When summer’s around the corner, you’ll need shoes for the right occasion whether you’ll be spending your summer at the beach, in the countryside or even in the city. While this particular guide focuses on the best casual shoes for summer, we have another that explores the best dress shoes for summer as well.
In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best men’s casual summer shoes:
- Aurélien Suede Italian Driving Shoe
- Allbirds Tree Skippers
- Aurélien Suede Espadrilles
- Beckett Simonon Cohen Penny Loafer
- Allen Edmonds Maritime Boat Shoe
- Ace Marks The Duke Sneaker
- Maglieriapelle Cunda Tassel Loafer
- Birkenstock Arizona
- Beckett Simonon Morgen Sneaker
- OluKai Ohana Flip Flops
You can use the links above to jump head or scroll down to discover them all.
What Are The Best Casual Summer Shoes For Men?
See Bespoke Unit’s Shoe Reviews
We were delighted to discover the young start-up Aurélien some time ago and their beautiful driving shoes. Their artisanally-crafted shoes are produced in partnership with an Italian factory. Meanwhile, the calfskin suede is sourced in France before being locally tanned with a unique oil treatment.
They’re extremely comfortable for lounging about and can be worn on the beach, in the house, or when relaxing at a local café. However, thanks to their authentic pebble soles, they’re made for behind the wheel. A perfect choice if travelling along the Mediterranean on a road trip!
"The quintessential moccasin driving shoe to wear when frolicking about on the coast or in the city."
Ever wanted a Carbon-neutral sneaker? Indeed, it’s possible thanks to Allbirds! Perfect for the summer, they feature a variety of clever designs made for embarking on little adventures.
Made from a proprietary knit of FSC-certified eucalyptus fibres, the Tree Skippers are wonderfully ventilated and breathe in even the hottest weather. Meanwhile, the foam soles are extremely lightweight and durable with carefully-designed anatomical flexibility.
Rather than using petroleum-based foam, the insoles are made from castor bean oil with merino wool to produce natural moisture-wicking.
Although best known for its elegant driving shoes, the brand also manufactures stunning espadrilles. Crafted in Portugal, they feature the hallmark traditionally braided jute soles.
However, what sets them apart is Aurélien’s proprietary “Softey” calfskin uppers. This suede is exclusively produced from French calves and then naturally tanned in Italy. A unique and durable oil application results in a distinctive softness that’s smooth and comfortable against the feet.
By combining a moccasin design with the espadrilles construction, Aurélien offers an elegant alternative to a classically rustic shoe. Unlike most espadrilles that are basically beachwear, these can be worn in more outdoor casual environments.
Benchmade in Bogotá, Colombia, from Argentinian calfskin leather and a Blake-stitch construction, Beckett Simonon offer some of the best value for money that we’ve seen! With our “BU20” discount, you can even enjoy an additional 20% discount.
The Cohen penny loafers are a great smart-casual option for the summertime. They look stunning in tan and can be used for a variety of laid-back occasions as well as the office if your dress code allows it.
The celebrated American brand produces on the best authentic boat shoes that we’ve tested. The Maritime is crafted with Horween’s famous Chromoexcel leather and features the classic 2-eyelet slip-on design.
You don’t need to own a catamaran to enjoy the benefits of boat shoes. When worn properly, they exude a refined preppy style and can be worn with a combination of different wardrobe styles. Therefore, they’re surprisingly versatile if you’re creative.
Crafted by hand from supple Italian leather, the Duke sneakers are then hand-dyed and hand-burnished, which is a painstaking and an extremely artistic process. The result is a depth of colour and unique appearance that truly draws these sneakers out from the norm.
If you’re looking for a casual sneaker that’s a little different, we suggest the Duke by Ace Marks. They’re a great option for standing out from the ground when going out on those summer nights.
Although most shoe brands will like to claim that their footwear is crafted by hand, they usually use machinery at some point. However, Maglieriapelle crafts its footwear entirely by hand. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they’re a touch pricier than most other options on this list.
Nevertheless, it’s a worthwhile investment. The shoes have a stunning hand-painted finish with a mesmerising result that combines nicely with the slim profile. If you’re looking for a dressier option for summer, the Cunda tassel loafer screams Mediterranean Sprezzatura.
The Arizona by Birkenstock is one the best-known models for men. Whatever you may feel about the brand, you can’t deny that its sandals are extremely functional and practical for summerwear.
Nevertheless, they can be worn stylishly with a certain Bohemian flair. Furthermore, they’re particularly comfortable. The contoured footbed features microscopic air bubbles, which mould to the shape of your foot creating custom support.
A great alternative to Ace Marks’ Duke sneakers, Beckett Simonon’s take on the German Army Trainer is more affordable and arguably more versatile. As Ace Marks’ sneakers have a distinctive patina, you may be reluctant to wear them on the beach or put them through heavy use.
Meanwhile, the Beckett Simonon Morgen is ethically crafted and can take a beating and still look fantastic. As they’re well crafted, you’ll get lots of wear from them and can probably use them for more sporty activities.
Sometimes you can beat a classic pair of flip-flops during summer. While espadrilles, driving shoes, and even Birkenstocks have their own benefits, a pair of trusty flip-flops are perfect for kicking off before you dive into the pool.
However, they’re notoriously uncomfortable and can be particularly garish. OluKai addresses this by crafting stylish flip-flops from premium materials. Thanks to an EVA footbed and compression-moulded insoles, they offer comfort and stability to the wearer.
What Makes A Good Casual Shoe For Summer?
When looking to buy casual shoes for the summer, men need to think about their needs and the environment they’ll be in. For instance, depending where you are, summer is generally a hot and sticky season.
Therefore, you won’t want to wear heavy winter boots during this season! In fact, most of what we wear during the rest of the year isn’t very appropriate. Although leather breathes quite well, most shoes can be quite stuffy.
Instead, you’ll want to aim for shoes that give your feet the rare opportunity to breathe and keep cool under the sun. As such, materials such as canvas are ideal whilst the use of leather should be somewhat restrained.
Conversely, synthetic materials such as rubber, plastics and waterproof GoreTex are best avoided. As they don’t breathe, the air won’t circulate. Your feet will consequently get hot and perspire.
To make matters worse, your feet won’t dry inside because of the airtight seal so it can become uncomfortable and cause chafing and blistering.
Buying The Right Shoes For Your Environment
Whilst it’s clear that you’re seeking casual shoes for the summer, it’s worth also keeping in mind the environment for wearing them. We often associate summer with the beach and choose shoes according to this criteria.
However, the many of us won’t necessarily go to the beach for summer or even go for more than a few days. Therefore, it’s worth bearing in mind where you’ll be during the summer.
For example, you’ll probably not want to wear flip-flops in the city if that’s where you’ll be most of your time during the summer months. It’s not a very clean environment so perhaps sneakers are a better option for your casual summer footwear.
Meanwhile, if you often frequent suburban or countryside areas and want a versatile shoe, you’ll find that espadrilles are great for wearing just about anywhere.
Finally, you might be casually inclined but if you’re spending a lot of nights out, perhaps you’ll want something a little dressier such as the saddle shoes above.
Having now read about the best casual shoes specifically for the summer, check out our various other guides for other occasions and situations: