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Style Advice

Summer’s essential shoes

Summer’s essential shoes
Photographed: Clarks Weaver ($120)

When we think of warm weather, our minds instantly conjure up images of balmy beaches and sun-drenched poolsides. In other words, the kinds of places that don’t require shoes. And then we remember that summer actually means hot offices and sweaty commutes, which not only require shoes, but are made infinitely more uncomfortable if you pick the wrong ones.

“Summer may be the most laid-back season, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect putting effort into your footwear choices,” says stylist Freddie Kemp. “Warmer temperatures translate to fewer clothes, so there is even more focus on your shoes.” That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to round up summer footwear staples that will usher you from summer to autumn – or to the nearest beach, where you have our full permission to kick-off your thoughtfully chosen footwear and dig your toes in the sand.

Stress-free slides

Slides ooze easy, warm-weather vibes. You literally slip them on and go, removing the fuss from your footwear game and giving you more time to bask in the sun.

Look for: If you’re keeping the rest of your pieces pared-down, opt for a pair with a punchy pattern or bold colour. Beach-bound? A quick-dry lining gives you licence to dip your toes in the ocean.

Where to wear them: Rooftop bars, beaches, poolside — anywhere the sun is shining and there’s no dress code.

How to wear them: “Slides have established themselves as a go-to these days, rather than just a poolside accompaniment, and they can now be worn with much more than swim shorts and t-shirts. Try dressing yours up with drawstring shorts, or trousers and a camp collar shirt, for a look that’s unexpectedly, yet deliberately stylish.”

Photographed: Superga 2390 Pastel ($49)

Lightweight trainers

They’re lightweight and breathable, which makes them great for climbing temperatures. Consider them your wear-anywhere staple.

Look for: “White is always a tried-and-true choice, but don’t shy away from trainers in bright colours or pastels — their energy evokes the spirit of the season.”

Where to wear them: While out and about. They’re the perfect errands shoe, the perfect just-running-out-to-grab-coffee shoe, the perfect pub shoe, the perfect laid-back office shoe. You get the point.

How to wear them: Shorts and a t-shirt is a no-brainer, but we also love the look of trainers styled with a lightweight linen suit.

Photographed: Hudson Ipanema Tan Shoe ($90)

Unexpected slip-ons

“Boat shoes are everywhere this time of year, but a woven slip-on is a sharp alternative that offers something different and more visually interesting, while still capturing that easy, warm-weather sensibility.”

Look for: Summer gives you the rare opportunity to embrace woven materials and micro-perforated styles – the holes translate to breathability.

Where to wear them: You can’t beat them in smart-casual settings – think work events or your mate’s engagement party.

How to wear them: “Wear yours with shorts and rolled-up denim for a laid-back off-duty look, and with chinos and a shirt to the office.”  

Suede driving shoes

Driving shoes are insanely comfortable – they have an almost barefoot quality to them – which is perfect for the season that is always tempting you to go somewhere.

Look for: “I’m always a fan of classic chestnut moccasins, but this season is all about colour, and this cool blue shade by Clarks is a worthy option to add to your footwear rotation. They’re a lot more versatile than you think.”

Where to wear them: Driving shoes were initially designed to be worn while behind the wheel of absurdly priced European cars. If that’s something you’re into, these are the shoes to reach for. If that’s not you (or at least not yet), you can also integrate them into most everyday settings, too.

How to wear them: This is your cue to pull your white jeans out of hibernation and style them with a pair of handsome driving shoes, a lightweight jacket, and sunnies. Remember when it comes to this style of shoes, nothing kills the vibe more than socks, so be sure to ditch them. Then get the hell outside.

Words: Allison Pavlick
Photography: Jamie Stoker
Styling: Freddie Kemp