We’re making a fresh case for men’s footwear this summer. Yes, even Crocs.…

Summer footwear
Finlay Renwick

Free your feet from scorn (and socks). It’s time to find the perfect summer footwear…

Apart from, perhaps, some dark and distant corners of the internet, as a general rule men’s feet don’t tend to be terribly popular. Nobody despises elbows. Hands can be quite nice, but feet are often seen as the ogre under the body bridge. Put them in socks, hide them in shoes and pretend they’re not even there.

But how about handling a little problem like summer? Or a holiday? Or a summer holiday? Men’s warm-weather footwear options can mostly be narrowed down to some trainers, a loafer or a pair of flips flops if you happen to be near a body of water. It can all feel a bit dire at times. At least in winter we can wear shoes that we actually like (forget about all of the rain), but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t warm-weather options out there.

There are always options.

Men's summer footwear

Hear me out with this one… Crocs.  Okay, they may not exactly scream style guru, but if there’s another shoe that has sold 700 million pairs worldwide and can unify a clientele as diverse as toddlers, chefs, Justin Bieber and Whoopi Goldberg then I’m yet to see it. Crocs are perhaps so uncool that they’ve come round full circle. Balenciaga have made a special high-fashion version and the shoe's inherent practicality speaks of a wider trend toward both outdoor-focused gear, and comfort and function (not many other shoes have a special Sport Mode strap on the back). True, they’re not exactly flattering on big feet, but there are some more refined silhouettes cropping up, which can even solve that issue.

If you’d rather get eaten by an actual crocodile rather than wear a pair of Crocs, then a clog – or mule if you’re feeling fancy – is an ideal summer shoe that gives the comfort and general airflow of a sandal, while allowing your toes to be covered. It’s also just as acceptable to wear on the pavement as it is on a train.

First launched in 1972, the Birkenstock Boston, once a gardener’s best friend, is now the benchmark of unisex summer footwear, and for good reason. Made in Germany with a proper cork footbed and everything from rubber to supple suede uppers, the Boston is a shoe that is versatile, durable and very, very comfortable, but also won’t leave you looking like a big baby, which is always something to keep in mind when getting dressed.

Finally, another favourite is a classic two-strap buckle sandal in a muted colour. Birkenstock know what they’re doing here too, of course, but some of my favourites come from Northampton shoemaker Grenson, whose (leather) bread and butter is a classic winter derby, loafer or boot, but they’ve also created a great summer sandal shape with a bit of a tread on the sole. 

And how about socks with your sandal or clog? Maybe that’s a heated debate for another day.

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