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Style Advice

Four essential summer shoes

Four essential summer shoes

Walking barefoot on the grass and beach is how we all should be living our best summer lives. Wearing footwear out and about and at home is how most of us actually end up spending our summers. But we’d argue that’s not necessarily a bad thing: summer claims some of the best footwear styles of the year, and if we must commit to wearing shoes at least some of the time, we might as well choose the most stylish pairs we can. We enlisted the help of stylist Freddie Kemp (man of enviable footwear choices) to narrow down the top four styles you should wear this season. Freddie, over to you.

Versatile loafers

Why we love them: Loafers aren’t just the most breathable and summer-friendly smart shoe, they’re also one of the most versatile, so you’ll find no shortage of excuses to wear them all season. 

What to look for: Opt for a style with a more rounded toe shape, as opposed to one that is more pointed, to maximise the versatility. We’re loving a recent collaboration between Bass & Fred Perry – the shoes have chunkier soles, which enables you to dress them down more easily. 

How to style them: The beauty of loafers is you can wear them with everything from smart trousers and a button-down shirt to jeans and a t-shirt, so don't be afraid to mix it up. 

Suede shoes

Why we love them: Suede is the ultimate summer footwear fabric. Luxurious, soft, and breathable, the fabric has been adapted for most footwear styles, but desert boots are always a standout. They were originally designed for soldiers to wear in the desert, so you can count on them working well in a heat wave. 

What to look for: Choose a style with a rounded toe to make them more wearable and versatile. 

How to style them: I’d recommend styling them with blue jeans, linen trousers, or lightweight trousers for an easy summer look.

Running trainers 

Photographed: Karhu Fusion 2.0 (£125)

Why we love them: Most of us have a pair of simple, minimal trainers in our wardrobe, so why not push the boat out a little this season with a more interesting running or running-inspired trainer? If you pick the right one, it can double as a casual shoe and one you can wear training. 

What to look for: Look for ones designed with comfort, breathability, and durability, and you’ll have a sound investment. 

How to style them: I recommend wearing them with pared-back, neutral shorts and a white t-shirt so the shoes take centre stage.

Effortless sandals

Photographed: Birkenstock Arizona (£65)

Why we love them: They’re the ultimate holiday shoe, and they represent what summer dressing should be about. They’re easy, cool, and lightweight. 

What to look for: A pair with leather straps over the shoe means there’s less gripping than flip flops – and none of that annoying sound. 

How to style them: You can’t go wrong in a t-shirt and shorts, but we also love these paired with a pair of loose-fitting linen shorts and a short-sleeved camp collar shirt. You'll exude an effortless vibe – mark my words. 

Words: Allison Pavlick