I don’t know about you, but where I live the weather this past week has been incredible: mid 70′s and up into the 80′s. Suddenly my Katahdin boots aren’t so practical anymore, so it’s time to pull the summer shoes out of the closet. In the market? Let’s discuss a few different style of shoes that won’t keep your feet sweaty all summer.
1.) The simple, classic sneaker
If you’re looking for your first pair of summer footwear, you should consider the classic sneaker first. They’ll take you to the beach, to the quad, into town, and to class (if they’re not too beat up). Plus, they’re inexpensive at about $40-$60, and since they’re still sneakers, they won’t stick out in the high school or college crowd. Stick with white: they are extremely versatile, and look great with both pants and shorts. Some brands to look at are Jack Purcell, Superga, Tretorn, and Vans. Wide-footed folks should look at Sperry (see my review here!), Tretorn, and LL Bean.
2.) Boat shoes
You probably already know about this one. They seem to be everywhere nowadays.
Boat shoes have a preppy air about them (JFK wore them), so be aware of that before you slip them on. They’re relatively inexpensive, between $50-$100. Keep them dark, simple, and sleek – there are a lot of boat shoes out there that look very clunky and unattractive. Remember that boat shoes are strictly summer wear; they’ll look ridiculous in the fall or winter. Stick to Sperry’s and maybe Sebago. LL Bean’s looks pretty good, too. And please, DO NOT wear them with socks.
2.5.) Blucher mocs
If boat shoes are too ubiquitous for you, check out LL Bean’s Blucher Moc or their Signature model. The price is right, and are different enough to set you apart. I’ve owned a pair for a little over a year now, and I’m very happy with them. Unlike boat shoes, you can wear them into the fall. The leather tends to crease and wrinkle fairly easily, so I’d advise taking care of them with shoe trees and the occasional conditioning. You shouldn’t really wear socks with them, but if you know what you’re doing I’d say give it a shot in the cooler months.
3.) Penny loafers
Similar to boat shoes, penny loafers are very “trad” and preppy, so can be difficult to pull off. I’m not a fan, but I know some people love them. Unlike 1.) and 2.), you’re going to have to spend a bit more to get a nice pair. Look for a pair like the one’s pictures above, and feel free to go darker brown. Be aware that shiny or glossy leather is more formal and preppy. Browse around eBay for Allen Edmonds loafers and you may be able to snag a pair for about $50 that way. And guess what? No socks.
I’m not a big fan of flip flops. To the beach or into dorm showers they’re okay, but let’s be honest: no one wants to see you’re ugly feet. They’re so casual that they easily look sloppy. Enter the espadrille. They are a classier alternative that you won’t see many wearing, and are just as easy to take to the beach as into town. A little more fashion forward and European, but espadrilles have a long and interesting history. Check out Ropeysoles for a pair and to read up about them. Sorry, my wide-footed friends – I’ve had no luck in finding espadrilles in wide.
5.) Other styles…?
The previous 4 (and 1/2) styles should cover you for most of your needs. To be really minimalist, a pair of sneakers and a pair of boat shoes/blucher mocs are really all that you need for most summer occasions. If you’re looking to break into the fashion arena, take a look at wingtips. Thread & Salt’s pair of summer wingtips look pretty sweet.
And that about wraps it up.
Got any questions about this? Unsure about a particular pair of shoes? Feel free to ask in the comment section below.