Men’s Summer Shoes: The Best Summertime Footwear For Men

Men’s Summer Shoes: The Best Summertime Footwear For Men2018-07-12T10:39:31+00:00

Summer is that relaxing time of year where things seem to slow down a bit. From a sartorial perspective, our attire gets more casual as we wear clothes that are lighter in both weight and colour.

Our shoes are no different. Men have a plethora of options when it comes to summer shoes even if it can be confusing at times. In this guide, you will discover and learn about the best summer shoes for men.

Furthermore, Bespoke Unit’s Summer Shoe Guide will offer you a roadmap to the best summer shoe styles, colours, and materials you should look for when shopping for warm weather footwear.

summer beach surf boards

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Quick Buyer’s Guide

Use the Quick Buyer’s Guide below to start shopping straight away if you don’t have time to learn more. Otherwise, scroll down to read each of the shoe’s individual reviews.

Boat Shoes

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Driving Shoes

Allen Edmonds Daytona Summer Driving Shoe

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Flip Flops

Brown Leather Olukai Men's Flip Flops

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Slides

Rockport Brown Leather Mens Sandals

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Espadrilles

TOMS Blue Striped Espadrilles

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Sneakers

White Adidas Stan Smith Originals Sneaker

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Dress Shoes

Allen Edmonds Sand Suede Derby Shoe

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Desert Boot

Clark's Blue Nubuck Chukka Boot

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"Great recommendations!" The perfect mix of classic summer footwear with a few fun options as well.
Bespoke Unit Summer Shoe Guides Reviewed by James W. on .
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

What Are The Best Summer Shoes For Men?

In this guide, you will discover our favourite summer shoes that we’ve selected among dozens that we’ve reviewed and tested:

  1. Boat Shoes: Sperry Topsider Authentic Originals
  2. Driving Shoes: Allen Edmonds Daytona
  3. Flip Flops: Olukai Pikoi
  4. Slides: Rockport Darwyn Cross Band
  5. Espadrilles: TOMS University Classics
  6. Sneakers: Adidas Original Stan Smith
  7. Dress Shoes:  Allen Edmonds Nomad Buck
  8. Desert Boot: Clark’s Atticus Limit

Either scroll down to read about them all or use the links above to jump directly to the ones you want.

Best Shoe Guides

1. Sperry Topsider Authentic Original [Boat Shoe]

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Overview

A summer wardrobe would be incomplete without a pair of classic boat shoes and it doesn’t get much more classic than Sperry Topsiders. Initially designed to prevent scuffing fiberglass on the decks of sailboats, the boat shoe is now considered quintessential summer footwear for men around the world.

How To Wear

Boat shoes are great for beach towns, but they can also be a great option for other casual summer settings, such as a backyard barbecue or sunny day relaxing by the pool. Ditch the socks and pair them with shorts or well-fitted chinos for a classic summer look.

Best Colors

Brown leather is considered the traditional boat shoe style, but nowadays you can find them in a wide range of colorways. If you’re into showing off your feet a bit, go for something a bit different like a navy blue.

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2. Allen Edmonds Daytona [Driving Shoes]

Allen Edmonds Daytona Summer Driving Shoe
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Overview

Nothing says classic, stylish comfort like Allen Edmonds’ Daytona driving shoe. These leather driving shoes will give you the casual of a boat shoe with a bit of formality when needed.

How To Wear

Slipper-like in comfort, they’ll work just as well with denim and casual trousers as they do with shorts, making them a versatile option for the summer season. A fitted tee with chinos and summer drivers can be a stylish look for the warmer months.

Best Colors

If you’re going for the summer look then opt for a suede or nubuck shoe in a bold color like light blue or yellow. For a more formal and seasonally versatile shoe go with something more conservative like dark brown or navy blue in pebbled leather.

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3. Olukai Pikoi [Flip Flops]

Brown Leather Olukai Men's Flip Flops
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Overview

Everyone needs a pair of sandals, if for no other reason than to have something to wear to the beach. Harking back approximately 10,000 years, flip-flops (“thongs” for our Australian readers) are the oldest shoe style known to man, and also the most onomatopoeic.

How To Wear

There is quite a bit of heated debate around whether you can wear flip-flops in town with regular casual clothing. However, when the sun is scorching hot, it’s hard to resist the freedom offered by flip flops. We’ll leave it up to you on what you decide!

Best Colors

Although also available in both black and dark brown, we’re very fond of the medium “ray” colour. As a distressed leather, it’ll age well with scuffing in the sand for a vintage look.

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4. Rockport Darwyn Cross Band Slides

Rockport Brown Leather Mens Sandals
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Overview

A cousin of the flip-flop, a slide forgoes the toe thong in favor of a partial upper that covers the midsection of the foot’s instep; as such, you “slide” into them. A great option for men who prefer to not have anything in between their toes, slides are another example of classic beachwear.

How To Wear

We like the added touch of class that these slides offer compared to their synthetic cousins. This gives you the freedom to throw on some cotton or linen for a slightly dressier boardwalk look.

Best Colors

As mentioned above, we like the leather tones offered by this pair. However, if you were to opt for something more synthetic, you’d have a plethora of colours to choose from!

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5. TOMS University Classic [Espadrilles]

TOMS Blue Striped Espadrilles
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Overview

Made hugely popular by Tom’s in recent years, espadrilles have an up-and-down history with men as it relates to their popularity. Invented hundreds of years ago as a shoe for dock workers in the Pyrenees region of Europe, they typically consist of a canvas upper and a jute (rope) sole.

How To Wear

These can be paired with shorts, casual trousers, or denim. It is imperative that they be worn with no-show socks to maintain the airy, summery vibe they give off. However, consider going sockless as the rope soles are actually very good for your feet!

Best Colors

Espadrilles are informal summer shoes by nature so don’t be afraid to choose a fun color or pattern. When it comes to solid colors you can’t go wrong with a light blue or light grey. You can also find some great striped patterns in fun colors like red or blue.

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6. Adidas Original Stan Smith [Sneakers]

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Overview

The Adidas Original Stan Smith is one of Adidas’ best-selling sneakers for a good reason. While this classic white sneaker may not be your best option on the beach it will come in handy for those rare times when you don’t find yourself on the sand.

How To Wear

As a very versatile default option that can be chosen when you’re not sure what to wear but want something comfortable, Stan Smith sneakers are a safe choice. Consider throwing them on with khaki shorts or light blue jeans with no-show socks for an airy summer look.

Best Colors

The Stan Smith only comes in white, but you can choose from several vibrant accent colors including green, blue and red. If white shoes aren’t you’re thing then you’re next best bet is a suede Adidas Original in one of the many fun color options.

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7. Allen Edmonds Nomad Buck [Dress Shoes]

Allen Edmonds Sand Suede Derby Shoe
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Overview

When summer is at its peak, formality can drop a couple of notches out of sheer necessity. An ideal shoe during this season is a classic derby made from suede leather. Here, we have the perfect companion for the heat that embodies the seasonal spirit and lets your feet breathe.

Although these wouldn’t be considered particularly dressy in traditional environments, Derby shoes are excellent for the summer. Furthermore, the added suede leather makes them flexible and comfortable even in formal settings.

How To Wear

As a dressier alternative, consider opting for a cotton or linen khaki suit, which breathes under the sun. Alternatively, try a business casual look by wearing them with chinos and an open-collar shirt.

Best Colors

We’re very fond of the sand color that is reminiscent of desert boots. However, you can also opt for a very flashy white to make sure that you get noticed strolling about town.

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8. Clarks Atticus Limit [Desert Boots]

Clark's Blue Nubuck Chukka Boot
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Overview

If it’s slightly cooler and you want a boot that breathes well under the sun, desert boots are a fine choice. The flexible suede and crepe rubber sole makes for a much airier shoe than conventional leather boots.

How To Wear

Desert and chukka boots are fantastic with both jeans and chinos. You can even try to introduce them into business casual attire if you have the flexibility at your workplace. Either way, they’re ideal as a casual option throughout the year.

Best Colors

Technically, desert boots are often a sandy colour whilst chukka boots are darker. Nevertheless, we love the navy blue of the Atticus Limit, which also features other accents such as the tan welt and grey soles for a touch of contrast.

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What Makes A Great Summer Shoe?

Blue Shoes With No SocksWhen it comes to summer footwear every shoe has certain characteristics that we tend to associate with occasions and seasons.

The style of shoe, type of material and even the color can all play a part in determining how appropriate a particular shoe is for summer.

For example, suede is a particular material that is very often used to make summer shoes, but that does not mean that all suede shoes should be worn in the summertime. A black suede chukka boot, for example, may be out of place on a hot summer’s day on a boardwalk by the beach.

Similarly, the color of a shoe can play a major role in how appropriate a particular shoe is for the summer months. A light brown would likely be a better option than the same exact shoe in black.

We’ve outlined some of the best materials and colors for summer shoes in the sections below.

Best Material For Summer Shoes

Green Pants With Grey Suede BroguesSuede: In light colors especially, suede is the ideal summer shoe material. It’s soft, pliable, and looks absolutely phenomenal with the more casual outfits many of us wear when the weather gets warm.

Nubuck: A suede-like material with a less pronounced nap, nubuck is a common material found on summer shoes. The white buck gets its name from the material, and it’s just as soft and flexible as suede.

Nappa Leather: Nappa leather (not to be confused with Napa, California’s wine region) is a particularly soft brand of calfskin, renowned for its flexibility and comfort. It’s a fantastic material for summer dress shoes, giving you both dressiness and comfort.

Preferred Summer Shoe Colors

Light Brown/Tan: Summertime is all about shoes in various shades of light brown. Tan, nutmeg, British tan, honey, bone, cream, you name it, these colors are all out in force during the summertime. These colors are particularly good for dress shoes, as they pair wonderfully with navy and grey trousers.

Blue Tassel Loafers On Grass

Blue: Don’t step on my blue suede shoes, indeed. A pair of blue shoes is rare, but an excellent move in the summer. They work particularly well because while blue is a less common shoe color, it’s the most popular clothing color for men, so the coordination possibilities are endless and relatively easy. Furthermore, blue shoes look beautiful with white trousers and classic chinos.

White: White is a can’t-miss summer shoe color. In much of the United States it’s considered inappropriate to wear white shoes before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, but in the three or so months you have to take advantage of it, it behooves you to do so. White shoes will give your denim, casual trousers, and even suits a kick. Also, white shoes aren’t that difficult to clean!

Conclusion

After learning about the best summer shoes to own, some important questions to ask are:

  • Which styles fit my lifestyle best?
  • What dress codes do I usually have to abide by for work or otherwise?
  • What does the rest of my wardrobe look like, and how can I make strategic shoe purchases around that?

The answers to these questions are personal, but we offer plenty of guidance for you if you need it. For instance, check out our guides on dress codes or even on how to build a wardrobe.

What Next?

Now that you have learned about the best summer shoes, you can read our other various shoe guides. Either check out another season and occasion or even look at more specific guides for summer:

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