Stay stylish despite the seasonal heat.
Google the term “Should men wear flip flops?”, and you’ll be slapped across the face with a litany of headlines condemning the popular summer footwear.
“It’s time to ban flip-flops for men”, “Men’s flip-flops are a no-go”, “Why flip-flops are the worst shoes”, “Guys, it’s never OK to wear flip-flops”. Yikes.
So if we’re not allowed to wear flip-flops, what should we wear to the beach instead?
Sandals still expose your toes — the one thing that flip-flop haters despise most of all — but they’re a more mature, and positively on-trend, choice of summer footwear. Luxe sandals — we’re taking Gucci tiger-print sliders and Valentino studded black leather sandals — swept the European summer in 2017, while more restrained styles — from the classic Birkenstock two-strap to a range of smart leather slip-ons — are also enjoying a moment in the sun.
Want to conceal your toes, but still give your trotters some room to breathe? Opt for a woven sandal with a fine braid over the vamp and heel, usually made of a warm brown leather, that adds some flair to your beach wear. Fishermen and gladiator sandal styles also both offer that extra coverage with a weave of leather straps.
These are the canvas-top, rope-sole, toe-hiding cousins of flip-flops, offering the same level of comfort with a few bonus style points. Lightweight, quick-drying, casual, and available in a range of colours — the soft construction isn’t designed to wade through mud but is perfect to chuck on for a trip to the beach.
This is the most formal shoe on the list — defined by a chunky non-slip rubber sole and a moc toe — but boat shoes’ laid-back nautical vibe is perfect for the seaside, paired with some tailored shorts or a light pair of chinos and a breezy linen shirt to manage the shift from the sand to a beachfront bar.