There’s too much pressure in men’s fashion these days. Apparently, I’m not supposed to wear pleated pants—not unless I want to look like I’m 112 years old, feeding bread crumbs and pocket lint to squirrels in the park. I’m expected to be able to pull off sneakers with a suit—a difficult maneuver for anyone who’s not a middle-aged music industry executive. Journal fashion columnist Jacob Gallagher says stylish men are starting to carry their phones on lanyards around their necks, like name tags on spelling bee contestants.

Meanwhile, everyone knows men are forbidden to wear cargo shorts—or they’ll be arrested and thrown in cargo shorts prison for at least 48 months.

It’s enough to make a gentleman want to hide in the bedroom in pajamas and a Cubs baseball cap, never to set foot in public again.

“ They’re the perfect footwear for beaching and boating and for embarrassing every single person in your family. ”

Oh yeah. You know what I’m talking about. Crocs, Natives, etc.—those garish synthetic shoes with the holes. They make ‘em for men, women, kids, everyone. Believed to be one of the great fashion offenses of the 21st century. Shoes that look like they’re meant to be worn pulling weeds in the garden—and nowhere else.

I’m late to the party, I know. These shoes have been around for a while. What I’m saying is that they’re so out, they’re in. They’re so bad, they’re good. They’re like cargo shorts for the feet.

Mine (Natives) are white. I’m not exactly sure how to describe them. I think it’s reasonable to say they’re an acquired taste. They look like Stan Smith had a baby with a silicone pasta strainer. Seriously, if you have a half-pound of rigatoni at a full boil, let me hand you one of these shoes. It’ll get the job done.

From a distance, they look like the most uncomfortable shoes ever made. But my holey shoes are comfortable to the point of sumptuousness. I feel more alive with them on than off. They are my new best friends, my soulmates—the optimal footwear for a summer of convenience and laziness, which includes, yes, writing an entire column for the Journal about ugly shoes.

I know what you’re thinking: Jason, how could you go there? You still have productive years left—or at least a few months. How could you throw on a pair of Despair Shoes? Aren’t you the guy who bragged about wearing sweatpants? Have you completely given up?

I’m not sure. It’s possible. I just know I can buy two pairs of these for the price of a half-decent set of running shoes, and I can wear them anywhere—to the ocean, the supermarket, a wedding or the funeral of a middle-aged music executive. They’re the perfect footwear for sand and water, for beaching and boating, and for embarrassing every single person in your family.

There was a time when I would have embarrassed myself, but who am I kidding? All I want is to walk out the door in the morning without bending over to tie my laces. If my shoes do get dirty, I want to wash them off with a garden hose. Try doing that to a pair of fancytown Prada loafers.

Canvas Baby Sneaker

Maybe I’m just getting older. My feet and I want the easy life—at least until Labor Day, when we will transfer to a respectable set of shoes. Maybe then I’ll try wearing a phone around my neck. I bet it’s as convenient as heck.

Baby Shoes, Kids Shoes, Parent-Child Shoes, Baby Sneakers - Ling Feng,