On the lookout for a lightweight and versatile leisure shoe? Put your best feet forward in our pick of the best men's plimsolls.Read more Mens Style Guide features and check out our Store.
Plimsolls for men have long been established as the linchpin of the leisure shoe family has something of an image problem. Firstly its name is stupid. Plimsoll. A pair of plimsolls. No matter how you spin it the word is ridiculous. Regional variations on its moniker - daps or bumpers to name a couple - aren’t much of an improvement either.
Secondly, plimsolls are unavoidably connected with memories of primary school, and not necessarily good memories either. The plimsoll in its traditional form was the footwear you grudgingly shoved into a drawstring duffel bag every week along with an aertex polo shirt and nylon shorts. The plimsoll meant Physical Education, or PE day.
All of the above said, the plimsoll deserves another chance. It’s time to shake off those school day associations and cut some slack on the silly name, because the unassuming plimsoll has so much more to give.
Why Pick a Plimsoll?
If you’re looking for comfort, then sporting a plimsoll is the closest you’ll come to getting away with wandering about in public in your slippers. Really cool slippers.
If you’re looking for choice, then you’ll be bowled over by the brands, colours, styles and patterns on the market, plenty of which you can find here at Idle Man, since you’re asking. If you’re looking for something affordable as well as stylish and comfortable, then the plimsoll could be the answer. Generally speaking, they’re kinder to the bank account than that other leisure shoe powerhouse, the trainer.
And finally, if you’re looking for versatility, then you’ll be pleased to know the plimsoll gets on just great with pretty much all of your outfits. Maybe even a suit, if you’re feeling especially daring.
1) Vans Men's Slip-On Plimsolls
Starting with the classic and simplistic slip-on shape, this pair of Vans could not be easier or more comfortable to wear. Men's black plimsolls or men's white plimsolls are sometimes a little boring, but these black and white chequerboard pattern adds a bit of interest and works a treat with the simple design of the shoe. An added but practical bonus of these is that if you love ‘em enough to wear through the summer into the colder months, be reassured the waffle tread sole will stop you from any slipping and sliding on icy pavements.
2) Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Plimsolls
Basketball player Charles Hollis “Chuck” Taylor certainly knew a decent plimsoll when he saw one. Converse obviously agreed and so much so that after Chuck suggested they make one or two adaptations to their iconic shoes, they named the new-look plimsolls after him. White plimsolls for men are classic and when you think Converse you naturally think timeless. From the basketball court to the street, to rap stars and beyond, you’re in good company with a few pairs of these in your shoe arsenal. Chuck T puts his name to several designs, but these lean plimsolls are sleek and streamlined and will give you a smart silhouette. They’d work well with a pair of skinny fit coloured jeans and denim shirt. Weekend casual vibe, sorted.
3) Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Plimsolls
Superga is a brand that seems to have come out of nowhere, so it may be a surprise to learn they’ve been knocking around the casual shoe scene since 1911. The 2750 - with it’s chunky sole and embossed eyelets, is the most recognisable of the Superga range. With the brand tab sitting alongside the laces and at the back of the heel, they’re understated, lightweight and will let your feet breathe. Wear them with shorts and a crisp white shirt in the summer, and some raw denim jeans and a thick jumper in the winter months. These fellas will age as well as your best jeans, and will look just as tasty with a bit of wear too, so they're great for all seasons for years to come. Not much to dislike here.
4) Novesta Star Master
Slovakian shoe band Novesta have made a global name for themselves considering their humble beginnings. Popular amongst trend setters alike due to their simplistic and forward thinking design, Novesta have become a new staple plimsoll for many men to rely on. With a range of plimsolls with a contrasting toe cap and sole, they make a pleasant change form the classic we're all so used to.
5) Toms Alpargata Linen Plimsoll
Ethical brand TOMS championed the canvas shoe market not long ago for their moral standing. One pair of TOMS bought meant that a child in a developing country would also get a pair. This brand ethos resonated with a lot of people, and at the end of the noughties, we saw an uprise in the TOMS plimsoll. Definitely a more casual shoe, the TOMS plimsoll works perfectly with during the summer months with a a pair of shorts and a simple T-shirt.
History Of The Plimsoll
The humble plimsoll has been around for years. Originally developed as beachwear in the 1830s, their name derived because the horizontal band joining the upper to the sole resembled the plimsoll line on a ship's hull. If water crept above plimsoll line, sailors would be wading in sea water. Likewise if water crept above the rubber band on the footwear of the same name, the wearer would get wet feet. This explains your primary school teacher’s anger on catching you plimsoll-clad in the playground on a rainy day. Now we’ve established that plimsolls have an interesting back story, and are actually quite stylish with proven staying power, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
The Best Plimsolls for Men
Vans Slip-On Plimsolls - A streetwear classic, the Vans Slip-On works perfectly with a pair of wide leg trousers.
Converse All Star Chuck Taylor - Another classic, Converse All Stars are the perfect accompaniment to a pair of slim leg jeans.
Superga 2570 Cotu Classic - The peoples shoes of Italy are a comfortable and easy plimsoll to wear.
Novesta Star Master - A modern twist when it comes to men's canvas plimsoll, the Novesta Star Master work great with a more fashion forward wardrobe.
TOMS Alpargata Linen Plimsoll - If you're more ethically inclined then a pair of TOMS will work perfectly for you. Comfortable and casual, perfect for the warmer months.
The latest news from style, life, arts, and culture and everything in between. Whether it's a new brand arriving into our style, our latest drops and editorials. You will never miss a beat with us.