Sandals Suck: These Slip-Ons Are the Best Summer Shoes for Guys
Moccasins, mules, boaters and more. Let's review.
If you’ve read this publication long enough, you know the rules. Unless you are on a beach, about to jump into a pool or Jesus of Nazareth himself, no one wants to see those sandals.
It’s not you — it’s your feet. They probably look and smell … less than optimal. And unless you plan on establishing a bi-weekly pedicure routine, they will remain that way.
So just say no to the Teva, the Birk, the ‘Bo, the Havaiana. Instead, opt for something that is A) equally comfortable, B) better looking, and C) capable of keeping your bony, hairy, calloused toes where they belong: hidden.
Below, you’ll find 10 styles that meet those criteria, from classic, reliable boat shoes to some more avant-garde selects like mules and embroidered moccasins. Two things you won’t find: sneakers and loafers, which we’ve already covered in their own dedicated guides this summer (sneakers here; loafers here).
Without further ado, I give you the 2018 sandal-hater’s guide to summer footwear. Do yourself a favor and slip into something equally comfortable but indubitably more stylish this year.
The Classic Boat: Sperry Authentic Original
The single most iconic boat shoe in the single most iconic colorway, seen everywhere from the beaches of Nantucket to the streets of Williamsburg. Its greatest asset is its versatility, the way it bespeaks a respect for the classics without saying anything too specific about the person wearing it.
The Frenchie: Rivieras Tour de Monde
It’s bright. It’s breathable. It’s yacht appropriate.
The Staple: Sabahs
If your correspondent had to wear one shoe for the rest of his life, it would be the Sabah, a leather slipper by way of Turkey that will conform to your foot like a sannyasin to the Bhagwan.
The Peacock: Artemis Design Co.
One-of-a-kind slippers woven from vintage rugs by way of Istanbul. Don’t be alarmed by the stranger who just hurdled a lemonade stand to ask you, “WHAT ARE THOSE?”
The Deck Sneaker: Ralph Lauren Deck 100
Should you actually be spending the day on a boat, consider an option like these from Uncle Ralph, which feature traditional boat shoe styling on the upper, but with the added comfort of a padded, sneaker-like outsole.
The Almost Sandal: Nisolo Haurache
Huaraches: a style of woven leather shoes indigenous to Mexico. As our Creative Director once wrote, “You don’t make a run for the border in these things — more like a cocksure stroll.”
The Bikini: Turkish Kilim Mule
Looking to show a little extra skin? Consider the mule. Unlike the ones you wear with your robe, these ones are made in via a traditional Turkish weaving style, and allowed out of the house.
The Chunky One: Yuketen Camp Moc
A beefier option by way of Maine, this moccasin weds a Chromexcel suede outer with a rubber and cork sole.
The Vacationer: Nisolo Alejandro Woven
Soft leather liner for comfort, basket-woven leather outer for speed. An exceptional option for beaches and cabana bars the world over.
The Midcentury Modern: Mr. P Two-Tone Suede Boat Shoes
Once you’ve got all your basics in order, you can move on to more daring items like these playful, ‘60s-inspired numbers from the Mr. Porter house brand. Notice the beautiful stitching on the forefoot and the of-the-moment oversized outsole.
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