Despite this shoe's popularity among Roman gladiators, many people bemoan the arrival each summer of mandals — a.k.a. men's sandals — which are sweeping shoe stores everywhere, from high-end makers like Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole to the more affordable, like Payless. Since men tend to lag behind women in foot grooming, their bare toes can be an unwelcome sight, particularly when peeking out of mandals, which often look more fem than flip-fops.

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