A Guide To Semi-formal Footwear For The Summertime – Top 6 Summer Dress Shoes For Men & How To Wear Them

A Guide To Semi-formal Footwear For The Summertime – Top 6 Summer Dress Shoes For Men & How To Wear Them 2018-07-12T11:20:38+00:00

Finding the best dress shoes to wear can be a very challenging job to begin with. However, when it comes to finding the best dress shoes for the summer, it can become even more difficult to get it right.

Not only are you looking for a pair of shoes that remain satisfactorily formal but you also need something that captures the more relaxed spirit of the summer season. What’s more, you need shoes that won’t make you suffer in the heat as regular dress shoes can get quite stuffy!

In this guide, we’ll provide you the definitive list of the best summer dress shoes for men to buy online. You can then also read the guide below it, which provides everything you need to know about understanding how to choose summer dress shoes based on style, material and color.

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Quick Buyer’s Guide

If you’re in a hurry, you can use the Quick Buyer’s Guide below to start shopping straight away. However, if time is on your side, just scroll down to discover each individual shoe and learn more.

Derby Shoes

Allen Edmonds Sand Suede Derby Shoe

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Tassel Loafers

GH-Basse-Lexington-Tassel-Loafers

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Oxford Shoes

Fifth Avenue Cap Toe Oxford Shoe

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Brogues

Allen Edmonds Strandmok Brogues

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Penny Loafers

Allen-Edmonds-Addison-Penny-Loafer

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Boat Shoes

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"The perfect shoes." I discovered just the right balance between casual and formal with this guide.
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What Are The Best Summer Dress Shoes For Men?

The following section of this guide will present to you with our recommendations for the best summer dress shoes for men, which will keep you both sharp and cool:

  1. Derby Shoes: Allen Edmonds Nomad Buck
  2. Tassel Loafers: GH Bass & Co Lexington
  3. Oxford Shoes: Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue
  4. Brogues: Allen Edmonds Strandmok
  5. Penny Loafers: Allen Edmonds Addison
  6. Boat Shoes: Sperry Topsider Authentic Original

You can use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read them all.

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1. Allen Edmonds Nomad Buck [Suede Derby 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.

How To Wear

Dark suits from spring and winter tend to be too thick for this season. Therefore, consider opting for something lighter in both weight and colour. For instance, a comfortable khaki suit doesn’t just look great but keeps you a little cooler.

Best Colors

Although also available in white, we really love the sand colour that’s reminiscent of a traditional desert boot. Furthermore, the tan welt is a very nice touch that adds just a splash of colour where needed.

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2. G.H. Bass & Co. Lexington Tassel Loafers

GH-Basse-Lexington-Tassel-Loafers
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Overview

When summer really starts to hit hard and make the tarmac flicker with heat, lace-up shoes can begin to become too bulky and heavy. In the end, lightweight and cosy loafers may be the better option. Even if they’re not as dressy, tassel loafers such as these are certainly wearable.

How To Wear

Consider sprucing up your wardrobe to make it equally seasonal. This’ll make it easier for the loafers to blend in with your outfit. If you’re still wearing your heavier and darker suits from the previous seasons, they’ll look out of place. Opt for bright colours such as a khaki suit.

Best Colors

Despite being available in black too, the burgundy finish is much more appropriate for warmer weather and makes it easier to style with your wardrobe. Furthermore, black is quite dressy and wouldn’t feel quite right with this style of shoe.

3. Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue Cap-Toe [Oxford Shoes]

Fifth Avenue Cap Toe Oxford Shoe
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Overview

Sometimes you have no choice but to wear black formal shoes even if it’s blistering hot. When confronted with this challenge, the safest bet is to seek out the best shoes possible. We love these Oxfords and feel that the leather really breathes even in the hot weather. The Dainite soles are very cosy too.

How To Wear

Reminiscent of the City as well as Wall Street, these are a staple of business professional wear and above. You can wear these with most formal suits and feel comfortable in any professional situation with them on your feet.

Best Colors

If you don’t have any Oxfords, the best choice is to go for the black leather as it’s the most traditional and standard. However, if you’re looking for summer shoes specifically, consider the brown. With a subtle touch of broguing, this makes it very wearable and easier to style with colourful garments.

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4. Allen Edmonds Strandmok [Brogue Shoes]

Allen Edmonds Strandmok Brogues
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Overview

What we love about these brogues is that they can effectively be worn with anything. Whatever the dress code, the Strandmoks can find a way to blend in yet stand out at the same time!

How To Wear

Whilst these brogues are a little heavy for the mid-summer, they can still be worn quite effectively. Paired with a lighter-coloured suit, they work wonders and are very eye-catching.

Best Colors

These particular shoes are only available in brown, but they’re quite colourful with deep leather, a tan welt and terracotta soles. There’s also the opportunity to personalise them a bit by going with tan or red laces.

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5. Allen Edmonds Addison Penny Loafers

Allen-Edmonds-Addison-Penny-Loafer
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Overview

Penny loafers aren’t quite formal enough to be particularly dressy. However, certain dress codes can permit their wear. This tends to be the case in the summer and we’d strongly recommend those from Allen Edmonds over other variants.

How To Wear

Consider wearing penny loafers like these with a beige suit or other lightweight materials to stay cool in the summer. You can retain a sense of formality if you’re careful and have a wardrobe that allows it.

Best Colors

The Addisons are available in tan, burgundy, mid-brown and black. We’d opt for one of the former colours that would go perfectly well with a light-coloured suit. However, black is too much of a sartorial oxymoron and wouldn’t feel quite right.

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6. Sperry Topsider Authentic Original [Boat Shoe]

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Overview

Although far from traditional formalwear, boat shoes are ideal for when things really get hot but you want to retain a certain level of dress. We’re very fond of Sperry Topsider’s traditional design that is loyal to the original boat shoe that became popular in the early 20th Century.

How To Wear

Boat shoes are very debonair and quite laid-back. Therefore, it’s worth checking if they’re not too casual for their intended use. However, if the dress code is okay with cotton garments such as lightweight chinos, they’d be perfect.

Best Colors

Brown is the most typical colour. However, if you’re trying to wear them somewhat formally, opt for the blue and white two-tone variants that are usually available as an alternative.

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What Makes A Dress Shoe Ideal For Summer?

Couple-Kissing-On-Beach-BaliWhen choosing dress shoes for the summer, the secret is aiming to stay cool without skimping on style. Unfortunately, you can’t wear the same heavy leather boots or shoes all year so it’s important to have a back-up during the heatwave.

Furthermore, making sure that you have summer-appropriate and formal footwear ready for the heat becomes even more important as you approach wedding season. Whether you’re invited to a dozen, a few or just one, you’ll be relieved when you have your outfit already lined up when you get your invitation(s).

So what considerations should you keep in mind when choosing dress shoes for the summer?

Lighter Colours

Man In Khaki Suit And SunglassesIn most situations, it becomes expected that as summer draws close, you’ll wear a little less and in lighter shades. Those working in traditional office environments will get small liberties and be able to even sometimes lose the tie.

However, even if you must stay buttoned up, you can start to adjust your choice of suit accordingly. Opting for brighter colours won’t only help you mentally embody the summer spirit but may keep you cool.

Whilst darker colours have a tendency to absorb heat, a lighter coloured suit will reflect it. These days, it’s hard to successfully pull off a white suit but there are plenty of other options that will work quite well.

One of the most traditional options is the khaki suit, which can be made out of cotton or linen. As such, it may crease a little but it will breathe a lot more than wool.

Consequently, your choice of shoes should change and it’s better to aim for lighter browns or tans rather than just sticking with black.

Breathability

tan suede mens laceup shoeSimilarly, you should consider adjusting the materials of your shoes as well as those of your garments. Although you can’t really wear a canvas shoe formally, you can begin to take some liberty with regards to the leather.

For instance, suede is often regarded as a very casual option. However, you can begin to wear it more formally as summer comes around. Otherwise, you can look at lightweight and thinner leathers that are more flexible on your feet.

Remember that you may choose not to wear socks with some of these shoes so ensure that they’re designed for that. If you don’t wear socks with thick shoes, your feet may sweat, which is very uncomfortable.

Alternatively, consider wearing no-show socks as these will vastly improve your experience. The socks will allow your feet to breathe and absorb any excess sweat, which can also avoid blistering.

Dress Down

Remember that this is summer, for crying out loud! It’s socially acceptable to wear less and not have to sport a three-piece suit. Even summer weddings are more flexible on dress code so there’s no need to be stubborn and wear the same things during the rest of the year.

By dressing down and wearing less formal clothing, you can do the same with shoes and begin to explore more casual shoes for summer (within reason).

What Next?

Dressing formally enough for the summer is a tough subject in general so hopefully now that you’ve read about the appropriate footwear, you feel more confident.

If you’d like to discover more of our recommended shoes for other occasions, check out some of the guides:

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