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Definitely probably the new Birkenstocks

Think Spring people. Think slightly warmer weather. Think lighter colours. Think socks and sandals again. If I’m honest, I blahed on about the whole socks and sandals thing quite a lot last year, without actually going for it myself. I like the look. But style is so often about context. Worn in their natural habitat – while squinting at the stitching on a Sassafras shirt in Manchester’s Oi Polloi – they look banging. Worn in cheeseball Clapham on a Saturday night, you’ll look like you’re selling friendship bracelets to impressionable Australians.

Either way, that whole Birkenstocks thing will be looking all styles of tired by the time the daffodils sprout. So get on the end of these hideous clog things. They’re definitely the new Birkenstocks. And by that I mean, they are almost certainly not.

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Surfacing over at the forward-prodding Nepenthes store in NYC, these Troentorp Swedish clogs are perhaps the ugliest footwear ever designed. I’m pretty sure in less enlightened times, abnormalities like these were exhibited in travelling carnivals. But I don’t think even John Merrick would have the balls to wear them. And if, as science suggests, everything we do is secondary to pair bonding, I have to wonder what kind of lady is going to be attracted to a bro in clogs? Bearded, one assumes.

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Let’s be honest, even James Bond would look like a pair of tits in these.

Still, as I say, style is so often about context. And in the context of the Nepenthes website, they make me look twice. But I’m not insane, I’m never going to actually buy them. So what about another alternative to the played out Birkie…

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Not quite as immediately hideous perhaps. But still, breathtakingly hideous. These are Comfort Sole shoes by New Zealand shoe maker McKinlays. These are also stocked over at Nepenthes, who are either so far ahead of the curve as to be baffling, or just taking the piss.

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I mean, a dude wearing these has got to be either 104 years old, living in a bin, or he’s some spiritual sap who sells candles made of emotions. They do them in tan too, as if that makes a difference.

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Still, it’s intertesting… View these horrorshoes on hipster Nepenthes and they’re arguably a relevant, progressive and challenging addition to the menswear landscape. But, check out McKinlays’ similar wares on their ugly-ass brand site and all of a sudden you’re shopping where your grandad buys his nappies. Context see.

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