When the summer swelter hits, the best sandals for men allow you to embrace the heat with open arms. Or, er, open toes, anyhow. But what separates the best men’s sandals from the sloppy slip-ons your pops used to flop around in? It’s all about finding that perfect balance of form and function. You want a pair of sandals with plenty of arch support and cushioning, but they also need to stand out for all the right reasons. Whether they’re dressy and cut from high-quality leather or outdoorsy with a practical rubber sole, the absolute best sandals for men should be versatile enough to take you from the beach to the bar and never once feel out of place. If you’re looking to set your toes free in style this summer, these 21 essential, heatwave-ready sandals, slides, clogs and (gasp!) flip-flops are the best place to start.
The Best Overall Sandals
You were expecting something else? Birkenstock has reigned atop the sandal world for well over two centuries for a reason: a beyond perfect blend of comfort, quality, and style. Their sandals are handcrafted in Germany using top-tier leathers and suedes atop a cushion-y cork footbed that moulds to your feet over time. They fit it into every style camp, whether you’re some version of normcore, outdoors enthusiast, high-fashion snob or hypebeast. The Arizona is Birks’ most iconic model, and whether they’re your first or your 45th, it’s high time you slipped into a new pair for summer.
The Best Budget (Expensive-Looking!) Sandals
Breezy, dressy, ready to be paired with slick shades and some manner of frozen alcoholic beverage, these huarache-style sandals from Deer Stags look more expensive than they actually are. That’s mainly thanks to the intricately woven uppers, which happen to be crafted from genuine leather—an absolute steal at a price this low. Wear ’em the way you would a killer pair of loafers: with shorts, with jeans, hell, maybe even with a suit.
The Best Indoor-Outdoor Sandals
Love the look and feel of your leather Birks, but bummed you can’t get ’em wet? Here’s your solution: the classic Arizona silhouette molded from waterproof, washable, ultra-lightweight EVA (a.k.a. the same stuff Crocs are made from). They’re affordable, durable, and a great hang whether you’re lounging poolside or sunning on the beach.
The Best Out-of-Office Sandals
If you can’t book a one-way ticket to the Mediterranean, these espadrille-inspired sandals might be the next best thing. From the jute outsoles to the criss-crossing suede straps, everything about them is screaming to be teamed with wide-leg linen pants or the shortest of swim trunks while strolling along a serene and secluded beach.
The Best Waterproof Sandals
When you’ve crushed a massive workout and are ready to hit the showers, these heavenly cushioned sandals from OOFOS will treat your dogs right. Depending on your general feelings about Yeezy slides, you might also be inclined to rock these bulbous beasts out in public. They’ll work wonders no matter which body of water you’ve chosen to kick back at.
The Best Trail-Ready Sandals
Fill your Nalgene and pack up that trail mix, because Chaco’s legendary Z/1 sandals are ready for a hike. They’re plenty handsome, sure, but the real appeal here is the 4×4-level sturdiness: the cushy treaded soles are built to handle all manner of rough terrain, while the adjustable straps will keep them securely to feet whether you’re scrambling up a craggy trail or wading through a creek. Or, if your idea of a “hike” is a trip to the grocery store or a park hang with the homies, pull ‘em on with some vibrant socks, flowy pants, and a hoodie for maximum vibes.
The Best Closed-Toe Sandals
Toss a huarache, a desert boot, and a mule in a blender, and you get these sophisticated beauts. Handmade by Indian artisans using supple water buffalo leather and impossibly plush goatskin, they’ll mould to your feet for an even more comfortable fit down the road. Add the cloud-like crepe soles to the mix, and these might just be the single-most comfortable sandals on the list. They’ll bring a touch of worldliness to whatever you wear ’em with, be it a breezy camp shirt and shorts or a pique polo and crisp trousers.
The Best Dressy Leather Sandals
If there’s such a thing as a “formal sandal,” you’re looking at it. Àlvaro’s crafts its artful sandals from fine leather in its Florence workshop, and the tastefully pared-down designs feel just right for all manner of tailored wear.
The Best Sandals for Flip-Flop Devotees
We’re noted fans of Hoka One One’s cloud-like recovery slides, but the ‘tween-the-toes version is every bit as powerful. If you just can’t give up your flip-flop habit, take these smooth-driving convertibles out for a spin.