Julie Rath: Free Your Feet — Summer Shoes

Even naked isn’t naked enough in the ridiculous heat and humidity we’ve been having on the east coast. In my last article, I listed hot weather survival measures for clothing and grooming, but this time shoes are on my mind. If you’ve never switched up your footwear when the temperature rises and your dogs start barking, I urge you to consider it. You’ll look more seasonally appropriate, and your feet will thank you. Read on for Rath-approved picks in 8 categories of summer footwear.

Men's Stylist: Espadrilles

1) Espadrilles
These stylishly nonchalant espadrilles from Castañer ($150) are an excellent alternative to flip-flops for those wanting more toe coverage.


Men's Stylist: Summer Shoes

2) Leisure Shoes
Ok, so this category is totally made-up. But the name fits these Riviera shoes ($80), doesn’t it? Don’t wear for anything other than leisure.

Men's Stylist: Sandals

3) The Mandal (if you dare)
If you’re a Rath & Co. client, you know I’m big into the messages that one’s appearance gives off. In the case of mandals, most of what I see around says, “I’m sensitive and I recycle.” While these are no doubt virtues, there’s no need to express them via your footwear. My suggestion: ditch the Velcro and bungee cords, and dial it back with a simpler, more classic version of the mandal, like the pair above from Alvaro ($295). When buying mandals, I highly recommend trying on in the store before committing. You need to see them on your feet in order to know if they’re going work for you.

Men's Stylist: Leather Flip Flops

4) Flip-Flops
Not ready to go full-mandal but still want to give those dogs some breathing room? Try a leather flip-flop like these from Olukai ($85). It’s classier than the rubber or fabric versions. Just promise you’ll only wear it for beach and pool.

Men's Stylist: J. Crew Bucks

5) Bucks
More office-friendly than the other options above, bucks work for casual to moderately dressy places of work like advertising agencies or web development firms. Wear a pair like the ones above from J. Crew ($198) with summery chino and seersucker suits or with button-up shirts and chinos.


Men's Stylist: Crockett & Jones Newquays

6) Buck Alternatives
If bucks are too much for you, try a casual lace-up sans rubber sole for a similar, but less statement-y look. I have my eye on these from Crockett & Jones ($505) for a couple of clients. They’re unlined and light weight which = summer perfection in my book.

Men's Stylist: Summer Shoes

7) Slip-Ons
Excellent with everything from a summer suit to shorts, these leather slip-ons ($150) are modeled after a traditional Indian sailing vessel, the Kishtee. Think of them as the cooler, older brother to your traditional deck shoe. They’re also great for travel because they’re so lightweight.


Men's Stylist: Casual Sneaker

8) Social Sneaks
These are the sneakers you don’t wear to the gym. I like the clean lines of Fred Perry’s Seabrights ($125) for a timeless look.


What’s your footwear of choice this summer? As always, I love hearing from you. Leave me a comment below, or if you’d like more tailored help with your summer footwear game, contact me.


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