Everything You Need to Know About Slip-On Shoes for Summer
Step away from the laces. Slowly.
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Okay, tough guy. We see you lacing up those Converse, shoe-horning those brogues, jamming the dogs into your chukka boots. Consider this instead: do you really want to commit to a day of cramped, sweaty feet? We didn’t think so.We’ll just come right out and say it: we’re currently over running shoes, cheslea boots and even our beloved Sambas. We’re officially declaring: the time for slip-on shoes is now.
Despite their status as a lazy, informal footwear style (a sentiment that we fully disagree with), slip-ons have a ton of benefits: easy to toss on and typically breathable, they also travel exceptionally well, whether the destination is Bali or the bodega.
I Walked Around Europe for a Week in These Leather Slip-Ons. You Should Too.
Nisolo's Alejandro Wovens are absolutely perfect for piazza ambles
Perhaps the best part of no-lace footwear is that the choices are virtually endless. Leather slip-ons and huarache sandals play nicely with linen formalwear, while foam slides and water shoes provide some much need comfort. There are boat shoes and loafers, clogs and espadrilles. Hell, there are even slip-on sneakers (remember Vans?) to keep you looking sharp sans bunny ears.
We’ll spare you the loafer fangirling — you should know that we’re very much on the post-sneaker society wave, enough that we’ve dedicated the time to ranking our favorites here — and aren’t including the equally massive category of open-toed situations, but for a quick breakdown of the styles you should know, reference below.
Slip-On Shoes Styles to Know
Hurraches: This is going to be the summer of Hurrache. With new offerings from retailers and labels that we just can’t get enough of (Nisolo, Luca, etc.) and a renewed interest in not looking like a total tool/child/American in Europe hotspot you’re bound to this summer, they’re a perfect choice for any put-together jabroni.
Boat Shoes: Seen everywhere from the beaches of Nantucket to the streets of Williamsburg, the boat shoe is a timeless piece of footwear with a decidedly preppy aura. This is not necessarily a bad thing (peep the JFK ‘fits), especially considering they’re so easy to wear to the office.
Espadrilles: Falling in the middle of the loafer-slipper Venn Diagram, Espadrilles trace their origins to Spain and are denoted by a woven, jute or cloth exterior atop a rope sole, making them an ultra-lightweight (albeit less protective) option for spring and summer.
Clogs: There may not be a sartorial provision more “of the moment” than the lowly clog. From the Croc on up to the TikTok-championed Birkenstock Boston and Bottega Veneta’s puffy puddle joints, the style has enjoyed a renaissance in menswear.
Slip-on Sneakers: The good old fashion slip-on tennis shoe needs no introduction: whether you count yourself among the millions of Vans fanatics or the crisp nautical kick is more your speed — maybe you even identify with the Kendall-core suede and cashmere joints from the likes of Loro Piana — there’s no denying the functional and convenience of the classic sneaker.
Below, we’ve rounded up a variety of slip-on styles for your perusal. From Crocs to Our Legacy, there’s a shoe for everyone, in a bevy of styles and across a wide range of price points. Wear them to the beach, wear them to the office. Just save your poor feet the hassle and invest in a pair today.
The Best Slip-On Shoes for Men
The huarache style has wormed its way onto men’s feet in recent summers, and for good reason: the leather-strapped style looks more dressed up than a sneaker or open-toed sandal, but it’s still cool enough to beat the heat. Nisolo’s attempt gets everything right: a sustainably derived construction, handwoven design, water-resistant leather and loads of class.
If you’ve scrolled through Instagram, Twitter or TikTok recently, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the Birkenstock Boston on the feet of influencers and style gurus alike. The German clog style has caught fire in recent months and makes for a decidedly excellent slip-on for all your summer ‘fits. If you’re looking to level-up your summer style, this is your shoe — just avoid the thick leather styles if you want to stay cool.
Yes, technically boat shoes do have laces, but for the sake of practicality and the unmatched versatility of the style, we’ll let it slide, since no one has ever actually untied the laces on them. As far as one of our top picks goes, we have to highlight the L.L. Bean Boat Mocs. Modeled after archival ’70s styles, the hand-sewn leather shoe features a canoe moc construction that we can’t get enough off.
We don’t need to explain the appeal of Vans. You know them, you love them, and for their mix of affordably, easy-wear and unrivaled clout, the Skate Slip-On remains our preferred slip-on sneaker of choice. Get an all white pair, and beat the hell out of ’em, please.
Sperry x Brooks Brothers sounds like something out of a JFK fanboy wet dream, but we’re happy to report that the nautical-themed A/O Cup boat shoe actually has some serious sea legs. Dressed down from the typical boat shoe style and dressed up in a primo suede, they’re a great should for virtually every chino-accompanied endeavor.
Crocs may not be the sexiest shoe out there, but from a purely practical standpoint, they’re the unequivocal slip-on champion, especially when it comes to sultry summer days. Their ultralight outer is perforated for increased airflow, and the foam sole is springy, even after a full day at the pool. If you can find us another shoe that ticks all the summer slip-on requirements and costs a measly $29, we’re all ears. But until then, we’re sticking with Crocs.
You’d think that Vans would be a shoe-in for InsideHook’s Most Coveted slip-on sneakers award, but we find the SeaVees Hawthorne to be an equally blustery number — we’ll chalk it up to the cotton poplin upper, which can take quite a beating for all its breathability.
You see a pair of grandma gardening shoes. We see the hottest pair of kicks since Nike Dunks. Get ahead of the curb and grab a pair of upstate-based Gardenheir’s Recycled Garden Clogs…while they’re still around.
Speaking of hype, the Merrell Hydro Moc hasn’t gone anywhere, and if you haven’t ditched the Jordans for a more sensible summer shoe, maybe now is the moment. After all, perforated EVA and a futuristic feel don’t come often.
We will suggest that 99.99% of the time, you should not be wearing slip-ons (especially open-backed slip-ons) to any sort of formal wedding. Our Legacy’s Camion Mule, the bastardized brother of the famed Camion Boot, proves exception to the rule, with their dainty black leather polish and ooze of sophistication.
The perfect European holiday shoe doesn’t exis-.
So you can’t bear to part with your beloved sneakers — you’re in luck. Nike’s new FlyEase tech, a revolutionary design specifically crafted with disabled folk in mind, is fully lace and hands-free, despite looking like any other hot new sneaker from the Swoosh.
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