Q&A: Summer Shoes for Men

May 27th, 2009

Q: During the summer, I basically feel like I’ve got two choices for footwear with shorts: Teva brand flip flops or Chaco brand sandals. I’d like to get something in more of a ’shoe’ that I can wear without socks. What are some stylish "boat-shoes" or alternatives to boat-shoes?

A: You’re in luck - there are a number of warm weather shoe options open to you that aren’t sandals.  If you want to step out of the house without socks, we’d recommend four types of shoes: boat shoes, tennis shoes, canvas shoes, and driving moccasins. 

The Boat Shoe
Broken In Sperry Top Siders | $98 at J Crew

Sperry makes the classic boat shoe, and their collaboration with J Crew makes these traditional shoes better than ever.  Between the distinctive custom dark wood color, the off white soles, and the cotton chambray lining, you won’t find a more unique boat shoe for under $100.

The Tennis Shoe
Springcourt Low Cut Canvas Shoes | $88 at Steven Alan

Springcourt shoes are the original French tennis shoe , but they’re anything but traditional in terms of features.  We’re loving the convenient four hole ventilation channels - so your feet can breathe easy.

The Canvas Shoe
Zuriick Jakob Mid Top Canvas Shoes | $98 at Oak

These sleek canvas shoes remind us that casual footwear can be as sophisticated as its more formal cousins–and tons more fun.  Love, love, love the ever-so-subtle striping and the bright purple shoe soles.  Editor’s Note: Sizing is limited at Oak, since these shoes are selling fast.  But they were fantastic enough that we wanted to feature them anyways.

The Driving Moccasin
Millbrook Leather Driving Mocs | $128 at J Crew

We’re digging the rich Italian leather on this driving moccasin.  You’ll also enjoy the rubber sole, which gives you extra traction while driving - or just walking around.

Guys, what are your favorite summer shoe picks? Share them with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Men,Men's,Q&A,Shopping Guide

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John  |  May 27th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    For the guys who want the no sock look but are a bit wary of not wearing socks, be sure also to check out these loafer socks from Banana Republic:


    Remember, it’s a personal choice – I’m a no sock guy myself.

    And, for a splurge worthy summer shoe, don’t miss these bluchers (black, brown, navy, available with brick soles) by Quoddy. They’re handmade in Maine and the quality is fantastic.


  • 2. Eric  |  May 27th, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Nordstrom has nearly the same Sperry for $30 cheaper — but good recommendation! Also consider Tom’s sandals.

  • 3. mxyzptlk  |  May 27th, 2009 at 4:42 am

    The Desert Boot and its variants are also a great summer shoe, to be worn without socks.

  • 4. Gary  |  May 27th, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I have three favorites for summer: my Sperry topsiders in the original brown (they get more comfortable each summer); my white canvas Converse Jack Pucells; and my Clarks Desert Boots.

    Yes, Desert Boots. I love wearing them all year round.

  • 5. Trisha  |  May 27th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Wonderful suggestions, guys…especially the callout on the Desert boots!

  • 6. Huong  |  May 27th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    definitely good choices. very cute!

  • 7. Nate  |  May 28th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    All of those are great suggestions!

    I have also found Vans Classic Slip-Ons to be great for summer. Especially if you take advantage of the create your own feature on their website.

    Keep in mind that if you stick to classic, solid colors like white, black, navy blue, and my personal favorite khaki, it takes the shoe out of a skater look and into a more sophisticated one.

  • 8. Trisha  |  May 29th, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Definitely – solid colored Vans slip-ons are youthful, but they also work great for pairing with weekend wear.

  • 9. Raf  |  May 31st, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Trisha, please please please do one of these on women’s shoes. Has there been a poll on gladiator sandals or ballet flats? I hope these abominable trends are over.

  • 10. Trisha  |  May 31st, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Funny you should ask, our next poll is on Gladiator Sandals. Poll will be active in a few hours.

  • 11. James  |  June 28th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Boat shoes are incredibly tired.

  • 12. Gary  |  July 7th, 2009 at 6:36 am

    ^ I don’t think a classic is ever tired.

  • 13. Katie Brown  |  September 7th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    No no no no no no no no to the first and last image lol! Grandpa around anywhere?

  • 14. Anonymous  |  October 13th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    zuriicks are super sexy on guys

  • 15. Artyom Shmatok  |  May 21st, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    The Boat Shoe — very good.

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