Summer Shoes: Guy Style!

Interview by Meghan Cass for

Here at Comfortista our main focus is on stylish, comfortable shoes for ladies. But in today’s special edition, we are sharing our top tips for the guys out there and the women who shop for them!

This post is especially necessary in summer because – let’s be honest – warm weather, travel vacations and special events can be a veritable land mine of fashion faux pas for many men.

To help us with the new rules for summer shoes, Comfortista enlisted wardrobe stylist Robert Ballew, the self-proclaimed “style hero for real people.” While some stylists specialize in dressing models and starlets, Robert says he finds his work with everyday people the most exciting and rewarding.

Robert Ballew Style Hero for Real People

“I focus on where my client is today: their current body type, budget and what they have in their closet,” he says.

“Then I help them find their style and their confidence. Oftentimes that starts with a great pair of shoes.”

Comfortista loves his point of view, so without further ado here are the modern guy’s guidelines for staying cool and comfortable all season long:


1. Bi-weekly pedicures are essential during sandal season

Clean, well cared for feet are a pre-requisite for open-toe shoes.

“Pedicures have to happen,” says Robert. “In addition to basic maintenance [exfoliation, callus removal, nail trimming and filing], consider having your nails buffed to eliminate ridges and add subtle shine.”


2. Try thong-style sandals in natural materials

“If you live in a coastal area you can get away with very casual looks,” says Robert. “But I like thong sandals in a leather or natural material as opposed to the spongy flip flop versions. They tend to look a bit more substantial, polished and thought out.”

See for yourself with Chaco’s Flip Eco Tread, FitFlop’s Dass, or the Dunas II from Rider. Comfortista especially loves the adjustable strap feature on Orthaheel’s Ryder thong.


3. Make boat shoes your go-to

With its slip-resistant rubber outsole and moccasin upper, the boat shoe is an icon of American style. And these days, there are so many versions to choose from!

“This is a style that never really went away, but is now making a strong comeback,” says Robert. “They look great with flat-front linen or khaki pants, solid or striped shorts. On top, try a polo or button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow.”

For a classic prepster vibe, try Sebago’s Spinnakers. For a sportier take, the Clarks Saranac does the trick.


4. Experiment with light and medium-toned dress shoes

While everyone appreciates the perfect black dress shoe, summer is a great opportunity to push your sartorial boundaries.

“Wearing a dressy brown shoe [like the Dennison Cap Toe Oxford] with a navy or charcoal jacket makes a statement,” says Robert.

And for the truly bold, Robert says Hush Puppies’ Hackman or the Bass Barret Wingtip Oxford in taupe suede works with dark, light, and tan colored trousers.


5. Opt for low-cut, no-show socks

While you may have banished the socks-with-sandals look, what you pair with your closed-toe shoes is important as well.

“I often wear shoes without socks, but there are low-cut ‘footie’ socks that just cup the heel and give you that cooler look and feel,” says Robert. “To me, seeing a tube sock or a white sock under jeans in the summer is just disconcerting. It feels like layers upon layers and they are one more way to collect heat.”

Feetures’ Cushion No-Show socks do it right with additional ventilation and foot support features.

So there you have it folks! Now tell us: what are your favorite footwear looks for men? Any trends you wish would take a permanent vacation?


Read more to get more ‘clued’ in to comfort with style brought to you by FootSmart

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