We know, it feels like a lifetime ago since the last one, but as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, these quintessentially British summer treats are back on the menu. For how long, who knows?
Alas, being glass half full folk, we’re planning (praying) for some semblance of normality this summer. And after a long, cold, miserable winter of lockdown lows and little else, we reckon you should too. So how about putting some money back into the high street to kick things off? You know, do your bit for the economy. We’d recommend starting with a new pair of men’s summer shoes, so you can confidently step back out into the big, bad world looking unflappably stylish.
Not sure what shoes to go for? Don’t worry, we’ve knocked up a list of the best warm weather footwear for men. We feature a range of styles, from cool canvas kicks and classic sneakers, to walking boots and casual trainers. So bin those nasty slippers you’ve been rocking since lockdown one, and upgrade your shoe rack with a few of these beauties.
Birkenstock Arizona BS Sandals
Like it or loathe it, the multi-purpose, ever-reliable Birkenstock is one of the best men’s summer shoe staples, and they’re here to stay. Slip ‘em on for a day on the beach, don them to the cricket or to grab a pint of milk from your local shop. Newbie wearers - beware, you’ll experience some pain at first, but once you’ve weathered the storm, they’ll fit like a glove. What’s more, the open toe design allows the fresh summer air to cool your trotters down in stuffier temperatures. The German brand’s sliders fit true-to-size and come with adjustable straps on each sandal and inviting footbeds that’ll keep your feet snug and stop them flying off at any given chance. Get them in a range of different colours and styles - vegan options are also available.
Superga Unisex 2750 Cotu Classic Trainers
Some of the best men’s summer shoes are breathable, light and easy to pair, like Superga’s unisex canvas kicks. As summery as a white chocolate Magnum on a balmy day, despite looking like your old PE pumps, they’re much more robust. Comfort levels are better than you’d imagine too. They fit true-to-size - if not a fraction on the smaller side - and go well with most outfits. Rock them with a nice pair of shorts, jeans, cords or chinos with your favourite knitted polo or an outrageously colourful summer shirt and wait for the compliments to roll in. Available in a host of different colours.
ASOS DESIGN trainers with velcro straps
Whoever said velcro was reserved for children (or men who can’t tie their laces) was wrong. An indicator is that more and more brands are teasing velcro sneakers in recent years. And, as well as being one of the best lazy boy summer sneaker options, they look pretty cool too. This entry-level pick by ASOS is an excellent way to get your velcro fix without breaking the bank, Pair them with a polo shirt and shorts for a preppy summer look. But keep in mind, they are a little cumbersome, rigid and run fairly big (lengthways). Still, they’re fine for a wander around the park or a trip to your local boozer - just don’t wear them on long hikes. We like the old-school clunky look, white and navy colourway and faux suede decal on the side. Plus, you can get them on in seconds, so you won’t have to worry about legging it for the ice cream van before it drives off.
New Balance 237
To some, they’re the ultimate dad trainer, to others (dads), they’re the epitome of cool. Regardless of which camp you’re in, New Balance is known for being proper comfy, reliable trainers. This particular 237 design is a nod to the brand’s classic 70’s era running shoe, although you’d be forgiven for thinking they had a 90s influence. We’re big fans of the retro contrast patchwork design - a nylon/ mesh/ suede medley. Perhaps the best men’s summer shoes for versatility, you can wear them for various occasions – taking the kids out, having a knock around over the tennis court, beer garden sessions, you name it. A solid all-rounder that fits true-to-size, available in two classic colourways (with more planned for 2021). Get them quick as they’re selling like hotcakes.
Men’s Vectiv Exploris Futurelight Boots™
White hiking boots? Madness, we know. But it’s summer and just look at them! The North Face aren’t afraid to innovate and these bad boys are a testament to that. Ridiculously light and cased in a waterproof Futurelight™ membrane that allows air to pass through easily, but keeps out water, they’re up there with the best men’s summer shoes for hikers. Once you’ve pulled them on, you’ll feel like you’re see-sawing, but don’t worry, that’s the midsole rocker doing its job. It’s supposed to propel you forward to make your hike easier, and it works. Other sweet bits of tech include a stiff, protective toe cap, a cushy OrthoLite™ footbed, and a load of clingy 4mm nugs (nodules on the outsole that help with grip). Not the cheapest hiking boot out there, but a worthy investment if you’re planning on outdoor adventuring loads this summer. Also available in black and a shoe style. Fits true-to-size.
Frank Wright Draco Men’s Boat Shoe
Boat shoes were invented by American Paul A. Sperry, who took a knife to the bottom of his regular shoes to cut grooves in the rubber to stop him slipping off his boat. His inspiration? His dog Prince, who he noticed never seemed to slip on a wet deck (so he tried to replicate his footpads). Fast-forward over 75 years and everyone from Pharrell Williams to Ryan Reynolds have donned these classic posh boy shoes. We like Frank Wright’s variation because, well, they’re elegant, well-priced and as snug as a pair of slippers. Just look at that lovely ecru suede finish, neat leather upper and subtle orange and grey detail. They fit true-to-form and are best worn with a pair of your favourite summer shorts and an Oxford shirt or polo.
Columbia Men’s Wildone™ Anthem Shoe
Columbia probably isn’t a brand we’d associate with casual trainers but these suave, lightweight kicks have the makings of a world-class everyday shoe. What’s more, they are somewhat of a hybrid. You can wear them out for lunch with mates or clocking up the miles sightseeing on your next city break. And don’t worry if you get caught up in a quintessential British summertime shower, they’ve been given a water and stain resistant treatment. It’s a good job, as you won’t want to ruin that fresh dark stone mesh upper and the colourful suede overlays. They tick the comfort box, regulate air well and look smart as a carrot with most outfits. A solid mid-price men’s summer shoe.
Clarks Desert Khan
Would a round-up of the best men’s summer shoes be complete without something from Clarks? Possibly not, but that’s not the only reason we’ve included the iconic British footwear brand. The Desert Khan is more than worthy of its place. Ideal for smarter summertime occasions (family parties, weddings, dates etc.), this is the low-cut, smarter child of the trusty desert boot. Available in four colours (black, sand, beeswax and cola) and made with soft suede, they come with a shock-absorbing spongy crepe sole that’s a dream to walk on. They run true-to-size and look great with a dark pair of jeans, textured trousers or chinos.
Veja V10 Sneaker
Veja doesn’t do traditional advertising, which makes the fact the brand has accrued a bunch of celebrity fans, like Eddie Redmayne, Meghan Markle and Katie Holmes all the more impressive. The footwear company, prides itself on transparency, social responsibility and sustainability, which is why they shunned cheap production for fair-trade - apparently its shoes cost around five times as much as its competitors. Still, Veja’s prices remain relatively similar (due to the saving on ads) to other brands so you get more bang for your buck on sneakers such as the V10. We like the simplicity and old-school charm that lends itself well to folk looking for a muted, sporty look. Easy to pair and with perforated leather uppers, they are just the ticket for any men’s summer wardrobe and fit true-to-size.
Saucony Endorphin Pro
Not a classic shout for the best men’s summer shoes, but we didn’t want to leave keen runners out. We’re not messing about here, Saucony’s Endorphin Pros are top-end, premium running shoes. Made with the help of elite athletes, they come laden with clever tech like carbon plates and speed roll geometry and super-springy super foam, amongst other things. Review after review talks about people smashing their PBs, which is either an indication of just how good they are or how easy it is to manipulate public opinion on the internet. We glided around in these proper running shoes and felt like a pound shop Mo Farah. They’re also incredibly lightweight and easy on the eye, though they do come with a hefty price-tag.
Adidas Originals Super Sambas
Looking for a pair of retro kicks? Look no further than these nostalgia-provoking, cult classics by Adidas. Originally created to allow football players to train on icy pitches, they became an iconic footwear choice among young men. Now having a resurgence - possibly from people who had them as kids - they are a sound summer shoe because of their versatility. Wear them with a pair of dark jeans or shorts and a polo shirt for a Britpop look or with a pair of tracksuit bottoms for a kick around in the park. Available in black and white leather or navy and white suede. The best men’s summer shoe for a footy-mad child of the 90s. They run small, so it’s worth going up a half size.
Where to start? For a go-to regular-use summer shoe that won’t cost the earth and performs well in hot conditions, our favourite is the trusty Birkenstock. For a casual, easy-to-pair sunshine-savvy classic, we’d opt for the crisp white Superga. In the market for comfort? You’d be hard-pressed to find a comfier shoe than New Balance’s new 237s.