Hand in hand with the much awaited summer season come the rising temperatures, and with them the scorching heat, which for a gentleman’s wardrobe can only mean a return to all things light and easy: weightless fabrics, breezy silhouettes, summer suits and most importantly, comfortable, breathable footwear.

After the break, we cover the 6 summer footwear staples every man needs to know and own for a sweat-free hot season. These are also the styles that will allow you to go sockless for summer, for even more of a cool, fresh, uncomplicated feel. Time to learn all about them, below.

mens summer shoe staples

Smart sandals.

It’s a good thing the sandals grew up into a smart statement this season because during a hot summer nothing truly beats up their comfort.

What you should be looking for during the warm months is a pair of sandals that is stylish and functional in equal measures. Go with wide-cut foot straps for a secure, non-slip fit, choose lightly padded insoles for comfortable footing, and pick out understated colours and designs, that still retain their strength and smooth feel.

You won’t go wrong with leather in either black, brown or navy tones as they are sure to work with just about any palette and style building your wardrobe. If you love colour, you can always opt for a contrasting rubber sole, but other than that your sandals should be kept fuss-free, clean, unembellished.

When it comes to design you can easily choose in between two or three straps that can be crossover, weaved or bearing a strong, gladiator feel.

Mens essential footwear styles for summer

Shop the styles, top to bottom: Balenciaga Leather Sandals at Mr Porter.com; Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor Sandals at Mr Porter.com; Ted Baker Robii Leather Sandals at ASOS.com; ALDO Legeassi Leather Fisherman Sandals at ASOS.com.

Breezy espadrilles.

Next in line to conquer that ultimate cool feel during a hot, hot summer day are the breezy espadrilles, the shoes that you can count on being comfortable and effortlessly stylish at the same time.

Keep an eye out for espadrilles featuring traditional jute soles, ankle support and soft, breathable fabrics. You can also opt for supple leather espadrilles, perforated for both texture and ventilation, perfected with a pull tab for easy wear.

Go with light, off-white, cream nuances that make for classic summer choices, pick out dark shades of blue and stripe designs for more of a maritime feel, or choose vivid shades of orange, green and yellow for an unexpected take on summer foowear.

Mens essentials footwear styles for summer
Shop the styles, top to bottom: Castañer Pablo Perforated-Leather Espadrilles at Mr Porter.com;  ASOS Canvas Espadrilles With Stripe at ASOS.com; Bellfield Paulo Stripe Espadrilles at ASOS.com; Faconnable Cotton-Canvas Espadrilles at Mr Porter.com.

Driving shoes.

Keeping on the lightweight and comfortable side, the driving shoes provide perfect traction whether you’re behind the wheel or strolling through the city.

Seeing how they make for the perfect compromise between smart and casual, you can always dress them up with summer suits, or dress them down with sporty jackets and slim trousers.

Pick out your pair with rubber soles for grip and comfort, in either suede or smooth leather, adorned with laces, tassels or anchor detailing. From light-brown to mustard, from gray to navy, and from blue to red, you’ll have no trouble finding a pair of driving shoes to match your aesthetic, just make sure to opt for quality materials.

Mens essential footwear styles for summer
Shop the styles, top to bottom: Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Suede Driving Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Tod’s Gommino Lizard-Trimmed Suede Driving Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Bobbies Dandy Suede Driving Shoes at ASOS.com; ALDO Mopsa Suede Driving Shoes at ASOS.com.

Breathable slip-ons.

The slip-on silhouettes are nothing short of perfect for the long summer days, given they are made breathable and their designs are carefully updated for a new season.

Made for ease and comfort, opt for slip-ons with cushioning, non-slip rubber soles and elasticated sides for flexibility. In terms of materials, choose your uppers in cotton mesh or woven leather, and in shades spanning in between cream, rich brown and dark blue. Opt for patterns and bright colours if your do care make a statement this summer.

Team them with linen trousers, tailored shorts or rolled up chinos.

Mens essential footwear styles for summer
Shop the styles, top to bottom: Rivieras Cotton Mesh Slip-On Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Armando Cabral Woven Leather Slip-On Sneakers at Mr Porter.com; Base London Stage Woven Leather Slip-On Plimsolls at ASOS.com; New Look Woven Slip On at ASOS.com.


Stylish boat shoes.

Typically made in canvas, suede or leather, boat shoes are one of the best investments you can make for the summer.

Doused in coastal style, this silhouette can be kept classic with a colour scheme of red, white and navy, can be made current with sandy brown and azure blue, or can be used to inject a shot of cool into any outfit with a bold palette of colours, or some striking patterns.

Opt for high-quality constructions for extended durability, tonal laces and woven details for effortless refinement, and avoid all designs that strike as too busy.

Mens essentials footwear styles for summer
Shop the styles, top to bottom: ASOS Boat Shoes in Suede at ASOS.com; Yuketen Three-Tone Panelled Suede Boat Shoes at Mr Porter.com; River Island Woven Boat Shoes in Suede at ASOS.com; Sperry Top-Sider Two-Eye Suede Boat Shoes at Mr Porter.com.

Summer brogues.

Perhaps there’s no such thing as a summer brogue but you could easily recreate the feel of it by opting to purchase the classic silhouette in lightweight suede, butter-soft leather and equally light hues.

Get the formal shoe in summer mode by opting for tan, camel, red, or even white hues, and style them with summer tailoring, or smart-casual separates.

Practical yet luxurious, the summer brogues require special care during the hot season so make sure you often treat the uppers with a spray protector and store them in a dust bag for added protection.

Mens essential footwear styles for summer
Shop the styles, top to bottom: Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Grand Suede Brogues at Mr Porter.com; ASOS Brogue Shoes in Leather at ASOS.com; Ted Baker Archerr Suede Brogue Shoes at ASOS.com; Ted Baker Jamfro Suede Brogue Shoes at ASOS.com.

Share some style:

Want to keep up with fashion?

Once a week, we send out an update with the latest fashion trends, styles and collections.
Get yours direct in your inbox and keep ahead of fashion.

Our newsletter is spam free and your email address will never be shared or sold.