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The 15 Best Summer Shoes for Men, From White Sneakers to Fisherman Sandals

Elevate your warm-weather fit from the bottom up with these excellent styles.

best summer shoes for men

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Everything feels freer in the summer. Liberated from coats, boots, and scarves, putting on clothes is just a little bit easier. Layers? Goodbye! You’re feeling unencumbered by the cold weather and your style should follow suit. The uptick in temps invites a certain level of hedonism; indulge in barely-there styles, because we’re all trying to stay as cool as humanly possible. Up top, your light linen camp shirt will allow a breeze to flow right through it, and roomy shorts will give the kind of ventilation your trousers could never reach. For a moment, let’s cast our eyes downward—what’s happening with your feet?

The best shoes for summer should have the same easygoing vibes as the rest of your fit. They should let your feet breathe. It’s a design challenge, for sure, but the best footwear brands are able to employ minimal materials to achieve maximum style. Sandals, mules, slides, loafers, and sneakers have soft soles and generally let you slip them on quickly for whatever reason you’re headed out the door—a pool day, a backyard hang, a baseball game, or a gloriously air-conditioned movie theater—while elevating the rest of your warm-weather attire in the process.

Here, we’ve combed through the best summer shoes in the market, from go-to classics to swervier open-air options that will complete your sweat-evading fit.

Best Rubber Slides for Summer

Bottega Veneta Rubber Slider

There are no better shoes for a lazy day by the pool than a pair of rubber slides. Bottega Veneta’s fashion-y take are embossed with its signature weaving technique and come in a bunch of colors that echo the house’s subversive approach to the classics. 

Materials: Rubber.
Style: Slide sandal.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $520

Buy Now on Bottega Veneta: $520

Buy Now on Matches Fashion: $520

Best Espadrilles for Summer

Manebí Woven Linen Espadrilles

Espadrilles may bring to mind Catalan beaches and sunset glasses of cava (keep the dream alive), but once you add them to your rotation, you’ll find they’re incredibly versatile, too. The soft construction and breathable linen upper make them a perfect alternative to sandals. The ones from Manebí, which are made in Spain, hit that sweet spot between transportive and practical.

Materials: Linen upper, jute midsole, and rubber sole.
Style: Espadrille.

Buy Now on Matches Fashion: $112

Best White Sneakers for Summer

Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers

When Common Projects came onto the scene in the late aughts with its Italian-made minimalist leather Achilles, the sneaker game was officially changed. More than a decade later, the brand still offers the best built-to-last, go-with-everything pair you can have in your wardrobe—a year-round staple, but especially great in summer.

Materials: Leather.
Style: Sneaker.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $410


Best Canvas Sneakers for Summer

Stepney Workers Club Dellow Canvas Sneakers

Inspired by traditional worker’s sports clubs, East London–based Stepney Workers Club has, what it toots, is a “free-thinking approach” to classic sneakers. Sounds like it fits right in with the school’s-out-for-summer vibe we’re trying to channel here. These monochrome ecru canvas sneakers will definitely get us to that state of mind.

Materials: Canvas upper with a Vulcanized rubber outsole.
Style: Sneaker.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $85

Best Fisherman Sandals for Summer

The Row Fisherman Leather Sandals

Here’s why you should put a leather fisherman sandal at the top of your summer footwear shopping list: The style is both ventilated and elegant. It comes from humble origins, but it will absolutely elevate any summer fit—especially if you go for the Row’s understated version in grained leather calfskin.

Materials: Calfskin leather with a rubber sole.
Style: Fisherman sandal.

Buy Now on Bergdorf Goodman: $990

Best Driving Shoes for Summer

Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes

You go to your barber to get your haircut. You go to your mechanic to get your car fixed. You go to your accountant to handle your coins. And you go to Tod’s for a driving moccasin. The Italian label is the expert, the one that always does right by this style. 

Materials: Nubuck leather. 
Style: Moccasin.

Buy Now on Tod’s: $625

Best Penny Loafers for Summer

Prada Spazzolato Penny Loafers

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean all formality is out the window. Prada’s classic Spazzolato penny loafers are here for your summer weddings and any other functions. They are equal parts timeless and fresh. You can also wear ‘em with white socks the rest of the year.

Materials: Leather.
Style: Loafer.

Buy Now on Bergdorf Goodman: $1,150

Best Mules for Summer

Marni Raffia Fussbett Sabot Mules

We’ll take Marni’s Fussbett Sabots in any construction—long calfskin, terrycloth, shearling—but we’re eyeing these raffia ones especially for summer. They’re one of those big-flex, low-effort styles that’ll look just as good at a garden party as they do on a bodega run.

Materials: Raffia and leather with a rubber sole.
Style: Mule.

Buy Now on Ssense: $795

Buy Now on Bergdorf Goodman: $795

Best All-Around Sandals for Summer

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandals

Birkenstock has perfected the just-crunchy-enough, always-right sandals. They’re still the ones to beat. Your soles will make their home in the comfort of the cork footbeds, and the rest of your feet will be breathing easy. Plenty of high-fashion brands have put their spin on Birks, but we’d argue you can’t go wrong with the original Arizona.

Materials: Suede and cork with an EVA sole.
Style: Sandal.

Buy Now on Todd Snyder: $140

Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $140

Buy Now on Nordstrom: $140

Best Flip-Flops for Summer

Nike On Deck Slides

Are you wearing flip-flops? Is there a body of water nearby? For the times we’d recommend wearing them—beach, pool deck, gym shower—you’ll need something light, comfortable, and uncomplicated. Nike’s no-frills design with a grippy waffle tread gets the job done.

Materials: Foam midsole.
Style: Flip-flop.

Buy Now on Nike: $25

Best Loafers for Summer

Loro Piana Summer Walk Loafers

We’re not exactly sure how Loro Piana’s Summer Walk loafers have become the go-to shoe for the Succession-level set, but it isn’t totally surprising. Crafted by hand, they feature supple lightweight (and water-repellent) suede uppers and flexible rubber soles. It’s always yacht season somewhere, right?

Materials: Suede with rubber soles.
Style: Loafer.

Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $930

Best Boat Shoes for Summer

Sperry Gold Cup Authentic Original Boat Shoes

Again, we head over to the folks who invented the classic style when we want the OGs. Sperry knows its boat shoes, and these ones have the added layer of being handmade in Maine with Horween leather. 

Materials: Leather with Vibram outsoles.
Style: Boat shoe.

Buy Now on Sperry: $375

Best Leather Slides for Summer

Vince Derek Leather Sandals

When you want to go for something slightly sleeker than the Birks (but get the Birks, too), Vince’s Derek sandals ride that line of elevated and easygoing. Pair ‘em with linen pants or shorts and you’re golden.

Materials: Leather.
Style: Sandals.

Buy Now on Saks Fifth Avenue: $230

Buy Now on Bloomingdale’s: $230

Buy Now on Nordstrom: $230

Best Slip-On Sneakers for Summer

Visvim Zahra Slub Cotton Canvas Slip On Shoes

Laces seem like a lot of effort for summer, no? Classic skate shoes inform this style, but because it’s from Visvim, the quality is as high as the midday summer temps. We like the extra elevation on the soles, too.

Materials: Cotton canvas with rubber soles.
Style: Sneaker.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $640

Best Sports Sandals for Summer

Suicoke Depa-V2 Sandals

Sporty nylon-webbed sandals rode the gorp-core wave in the past few years, shooting up in popularity. Combined with Suicoke’s Japanese minimalist approach, these Depa-V2 sandals would be welcome on trails and sidewalks alike. 

Materials: Nylon webbing with Vibram rubber sole.
Style: Sandal.

Buy Now on Mr Porter: $185

Buy Now on End Clothing: $185

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