Your flights are booked, your itinerary is stacked, and it's now time to start thinking about what to wear on your summer holiday. Regardless of your suitcase weight limit, we have an easy guide to decide what shoes will be the most versatile to take on your travels this summer.
Leave the Chelsea boots on the shoe rack and lean into lightweight, stylish summer shoes. Every guys needs a few of these in the wardrobe, and the trick is to pick shoes with some versatility. Got a pair of leather loafers? Perfect! You can wear those to a barbecue or a rooftop bar. How about some espadrilles? Those look great from the beach to the pub for dinner.
In this article, we’re going to break down some of the more common summer shoes, and where (and how) to wear them.
Let’s start with the most summer location of all: the beach. Most of the time, thongs will work just fine here, but if you’d like to elevate your coastal style, there are a couple of great options. For the early-morning beachside café, we recommend some CABO brown woven slip ons and lightweight cotton shorts. Another great option is humble men’s espadrille – one of our favourite beachside slip-ons of all time. These guys are the epitome of European, French Riviera style.
For lazy afternoons by the pool, you want a lightweight slide shoe. Our black leather PLAYA looks great with navy shorts and a white crew tee. The trick with sandals & pool slides is comfort and durability. They’re designed to be kicked on, kicked off, and thrown in a duffle bag. Don’t be too precious about them.
The Rooftop Bar
It’s summer, you’re on a rooftop bar, and somebody just shouted a round of margaritas. Is there anything better? Bars usually relax their footwear dress codes in summer for obvious heat-related reasons, but thongs are still pushing it. Instead of cheapening your outfit, give it a boost with a pair of woven COSTA tan slip-ons, or maybe some suede leather loafers. These guys don’t need much in the way of styling: some neutral chino shorts, a basic crew tee, and a loose short-sleeve shirt (florals, if you’re feeling daring).
The Fancy Restaurant
For a high-scale restaurant (translation: the kind with tablecloths) you probably want to give casual slip-ons a miss. Instead, try a pair of ALBERTO black tassel loafers. You can pair these with some cuffed tan chinos and a long-sleeve button-up cotton shirt (just roll the sleeves for comfort). With this look, it’s best to use invisible ankle socks. You can go sockless, but we wouldn’t recommend it: high-grade leather loafers don’t really enjoy sweat, odour and blisters. Some suede GARCIA loafers, with their penny detailing, are another great alternative. Try them with cotton dress shorts and a white linen shirt (just watch out for pasta splatters).
The Road Trip
For the summer road trip, it has to be a pair of quality leather driving shoes. They’re just a natural fit. Even if you’re not the actual one doing the driving, there’s something indefinably classy about a pair of BALFORT 2.0 moccasins or COUNTY suede driving shoes. They add an instant dose of retro style to any casual ensemble. Again, don’t overthink the styling here: some cotton chino shorts or khaki linen shorts are a great match, along with a crew tee and short-sleeve shirt. Bonus: driving shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes going around, which makes them perfect for winery walks and browsing country towns.
The Summer Wedding
Summer weddings can be tricky, because you obviously need to hit a certain level of fanciness, while (at the same time) trying not to melt into your heavy black Oxfords. Your best friends here are loafers. They pair well with suits, they’re lightweight and breathable, and you don’t need heavy crew socks (in fact invisible ankle socks are preferable). Try a navy two-piece suit with some PENLEY black loafers, or a lighter biscuit shade with some HADDEN brown penny loafers. Alternatively, a pair of blonde sole Derbys, like the WINSTON, can ride that line between comfort and style quite nicely.