In summer, it’s easy to remember to switch wools for linens and to bring your shorts back out from winter hiding. Don’t forget, however, to rotate your footwear too. Give your feet some love and slip into easier and breezier shoes. Here are our picks.
The humble espadrille is taking on new and fashionable meaning these days. Its simple canvas and jute style is now being reworked by brands like Tod’s and Berluti to include luxurious brushed leather uppers and sturdy rubber soles. Tod’s has a pair, in fact, that combines a boat shoe upper with a jute sole – a perfect matching of style and comfort.
But the winning brand for an espadrille has to be Loewe, which is fitting given the shared Spanish heritage of both the brand and this shoe. Its most recent collaboration with Paula’s Ibiza saw creative director Jonathan Anderson revive the style with a combination of bold bohemian prints and supple nappa leather. For a dressier touch, the brand also has a new shoe out that marries the smarts of a penny loafer with the summer vibes of an espadrille sole.
Don’t let its casual demeanour fool you: sandals are a statement-making force to be reckoned with this summer. Even though these are, strictly speaking, casual shoes, your options are almost unlimited because of the breadth of inspirations designers have been taking.
Prada and Berluti have opted to go sporty, with Haider Ackermann naming his “Paros”, after the Greek island getaway. The striped canvas straps and velcro closures of these sandals appropriate a very contemporary sensibility of functional and utilitarian style.
Else, consider simple and classic elevation. In the wake of the runaway success of Gucci’s backless horsebit loafers, the brand has come up with a rounder and softer shape in smooth leather with a velcro strap in the back. We’re also fans of Saint Laurent’s luxurious version of what is basically a Birkenstock. Except this one comes with the more refined detail of being crafted in sumptuous leather.
For peak comfort, consider the slide. Since its streetwear resurgence, the poolside slipper has gained a luxurious edge. Now, designers are putting luxurious and sometimes humorous spins on the style. We like Dolce & Gabbana’s tongue-in-cheek take on luxury hotel slippers, finished with gold embroidery and a mock five star hotel motif. Valentino also has a more reined in pair in camouflage that will easily suit urban wearing. Upside: the rubber construction makes these shoes perfect for wet poolsides.
If you’re not planning to be anywhere near splashing water, however, there are refined leather versions that suit a plethora of casual occasions. Fans of subtle iconography will appreciate Saint Laurent’s monogram stitched leather pair and Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato weave. Berluti also has a dressier version in rich hand-polished chocolate brown leather.