Monday, August 10, 2009

Men's Summer Shoes

It's summer and time to trade in the winter boots for something light and comfortable -- here are five of the best men's summer shoes.

Boat Shoes:

Boat shoes have rubber soles and have recently been adopted as one of the go-to men's summer shoes. They used to be primarily the domain of actual sailors and so were made almost exclusively out of leather, but now that they've grown in popularity you can find them in suede or canvas.

These men's summer shoes look good with casual chinos or more formal office attire. They're extremely versatile and look great on most people. You can find them in classic brown leather or in bolder colours. I personally prefer the brighter boat shoes, such as some of the models made by Sperry. If you're going to go this route, however, make sure they work with the rest of your outfit -- don't wear bright white boat shoes with white chinos, for example, or else you'll look like you should be handing out towels at the country club. I see too many people walking around with colourful shoes that could look great, but don't because they don't consider how the shoes look with the rest of the outfit.


If you're looking for men's summer shoes on a budget, you may want to consider espadrilles. First worn by Spanish and Portugese peasants (hence the affordability), espadrilles typically have a sole made from woven rope and either a canvas or thin leather upper.

These come in a variety of colours, patterns and styles -- basically, you can find pretty much anything you're looking for. That being said, finding espadrilles can be difficult sometimes, as many mainstream shoe stores don't carry them -- try ordering online or from eBay.

A couple of disclaimers: make sure you're actually buying men's espadrilles (as these are often worn by women in Spain) and don't wear them to the office or formal events.


Sneakers can be a great men's summer shoe, but they can also be a really terrible shoe. To avoid the latter, stay away from big, bulky shoes (like ones made by Nike) and from ubiquitous canvas shoes by Converse. These styles are both generally unattractive.

Instead, get a clean and simple tennis shoe, preferably something with a thin sole and upper. I like Fred Perry's slip-on style -- they are simple, light, and comfortable. That's exactly what a good summer shoe should be.


The most interesting men's summer shoe of the bunch if you ask me, moccasins can be really good or really bad. Your moccasins shouldn't look like slippers for around the house. Rather, they should look like the kind made by Tod's.

These are comfortable and stylish shoes that come in a variety of bright colours. Purple mocs have enjoyed particular fame for the last while. Unfortunately, a nice pair of these, like those made by Tod's, will set you back a couple hundred dollars. If that's not a concern, however, I'd recommend making mocs your go-to men's summer shoe.

Spectator Shoes:

Spectator shoes used to be worn only by cricket players, and then by golfers, and then by Ivy Leaguers in the 1950's. They are bold and difficult to pull off. These are not for the faint of heart.

However, the benefit of pulling them off is you'll probably be the only one walking around wearing them, and if you aren't you'll probably be the only one wearing them well.

Remember that with shoes like this, you want the rest of your outfit to be simple -- chinos, maybe a solid coloured button-down shirt or polo. Keep everything else simple since the shoes will obviously be the focal point.

Or just take up cricket or golf -- that's a good excuse to wear them.

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