What Shoes to Wear in Summer? (Guide For Men)

What Shoes to Wear in Summer?

Are your feet prepared for ankle season, as I like to call this time of year?

You have your chinos, polo shirts, and flat front shorts, but you’re still wearing your lace-up boots.

It’s past time for a change.

What shoes to wear in summer?

Allow me to share with you some of my favorite footwear options that are excellent for those warm weather social events before you go out and buy a new pair of open-toed sandals.

The shoes on this list are not only fashionable, but also comfy and ideal for wearing with no-show socks.

Are you sure you have those? Because, believe me, you’ll need them.

Common Misconception

Let’s start with one of the most common misconceptions men have about footwear, which is that summer equals sandals.

This is clearly not the case. This summer, and every summer thereafter, sandals are out. Your toes are the last thing any woman wants to see.

But what if I’m on vacation at the beach?

Leather Slides

If you’re close to a body of water, such as a beach or a lake, opt for a pair of high-quality and very fashionable leather slides instead of a pair of dad sandals.

Leather slides have a far more upscale feel than cheap-looking sandals, and because you’ll only be wearing them near water, a well-made leather pair will last you several summers.

Keep in mind that real leather is preferable to any plastic-like material, which will usually appear sticky.

Not only do they seem uncomfortable, but the plastic materials on your feet are also uncomfortable.

Dark brown slides are my favorite color since they always go with your lighter summer attire on beach days, and only on beach days.

Espadrilles

Every summer, I notice an increasing pair of men trying on espadrilles, and I honestly believe that once you try them on, you’ll never go back to your boring old pair of sandals.

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They have a soft and airy woven structure that makes them perfect for warmer temperatures, as worn by everyone from Salvador Fali to Idris Elba.

They also emanate timeless summer style and are available in about every color and design conceivable.

One of my favorite aspects of espadrilles is how versatile they are when worn with pants. Everything from lightweight dress pants to chinos to jeans to shorts looks terrific with these.

If this is your first pair, I recommend choosing a neutral tone such as tan, gray, or blue, as these are much easier to match with the rest of your summer attire.

You can choose between a more elegant pair made of linen or suede and a more cheap pair made of canvas.

Brands like Soludos and Toms are hard to go wrong with.

Low-top Sneaker

The next shoe on our list is a minimal low top sneaker, which you may already own but which nevertheless belongs on any summer shoe list.

These sneakers are a year-round necessity me, but their casual, stripped-back design makes them especially ideal for summer outfits.

White leather low tops appeal to me since they have a clean and adaptable style that elevates anything they’re paired with.

During the summer, though, canvas or suede variants can function just as well.

If you prefer something more casual, a comfortable low-key slip-on sneaker is usually a good option.

These may be found in a variety of materials, including canvas and leather, and can easily be paired with jeans, chinos, and shorts for a laid-back look.

To ensure maximum mobility, I always recommend choosing a neutral color for your sneaker, such as white sand or navy.

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If you do want to go for a pop of color or pattern, make sure it doesn’t overpower the rest of your outfit.

If you’re wearing a printed short sleeve button-up shirt, for example, keep your sneakers in a solid color.

Remember, as a general guideline, only one piece in your outfit should have a print.

This also works in the opposite direction. If you’re wearing a solid-colored shirt and jeans, you have my license to experiment with patterns in your shoes.

No-show socks are also required for any sneaker wearer, and this is vital. You don’t want your socks hanging out over your shoes since it looks unprofessional.

However, you don’t want to go sockless and risk acquiring sweaty swamp feet, which would stink up your shoes.

Get yourself a couple of pairs of incredibly economical no-show socks for your feet.

Chukka Boot

Look no farther than the next item on my list, the humble chukka boot, if you’re searching for a dressier footwear choice that yet seems appropriate for summer.

Chukkas are the trendy middle ground between a classic work boot and a beautiful dress shoe, and they should be in every man’s wardrobe.

Chukka boots look fantastic with summer suits, jeans, and chinos, but never with shorts.

During the summer, I prefer a lighter suede version, and tan or dark brown is the color to look for, as it will match your lighter summer attire.

Loafers

Next up is a personal favorite of mine, the loafer, which is truly the most classic and fashionable of all summer shoes.

Classic loafers, such as suede driving mocks or leather penny loafers, are the ultimate summer footwear in my opinion.

These bad boys will instantly improve any outfit you pair them with, from suits to shorts and everything in between, providing the perfect middle ground between a pair of casual and formal shoes.

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They look especially excellent with some cupped pants, such as chinos.

When it comes to color, I think brown or cognac should be your go-to shade for leather penny loafers. However, lighter colours like tan, gray, or navy are ideal for the slightly more casual and laid-back suede dropping mocks.

Did I also mention how comfortable these are?

It’s like wearing sandals but a thousand times more fashionable, especially suede driving mocks.

Boat Shoes

Let’s move on to my next pick, boat shoes, since we’re on the subject of breaking out of your footwear comfort zone.

You don’t need to own a boat or even be on one to rock a pair of these, despite their name.

Despite their preppy look, they are a contentious accessory in the men’s fashion industry.

Boat shoes check all of my summer footwear boxes for me. They’re not only attractive with a sophisticated yet casual look, but they’re also really comfortable and feature a design that makes them easy to put on and take off.

You can choose between leather and suede, and I’d recommend a pair in either blue or brown.

Also, if you’re unsure what to wear with your boat shoes, keep in mind that they’re nearly interchangeable with loafers and sneakers.

This means you can effortlessly pair them with a wide range of seasonal staples, such as chinos, summer suits, shorts, and jeans.

Even though boat shoes are comfortable without socks, resist the temptation to wear them barefoot.

Stinky feet will almost certainly result, which will not only be unpleasant for everyone around you, but will also destroy your new shoes.

That concludes my summer shoe guide for men.

men's summer shoe guide

Author

  • Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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