For the longest time, sandals served only one purpose in terms of men’s fashion: they were meant to be worn at the beach or a similar situation and that was it. There was a time period where the only men who wore sandals with regularity were considered to be hippies, more “free-thinking” and “weird” types than fashion gurus.
But with the evolution of time and style, the role of sandals in a man’s wardrobe has changed drastically. Now, it is completely normal for a man to have several pairs of sandals at their disposal. Often times, there are different colors, styles, and materials that can go with one outfit better than another and they can even be used to accessorize an outfit.
Sandals, particularly for men, are now more popular than they have ever been because they offer an easy, casual look, that you can just slip on your feet at any moment. No more bending down to tie your shoes or fumbling with a heel that keeps getting stuck; you can just slip on your sandals and go at a moment’s notice.
With a ton of convenience and even more ability to mix, match and accessorize, sandals are becoming a staple in men’s fashion and their uses continue to grow. This guide will take you through a little bit more about this type of footwear, what it has to offer, and the different kinds that you might see or encounter in your everyday life.
Why you should Let your feet breath
Maybe the best aspect of sandals is that they are an open-toed shoe. This means that your feet aren’t cramped up inside of some hot shoe, they are allowed to breathe. We have all been there before: feet cramped in the same shoe all day and when we get home at the end of the day, our feet are hot and sweaty and need to be quarantined from others.
But with a sandal in the mix, you can wear them all day long and your feet will stay cool and dry because they are constantly getting fresh air. This brings a whole other level of comfort to your feet that traditional closed-toe shoes just can’t hope to match.
On hot days, in particular, it helps to have a shoe that is open so that your feet can feel refreshed and cool even on the hottest of days. You’ll be thankful that you have a couple of pairs of sandals in your repertoire when the temperatures rise, and your poor feet beg for a little freedom.
Form vs fashion
As stated previously, men’s sandals are taking on a different role than they ever have before. Whereas before they were primarily used for function more than anything else, they are being implemented as a tool to add to wardrobes around the world.
This is because the right pair of sandals can complement most outfits. Granted, you will not see a pair of sandals at a black-tie affair, but just about any other situation or scenario could see someone wearing sandals without missing a beat.
This is because sandals have now been made to fit styles and outfits in addition to serving a basic function. Depending on the setting, you can bring an air of casualness to your outfit without it seeming like you are seriously dressing down. This is a big deal because sandals are able to lend a bit of comfort to an outfit, which makes them the choice for many. Shoes aren’t all about how they look; how they feel is becoming more important than ever and fewer people are willing to deal with an uncomfortable shoe if they do not have to.
Adding the right pair of sandals to your wardrobe can make any outfit feel casual yet stylish and bring a little bit of comfort into the mix.
What is the Difference between Flip-flops and Slides
I know that as a guy, for the longest time, I thought that these were the same thing. A sandal is a sandal, right? That couldn’t be further from the truth. While the differences aren’t exactly earth-shattering, they are there and they make the difference for some men out there.
These are your more traditional types of sandals and the type that we tend to think of when we hear the term. A flip-flop is your ultimate casual sandal; they come in a huge variety of colors and styles that can go with just about any summer outfit (think shorts and a tee-shirt). Best of all, they can be slipped on in a pinch and probably go with any casual outfit that you have on before you stroll out the door.
Your average flip-flops have what is known as a thong at the front of the sandal; this is meant to go between your big and second toes. This kind of fit seems to be very divisive in nature. There are many who don’t mind the feel of the thong and simply get used to it while there are many men who hate how it feels on their feet.
Flip-flops also tend to be the most affordable option among sandals because they are made of a synthetic rubber that is somewhat durable and easy to treat with a variety of colors. When you buy a pair of flip-flops, you’ll likely end up buying a few pairs because of how affordable and stylish they are. Every guy should have at least a few pairs in their wardrobe these days.
These act in much the same sense as your traditional flip-flops: they are meant to be worn at a moment’s notice and are very casual in nature. They are pretty cost-effective because they are made of cheaper materials, but they tend to hold up for a pretty long time because there just is not as much material to take a beating and sandals typically aren’t used as everyday wear.
The main difference here is how they fit on the foot. Instead of the thong that slides between the toes, slides have a strap that goes over the top of the foot. Depending on the manufacturer, this strap is sometimes adjustable and sometimes not; it depends on how it’s made.
The difference here is that slides are seen as even more casual than flip-flops and are worn by a more athletic type. High school athletes, in particular, tend to favor slides because of how easy they are to put on and because the majority of them feature the logo of an athletic manufacturer.
There are many different manufacturers of these types of sandals: Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, and Puma just to name a few.
These kinds of sandals are not meant to be worn to the fanciest of events, but they do serve their purpose to make any outfit feel casual yet stylish. You can wear these sorts of sandals with something like a button-down or a polo with a nice slack or pair of jeans and they would complement the outfit thusly.
Elegant sandals can be a little tougher to wear because they might have additional straps that go over your foot. They also have more material than your standard flip-flop or slide and are generally a little more costly as well. This is because you are getting a sandal that is sturdily built and fashionable enough to be worn with many nicer outfits.
Elegant sandals are nice when you are having a get together in the summertime that is a bit dressier; you can keep your feet cool and look cool too when you have the right pair of sandals. Your fashion sense doesn’t have to suffer so that your feet can breathe. You can get both at the same time.
What are the different sandals materials?
Not all sandals are constructed of the same material. For your slides and flip-flops, you are looking at a synthetic rubber. This is because it is a comfortable, flexible material that is cheaply manufactured and tough enough to last so long as they aren’t taking a heavy beating. Not only that, the synthetic rubber will help wick away any sweat that your feet accrue so that you aren’t slipping and sliding around in your flip-flops or slides.
There are also leather or nylon sandals, which are typically your dressier options. These are definitely more comprehensive in construction, consisting of a few more straps than any other kind of sandal to provide more secure of a fit as well as comfort.
With a leather material, you get the high-class look that leather brings to the table with an enhanced sense of durability added in. Leather sandals also tend to be more expensive, so take that into consideration when purchasing your next sandal.
Ultimately, whatever material that a sandal is made of, it is meant to be durable and flexible while providing a wide array of colors for you to choose from. This gives you the ability to accessorize and to match items up with your outfit as a whole.
Sandals, in general, are not meant to be worn all day every day, so keep that in mind when making your choice. They are meant to be worn here and there and most of your sandals will not hold up to the rigors of daily usage. This is fine with flip-flops, since they are cheaper, but you might not want to wear a nice pair of sandals excessively unless you plan on replacing them in the near future.
What are the sandals accessories you should know
There are a number of accessories that you can tie in with your sandals to make an outfit pop and feel unique in a sense all its own. If you are wearing dark leather sandals, for instance, you might want to implement something like a dark leather belt or a watch that has a dark leather wristband. The beauty of your sandals is that you can swap them out based on color and material and tie together an entire outfit.
You can even accessorize it with your wallet, too. There is nothing in your outfit that can’t match up with your sandals, making your choices more difficult than ever when you dress to look impressive but also to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
It has never been easier to coordinate your outfit based on your footwear and sandals have become as versatile and fashionable as ever. Mix and match, create new styles that you feel look good on you and explore your fashion sense like never before. There are so many different combinations that you can try that you will spend a lifetime finding new and exciting styles that fit you best.
Last tip before buying new sandals
Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal preference as well as the situation in which the sandals will be worn. As mentioned, your standard sandals are not meant to be worn to an extravagant gala or any kind of upscale party, but they have the versatility to be able to make many outfits work and feel more casual without feeling like they lack in effort.
Men’s sandals are becoming more stylish thanks to a number of different features, colors, and styles that men are beginning to incorporate into more and more outfits. You can accessorize and style based on your sandals; in years past, this definitely would not have been the case.
If you plan to use them for the ultimate casual needs, a flip-flop or slide might be best. They can be put on at any point and are great when you just need something on your feet for traveling outdoors. They also are relatively inexpensive, so you don’t have to worry should you beat the tar out of them.
For a dressier occasion where sandals are not out of place, consider wearing a more elegant sandal that will tie together with something like a polo or button-down shirt. You can keep the business casual feel while maintaining the laid-back, cool aura that sandals bring to the table.
Whatever you choose, you can be certain that sandals will bring a sense of comfort, style, and ease of use to your life that you have not previously experienced. You will be grateful that you added a few pairs of sandals to your wardrobe.