Which Men’s Shoes are Missing from Your Summer Wardrobe? Here’s Our List of the Best Men’s Shoes for Summer.

Written by: Jeremiah Greco

Men's Brown Leather Sandals

Oxford Shoes

Why: Dress up corporate casual, or go semi-formal.
Where: Dinner downtown or a semi-formal wedding.
So you’ve opened up that outside wedding invitation or need a new pair of comfortable shoes for the office? Men’s oxford shoes have long been a staple of style – since at least the 1800s – and with a variety of designs to choose from, you can go dressed-up casual with a pair of brown leather brogues, or pair a pair of black oxford shoes with a tux for the most formal events.

Brown Leather Brogue Oxfords
Sperry® Gold Cup Brogues
Photo via orvis.com

If you’re going to go with one pair of oxford shoes for your summer wardrobe, pick up a pair of the former. With the right pair of brown leather brogues – you can dress up a pair of khakis, or even complement a light-colored suit, for a semi-formal wardrobe with agile style.

The Boat Shoe

Why: Simple versatility.
Where: Beach to BBQ, office or a casual diner.
Originally developed to provide a grippy, water-repellent shoe to recreational sailors, the moc-toe, rubber sole, leather upper boat shoe [/mens-sperry-shoes](also known as deck shoes or topsiders) launched into mainstream style in the 1980s. These days, whether you’re close reaching off of Newport, or tending to the grill at a summer party, boat shoes are an easy go-to style choice for men. Their simple design pairs well with virtually any summer outfit, and their slip-on ease and athletic comfort means walking around town all day, or slipping in and out of them at the beach comes without hassle. Plus, since they were designed for wet conditions on the deck of a sailboat, they’re meant to be worn without socks – the perfect summer look.

Red and Blue Sperry Topsider Boat Shoes

Like “rollerblading” or “kleenex”, the Sperry brand is synonymous with men’s boat shoes. And rightly so, as Paul Sperry was the originator of the modern style of boat shoes back in 1935. Sperry’s Topsider models have been featured in runway shows, while at the same time been worn by the world’s best sailing team. With a pedigree like that, adding a pair of Sperry boat shoes to your summer shoe lineup is a no-brainer. The only tough part is choosing which style. Laces or laceless, from classic brown leather, to brighter designs, you’re sure to find a pair that complements your own distinctive style. Slip-on and enjoy your summer. For the entire history of Sperry Topsider Boat Shoes, check out our latest Topsiders post.

Slip-on Shoes

Why: Socks are for the other nine months of the year.
Where: Seatown explorations. Anywhere casual reigns.
Like boat shoes, slip-on shoes deliver easy comfort and simple style. Slip-ons however vary in design between styles. Where boat shoes can be dressed up, slip-ons are more about keeping your feet comfortable as you enjoy whatever the summer throws at you. And with most slip-ons featuring an anti-microbial lining, you can wear a pair sockless all summer without the worry of unwelcome odor.

Men's Merrell Jungle Moc
Merrell® Jungle Moc
Photo via orvis.com

King of versatility and utility in the slip-on shoe market is certainly the Merrell Jungle Moc. A favorite of adventure athletes and errand-runners alike, the Jungle Moc’s beefy sole provides stability when walking your dog on a root-filled forest trail, while packing in a soft footbed for cushy comfort and a clean design that pairs with jeans, khakis or shorts.

Hiking Shoes

Why: An active summer demands sturdy all-weather construction to protect your feet.
Where: Trail days, rainy days, yard work days.
When you spend your summers outside, your feet are going to eventually need more grip, protection and stability than a sneaker can provide. Hiking shoes are designed for hiking or running over varied terrain, but shouldn’t be relegated to the trail. From cleaning out that brush you’ve been meaning to get at in the back of your property, to making a run into town on a muddy, rainy day, the right pair of men’s hiking shoes can give your wardrobe a versatile piece of footwear that’ll protect your feet when the conditions demand a little extra.

Merrell All-Out Blaze Hiking Shoe

Merrell’s AllOut Blaze hiking shoes [/p/merrell-allout-blaze-hiking-shoes/10ja] have long proven their merit in durability and style. With clean designs and all of the right features in all of the right spots – like Vibram® outsoles for slick, rocky surfaces – these hiking shoes are a necessity in any active man’s footlocker. So remember this summer, when the going gets tough, the tough get… hiking shoes.


Why: Free air-conditioning and timeless style.
Where: Beach, backyard and beyond.
Flip-flops, slides, wraps, closed-toes and every style in between – sandals are not only the earliest form of footwear in the archaeological record, but they remain one of the favorite summer choices to keep your feet happy when the weather warms up. While men’s sandals do come in a variety of colors and materials, a simple pair of brown leather sandals will give you more opportunities to wear them beyond the beach.

Men's Brown Leather Flip Flops

While men’s sandals as a whole lean on the casual side of the spectrum (with flip-flops and adventure sandals being the most casual) a pair of closed-toe brown leather sandals can be dressed up with khakis for an outdoor dinner, or cruise ship entertainment. Want to find the perfect pair of men’s sandals for any occasion? Check out our latest post featuring casual, dress and adventure sandals.

Summer brings with it a variety of footwear opportunities. With these five men’s shoe styles, you can have the right pair for the right occasion without investing too much time or money in your style choices.

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