A casual piece of footwear at best, a controversial topic among menswear enthusiasts at worst, the humble sandal is an item that can either be the best or worst part of your wardrobe during the summer. But there’s no denying the comfort one gets from throwing on a pair of sandals and not being bogged down by the bulk of a boot or the stifling heat of a pair of socks when it’s humid out.
The key to wearing sandals is simple: you have to get a quality product. While places like Old Navy and your standard beach gas station may have a 10-for-$10 sale, those are simply not going to hold up for long and will make you look bad when you have them on. Instead, find a style of sandal that works for you and wear the heck out of it. You’ll look good and your feet will feel better for it.
A simple pair of slides aren’t going to reinvent the wheel or your wardrobe, but they are a great first step to integrating a good pair of sandals into your rotation. Whether you’re just grabbing the mail or you’re taking a casual walk on the shore, a good slide is all you need to head out the door with minimal effort. There are also, of course, options with a bit more grown-up style to them (usually the ones made from more rugged materials like leather and cork).
Arguably one of the most popular sandals for men on the market, the Arizona is the premier option for anyone looking to have a comfortable, classic, and all-around exceptional shoe in their wardrobe. With a soft leather upper and cork sole, these Birkenstocks will mold to your foot, offering supreme comfort after a few wears. The double-strap design is as classic as it comes for Birkenstock and is instantly recognizable. Best of all, you can get away with these well into the fall, as Birks look great with a pair of wool socks for the in-between weather of September and October.
Classic Pons Avarcas
For a more Mediterranean spin, the Avarcas use a Spanish design that adds a great touch of class to your footwear. Handmade in Menorca, Spain from nubuck leather, these have a quality feel to them at an exceptional price. I am itching to wear these to a wedding with a linen suit, giving me a jetsetter feel without ever having to leave the country.
Adidas Adilette Comfort Slide Sandals
With its three-stripe design and basic black and white color scheme, this is a shoe that’s easily recognizable and pairs with anything. While it may be the most basic construction you can get in a sandal, that’s the beauty of it: it’s a simple shoe to slide on, grab your keys, and head out the door.
While controversial among a certain fashion-minded set, the reality is that most guys have a few pairs of flip-flops in their closet. With their minimal design and breezy casualness, it’s footwear that doesn’t require a lot of thought but still puts you in a beachy mood.
Orlebar Brown Haston Cork Sandal
With its cork sole and classic colors, the Haston by Orlebar Brown is a classic model that’s somehow both retro and modern. Easy to integrate into your existing wardrobe, this flip-flop has a low profile for comfort while the cork sole is durable and a bit cushioning for longterm wear.
Inspired by the cowboys of Hawai’i, the OluKai Mekila leather sandals upgrade the basic design into something warmer and more rugged. The soles feature an embroidered design reminiscent of cowboy saddles while the soft leather will inevitably mold to the wearer’s foot with prolonged wear. These are flip-flops for grown-ups that are begging to be worn on every summer vacation you have coming up.
It seems that huaraches are finally getting their moment. The traditional Mexican sandal has a long history and has recently been adopted as a great summertime footwear option for those looking for a dressy alternative to slides or loafers. Crafted from woven leather, huaraches feel elevated without ever trying too hard, making it a great option for those who care about style while keeping it casual.
Knickerbocker Basket Weave Huarache Slide
Leave it to Knickerbocker to elevate the traditional huarache into something that’s almost high fashion. With its low profile and use of black leather, it’s as much a statement as it is a casual shoe. I can see this easily dressed down with a pair of jeans and a rolled-up cuff or with a suit for a summer wedding.
Dandy Del Mar Huaraches
Wonderfully traditional, the huaraches from Dandy Del Mar are made from high-quality leather in a warm brown tone for easy pairing and a casual style. The sole of these huaraches are triple-layered for additional comfort and support. Instead of a slide design, these huaraches have a supported back to keep your foot in place while still showing enough of the foot to not be altogether a loafer, either.
For a decidedly fashionable look, turn to a fisherman sandal. With a sturdy construction that borders on the blocky, a fisherman sandal is a statement for those who want the structure of a shoe but need a bit of ventilation during the hotter seasons.
Lemaire Fisherman Sandal
Lemaire has perfected the fisherman sandal for its approach to elevating the classic design into something bordering on the