Ask Avery: Get your kicks
blog by Avery Hartmans • March 22, 2013 @ 9:03am
I need a recommendation on a beachy/summery men’s casual or dress shoe. Not Sperrys though, because I have more than enough.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: I do not condone the purchasing or wearing of man sandals. Feet are ugly enough to begin with and there are few people outside of the podiatry community who want to look at a man’s feet — sorry guys.
But if you can’t wear mandals, what can you wear? Lace-up boots should stay in your closet until autumn and running shoes aren’t an option either. You certainly can’t wear basketball sneakers, and if I catch you in slip-on Adidas sandals anywhere other than the soccer field, I’ll be very disappointed in you.
Luckily, there are plenty of choices for even the pickiest footwear enthusiast. Though boat shoes are an obvious summer choice, they’re not your only choice. And besides, if even the average style-blind lax bro can pick out a decent pair of Sperrys these days, I’m sure we can do better than that.
Option No. 1
I have a confession: I’ve always harbored a secret desire to be a skater girl. Though I’ve donned a popped-collar polo shirt and adore J.Crew, a small part of me always kind of wished I was rocking a pair of Vans and hanging out around the skate park. Guys who skateboard — and guys who skateboard in Vans — are a little bit badass and I want to be friends with them. So, if you want to befriend fashion-obsessed 21-year-old girls, at least buy a cool pair of Vans. A whole skater ensemble is not necessary — or encouraged, even — but adding a little edge to your look never hurt anyone. For a casual daytime look, you can’t go wrong.
Shoes: Vans, $55
Option No. 2
Guys have it tough when it comes to looking nice when it’s hot out. They have to wear so many more articles of clothing than girls do and can’t show nearly as much skin. And when you’re on Spring Break and headed to a nice dinner, you can’t exactly wear a pair of flip-flops. The solution? Canvas oxfords. From afar, or even when looking down at your own feet, these shoes will appear to be your standard oxfords, albeit a little cooler because they’re heather gray. But since these oxfords are actually canvas, they’re lighter and more breathable and much more appropriate for spring and summer. Plus, they’re not too dressed-up, so feel free to pair them with shorts, pants or jeans.
Shoes: Urban Outfitters, $58
Option No. 3
Alright, alright: I know you said no Sperrys. But I’m taking that to mean no boat shoes and honey, these are no ordinary boat shoes. Yes, espadrilles for men are a thing and yes, you should consider buying them. This shoe combines the comfort and casualness for a slip-on sneaker while looking extra nautical and spring-ish with the white contrast piping and woven rope sole. This shoe is perhaps the best way to one-up boat-shoe-wearing lacrosse players: wear these as you wave to them from the deck of your yacht and you’ll be the preppier guy by far. Although, are there really any winners in a contest between a lax bro and a yachting enthusiast? Regardless, your feet will look awesome.
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider, $55
Option No. 4
I’m a little worried that tan and brown leather loafers can only be worn by middle-aged men who wear Tommy Bahama shirts and can rattle off a list of all Phil Mickelson’s victories on the PGA tour. But even if that is the case, I think it’s time to change the summer loafer’s image. These shoes are perfect for a dressed-up occasion and they match with much more than overpriced Hawaiian shirts. Pair them with colored slim-fitting chinos and a belted, tucked-in button-down for a summer wedding or a fancier date night.
Shoes: Stacy Adams, $59.99
Option No. 5
I will admit that these shoes are not for everyone. There’s a lot going on here and I would assume — and hope, actually — that not every guy would attempt to wear these. This is the most interesting take on the oxford I’ve ever encountered: part sneaker, part paisley wing-tip, they’re certainly conversation-starters. Though the verdict is still out on how versatile these kicks really are, they would definitely be a fun addition to your wardrobe. And you know there’s at least one day a year where you can wear red, white and blue footwear and get away with it.
Shoes: Urban Outfitters, $170
Photo courtesy of Facebook.