede of Pride footwear.
For the fourth year in a row, Adidas has introduced a limited-edition capsule collection of Pride kicks for 2018. Unlike prior lines, which featured super-saturated rainbow colors that left no doubt their wearers were light in the loafers (well, sneakers), this year’s models feature a much more laidback palette.
The best of the bunch have smart, summery styling with a full spectrum of pastel tones. The classic athletic I-5923s feature cool, powdery color in the suede detailing and the Deerupt running shoes have a weblike, white mesh netting on the Deerupt running shoes that creates a festive confetti effect. Far more than novelty statement shoes, you’ll be happy to wear these all season.
The collection’s other styles are less likely to make it out of our closets: On the low-profiled Campus Pride, Adidas’ hallmark three stripes are plain vanilla on the outsoles, with pale rainbow tones shyly emerging on the insoles, tongue and heel patch. And the cream-colored Pureboost DPR Pride runners feature only tinges of orange and pink in the striping — adequate, perhaps, if you’re an out-and-proud salmon.
Nike also has a quartet of new styles releasing for Pride month. But while credit is due for trying to move beyond rainbow clichés, the palette of this year’s BETRUE collection is a rather awkward collision of black, white and a lavender gradient that stretches from a metallic blue to a bubblegum-on-my-shoe pink. Alas, these are running shoes to run from.
Want to put your best foot forward without splurging on a new pair of shoes?
Well, you can always up your sock game. And there’s no better place to do it than — wait for it — PrideSocks.com, an entire cyber-sock drawer of footwear flamboyance. Owned and curated by Rachel Smith of Austin, the site offers six different lengths of tube, athletic and work-appropriate cuts in rainbow stripes, argyles, checkerboards and more.
Our favorite Pride socks of the year are the ultimate geek chic accompaniment to white summer shoes and shorts: Tipsy Elves’ rainbow-ringed jet black mid-calf numbers. Gaymers, get ready to play footsie.
Want to go all the way and primp those piggies? We’re loving the glitter nail polishes from Deborah Lippmann, a former jazz singer who’s styled shoots and shows for Versace and Vanity Fair. Juxtapose her multi-colored Candy Shop and Happy Birthday blends with rough-hewn leather sandals for feet that give gender stereotypes a swift kick in the badonkadonk.
If you want your sandals themselves to make a statement — to make any statement — check out iSlides, remarkably comfortable and completely customizable beach and poolwear. Upload your own images and texts or work with their simple online design tool. Creativity is encouraged, so do some fancy footwork of your own.
Where to buy the above-mentioned Pride footwear:
Baby Foot Peel for Men
$25, purchase here
Adidas I-5923 Pride Shoes
$130, purchase here
Adidas Deerupt Pride Shoes
$100, purchase here
Nike BETRUE 2018 line
Available June 6, pricing TBA, info here
Black Rainbow Socks
$12, purchase here
Candy Shop glitter nail polish
$20, purchase here
Slide custom slides
$49, purchase here