A summer favourite, sandals for men have, over the years, had a little bit of a bad rap as many men deem them unstylish and unflattering. Well, I'm here today to tell you differently, and, how to style them this season.
We've all seen them, the tourists that insist on wearing a pair of 'comfortable' sandals and a pair of thick, white tube socks pulled up to the knees. Sandals have had a bad rep, especially with the younger generations who purely associate them with the image that's more commonly seen in cartoons but frightfully seen on the streets of any major city.
From gladiator sandals to flip flops, in no particular order, we'll be narrowing down the best sandals for men so you can make the right decision when is comes to your summer footwear.
Over the past few seasons these sandals have made a real comeback. More commonly associated with earth loving hippies, the Birkenstock offers comfort and style all in one. With a real stigma attached to them, it's no wonder why so many people avoid them like the plague, but when you see them in person, try them on and style them out a little bit, it's understandable why people choose to sport them during the summer.
The perfect stylish sandals, Birkenstocks offer you that support you want in a summer shoe and a stylish aesthetic that works in a multitude of occasions. Preferably worn without socks, Birkenstocks makes one of the best summer sandals, so all you need to do is pick the right colour.
Now, flip flops, or thongs to our friends in Australia, have the association of being a purely holiday based piece of footwear. With a simple design and aesthetic, flip flops are one of the perfect sandals to wear during the warmer months as they keep your feet cool, whilst still giving you that comfort. Easily slipped on and off, flip flops are perfect to wear poolside or even on the plane whilst you're going through security.
Go for a neutral colour with your flip flops as they will serve you better in the long run. Bolder colours and prints will date easily and will fall out of style a lot quicker. Stick to black, grey, navy or even white as these will work with a plethora of different looks. That being said, maybe don't try and work them into your office wear - these bad boys are definitely best left for super casual occasions.
Again, another variety of sandal that has had a bit of a hard time in the sartorial history books, but the pool side has come back in a big way over the last few years. It might be a favourite amongst city road men (white tube socks optional), but the slide is actually one of the most practical and stylish style of sandal around - and a lot easier to deal with if the thought of flip flops sends a shiver down your spine.
There's so many designs out there at the moment, so you don't have to simply go for the usual Adidas three stripe sliders - although they are undeniably cool sandals. While novelty patterns and bold colours might be ideal for making a statement, simple is definitely a better option as you'll get a lot more wear out of them throughout the season.
Now flip flops and pool slides are very much a casual style of footwear, and they wouldn't exactly be welcome in a more formal setting - this is where strappy sandals come in to play. You might have thought that strappy sandals are decidedly feminine, but this isn't always the case.
Go for a pair which feature two or three straps and have a slightly chunkier sole to add a more rugged vibe (without a hint of that gap year student look). Leather is definitely the best option here, as they tend to look a bit more sophisticated than plastic versions. Black and brown are definitely your best bet here, as they'll work well with most smart casual men's outfits, and will tie in nicely with your other leather accessories for a more put-together look.
If Russell Crowe can pull them off, then so can you. Granted, they're not for the faint hearted, but if you're going to give sandals a go this season, you may as well go all out. Similarly to strappy sandals, black and brown leather is the best option when it comes to Gladiator sandals - they make a big enough statement on their own without adding in extra colour pops to worry about.
While they're definitely a big step if you're not used to wearing sandals, they actually not that difficult to style. Avoid jean turn-up controversy and go for a pair of chino shorts in a similar dark tone, and keep the rest of your outfit simple, such as a white T-shirt or Oxford shirt for an effortless look for smarter occasions.
The Best Sandals for Men
- Flip flops
- Strappy sandals
- Gladiator sandals
On That Note
Sandals on men has long been a polarising subject in men's summer fashion, and not without good reason - there's been some undeniable misuse of the summer footwear staple, but in the right hands, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to work them when things heat up. And there's so many cool men's sandals about right now. Simple sliders are ideal for casual occasions, whereas leather strappy and Gladiator sandals are a great office alternative in the warmer weather. We can't promise that you won't get grief for them, but we can guarantee you'll be leaps and bounds ahead in the style stakes.