One of my favourite scenes from the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love, is when Ryan Gosling’s character (Jacob) asks Steve Carell’s character (Hal) about his shoes. In the movie, Carell’s character is wearing an awful pair of New Balance athletic sneakers, to which Gosling’s character takes such great offence that he gets Hal to take them off so that he can throw them away. Gosling’s character then admonishes Carell (Hal) for committing such a grave style sin.
Since I can’t do that in real life, I’ve decided to provide you guys with my 5 great casual shoe options for the warm weather season instead:
Canvas SneakersThe first option is not only the easiest to wear but arguably the most versatile as well. I’ve actually written about them before on my website.
The canvas sneaker (also known as a plimsoll), is a type of athletic shoe made up of a canvas upper and a rubber sole. They are usually very simple in design and can come in a variety of different colours. A good example of a plimsoll sneaker is the popular Converse All Star sneaker (commonly referred to as “Chucks” or “Cons”). I’m sure many of you are familiar with this type of shoe as almost everyone and their grandma owns a pair nowadays.
The simplicity of the canvas sneaker makes it an excellent warm weather casual shoe that can be paired with jeans, chinos, or even shorts. Just remember that if you are going to wear them with shorts don’t wear any socks (or wear “no show” socks).
Another great casual footwear option for the warm spring and summer months are boat shoes (also known as deck shoes or topsiders). These shoes are typically made of a canvas or leather upper with a specially designed rubber sole that is meant to provide extra traction on a wet boat deck. A good example of a boat shoe would be the popular Sperry Topsiders seen on countless men and women today.
In my opinion, boat shoes are great substitution for flip flops or sandals. They look great with a pair of chinos or shorts, especially when you are relaxing at the beach. Personally, I don’t think they work well with denim although I have seen plenty of guys attempt to pull it off with varying degrees of success. My recommendation would be to wear them with a pair of casual chinos or shorts (no socks) anytime you find yourself in an aquatic environment.
Let’s say you love the idea of a slip on shoe such as the boat shoe, but you’re just not feeling the whole nautical vibe. Are there any other options?
My recommendation would be to look into a driving moccasin, which is a variation of the Native American moccasin shoe. These types of shoes are typically made of some kind of soft leather such as suede or deer skin, with the driving moc having the addition of rubber tabs on the sole. This gives the driving moc a little extra versatility over the traditional moccasin.
The driving moc is actually intended to be worn casually around the house and are a popular shoe for driving and walking due to their flexibility and comfort. As such, I wouldn’t recommend them as being a work horse shoe in your rotation. Instead, I think they are a perfect for those backyard barbeques and other outdoor get-togethers with family. Also, they come in handy when you need something to slip on in a pinch so you can run out to the grocery store.
Let’s say you are in the market for something different than your run of the mill canvas sneaker or boat shoe. Maybe you want to branch out and try something different.
In that case, I would recommend you look into a pair of espradilles, which are a type of casual shoe made from a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a rope sole. Although modern renditions of this shoe are predominately made for women, companies have now started to manufacture more styles for men.
Depending on the overall style of the shoe I think espradilles can be a great option. However, I do find some versions to be a little too dainty (for lack of a better term) for men. Fortunately, some of the newer styles I have been seeing actually look quite good and are not too far off from your basic canvas sneaker. My advice would be to look for something with a bit more heft to them in a neutral colour. They will be the easiest to pull off with a pair of shorts, denim, or chinos.
I’ve talked about desert boots before on my website, but I think it’s important to mention them once again as they are a great option for the spring and summer months (although I like to wear them year round, weather permitting).
The original desert boot was inspired by what British Army Officers were wearing back in the 1940’s – crepe-soled, rough suede boots. The initial design of the boots has hardly changed, although desert boots can now be made from a variety of materials including leather and canvas.
The great thing about desert boots is that they can be worn with almost anything (aside from maybe shorts, although that hasn’t stopped men from trying). In my opinion, the desert boot is also a step up in formality from all of the other options discussed above. As such, I think it does a better job of balancing out a jacket and tie than a pair of canvas sneakers or boat shoes.
There you have it, 5 great warm weather casual shoe options that will keep you stylish and cool as the weather continues to heat up.
Here’s to looking sharp!