Each summer morning before deciding on his dayâ€™s choice of footwear Mr. Henry scans the weather report, looking in particular at the temperature. The question he poses himself is not whether he will wear shorts and a polo shirt, his default hot weather costume, but whether the temperature will climb so high that his poor feet will boil in closed shoes and as a consequence he must wear sandals.
If sandals are the day’s choice, a more ticklish problem arises, namely, whether to wear socks. If the temperature will reach 90 and above, the decision is clear. Sockless sandals are the only choice. But what if rain is predicted? What if he plans to spend time in gelid air-conditioned interiors? What if he plans to be outdoors among bloodthirsty mommy mosquitoes? Arenâ€™t socks necessary, even with sandals?
Mr. Henry wears socks proudly. With the confidence of a Scandinavian giant gamely navigating the avenues of midtown, Mr. Henry remains blasÃ© if hipsters with tattoos and slouched trousers should cast derisory glances at his stockings.
In defense of socks:
- When hiking Manhattanâ€™s valleys, you need expedition footwear. To protect against chafing on long walks, socks are a must.
- Sandals that expose bare footflesh cannot protect against scrapes and scratches, vectors for the introduction of exotic, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Save yourself, man!
- The mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the wilderness, and she adores your ankles.
- Chilled air sinks to the floor. Half an hour of such temperatures and your arthritic toes â€“ old soccer injuries â€“ start barking, not to mention your plantar fasciitis.
- Who admires your knobbly, hairless, vein-riddled ankles, anyway?