If you follow us on Twitter then you know we’ve made our fair share of disparaging remarks about flip flops.
Hell, we’ve written an entire article on why they suck.
We also understand that it’s not enough to identify poor style choices. We need to recommend solutions too.
Well, we’ve done exactly that in this article.
Here are five casual shoe options for the summer season that will look about 100x better than any pair of flip flops that you will ever own:
Converse Jack Purcell
The popularity of Converse sneakers has ebbed and flowed for more than 100 years of the company’s history. Today, Converse sneakers are enjoying a bit of a revival in both men and women’s wardrobes.
What makes Converse sneakers so great is their simple, yet iconic design because let’s be honest, there really isn’t a whole lot to these shoes. Just a basic rubber sole with a canvas upper. No frills whatsoever.
While there are many different iterations of the basic Converse sneaker my personal favourite is the Converse Jack Purcell:
I like these shoes for several reasons:
- They are classic in design which means they will never go out of style.
- They are just different enough from the Chuck Taylors that you’ll never be confused for a hipster or a punk rocker.
- They are inexpensive. A pair of Jack Purcells will set you back about $60-$100 depending on the exact option you choose.
If you are clueless about casual sneakers the Converse Jack Purcell is a good place to start. It’s a classic shoe that will look good with just about anything in your wardrobe.
Vans have been around for about as half as long as Converse but they are just as (if not more) popular today.
And much like a pair of Converse sneakers what makes Vans so great is their dead simple design. In fact, the classic Vans sneaker is arguably even more basic in design than a typical pair of Converse.
While Vans has branched out and make a wide assortment of different styles my favourite will always be the Authentic:
Seriously, these shoes are about as simple as they get. The cool thing about the Authentic is that you can get them in just about any colour too. Also, since each pair will run you around $50 you could scoop up several pairs in various colours in order to keep your outfits looking fresh.
If you are in the market for a dead simple, uncomplicated canvas sneaker than the Vans Authentic is your best bet. You absolutely can’t go wrong with this shoe.
Seavees Hermosa Sneaker
Some of you may not be familiar with Seavees but they are another California based shoe company they have been around about as long as Vans.
Seavees is a fantastic company that makes some great warm weather casual shoes. My favourite Seavees sneaker is their classic Hermosa:
Again, like most other canvas sneakers the Hermosa is quite simple in design. However, what sets it a part from most other canvas sneakers are its little details such as nickel plated eyelets and waxed cotton laces.
Another thing that makes the Hermosa a bit different than the most other canvas sneakers is that the uppers are actually not made from canvas but rather from a washed linen material. It’s a slight difference, to be sure, but it does give the shoes a bit more of a textured appearance that looks fantastic in the summer time when worn with khakis and chinos.
The Hermosa sneaker comes in five standard colours (I’m partial to the grey pictured above).
You absolutely can’t go wrong with Seavees. They hardly ever make a bad looking sneaker.
Adidas Stan Smith
For those of you who love casual sneakers but want something a little bit more sporty than the options above, I recommend looking into a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths:
These are a fantastic casual sneaker option and a bit different than your traditional canvas sneakers or plimsolls.
A big reason why I like these shoes is that they don’t have the signature Adidas three stripes on the side. Instead, they have replaced them with three inconspicuous rows of perforations (apparently to improve breatheability). If you’re like me and are not a huge fan of logos or gaudy patterns this subtle touch is great.
Another key difference with the Stan Smiths is that they are made with leather uppers. No canvas material here. This makes caring for the shoes a little bit easier, especially if you use leather honey.
Adidas keeps pumping out different versions of the Stan Smith but my recommendation is to stick with the classic tennis white.
At retail these shoes will run you a little more than the other options I discussed above but if you wait for a sale they can be nabbed for around $75.
If you are huge into street style or urban active wear then the Stan Smiths are a no-brainer. An absolutely fantastic casual shoe.
New Balance 791
I know what you’re thinking, New Balance? Really?
But hear me out for a second.
The New Balance 791s are not like New Balance’s typical running shoes. These are casual sneakers, similar to the Stan Smiths:
You have to admit, they do look mighty fine.
And as you can see the New Balance 791s are definitely a sportier option. The ones you see above come in a suede/mesh upper with a rubber sole (although other options can come in leather). Not exactly ideal for inclement weather but you can still plenty of wear out them during the summer and early fall season.
I’m partial to the white on white look (which have just recently sold out over at J.Crew), but they also come in a variety of other great colours, including the pair you see above in armoury green.
If you lean towards a more sporty aesthetic, the New Balance 791s are a great choice. I hope J.Crew continues to keep these in stock, especially the white on white version.
With all these great casual shoe options available I really don’t know why any guy would ever want to wear a pair of flip flops again.
Gentlemen, you know the problem and now we’ve given you the solution (five solutions to be exact). Get rid of those crummy old flip flops and upgrade your footwear today.
Here’s to looking sharp!