Sandals Suck: These Men’s Slip-Ons Are Much Better Options

Moccasins, mules, boaters and more. Let's review.

Updated December 16, 2020 12:50 am
best summer slip ons for men

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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. Instead, opt for a summer slip-on shoe.

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.

Sperry original boat shoes

The Classic Boat Slip-On: 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.

rivieras tour du monde slip-on shoe

The Frenchie: Rivieras Tour de Monde
It’s bright. It’s breathable. It’s yacht appropriate.

Sabah Slip-On Shoes

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.

artemis design co slipper

The Peacock Slip-On: 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?”

ralph lauren deck 100 boat shoe

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.

nisolo huarache

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.”

ocelot market kilim mule

The Bikini Slip-On: 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.

yuketen camp moc

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.

Nisolo Alejandro Woven Slip-On

The Vacationer Slip-On: 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.

mr porter two tone suede boat

The Midcentury Modern Slip-On: 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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