Summertime is fast approaching, and with it, so too are days of extensive outdoor activity, fun, and function. Wearing your traditional closed-toe sneakers or boots is all fine and well — but as temperatures rise, there’s something about letting those feet “feel the wind” that’s inherently appealing. Obviously, you’re not going to be able to partake in the sensation with a pair of foot-hugging, fully-enclosed pieces of footwear, which means that you, as well as many others, will call on the iconic sandal for support.
But you’re not the type to adorn just any strap-clad model, no. You’re the renaissance man of summer style, and you’re looking for a sandal that’ll take on any environment, situation, and ecosystem with ease, while still looking refined and stylish. Naturally, this leaves us with a more stringent filter regarding variants that can be bought. It’s also a detriment to our overall search, meaning that we’ll have to spend a large amount of our time looking for reputable models from equally-reputable companies. To streamline your experience, we’ve decided to do the heavy lifting for you. Over the past week, we’ve scoured the web in search of the genre’s most interesting open-toe footwear samples, and we’ve stumbled upon quite a few that we think will tickle your fancy. So, throw on some shades and slather on the sunscreen, we’re about to waltz right into our guide on the best men’s sandals for summer.
Havaianas Men’s Brazil
Need a pair of affordable, low-profile sandals to throw on at the drop of a dime? Havaianas’ Men’s Brazil variant is the perfect offering, thanks to its simplistic, but timeless design. As you might expect, it’s fully synthetic, with a soft and sturdy architecture, a cushioned insole, and rubber outsole, providing ample traction on everything from the concrete sidewalk, all the way to the boat ramp. To round things out, Havaianas has gifted the sandal with the colors of Brazil, bringing a fiery Latin American feel to the summertime staple.
Birkenstock Arizona EVA
If you’re a fan of sandals, you’re likely well-acquainted with Birkenstock’s expansive catalog of offerings. Out of its robust selection of footwear, the Arizona EVA sandal stands out to us, thanks to it’s lightweight, shock-absorbing EVA foam construction, waterproof synthetic, and odor neutrality, meaning that you’ll be able to rock these bad boys all summer long, without having to worry about moisture, washability, or abnormal scents. The best part? Each example is modeled on Birkenstock’s revered footbed, offering a contoured, anatomical design that’s made its sandals the talk of the town in more than a few of the world’s most fashionable locales.
Vans UltraRange Tri-Lock
Who knew that Vans made an UltraRange Tri-Lock sandal? Apparently, a large portion of the menswear world. Despite its rarity, this great looking heel-strap variant is one of the most durable items on our list, thanks to its textile trappings, hook-and-loop straps, and a dual-density UltraCush Lite EVA footbed. If you’re planning on heading off the beaten path, or you’re looking for a more comfortable experience, overall, the shoe’s anatomical arch support is sure to please even the pickiest sandal connoisseurs. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Vans shoe without the legendary waffle outsole — incorporated here for unparalleled traction and versatility.
J.Crew Flip Flop
J.Crew’s ‘Flip Flop’ might boast one of the more unoriginal names in the genre, but that doesn’t mean that it’s anything short of glorious. Sure, it holds true to the brand’s original mission statement of minimalism and affordability, but it’s also a staple piece that pulls the most prominent traits from other sandals and gets rid of all the unnecessary fat. Like most of its summer-savvy counterparts, the Flip Flop takes on a nylon upper, rubber sole, and a cushioned foam footbed that’ll contour to your foot over time, making it a surefire pick for those who head to the beach on a regular basis.
If you’re a fan of the sandal genre, there’s no denying the importance and prolific nature of Adidas’ various offerings. The Adilette just so happens to be one of its most lauded. It was originally released all the way back in 1972, and since then, it’s remained relatively the same, with minimal design upgrades, improvements, or evolutionary traits. If that doesn’t give you an idea of the sandal’s timelessness, then maybe its long list of modern attributes will. The Adilette features a soft, textile lining, a contoured footbed, synthetic upper, and a tractable PU outsole, providing the utmost support and durability as you traipse around in the outdoors.
Chaco Chillos Slide
Chaco is relatively well-known for its genre-bending outdoor shoes, but when it comes to sandals, their expertise translates quite naturally. The Chillos Slide, for example, deviates from the utilitarian heel-strap offerings that the brand’s consumer base has become so accustomed to over the years, taking on an entirely new persona. But when it comes to comfort and quality, everything is as it should be — balanced. These ultra-light sport slides are engineered with your comfort (and health) in mind, calling upon LUVSEAT™ arch-support, a floating, blown-EVA construction, and vegan-friendly materials, giving you peace of mind whenever you slide these bad boys on for a day outside.
Teva Original Universal
Teva makes some pretty amazing sandals, and while many of their variants can be construed as overengineered, utilitarian, and overly-complex, the brand’s Original Universal strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and function. Marketed as an outdoor sport sandal, the Original Universal rids itself of the robust features and outsoles of the company’s alternative models, opting instead for a slim, all-terrain Vibram MegaGrip variant. This, coupled with an Ariaprene-lined midsole, quick-drying webbing, and an ultra-secure hook-and-loop closure, helps to set it apart from the genre’s less-dependable offerings. The cherry on top? Each example is crafted with vegan-friendly/plant-based materials, as well as recycled plastics to keep bottles out of our adored oceans and waterways.
Columbia earns the second “originality” title on our list with the “Sandal.” Despite its uninspiring name, this example touts a ton of character, holding true to the outdoor traits and design elements that have made its gear catalog so revered within the world of expeditionary travel. This practical variant is hydrophobic, meaning that you’ll never have to worry about soaked webbing if you decide to cross that creek or shallow waterway. It’s also been fashioned to promote the utmost comfort, should you decide to do so, thanks to its Techlite footbed, midsole balance cushion, and an Omni-Grip wet traction outsole that’ll help you to navigate wherever it is that you need to go.
Rainbow Premier Leather
Rainbow’s Premier Leather sandal boasts one of the most recognizable silhouettes around, and for good reason. Not only is the Rainbow sandal one of the genre’s most popular variants, but it’s also one of its most timeless, thanks to the brand’s near-perfect implementation of premium nubuck leather, parachute box-stitched toe pieces, and bonded nylon thread. It’s simplistic, but defined; minimalist, but marked; it checks off all the boxes for those who are looking to take their tasteful sandal game to the next level for some summertime shenanigans. But if you’re looking to get a bit froggy, you might be wondering if they’ll hold up to the genre’s more sporty examples? Without getting too deep into their reputation, the answer is yes — especially since they’re outfitted with a nonslip rubber bottom, which is rare on a traditional sandal silhouette.
Reef has made a name for itself on the most beloved beaches around the world, and even if surf might not be your thing, the company’s Draftsmen sandal is sure to knock you off your feet (in a good way). These great-looking variants take a page out of Rainbow’s book, adopting an aesthetically-pleasing leather construction/footbed, a comfortably-cushioned EVA midsole, and a patterned rubber sole to ensure adequate grip wherever you go. If you’re the drinking type, there’s even a bottle opener that’s been hidden within the sandal’s silhouette, which is sure to make you the go-to guy at your next kickback or friendly get-together.
Hari Mari Pier
Looking or a more refined take on the everyday summer sandal? Hari Mari has your back with the Pier — a nubuck-adorned variant that amplifies the attributes of the original, without looking too gaudy or outlandish. This top-of-the-line model brings a classic flip-flop silhouette to the table for those who want both water resistance and style, offering memory foam-lined straps, no-break-in MemoryFoamToe™ technology, and bespoke arch support, ensuring that you’ll be able to sport these pleasant footwear essentials all day.
Nike’s Canyon sandal wins our award for the most over-engineered model on this list, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more urban, but can still take on the trail or beach with ease, this is the example for you. It boasts an outdoor-inspired ACG-like design, a plush foam midsole, triple-strap closure, and a formidable outsole that looks like it could eat a treestump whole. Naturally, this means that its breathable upper, dual-density foam midsole and pronounced flex grooves will earn their keep in any city-type environment, while still being able to take on the trail at a moment’s notice.
Xero Shoes Z-Trail
Xero Shoes’ Z-Trail might look like a minimalist dream, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Inside of this sleek, slimline silhouette, wearers will find a 10mm-thick, non-elevated heel, promoting natural posture and alignment, a non-marking sole, water-resistant straps, and Z-style webbing, allowing you to don (or doff) the sandal in seconds. Whether you’re looking to wear them for yoga, rafting, paddleboarding, kayaking, or general, everyday walking, the Z-Trail will certainly impress, especially since it’s 76% lighter than virtually every other sport sandal on the market, without sacrificing any of its performance-focused traits.
Danner Lost Coast
Danner’s Lost Coast sandal might look a bit abnormal, but its comfortable orientation more than makes up for it. As one of the shoe industry’s most prominent heritage manufacturers, the company knows a thing or two about making the perfect piece of outdoor footwear, and that expertise shines through here. Not only does the sandal adopt the brand’s premium, full-grain leather, neoprene upper, and footbed, but it’s also been adorned with a lightweight, shock-absorbing Vibram EVA midsole, and a Black Sands outsole, providing unparalleled grip and traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
KEEN took a break from crafting some of the world’s most dominant outdoor shoes to create the quintessential sandal for summer. The result? The Uneek — an odd, cord-clad variant that’s here to question all your preconceived notions about what a sandal really is. It takes on an innovative upper, which is essentially a nylon core surrounding by a polyester-braided cord, to create one of the most adaptive models around. It also boasts a secure microfiber heel back, bungee-lacing system, and a “metatomical” footbed, gifting wearers with a personalized, molded feel. To round things out, a lightweight PU midsole and non-marking outsole join forces, providing ample comfort and traction throughout the Uneek’s life of wear.
You can’t make a sandal guide without Olukai, and in this case, you can’t make a sandal guide without their inclusion — two different times. We’ll start with the Nalukai — a full-grain leather example that takes stitching detail and refinement to the next level, thanks to its tasteful silhouette, microfiber lining, and an arch-supporting EVA midsole. As a result, wearers will be able to revel in their aesthetically-pleasing footwear choice, while still having peace of mind in terms of build quality, versatility, and readiness, while still taking part in the company’s lauded, comfort-focused design.
OluKai Malino ‘Olu
Olukai’s second appearance on our list comes in the form of the Malino ‘Olu — an interesting slide variant that brings island style to the typically-urban genre. It’s lifeguard-approved, and rightfully so, considering it boasts a handsome full-grain leather upper, microfiber material-lined straps, and an anatomical, molded polyurethane footbed, promoting correct posture as you make your way around your favorite beachfront locale. To round things out, the brand has included a subtle helping of embroidered branding and decorative stitching, letting others know that you’re down for the cause.
To finish out our list, we’re heading to the Land of the Rising Sun. Suicoke has been a subliminal staple in Japan for some time, and now, their influence has found its way overseas with the MOTO-VS — a wedge-type, Vibram-adorned model that pays homage to the country’s distinct style. It’s also got a cow suede and nylon upper, a utilitarian, dual-strap closure, and a comfortable, ergonomic footbed to ensure proper support throughout the day.
The 15 Best Men's Shorts For Summer
Nothing goes with a good pair of sandals better than some lightweight, breathable shorts. Find the perfect pair to match your flip flops on our list of the best men’s shorts for summer.
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