A Guide To Casual Summer Shoes For Men

A Guide To Casual Summer Shoes For Men2018-06-12T22:45:48+00:00

When summer’s around the corner, you might be looking for the best shoes to accompany the outfits you have in mind. Whether you’ll be spending your summer at the beach, in the countryside or even in the city, you’ll need the right shoes.

As a general rule, summer shoes for men marry style with function. You’ll probably want something that breathes nicely and feels comfortable to wear in the heat. However, you’ll want it to be coherent with your wardrobe too.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the Best Men’s Casual Summer Shoes to wear during the warmer months of the year. We’ll then take a quick look at the criteria to keep in mind when buying casual summer shoes.

Casual Man On Italian Scooter In Summer

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Quick Buyer’s Guide

If you’re in a hurry, you can shop our top shoes by using the Quick Buy Guide below. However, if you want to read more about these shoes before making the plunge, keep on scrolling.

Boat Shoes

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Espadrilles

TOMS Blue Striped Espadrilles

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Saddle Shoes

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Sneakers

White Adidas Stan Smith Originals Sneaker

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Slides

Rockport Brown Leather Mens Sandals

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Flip Flops

Brown Leather Olukai Men's Flip Flops

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"Very happy with my choice." Thanks to this list I found just what I needed for my coastal vacation.
Bespoke Unit Casual Summer Shoe Guide Reviewed by Jeremy S. on .
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

What Are The Best Casual Summer Shoes For Men?

This guide breaks down the best casual shoes for summer that can be worn on vacation or during your off-time.

You’ll notice that we’ve broken down the selection with 6 pairs of shoes, 2 boots as well as 2 sandals:

  1. Boat Shoes: Sperry Topsider Authenetic Originals
  2. Espadrilles: TOMS University Classics
  3. Saddle Shoes: G.H. Bass & Co. Parkers
  4. Sneakers: Adidas Original Stan Smiths
  5. Slides: Rockport Darwyn Cross Bands
  6. Flip Flops: Olukai Pikois

You can use the links above to jump to an entry if you’re interested by a particular pair. Alternatively, you can scroll down to discover them all.

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1. Sperry Topsider Authentic Original Boat Shoe

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Overview

This classic American shoe is a firm favourite during the summer. Their original function to prevent scuffing has been largely surpassed by their association with sailing. Timelessly stylish and debonair, boat shoes are a great companion for evenings at bars along boardwalks or a day by the pool.

How To Wear

Today, boat shoes are considered a classic summer option that are best worn with dressy casual styles such as chinos and open-collar shirts. Think of the New England elite and Hollywood Stars such as Gene Kelly or Paul Newman. However, they go well with jeans too.

Best Colors

Boat shoes are best known for their traditional brown colour. However, navy blue options are increasingly popular and sometimes have a contrasting white sole, which pops nicely. Consider going for something a little different to stand out.

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2. TOMS University Classic Espadrilles

TOMS Blue Striped Espadrilles
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Overview

A canvas shoe with origins in both Spain and south-western France, Espadrilles are a wonderfully versatile shoe for lounging. The canvas breathes nicely and the rope soles absorb perspiration during the heat. Espadrilles are great as alternatives to slippers but feel wonderful at the beach too.

How To Wear

Espadrilles are particularly popular among the French “Bobo” or “Bourgeois-bohème” clique for their bohemian flair. They can be worn with anything but look great with cotton and linen. However, they also work with bermuda shorts or beachwear.

Best Colors

Being made from canvas, Espadrilles come in a rainbow of colours. Anything is possible and there is a rich selection of motifs to choose from. However, we’re quite fond of the navy and off-white monochrome as made by TOMS.

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3. G.H. Bass & Co. Parker Saddle Shoes

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Overview

Sometimes you want to be casual but dress up just a touch. If you’re spending your summer evening out, sandals wouldn’t feel quite right. Therefore, saddles shoes are a great options. These ones made by Bass & Co merge a canvas upper with leather detail along the throat so your feet won’t melt under the sun.

How To Wear

As a dressier casual shoe, saddle shoes don’t respond well with beachwear and really laid-back styles. Instead, we’d recommend reserving these with chinos or other cotton attire for something a little smarter that turns heads.

Best Colors

The saddle shoes by Bass & Co are offered in various hues that can get quite wild. You can choose combinations such as blue and white or navy and brown. However, we’re fond of cream and tan, which just feels perfect for summer.

4. Adidas Original Stan Smith Sneakers

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Overview

Whilst some sneakers can get quite stuffy in the summer, we’re really fond of Stan Smiths and how easy they are to wear throughout the year. These are perfect for the summer as a casual sneaker that breathes quite nicely in the heat.

How To Wear

As long as a blazer isn’t involved, Stan Smith sneakers can go with just about anything. Jean and t-shirts are the classic option but in the summer, you’ll probably be more inclined for shorts. Just wear non-visible socks and you’ll be right as rain.

Best Colors

As you may know, Stan Smiths are generally white with a minor colour accent ranging from yellow, red, blue or green. We’d opt for either yellow or green. Whilst the former has a summery vibe, the latter contrasts nicely with just about anything, which makes it work quite well.

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5. Rockport Darwyn Cross Band Slides

Rockport Brown Leather Mens Sandals
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Overview

When choosing sandals, you’ll be asking yourself the never-ending question of slides or flip-flops. Whilst that decision is ultimately yours, these are the best slides we’ve ever seen. Their leather bands provide a firm and comfortable fit with a stylish finish.

How To Wear

Great for the beach or by the pool, these slides have a classier edge, which can open a few other doors. Whilst beachwear is a given, you could probably push the boat out with some cotton trousers and shirt if you style it right.

Best Colors

Synthetic slides can get pretty wild but we love the brown leather on these slides. As mentioned above, they’re somewhat classier, which gives you freedom in incorporating them into more styles and outfits.

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6. Olukai Pikoi Flip Flops

Brown Leather Olukai Men's Flip Flops
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Overview

If you’re not into slides, then flip flops are the way to go for the beach. We love the Olukai Pikoi slippers for their stylish leather finish and comfortable fit. These excellent flip flops don’t chafe between the toes or at the top of the feet.

How To Wear

With their distressed leather effect, Olukai’s flip-flops are about as bohemian as espadrilles. Therefore, you could wear them with a bit more style than regular sandals. When not at the beach, consider rolled-up cotton trousers and a shirt. Alternatively, these would be fine with jeans if it’s not too warm.

Best Colors

Although also purchasable in black and dark brown, we like the “ray”, which is a dark tan. Not only is it somewhat more eye-catching and brighter for the summer, it ages nicely with wear. After a few days on the beach, it starts to show a cool distressed vintage style.

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What Makes A Good Casual Shoe For Summer?

Black Birkenstock Sandal With Tan PantsWhen 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

red white and blue saddle shoeWhilst 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.

What Next?

Having now read about the best casual shoes specifically for the summer, check out our various other guides for other occasions and situations:

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