When the weather is warm, heavy sneakers or boots definitely won't keep your feet cool. The right pair of sandals, on the other hand, not only offers a more comfortable footwear option for hot weather but also provides a stylish look that works with nearly any casual summer outfit. Some men's sandals are even designed to be rugged enough for your favorite outdoor activities like hiking or walks along the beach.
Check out our convenient shopping guide for all the tips you need to find the best men's sandals for your summer wardrobe. We've even included some specific product recommendations like the OluKai 'Ohana Sandal, which features a no-slide heel cup to ensure they stay securely in place even when walking on the sandy beach.
Considerations when choosing men's sandals
Not all men's sandals are created equal, so you want to be sure to choose a pair that's suitable for the activities you intend to wear them for.
Lounging sandals are those typically worn around a pool or the backyard, which means they don't require a significant amount of support. They should be lightweight and easy to slip on, so flip-flops or slide-on styles are usually the way to go.
Walking sandals should offer more support than lounging styles because you'll be wearing them for longer periods. Opt for a pair that fits the foot snugly and provides at least moderate arch support to avoid foot fatigue.
Hiking sandals are designed for heavier outdoor activities and off-road walking. You'll want a pair that provides significant support, protection for the foot, superior traction, and greater durability than lounging or walking sandals.
Men's sandals should offer a fairly snug fit to keep your toes from having to grip them too much to keep them in place. You don't want a pair that's too tight, though, or you may feel like they're cutting off your circulation. Styles with adjustable straps are ideal because they allow you to control the fit. With flip-flops and other slide-on styles, the fit must be exactly right to ensure they're comfortable.
Sandals won't provide the same kind of cushioning you expect from athletic shoes or other structured footwear, but some pairs offer more cushioning than others. You can find men's sandals with padding in the center of the sole to provide additional comfort and support. For lounging sandals, cushioning isn't that important, but it is a key feature to look for in walking or hiking sandals.
Having adequate arch support in your sandals makes the shoes more comfortable and also reduces your injury risk. A pair that features pressure points in the arch area usually provides the right amount of support. Flip-flops and slip-on sandals typically have a completely flat sole, so they don't offer any arch support and shouldn't be worn for prolonged periods.
Flip-flops are often made of inexpensive plastic or rubber, so they're not designed to last more than a summer or two. If you want a lot of mileage out of your sandals or use them for rugged outdoor activities, opt for a more durable pair. Avoid any styles that feature too many seams, which are vulnerable to fraying with regular wear.
Men's sandals prices
Men's sandals usually range from $5 to more than $100. For basic lounging sandals, you'll usually pay between $5 and $30, but you can expect to spend $30 to more than $50 for high-quality walking and hiking sandals.
Q. How should men's hiking sandals fit?
A. Your foot should fit comfortably on the soles of the sandals without your toes extending past the front edge. The sandals should feel snug but still comfortable, so you don't have to worry about them shifting around or your foot becoming tired from trying to keep them on.
Q. How long does a pair of sandals usually last?
A. It depends on the type you buy and how often you wear them. Inexpensive flip-flops usually only last a summer before they start to break down, but higher-quality sandals can last several years. Even if you buy a pair of quality hiking sandals, though, they can break down quickly if you're wearing them on rough terrain daily.
Men's sandals we recommend
Best of the best: OluKai 'Ohana Sandal
Our take: A high-quality durable pair of sandals that are as comfortable as they are stylish.
What we like: Attractive design is versatile enough to work for both rugged outdoor activities and casual social settings. Features a no-slide heel cup and excellent arch support. Quick-drying materials make them suitable for wear around water. Boasts extremely high-quality construction to improve durability. Vegan-friendly.
What we dislike: More expensive and heavier than many other flip-flip options.
Best bang for your buck: Adidas Men's Adissage SC Slide Sandal
Our take: Offers plenty of contemporary styles and comfortable fits, making them an ideal pair of everyday sandals.
What we like: Comfortable cushioning makes them suitable for use around the house, while a stylish design allows them to be worn outside too. Features an adjustable strap that enables you to customize the fit. Sole is water-resistant and quick-drying for use near water.
What we dislike: Soles are thicker than other slip-on sandals, which can feel strange at first.
Choice 3: Keen Men's Newport H2 Sandal
Our take: A perfect pair of pull-on sandals for rugged outdoor wear that is both comfortable and protective.
What we like: Well-designed toe construction offers similar protection to a shoe while still allowing the foot to breathe. Soles feature a deep tread to offer outstanding traction. Moldable footbed conforms to the shape of the foot to maximize comfort. Upper portion is made of washable materials, which also feature antimicrobial properties.
What we dislike: Somewhat expensive. Have a heavier feel than other sandals.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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