What Shoes To Wear To The Beach Instead of Thongs?

Categories Fashion

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?

Slip-on sandals

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.

Woven sandals

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.

Boat shoes

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.