Have you ever stepped up to your closet and realized you’re missing a crucial piece of footwear? Believe me when I say I’ve been there, and in my experience, it’s tough to successfully head to the beach or the pool without a pair of stylish sandals for men. Sure, they’re easy to slide into, but they also deliver crucial performance (like gripping a slippery pool deck), and a dash of easygoing style.
These days, sandals can be as stylish and as comfortable as sneakers, a far cry from the bargain-bin flip-flops found at beach stores.
We here at WERD think you should do the “hard” work in advance and make it easy on yourself and your feet by picking up a pair of the best men’s sandals. Personally, I prefer a pair with both built-in technology (again, a grippy sole comes to mind) and a touch of style that even allows them to look great away from the water, back on the boardwalk.
Options abound, some incorporating subtle style, some incorporating technology to rival athletic sneakers, and some that do just a bit (and more) of both.
There are sandals meant for hiking and meant for lounging, for instance, but they’re all meant for laidback, useful style in their own way. These are my favorite pairs of sandals to step into this season.
OluKai sandals have rich Hawaiian heritage, to be sure, but it’s the use of water-resistant straps and a surprisingly lightweight design that take these durable sandals to the next level. Plus, they’re built on an EVA footbed for a design that’s flexible, grippy and made to last.
Of all the places one might think to wear sandals, stepping onto sandy shores is assuredly one of them–and OluKai, with a moniker that blends the phrases “comfort” and “ocean” knows this all too well, in the best way possible. This pair blends touches like water-resistant straps with an EVA footbed for plenty of comfort all day long.
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally drawn to sandals made from rich leather for an added dash of heritage style. If you feel the same way, REEF sandals are for you.
The surf-inspired brand makes sandals that check all the proper boxes you could hope for in one of the best pairs on the market, starting with a premium leather upper made using top-rated leather.
Their careful design approach carries through to the midsole made from recycled sugarcane. Make sure this pair is in your weekender bag, without a doubt, the next time you embark on a beach vacation.
For as much as Nike puts into the brand’s classic and highly functional athletic sneakers, the brand also makes plenty of casual off-duty gear to help athletes and enthusiasts recover in equal measure. In my experience, Nike doesn’t skimp on quality or sleek style, even outside of the company’s typical training gear. In fact, Nike sandals were one of the first pairs I bought on my own as a young athlete in my training days.
These sandals, in a subtle black design, are the perfect choice after you’ve put in hours in the gym wearing Nike sneakers. Plus, they’re priced well under $50, so you can save a few hard-earned dollars in the process.
Out of all the ways in which you can wear a pair of sandals, stepping out onto the hiking trail might not be the first thing you dream up–and yet, that’s where KEEN comes in with the exceptionally well-designed KEEN Targhee III.
I trust the brand’s durable hiking boots to get me from point A to point B to locations well beyond the trail. That same approach in terms of durability, rugged appeal and comfortable footwear technology holds true with (perhaps) the ultimate pair of hiking sandals.
They feature dependable lug traction on the outsole for a smooth ride underfoot, plus a waterproof leather upper for all-day wearability.
Some pairs of sandals immediately call to mind relaxation and kicking back, and yet, there are a few pairs out there that are meant for more than that–like the Outpost Sandals from Huckberry’s All-Weather brand.
I’ve tried out the All-Weather brand, and loved the durability and lightweight feel, plus the fact that these are perfect for traversing rocky shores or fast-flowing streams.
They also make rugged snow boots, and these sandals share similar DNA, including a dependable Vibram outsole and a hard-wearing CORDURA upper.
Sometimes, keeping things simple is the right move – especially when you want to slide into some of the best sandals for men, literally, and keep things rolling. Rainbow Sandals makes it easy to do just that, blending a simple and yet springy rubber footbed with a durable nylon strap in a range of neutral color options. Throw in the agreeable price (just a shade over $40), and you’re back in business.
When you’ve spent all day on the waves (or all morning in the gym), sometimes, it pays off to keep comfort top of mind–such is the case with these easygoing slides, the kind with a bouncy rubber construction, to boot. The design is simple and subtle, the perfect change of pace from wearing Adidas sneakers to knock out a workout.
Barefoot yoga seems to be all the rage these days, and now, you can channel that same kind of comfort with these aptly named Sanuk sandals. The key, as one might expect, is the use of yoga foam mat midsoles sitting atop a rubber outsole for the kind of springy rebound and comfort that can take you from the beach to the boardwalk in no time.
If ever you were to look up a pair of sandals in the dictionary, you might find Birkenstocks under the very definition. They’re a timeless classic, blending the easygoing vibe of slip-ons with the surprisingly premium blend of leather and a super-soft footbed. In short, Birkenstock sandals are some of the best men’s sandals you can buy right now–and wear for years, at that.