As summer kicks off and bathing suits and T-shirts become the new everyday uniform of choice, you’ll likely ditch your stuffy sneakers for more breathable footwear. If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of shoes to get you through the warmer months, you’re not alone.
Retailer DSW tells us that searches for men's sandals have skyrocketed in the last two weeks. DSW customers are especially raving over are the Birkenstock Arizona and the Birkenstock Arizona Essentials — and rightfully so. Dr. Ettore Vulcano, chief of orthopedic foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai West, told Shop TODAY that Birkenstocks are a popular sandal of choice due to their sturdiness.
“Based on my experience with a lot of patients, I’ve noticed that patients that tend to have higher arches seem to like sandals that have a little bit more ‘construction,' and the two brands that seem to be preferred are Birkenstock and FitFlop,” he said.
Vulcano says Skechers are another popular and comfortable choice. “Skechers has really invested a lot in adding a memory foam to the insole of the shoe, so they actually have the best of both worlds,” Vulcano said.
Though our summer shoes should be as easy-going as our summer days, it’s important to remember that choosing the right pair of men’s sandals or flip-flops is just as important as choosing a comfortable pair of sneakers. When shopping for sandals, Vulcano says the two key features to look for are a sturdy outsole for shock absorption, and a softer insole for comfort.
“I tell patients to try the so-called ‘bend test’ — basically you want to take the sandal and try to bend it, good sandals shouldn’t bend all that much, maybe a little bit at the tip of the shoe but that’s pretty much it,” Vulcano said.
With all that in mind, we rounded up some of the most popular sandals for the summer, with styles that keep comfort and style in mind.
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Best sandals for men
The Birkenstock Arizona Essential is a popular style that's crafted to be completely waterproof, making it the perfect companion for the beach or the pool. The molded footbed follows other popular Birkenstock styles and comes in a variety of 18 different colors.
For a more polished look, the Birkenstock Arizona is leather-lined with a contoured footbed. The cork sole also features an additional layer of memory foam that provides cushion with every step. The style has earned a five-star rating from more than 390 Zappos reviews.
A popular Nordstrom style, these sandals from Nike give the sporty look of a sneaker but provide all the comfort of a sandal. The upper is stretchy and rests comfortably on the foot, while the outsole is sturdy enough to provide grip and support your daily movements.
These sandals boast a stylish synthetic leather upper and durable rubber outsole for the best of both worlds. Whether you need a reliable pair for fishing or everyday wear, these sandals will move with you.
Crocs are making a major comeback this year. For those heading out to the water this summer, this pair is well-equipped. Though designed like a typical shoe, they are crafted with water-resistant material and feature a breathable mesh fabric to help keep feet cool.
With more than 500 verified reviews on Amazon, these popular sandals from Dr. Scholl's put comfort first thanks to the memory foam insole. The simple design is casual enough for summer hangouts but comfortable enough for all-day wear.
The thick footbed and outsole on this sandal are designed to cradle the arches of your foot to help alleviate stress on the knees and lower back. The sandals are specifically designed for athletes and meant to provide relief to your feet after a workout. Better yet, they're even machine-washable to help eliminate odor over time.
A trending shoe at DSW, this sandal from active brand Teva is perfect for long hikes or days by the lake. The velcro straps keep your foot in place while the shock-absorbing rubber sole is meant to provide the comfort and support that your foot needs.
Another bestseller this season is this sandal from Reef. Whether you need a pair of sandals to bring to the beach or to complete a casual outfit, the "cushion bounce" footbed should provide the support you need for the occasion.
The Crocs classic clog is a timeless sandal that offers all-day comfort and protection. Not only that, but the loose fit makes them easy to take on and off, whether you're running errands or hanging out in the backyard. Need some extra support? You can use the removable heel strap to keep your foot in place.
This style from Teva was built to stand up to any summer adventure, and even features an antimicrobial upper to protect your feet. The sandal also features an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) footbed and midsole, which is meant to securely stabilize your foot.
Best slides for men
For those who prefer an easygoing fit, these slides are a popular pick with more than 1,000 verified reviews on Amazon alone. The footbed of these rubber slides are contoured to provide as much comfort as possible for the foot. Since they are easy to throw on and off, one reviewer noted they work best for wearing around the house.
A Zappos bestseller, these slides from comfort-forward brand Hoka One One are designed to provide relief for athletes after intense races. They're available in a range of colors but are only available in one width, though nearly 70% of Zappos reviewers found that the slides fit true to size.
This is another popular slide style at DSW, which has amassed more than 350 reviews from purchasers. The footbed is both cushioned and textured, while the fabric-lined upper rests comfortably on your foot for a supportive fit.
Though they aren't necessarily slides, Nordstrom tells us these sneaker-style slip-ons are a customer favorite. Since the shoe is unisex, each style and design is available in the same size for both men and women. They're breathable and sporty and currently sit amongst the top 25 men's fashion sneakers on Amazon.
Best flip-flops for men
Vulcano noted this brand for its sturdy construction. This pair in particular has a firm outsole and thick straps for a snug fit. The cushioning is organized into sections, with medium cushioning for the toes, soft cushioning for the sole of the foot and firm cushioning for the heels.
With a near-perfect 4.9-star rating, this flip-flop is designed to stay true to its name and deliver "comfort." The foam footbed is supported by an additional foam midsole for a sturdy fit. Whether you're heading to the beach or need a pair for casual wear, the simple color scheme is easy to pair with any outfit.
With six different styles to choose from, it's not hard to see why purchasers have flocked to this shoe. The memory foam footbed is covered in an additional layer of soft fabric that one reviewer compared to "walking on a cloud." Just as stylish as they are comfortable, the foot strap features an exposed-edge stitch design that makes it more fashionable than most.
OluKai has been on our radar for quite some time now, and the men's style of this cult-favorite flip-flop boasts many rave reviews on Amazon. The Ohana style comes in 21 different colors and styles ranging from simple rubber designs to pairs that feature knit lining.
This bestseller is more than just a sandal — it also features a bottle opener on the bottom! The practical design is still crafted to provide comfort thanks to the midsole arch support and air-cushioned heel.
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