5 ESSENTIAL Men’s Summer Shoes To Own — Ignore The Rest!

by Barron Cuadro  |  in Accessories

When it comes to the best men’s summer shoes, you’re looking for pairs that are stylish, relatively lightweight, and breathable. So in this article, I’m laying out five of the best summer shoe styles you should own. These are all you’ll need!

We switch out our thicker, heavier clothes when spring shows up. And we switch them back in again when autumn rolls back around. Why wouldn’t we do the same with our shoes? After all, some shoes simply work better in the fall and winter, while some are more appropriate in the spring and summer.

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 shoes for summer… five warm weather-appropriate pairs that are worthy additions to your closet!

men's summer shoes like espadrilles or unlined loafers are perfect in warmer weather

Summer shoe #1: Espadrilles

Men's Summer Shoes: 5 Pairs Worth Considering for Spring and Summer - espadrilles
Left to right: Soludos, Sea Star Beachwear

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.

Soludos Espadrilles

An eco-friendly jute sole, easy-to-wear print, and blanket stitches that have just enough give to fit to your foot perfectly. Comes in several colorways.

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04/07/2023 08:52 pm GMT

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

If you’re not a guy who wants to show his feet in polite society, a knit sneaker is an easy, stylish way to switch up your shoe game for summer. Consider a pair in a light color for a cool, breathable feel and fit.

Megan Collins, Style Girlfriend

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!)
GREATS Royale Knit Sneakers

Classic tennis shoe silhouette in a breathable mesh fabric, perfect for warmer weather.

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04/07/2023 08:46 pm GMT
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

A refreshed Flyknit upper uses Flywire technology for support and breathability where you need it. Great for running, but also for casual days where you're walking a lot.

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11/01/2023 08:06 pm GMT

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 Single / Double monk

Men's Summer Shoes: 5 Pairs Worth Considering for Spring and Summer - tan leather slip on
Penny Loafer and Double Monk from Ace Marks

The tan leather loafer—specifically one with an apron toe—or a sharp monk strap (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.

Beckett Simonon Roy Loafers
$219, Made To Order

"When you want to go classic, but not as formal as an Oxford, the Roy Loafer is the shoe for you.... The Roys play it cool with cuffed jeans and shorts. They also get down to business when paired with a suit or dress pants." –Beckett Simonon

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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!

Summer shoe #4: Unlined Italian loafers

Men's Summer Shoes: 5 Pairs Worth Considering for Spring and Summer - unlined suede loafer
Top to bottom, left to right: Cole Haan, Hugo Boss, To Boot New York, Meermin

You may be wondering, “Why would I need two different loafers?”

The tan leather loafer above 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.

Meermin Loafers

Meermin carries a wide range of classic penny and tassel Goodyear welted loafers made of the best leathers available from world renowned Tanneries in France, the UK, and Italy.

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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 (bottom left in the photo).

If you can get close—i.e. have most or some of these qualities: lightweight, unlined, suede, apron toe—then, good enough!

Finally, you have to make the decision based off your lifestyle. For me, personally, I could go with just the unlined loafers since I don’t need a dressier pair for the office. Some folks may go to the office 5x a week and need a dressier option, in which case the more structured loafer is the way to go. And others will make good use of both options!

Summer shoe #5: Suede chukkas

Men's Summer Shoes: 5 Pairs Worth Considering for Spring and Summer - unlined suede chukka
Top to bottom, left to right: Clarks, John Varvatos, Trask, Gordon Rush

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).

Frequently Asked Questions about Men’s Summer Shoes

What shoes can men wear in the summer?

If your goal is to look hot but stay cool (zing!), wear espadrilles, knit sneakers, or unlined loafers. Espadrilles offer casual flair, knit sneakers can provide that breathability, and leather loafers boast laid-back sophistication. Each style brings something different to your warm-weather ensemble. Whatever you choose, make sure to find models that are breathable, stylish, and comfortable.

What shoes do I wear with a suit in the summer?

For a sharp summer suit look, consider leather or suede loafers. Loafers give off an air of effortless elegance. Leather or suede brogues, with their perforations, can help to keep your feet cool while maintaining a polished look.

How do you wear sneakers in summer?

If your feet get hot in regular leather sneakers, try those same styles in a lighter, breathable mesh material. Pair them with tailored shorts or chinos and a crisp tee or casual button-up. No-show socks will give you the cleanest look, but crew socks with a sportier sneaker also looks great.

The Best Men’s Shoes For Spring and Summer!

Which ones are you adding to your wardrobe this season? Let me know on Instagram.

What’s changed?
04/23/2023Updated links, added / updated text
08/22/2022Updated text, added / updated links
03/28/2019Original publish date