It’s sandal season, at last, and summer 2021 is giving us all lots of new reasons to roam — whether that means hitting the trail or sauntering stylishly into a friend’s yard. Whether you’re looking for comfortable men’s sandals that give you that Big Lebowski chill-out vibe or for something edgier for scoring just-down-from-Mount-Olympus style points, we’ve found the sandal for you. And if what you want is a sporty sandal or water shoe that’s all about durability, tread, and adaptability, we’ve got you covered you too. But first, a public service announcement of sorts: Summer’s the time to let your feet breathe, but before you let them breathe, give them the attention they need.
Celebrity groomer Marissa Machado has worked with style-conscious guys like Rami Malek and Zachary Levi. And when it comes to men and sandals, she doesn’t mince words.
“I truly believe that if a man is going to show his feet, they need to be presentable,” says Machado. This means, guys, go get your toes handled. “Men can go to any nail shop for a pedicure,” says Machado.
If the process is not your style, she suggests a DIY method: Fill a large bowl or bucket of sorts with hot water and a pinch of epsom salt and soak for about 5 to 7 minutes. After your feet are good and soft, clip nails to the desired length. She also suggests using a cuticle pusher and clipper to clean up dead skin around the toenails. To finish, file the nails for smooth edges and you’re sandal-ready.
Foot management aside, when shopping for men’s sandals, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends you opt for leather ones because they minimize blister potential. Make sure your feet fit snugly and don’t hang off the edge. And don’t wear open-toe sandals when walking truly long distances, because many don’t offer enough shock absorption or support.
That being said, the following men’s sandals can handle all of summer’s fun, give your feet some breathing room, and look the part when you are just hanging out with a mojito.
All-Terrain Men’s Sandals for Summer
This exemplary water shoe is fit for any summer adventure. Keens are famously hardy, well-crafted, and adaptable, and the Newport H2 is no exception. It comes in 16 different colors and patterns, so there's room for sandal traditionalists and rebels alike. Ventilated straps mean fast dry-time, and razor-siped soles give traction in and out of the water. You can throw the whole shoe in the washing machine.
The Mountain Goats earn their moniker — they're minimalist, have a barefoot feel, and are ultra high-functioning. Each pair is handcrafted in California from goatskin leather, with a Vibram Newflex and Morflex minimalist sole that is secured to the foot through a sophisticated three-way lacing system that's infinitely adjustable. They're supportive and oh-so-comfortable.
If you're looking for a simple, toe protecting men's sandal that has great arch support as well as cushion, the Hopara is best for you. The sport sandal is great for hiking or long walks, and are so comfortable you can wear them all-day. Consider them akin to crocs — only better looking.
Teva sandals have been gripping slick rocks and hitting the trail since 1984. The Hurricanes perform across all terrains, whether you're hiking a dusty track or fording shallow creeks. The quick-dry webbing is tough as nails but comfortable over the long haul. They're also vegan-certified and made from plant-based materials and recycled plastics, as are all Tevas.
With a plush footbed that keeps your foot secure as if it were in boot and a tough outsole that can eat up the trail, this sandal has the pedigree of a serious shoe -- the Cloud series adds an extra ultra-soft layer immediately underfoot. The classic Chaco fit system means the sandal is customizable to ensure the sandal does not flop around when you're out on a serious hike. Good to note: The strap system can take some futzing to adjust and some people simply do not like the feel of the big toe loop.
These sandals don't look like much, but they're actually meant for action. They're your sandal if you plan on hiking, running, doing yoga, rafting, or kayaking. They're flexible enough to roll up and fit in your pack.
Damn we love these Chaco sandals, which also double as hiking shoes. They're all-terrain but still provide that going-barefoot feel, and make a smooth transition from land to water to drinks. A mesh upper allows your little piggies to breathe; synthetic overlays offer toe protection. The midsole is antimicrobial so your feet don't smell. Minor nitpick: We only wish the heel strap was a bit tighter.
All-Occasion Men’s Sandals for Summer
Few sandals feel as cushy and natural on your hard-working feet than Birkenstock, thanks to the iconic brand’s cork footbed that molds to the idiosyncrasies of your feet the more you wear it while still supplying lots of support. Always comfortable, eternally relevant, a summer staple.
A sporty leather sandal that can do it all -- polished-leather finish for classic summer style paired with ultra-comfortable fit. Padded elastic straps and easy Velcro fasteners make these sandals a breeze to throw on or kick off, and the EVA outsole is ultra-lightweight. These are your all-summer sandals.
These fair-trade, handmade slippers are crafted by an artisan's collective in Athani Village, India. Woven leather straps use a traditional Indian pattern for comfortable fit that molds to your foot's unique shape over time. A cushioned footbed and crepe-rubber soles make these worthy of the long haul.
Famous for the desert boot, Clarks has been making comfortable, practical footwear for men for nearly two centuries. Soft, medaled leather keeps straps from chafing and mold to fit feet perfectly over time. Cushioned sole with leather footbed makes for a soft, comfortable base for summer strolling.
Founded in the Mediterranean, on the island of Mallorca in the 1970s, Camper shoes put Spain firmly on the modern shoe map. Classically designed but with irreverent touches, these are comfortable enough to wear every day with jeans or shorts, but formal enough to pair with a linen suit.
Nostalgic for Doc Martens but don't want to go full-combat or sweat your feet to death? The brand's Gladiator sandals offer the perfect compromise -- a summer sandal with the slightest edge. Despite its title, the Gladiator is soft underfoot -- it comes with Doc Martens' legendary air-cushioned sole -- and 100 percent vegan.
A timeless sandal — this one's Italian-made — that's been workshopped to perfection over centuries in the Mediterranean and beyond. The design offers all the airiness and kick-off ease of a flip-flop, while looking formal enough for any out-of-doors occasion. With flexible rubber sole, and smooth-finished leather construction.
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