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When the mercury rises, even the most cool-headed males can get in a spin about what to wear on their feet in very hot weather. In response to this perennial menswear conundrum, industry insiders reveal what they will be donning this summer.
Manolo Blahnik, shoe designer
When I am in a hot country in the summer, I like to wear sandals, however only by the seaside – never in the city and only with a pedicure. I like handmade Moroccan sandals. If I spend my summer in London, then I wear linen. I love cotton linen, maybe with a leather tip in a classic Oxford or plain Derby shoe, if it doesn’t rain.
Toby Bateman, buying director at Mr Porter
I will be wearing slip-on sneakers. Last season we were charmed by chunky high-tech sneakers but we are ready for more laid-back, slip-on styles. We have several different styles from the likes of Maison Martin Margiela, Common Projects and Lanvin. I will also be putting on my trusty John Lobb Lopez loafers in brown suede, which are classic, smart and last a lifetime. Come warmer weather, I wear these with “hidden” socks for a more casual, contemporary look.
Hugh Devlin, luxury brands consultant at law firm Withers
For summer in the city, I feel more comfortable in a full shoe of some sort: Converse, Jack Purcell leather sneakers in white or, if I’m wearing shorts, the Prada equivalent in navy or grey suede. A Prada car shoe-type loafer (it must have a proper sole) or Edward Green’s Piccadilly loafer for more formal occasions. Pierre Hardy desert boots are a good option as they’re lighter than most.
Marc Hare, shoe designer
You want something simple and unfussy that looks more smart than casual. The Arno (our own design) is a minimalist shoe designed specifically for summer, made of extremely light and soft cashmere suede. There is no need to wear socks, the suede is very breathable and the softness of the shoe means that no matter how much your feet swell in the heat, they will always remain comfortable. The sole is a traditional leather one, so you can repair and restore them for long life.
. . .
Todd Lynn, designer
I seem to have two types of footwear: boots for everyday, and flip-flops for the two days of unbearable heat that London seems to have every couple of years. I bought two pairs of the same boots from Dior years ago and send them to the shoe menders for a touch-up every so often. They practically look new. I also love my Louboutin-studded trainers as they are constructed to feel like a boot but look like a trainer.
. . .
Damian Mould, chief marketing officer at Belstaff
My go-to staple is an upscale version of Vans’ slip-ons offered by brands from Fred Segal to Prada. Don’t overlook the classics: my white Adidas Rod Lavers have been in style since he won Wimbledon and are a sneaker that Lanvin has drawn from and reskinned to great success – a timeless sneaker.
Brian Atwood, shoe designer
For me, a colourful unstructured loafer and a basic sneaker from Common Projects are my summer city favourites. A strong leather sandal and flip-flops are great on holiday in the Mediterranean, but keep them for the beach and keep it chic in the city.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman
I’m a big fan of the espadrille. This jute-soled European summer slip-on, usually seen by most Americans as just poolside footwear, has gained in popularity here. Certainly perfect with swimsuits and shorts, they also look great with cuffed jeans, trim khakis and casual pants. Woven leather shoes are having a big comeback this season. A distant relative to the traditional Mexican huarache sandals, these open-weave lace-up and slip-on styles are dressy enough to wear with cotton summer suits.
Over the moon: One small step . . .
While many of this season’s summer shoes offer a subtle twist on a classic style (green leather espadrilles, for example), sneaker freaks looking for something more “out of this world” won’t be disappointed, writes Carola Long. This Sunday at 4.18pm, 45 years to the minute that the Apollo 11 Lunar module touched down on the moon, 100 Missions moon boot sneakers ($196.90) will go on sale at the online fashion retailer JackThreads.com.
Conceived by JackThreads, together with the shoe label Android Homme and General Electric (which provided the silicon rubber for the boots worn by the 1969 Apollo mission trio, and developed plastic for their helmet visors), the futuristic silver high-tops are made from industrial materials, such as stabilised carbon fibre, which is lighter and stronger than metal. Other refinements include Scotchlite, a water-resistant coating, thermoplastic rubber, and the year 1969 printed on the heel.
They probably aren’t the most breezy footwear for summer – or even for a day on the moon, where temperatures reach over 100C by day – so maybe keep these on the launch pad until autumn.
Stockists in this article and this week’s other Style articles
Photographs of Marc Hare and Oliver Bostock: Robin Sinha