Best Men’s Summer Casual Shoes 2018

Shoes, Trainers, Sneakers & Plimsoles

Gentleman, summer is in full swing, football isn’t coming home, but it’s the perfect weather for casual shoes, trainers (sneakers) and plimsoles.

I’ve already gone through the best summer t-shirt and short combinations to wear so you’re probably wondering what to wear on your feet? Do you go barefoot? You could do but, as promised, in this blog post I cover the best summer footwear to wear so you look #hotshit and the girls go crazy over your style.

No look is ever complete without the correct shoe.

In fact, the wrong shoe has the ability to totally ruin any well-thought outfit to an extent that even a bad pair of jeans or ill-fitting shirt can’t. The wrong pair of shoes has a massive impact on the entire image so make sure you nail it.

This fact is especially pertinent when we are dealing with a casual summer style. With summer garments and especially casual style summer garments we are massively limited to light, casual looks thus we have less scope to create a strong image and elements such as a cool shoe are really important.

You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears

Cliché? Yes.. But very true..

So, let’s make sure your shoes are saying the right things about you this summer.

Before I begin, I wanted to share two simple style rules which will help you to choose cool summer shoes.

  1. Low key with minimal detail.
  2. Simple, neat and tidy shape.

These points are very important. Contemporary modern men’s summer fashion is quite low key. Fitted short shorts and plain fitted t-shirts reign supreme as do simple shirts or polo shirts. Long gone are the styles of the 90’s and early 00’s where long bright coloured basketball shorts or combat shorts with zips and extra pockets looked cool with a pair of basketball shoes or high tops. We are now favouring less gimmicky styles and thankfully returning to a more underrated and classic way of dressing. Thus, to work these plain current summer styles correctly we must look for shoes which are under stated and of a tidy and pleasing shape. These design elements combined with the social connotations of the actual shoe model itself will be the key to getting that summer shoe spot on.

With that in mind I will separate up the shoes I recommend into three categories according to overall style and finish with a few visual examples.

Casual

Classic Vans Pair
A Pair of Classic Vans
Colourful Vans
Van’s come in many different cool colours.
Retro Vans
A pair of Retro Vans. These are a classic, timeless design.

The most common and casual summer shoe is basically always going to be the plimsole. Timeless, always cool and cheap, it is a favourite with numerous social tribes from skate kids to rock and roll fans, indie students and urban dressers alike. The plimsole goes beyond fashion boundaries as the number one summer shoe. The most common brand is probably Vans.

Go for either the Retro or Classic Vans as they work really well with shorts and their massive range of different colours means you can plan some loud summer looks to help you stand out from the crowd.

Converse Chuck Taylor

We have to mention the classic Chuck Taylor Converse plimsole. This basketball classic is where it all started. The first plimsole to cross over from a sports shoe to a part of mainstream fashion with American high school kids in the 1950‘s. The converse has a more rock or indie kid vibe to it than Vans so it’s often preferred by these social groups.

Urban Summer Shoes & Sneakers

The next category is urban summer shoes and sneakers. Many of the overall styles which work with a cool plimsole will also drop perfectly with theses summer sneakers.

So, what is the best summer sneaker? Firstly, there are literally thousands of cool sneakers on the market at any one time, many of which are great for summer styles. However, to make it as simple as possible I will make two recommendations which are extremely versatile and favoured amongst the people who count.

Nike Air Roshe
Nike Air Roshe. These low key running shoes have been of immense popularity over the last few years. As is the case with plimsoles their lack of detail and neat and tidy shape make them very aesthetically pleasing and perfect for a low key summer look.
Nike Air Max 90
One of the mothers of all sneakers the Nike Air Max 90 is a classic which has stood the test of time. Again, the hood like the neat shape of the air max 90 makes them perfect for combining with shorts. They are also available in a huge variety of colour combinations for those who are looking to really turn heads, or you can go for the plain colours like the one shown below for the perfect summer look.

Be careful with basketball shoes. I love urban styles and hip-hop influenced fashion however with many basketball sneakers, like most of the shoes in the Jordan range they are simply way too bulky and have too much random detail to work with a low key summer vibe. The clumsiness makes our legs look super skinny and short and doesn’t work with a small fitted pair of short shorts.

The Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro is our favourite shoe of this type. It is not a high-top meaning it won’t make your legs look short and has a very neat and petite shape which goes well with shorts. The problem with Jordan’s is that they’re normally limited edition so get them while their hot!

The Adidas Yeezy
Adidas Yeezy
New Balance
New Balance 997
White Nike Air Jordan 4's
Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro

Smart Casual

So, we have covered casual summers shoes but what about those of us who want to look a bit more dapper in the sun? We will now look at smart casual shoes which will be perfect for combinations with collar shirts for a more high-end summer image. Let’s think a day at a posh garden party. Not that I have ever been invited to a posh garden party but if I did I would be rocking one of these shoes.

Penny/Tassel Loafers

Weejuns Tassal Loafers
Weejuns Tassel Loafers
Penny Loafers
Weejuns Penny Loafers

Never wear viable socks with either of these loafers when combined with shorts. If you’re brave wear no socks at all but if you’re not comfortable with that then go for ‘no show’ socks. Make sure your shorts are also smart, fitted shirt shorts. The university vibes will be flowing with a decent shirt or polo shirt to top off the preppy summer vibe.

So, there we have it gentleman six different summer shoes over three different styles. Choose one of the shoes we have recommended and stick to the guidelines and you won’t put a foot wrong with your style this summer!

If you want further help with your fashion feel free to drop me an email at ollie@nakemethatguy.com. We can discuss how I can help you with your individual style so you can look #hotshit.

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Ollie Pearce

Ollie Pearce is a professional model and fashion stylist with over ten years’ experience as a fashion, fitness and social skills coach. If you have any questions, ideas for future blog posts or videos, or would like to work with Ollie then get in touch at ollie@olliepearce.com.