You wouldn’t wear a fur-lined parka in the desert in the middle of summer, would you?
When it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside, is the first thing you grab your heavy wool peacoat?
(I hope not… weirdo)
We generally switch out our thicker, heavier clothes when spring shows up, and in again when autumn rolls back around. Why wouldn’t we do the same with our shoes?
If this thought hadn’t yet occurred to you—and don’t worry, it’s not something we talk about often—let me present to you my favorite men’s summer shoes… 5 warm weather-appropriate pairs that are worthy additions to your closet!
Summer shoe #1: Espadrilles
If you’re like me, you’re heading for the nearest body of water as often as you can, just like every other spring and summer.
Espadrilles are the perfect shoe for these getaways.
The most common style consists of a flexible sole—traditionally made from Esparto rope, though modern versions most likely are made from jute or other natural fiber—plus a cotton or canvas upper.
Because of how espadrilles look and are designed, they’re best worn in tropical, warm-weather places—you’re not wearing these in Chicago in the winter—or when you’re on the coast, at the beach, or at the pool.
Soludos is an easy go-to for good-looking espadrilles in a variety of uppers, from canvas to leather (the leather versions are more “around town” appropriate).
Sea Star Beachwear reimagined the espadrille while keeping its aesthetic largely the same, making their version with a neoprene upper and a deck shoe sole.
Summer shoe #2: Knit sneakers
Here’s why a knit shoe is necessary for your summer wardrobe:
- It’s a great substitute for your go-to full leather sneakers
- It’ll keep you cooler as the weather warms up
- They’re super lightweight and flexible
- They’ll keep you comfortable even as your feet expand and shrink (totally happens as you move throughout your day!)
You can go with a classic tennis sneaker silhouette or a trainer with a more sporty look – you’re wearing these casually anyway.
Summer shoe #3: Tan leather loafer or double monk
The tan leather loafer—specifically one with an apron toe—or a sharp double monk (or both!) are the best possible additions to your lean wardrobe.
Not only do they go with suits and more formal-leaning outfits, they easily dress up a smart sharp casual look. You can wear them with jeans, chinos, dress trousers… the options are endless.
I love this tan, cognac color in particular because it’s a bit more fun than your typical dark brown or black, and much more appropriate in the spring and summer as well.
They work with all your menswear neutrals and your lighter-colored summer outfits. My favorite combo is a pair of tan leather loafers with white denim and a navy linen shirt or sport coat. Super crisp and sharp!
This penny and double monk from Ace Marks are the perfect examples.
The penny has a supple full-grain calfskin leather upper that’s been hand dyed and burnished and a leather sole featuring Blake Flex construction… super flexible and comfortable. And yes, you can resole them.
The double monk is from Ace Marks’ new Essentials line, with the same supple full-grain calfskin leather upper and a Blake-stitched rubber outsole.
By the way, thanks to Ace Marks for partnering with us on this article!
The brand is releasing two new lines, Signatures and Essentials, and the Essentials line is particularly noteworthy.
If you’re in the process of building out your Lean Wardrobe as we outline here on Effortless Gent, you’re gonna need a few pairs of dress shoes, and the Essentials line is right up your alley.
Every shoe in the Essentials line exists because they’re classics that belong in every man’s closet.
For the price, the quality is unmatched—you’re getting full-grain calfskin leather with flexible, Blake-stitched rubber outsoles (especially great when it’s slippery out) that can be resoled—all under $150!
If you don’t already have at least one pair of Ace Marks shoes, you need to check them out. Tap here to check out all the Ace Marks lines.
Summer shoe #4: Unlined Italian loafers
You may be wondering, “Why would I need two different loafers?”
The tan leather loafer from Ace Marks is perfect for the office, or worn with denim for dinner and drinks on the weekend.
This second loafer looks very similar, but is unlined, made from suede, and is much more casual yet still super sharp… think linen or light cotton pants, or even sharp tailored shorts with a linen shirt.
These loafers look perfectly at home on the coast, whether Miami or Positano, as well as in the city when the sun is beating down and you want to look sharp and put together… but they feel loose and laid back.
It’s not always easy to find the perfect lightweight, unlined, suede, apron toe loafer. The best I’ve seen recently is from Meermin (in the photo, first pair in the second row).
If you can get close—i.e. have most or some of these qualities: lightweight, unlined, suede, apron toe—then, good enough!
Summer shoe #5: Suede chukkas
The key word you want to remember for your summer clothes and shoes: Unlined.
Your sport coats should be unlined. Your loafers, unlined. And your chukkas too!
Chukka styles can vary, but the specific one I’m suggesting is lightweight, with an unlined suede upper and a crepe sole.
Leather uppers can work during the summer as well, just make sure the leather is soft and unstructured. So can leather soles (though they’re decidedly more dressy).
The best summer-friendly chukkas are lightweight, unlined, and unstructured.
You’ll love these with lightweight denim or cotton chinos around town, and they’re the perfect spring and summer traveling shoe (easy to slip on and off at the airport security line).
The Best Men’s Shoes For Spring and Summer!
Which ones are you adding to your wardrobe this season?
Thanks again to our friends at Ace Marks for partnering with us. Make sure to check out their new Signature and Essentials lines here.