When you’re buying the best men’s summer shoes, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether you’re slightly buzzed on a rooftop bar, or chilling by the pool, or dusting off the old BBQ, you’ll need specific pairs for specific occasions. You can’t just buy one shoe and hope that it’ll last you throughout the entire sunny season. And also, summer is just treacherous.
“In summer, your footwear choices are less constrained by the grim practicalities of winter. You’re free to be so much more expressive,” says Mark Bage, Managing Director of luxury sneaker discovery platform Sneak In Peace. “That said, you still need to make sure that you’re buying the right shoes for whatever you plan to do.”
With the mercury rising higher and higher by the minute, in this guide, we’ll be going through some of the best men’s summer shoes, what occasions you should wear them for, and how you should actually wear them.
1 | Derby
For almost two hundred years, the derby has been the go-to choice of footwear for guys everywhere. Originally made for horsey types in the 1800s, the style is now more suited for everyday wear. While you can clean suede (it’s honestly not as hard as you think), it’s generally seen as a material for drier, rainless seasons. That means if you’ve got a wedding coming up, or a particularly fancy dinner, the suede derby might just be the failsafe option.
Another thing that sets suede derbies apart from the rest is that it’s one of the only formal shoes that you pull off while rocking chino shorts. Pair them with short-sleeved shirt, a solid leather belt, and some no-show socks and you’re good to go.
The pieces to buy:
2 | Espadrilles
First introduced all the way back in 14th century Spain (a very, very long time ago!), they were specifically designed to use as little material as possible, because they were peasant shoes. Which is sad. But fast forward to now, and they’ve become an essential part of your suitcase.
If you’re planning on wearing espadrilles, throw on a camp collar shirt or a polo, some swim shorts, and your favourite pair of sunglasses. This is the ultimate outfit for a pool party of a beachside bash.
The pieces to buy:
3 | Loafers
Back in the ‘30s, pay phones cost just two cents a call. Obviously, Apple Pay wasn’t invented just yet, so leather loafers were redesigned with just enough space across the tongue to store a penny in each shoe, hence the name: penny loafers! This style of shoe had its heyday in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and it’s now made another comeback. “Retro is having a resurgence,” says Bage. “We’re seeing a big increase in interest in ’70s inspired styles — and reissues of classic styles — driven by A-list influence.”