Deciding which kicks constitute the best mens summer shoes is a little harder than you might think.
For a lot of us, the best men’s shoes are the ones that have qualities similar to the ones we want to have ourselves:
They’re good looking, sure, but they’re also tough, rugged, versatile and resilient.
The problem is that summer is the season when the livin’ is supposed to be easy.
That kick-ass pair of casual boots that you usually wear with jeans might look awesome in the autumn.
But it doesn’t pair well with the chino shorts, bright solid colors and lighter fabrics that you wear when the mercury rises and the temperatures get out of control.
Fortunately for those of us who want to look both laid back and masculine in warmer weather, all is not lost.
Even when you keep your focus narrowed to shoes that work well in warm weather, there’s still a pretty wide variety of styles to choose from, each of which can make you look sharp, stylish and dapper AF.
Below I’ve rounded up more than two dozen of my top picks for the best mens shoes for summer in a range of different colors, and categorized them based on both the type of shoe and the best occasion or situation in which to wear them.
The Best Mens Shoes for Summer
25 Cool Kicks to Help You Step Up Your Summer Shoe Game
(And before you ask, the answer’s no – flip flops don’t count!)
The Best Mens Summer Slip-On Shoes
Rounding up the best-looking loafers
When you think about it, there’s really no reason why summer should lend itself more to slip-on shoes than any other season.
You would think that the convenience of pulling your shoes on quickly and not having to bother with laces would be equally appealing at all times of year.
But for whatever reason, slip-on shoes like loafers have always had a distinctly summer vibe.
Maybe it’s because summer is the time for simplicity in all things, or maybe we just want it to be as easy as possible to slip our feet out of our shoes and into warm water or sand.
Either way, summer is a great time for casual shoes like a classic penny loafer (which just might be the perfect summer shoe).
Each of the options I’ve included below all invoke a classic style that will allow you to look sharp as you keep it simple on warmer days.
(But don’t worry, while these may be classic, they’re more classic-meets-modern; penny loafers make the cut, but I draw the line at tassel loafers.)
The Best Mens Summer Shoes for No Socks
A collection of dapper deck shoes and drivers
As a Canadian who has to keep his feet (and the rest of his body) wrapped up warm for much of the year, maybe the best part about summer is the ability to go sockless during our precious few warmer months.
There’s just something so appealing about skipping socks and sliding your foot directly into your shoes.
And something so freeing about slipping them off and going barefoot through the house, the sand, the water, or where ever you happen to be.
Perhaps the most versatile shoe for summer, deck shoes, also known as boat shoes, are hands-down one of the best summer shoes.
And they’re a perfect choice for foregoing socks because they were literally designed to be worn while barefoot.
But as someone who doesn’t find himself on a deck or in a boat very often, I also like to skip the socks while wearing other shoes.
I always skip the socks when I’m wearing driving shoes – which actually share a lot of the same qualities as boat shoes, but give off a less nautical vibe – and I’ve even been known to go sockless in both New Balance and Chuck Taylor sneakers.
I’ve included a few of my favorite sockless shoes below, but check out our round up of the best shoes to wear without socks to find (a lot) more options for everyday wear.
A (Stink-Reducing) Summer Style Tip:
If you like the sockless look, but just can’t stand to slide your bare foot directly into your shoes, try no show socks.
They help you achieve the same look while keeping your best summers shoes protected from sweat.
The Best Mens Summer House Shoes
Summer’s the perfect time to ditch your slippers
Here’s a little something about me you definitely didn’t know, and probably didn’t care to learn: my feet are always cold.
Even on hot summer days, when it’s 90 degrees and I’m perfectly comfortable stocking around the house in shorts and a t-shirt, my feet will be freezing if I don’t wear slippers or socks.
The trouble is that most slippers are made to be worn when the temperature is cooler, so they’re a little too insulated.
That means my feet go from feeling like they’re in the arctic to feeling like they’re in a sweaty sauna within a matter of minutes.
(Like I said: you probably didn’t care to learn this—but I swear, I’m getting to the point. )
That’s where house shoes come in.
Swapping out the thinsulate-lined slippers for lightweight, comfortable shoes I can wear indoors keeps my feet warm (to say nothing of stylish) without overheating.
The Best Mens Summer Dress Shoes
Think summer means sneakers-only? Think again.
In my round up of the most stylish types of shoes for guys, I pointed out that the sleeker a shoe is, the dressier it is.
According to this definition, “dress” shoes tend to have a sharper toe shape, a thin outsole/welt and neutral laces and eyelets.
And summer is the perfect time of year to wear any shoe that meets that description.
(They also usually come in darker shades, though it’s definitely not mandatory, and a lighter shade like tan can look great during the summer months.)
Since the streets are clear of the debris, sleet and snow that covers them from fall to spring, you can wear your most stylish kicks without having to worry that they’ll get damaged by the conditions.
Plus, because the rest of your outfit is likely to be more casual, throwing on any of the sleek pairs of dress shoes below will immediately elevate your shorts, skinny jeans, or whatever casual clothes you’re wearing.
The Best Mens Summer Shoes with Shorts
Hint: keep your vintage Jordan 1’s on the court
When it comes to pairing shoes with shorts, it’s important to choose a shoe that complements the rest of your wardrobe.
For instance, when you’re rocking casual wear like a plain white tee and a pair of shorts, a simple white sneaker is probably your best bet for a sharp casual look.
But if you’re wearing a button down shirt with a pair of crisp khaki shorts, a brown leather dress shoe will elevate the look, while a driving shoe or boat shoe could be a great option to make it a little more laid back.
Regardless of which shoe is right for your particular get-up, the key is to make sure your shoe sits below your ankle.
That means boots are definitely out, as are sneakers or athletic shoes that provide a lot of ankle support.
That is, unless you’re actually doing something athletic, in which case substance trumps style and you should wear the shoe that helps you perform your best.
Any of the options below should sit at the perfect place on your ankle (as will most of the options above, for that matter), and help you make the most of your summer style.
You Know the Best Men’s Summer Shoes
Now find out how to optimize your entire summer style
Now that you know which kicks constitute the best dressy and casual summer shoes, you should have no problem keeping your feet both looking and feeling cool when the weather warms up.
But even the best shoes can’t compensate if the rest of your outfit isn’t on-point.
To help you step up the rest of your summer style, check out our full guide to men’s summer fashion, where you’ll find everything you need to look sharp from head to toe.
More Resources ↓
More Men’s Shoe & Style Advice and Tips from Irreverent Gent:
- The 8 Most Stylish Types of Shoes for Guys
- The 9 Most Stylish Men’s Casual Boots to Wear with Jeans
- 17 of the Best Men’s Chukka Boots Available Online
- In-Depth Beckett Simonon Shoes Review
- The (Absolute) Best Shoes for No Socks
- The Best Men’s Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- The Most Stylish Shoes to Wear with Chinos
- The Best Shoes for Men to Wear with Joggers
- The Absolute Best Shoes (& Shoe Colors) to Wear with Khakis
- The (Absolute) Best Cap Toe Oxford Dress Shoes for Men
- The Best Red Bottom Dress Shoes for Men
- The Most Stylish, Comfortable & Best Shoes for Male Teachers
- The 25 Best Men’s Shoes for Standing All (Damn!) Day
- The (Absolute) Best Men’s Casual Shoes
- The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Summer Fashion
- The (Absolute) Best Monk Strap Shoes for Men
- The Most Stylish Shoes for Men to Wear with Jeans
- The 21 Best Shoes to Wear with Shorts
- The Most Comfortable Men’s Loafers
- The Best Casual Loafers for Men
- The 17 Most Essential Types of Shoes for Men
- The Most Comfortable Golf Shoes for Walking the Course
- The 9 Most Stylish & Comfortable Dress Shoes That Feel Like Sneakers
- The Best Italian Shoe Brands for Men