It’s summertime in the United States and while the heat may lead you to default to sandals and the like, there are many stylish options which will keep you looking good while keeping your feet cool. As we noted when discussing dress shoes, it’s important for a Gent to have solid choices to always look and feel his best, and that should be the case in every season.
Gents like sandals for the ease of use. No socks and easily put on and off. This has led to a rise in the slip on shoe, which has some of the same ease of a sandal, while also covering up your toes in case you haven’t come into one of our clubs for a foot repair lately! Slip-ons are more laid-back and breathable than a sneaker. You’ll find some excellent selections from Toms, Vans, and Sperry, though J. Crew has a seersucker edition and even Nike has gotten in on the style as of late.
This category has really grown as of late. Originally the domain of the canvas-clad Converse and Vans crowd, more and more brands have released their own version of the “too dressy to exercise in but not too dressy to be serious” sneaker. There’s even some crossover happening as with the recently released Gary Vaynerchuk K-Swiss “Clouds and Dirt” sneaker aimed at entrepreneurs. He’s aiming to create a long tail for his products, with a kids version just added.
Espa-what? These casual shoes have been in existence in Europe since 1322, when it was first called by this name, which comes from a French adaptation of a Catalan word referring to shoes made of esparto, which is a tough Mediterranean grass used for making rope. These shoes usually have a canvas or cotton upper while the sole is made of rope, the defining mark of a pair of espadrilles. Sperry and Toms offer some great espadrilles, though you can get high end offerings from the likes of Burberry and Tom Ford if you’re trying to make a statement, which makes sense when you’re wearing casual shoes that have been in style for more than 700 years.
Loafers and Boat Shoes
Once worn by those who were often around boats, these types of shoes have only become more popular with time. Boat shoes have rubber outsoles that have been razor-cut to give better traction on wet surfaces (like you’ll find on a boat) and are usually white or tan so as to avoid marking boat decks. They are made with unlined leather to facilitate quicker drying when they get wet. Loafers, on the other hand, can be made of any material, and have leather or rubber outsoles (or some synthetic combination) without a particular color preference. Loafers often have a slightly elevated heel as well.
As with slip-on shoes, both of these types of summer shoes are often worn without socks, though some may opt to wear the sock liners that has become very popular with fashion sneakers. These socks are usually designed to be more breathable and are cut so as to be not visible when wearing a low-cut shoe. Timberland, Under Armor, and Polo by Ralph Lauren all offer excellent options.
Do you have a favorite summer shoe? Share it with us in the comments below to receive a free upgrade on your next hair service – from 3-course to 5-course or from 5-course to 7-course.