Spring Series: Footwear
We couldn’t wrap up our spring series without talking about some essential footwear that we like in warm climates. We both love shoes, so we certainly have some thoughts about what you should sport on your feet when summer is in full bloom.
Loafers, more so than even denim, is a clothing item that I truly love, as seen in my collection pictured. They’re one of the most flexible types of shoes that work in many different scenarios, especially in the warm weather months. Loafers come in many different varieties, most of which can look great with shorts and a polo or t-shirt. Articles of Style has a great primer on types of loafers.
If you’re looking to get a good loafer for the spring/summer time, I recommend a pair of drivers. While they’re typically meant for, as you guessed it, driving, they look great when worn with shorts, and are typically best suited to be worn with no socks. And the slimmer the shoe, the better it looks. You want as snug a fit as possible, yet still being comfortable.
Cole Haan has solid options on the lower more affordable end of the spectrum. If you’re looking to spend a little more coin for better build quality and fit, I highly recommend Tod’s or Ferragamo’s.
They’re so ubiquitous, it’s almost a waste of space to bring ’em up. But we’re gonna anyway. Their styles are as varied as the shoes are prevalent. The “classic” style (pictured) typically features a brown leather upper, and two eyelets for short leather laces. However, like many of the versatile items we share on this site, boat shoes come in a variety of materials, colors, and styles.
How do you wear them? Well, pretty much any darn way you please. The only real rule is that you want to show ankle when you do – either sans-socks or with no show socks. There’s a great collection of different ways to style and wear them over at Fashion Beans.
Canvas shoes are the distant cousin of the sneaker. They’re another great option to wear in warm weather to wear with shorts and a t-shirt. What makes them different than typical sneaker are the details. They normally don’t have logos on them, and far less visual detail. And that’s a good thing if you’re wearing brighter colors up top so that you’re not attracting attention in too many different places within your outfit.
I own three pairs of canvas shoes. Two from SeaVeas and one from Tretorn. I tend to wear the Tretorn ones the most because of how thin the canvas material is and their comfort. It’s also a great shoe for the beach; it’s easy to get sand out, and they dry quickly due to the thin material.
Whether leather or canvas, a clean white pair of sneakers should be every man’s staple shoe in the summertime. Lightweight chinos, t-shirts, shorts, oxford cloth button downs, lightweight jeans, tank tops and even casual suits (at the right event) all pair well with a pair of clean white sneakers.
Not sure where to look? Start with theConverse Chuck Taylor All Star in classic white. Or even a pair of Vans Low Pro Era in white. And piggy-backing on above, if the typical boat shoe isn’t your style, I actually prefer and own a pair of these Sperry canvas sneakers.
A few thoughts on shoes...
There’s something that needs to be said – unless you’re going out for a run, Don’t Wear Running Shoes. There’s nothing stylish about the clunky rubber soles and heel and curved toe of the athletic trainers. Stick to wearing them in the gym. There are much more stylish options in the casual shoe territory that will leave you just as comfortable.
Since warmer weather leads to less clothing, apply that rule to your socks. All of the shoes mentioned above, and others, look great without socks, so give that a try. If you’re concerned about the sweat and smell, try a pair of no-show socks that sit below your shoe line.
Lastly, you’re going to be outside a whole lot more when it’s warm, and very likely wearing shorts. That means your shoes will stand on their own a bit more, so you need to make sure they’re clean. Especially white shoes. Every couple weeks (if not more often), give your shoes a clean. No point in showing off your good shoes if they’re covered in dirt.