Men’s summer shoes go beyond flip-flops

This spring and summer, changes in shapes and styles will be noticeable in the men’s shoe department. Read on for some alternatives from the typical summer flip-flop — some classic choices and a few new additions are in style.

Dress shoes:

If you’re looking to update your dress shoes, pay attention to small details like stitching that can alter the shoe’s overall aesthetic.

  1. Apron toe: The stitching on an apron-toe shoe runs forward toward the front of the shoe, meeting in the middle on top of the toes. If you have larger feet, the shorter seam formed by the stitch-line on an apron-toe shoe will make the feet look a bit smaller.

  2. Bicycle toe: The stitching on a bicycle-toe shoe runs forward toward the front of the shoe, ending near the sole (the side-seams do not meet on top of the toes). Opposite the apron toe, the long, continuous seam formed by the stitches on the bicycle toe shoe visually lengthens the foot, making smaller feet look larger.

Regardless of stitch-line, look for a dress shoe with a sleek shape; the toe-box should be slightly pointy, but not too pointy.

Boat shoes:

Boat shoes are a spring and summer shoe trend for both men and women in 2010. Although there are many different styles available, most boat shoes share similar design elements; a water-resistant leather upper and a rubber sole are typical materials. Many boat shoes also have leather laces that weave in and out around the heel of the shoe’s leather upper, tying in front near the tongue. Do pay attention to the lace’s eyelets — if you will be wearing your boat shoes near the lake or even in occasional rains, it is important to purchase a pair with rust-proof eyelets. For summertime, think about buying a lighter or brighter color of shoes. Dark colors or heavier, wintry materials look and feel too warm, especially under a hot sun in Kansas. Look for classic designs by Sperry and Banana Republic for a range of color and design.


For hot, muggy spring and summer days, espadrilles are an excellent option. Although espadrilles are primarily known to be footwear for women, newer designs can easily be integrated into a more masculine wardrobe. Lace-up, cotton or canvas espadrilles with rope soles are comfortable, attractive men’s shoes. Wear these casual shoes with denim pants or khaki summer shorts. Check out lines by Ralph Lauren and Cole Haan for some of my favorite designs.


Plimsoll athletic shoes are a simple, longstanding, classic athletic shoe. Plimsolls have a simple design — lace-up, canvas uppers with a rubber sole. These shoes have a comfortable, easygoing feel to them, and they are perfect for bumming around town or out at the lake. For the summertime, get a white or pastel version in the color of your choice to add a little character to your outfit. Although they are widely available, Keds, Urban Outfitters, and Converse are popular brands that all sell a wide variety of colorful or printed plimsoll tennis shoes.


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