Men's summer shoe guide 

 

Summer is finally here and with it the chance to free our feet, but what shoes should you be donning when the mercury rises? From loafers to sliders, we’ve got every eventuality covered with our pick of the best men's summer shoes. You’re welcome.

 

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Loafers

Inspired by the shoes of Norwegian fishermen, the loafer first made its way onto the scene back in 1936 and has since become the go-to shoe for everyone from Palm Beach holidaymakers to the Ivy League set. Today, the loafer immortalises relaxed, summer workwear. Wear sockless with chinos or suit trousers cut just above the ankle and dress with a slim-fit shirt for easy smart-casual.

“The suave answer to summer workwear”

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Trainers

Ah, the trainer. The granddaddy of the footwear world has a strong place in our hearts. While not confined to summer, trainers are perfect for the unpredictable British weather and go with anything, from shorts to jeans to suiting. Graduate to sneakerhead status by investing in a collection, and if you find a pair you love, buy two so you have a box-fresh pair ready when one is looking a little less than perfect.

“The failsafe, all-weather favourite”

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Sliders

If there’s one piece of footwear that’s gone from no-no to high fashion status, it’s the pool slider. In 1972 Adidas introduced the Adilette in response to the German football team’s need for a shoe for the showers and changing room. The shower shoe – as it was called – became popular with sports teams but when Mark Zuckerberg was depicted wearing them in The Social Network we started to think differently. Now, after a run of catwalk appearances and an iconic Gucci iteration, sliders are back in fashion. Pair with loose, relaxed trousers and wear sockless or with ribbed, white socks.

“High fashion in footwear form”

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Flip flops

Originally dating back as far as Ancient Egypt, our modern flip flops are in fact a rubber version of the Japanese sandal, the zori. Growing in popularity in America after World War II, flip flops – so called because of the sound they make when they slap the floor – came to epitomise Californian beach style. No longer reserved for holidays, these days they’re just as at home in the pub as they are by the pool.

“For quintessential Cali cool”

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Espadrilles

With their rope sole, espadrilles are one of the most instantly recognisable members of the footwear family. They date back to the 13th century, originally made in the Occitania and Catalonia regions of France and Spain, with the name deriving from ‘esparto’, the plant originally used to braid the soles. In some ways they’re the perfect solution to summertime footwear: cool and light while also smart. Equally good teamed with tailored shorts as with jeans, they might just be the only shoe you need to pack come holiday time.

“Simultaneously relaxed and refined”

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Moccasins

Before we say anything else, don’t be fooled into thinking moccasins are slippers. They may be the comfiest summer shoe you’ll ever own, but they’re also sophisticated. While they originated from the tribes of North America and were originally made from various hides, today, they've become the go-to occasion shoe. They’re ideal for work and summer dos when paired with slim-fit chinos or light-coloured suits. Alternatively, use them to make a statement by choosing a colour-popping pair worn with jeans turned up. Whoever said style couldn’t be comfortable?

“Respite for weary feet”

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Boat shoes

If there’s one shoe that gets us in the summer spirit, it’s the boat shoe, and for this, we have one man to thank. In 1935, Paul Sperry invented a shoe with a moccasin upper and a slip-resistant rubber sole inspired by his dog’s paws to stop himself slipping on the boat deck. These days, they’re associated with style and elegance, think Hollywood legends sipping cocktails on a yacht in St. Tropez. Wear with rolled-up chinos, a tucked in shirt and a golden tan.

“Your shortcut to preppy, Riviera chic”

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Sandals

Sandals have something of a long history, with the oldest pair ever found thought to be 10,000 years old. They’ve had their fair share of bad press, but in 2019 they’ve become cool once again. Channel geek chic and pair with socks, go for utility and team with cargo trousers or keep it classic with dark, tailored trousers and a tee, sleeves rolled up.

“At 10,000 years old they’re doing something right”
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