Believe it or not, this lockdown isn’t going to last forever. We know, we know — you’ve spent so many weeks in your slippers at this point that it feels as though they’re fluffily fused to your feet. But, whether you and your toasty toes like it or not, this lockdown has to lift. Soon, we’ll be able to throw open our front doors, start socialising once again and make the most of summer. Or what’s left of it, at least.
But there’s a problem. When we entered the sad-but-necessary world of self-isolation, most of us were still bundled up in our winter wardrobes. Big coats were still in heavy rotation, and our socks were as thick as our sweaters. When lockdown lifts, we’ll be thrown into a whole new world — a strange sunny place that our outfits are not prepared for. Thankfully, we’ve already shortlisted some shorts for your consideration and got a jump on your summer sweater collection — but now is the turn of your shoes.
Your winter boots, as strapping and laced-up as they looked during the colder months, will not serve you well in summer. Rather, you need to invest in some breathable, airy kicks to stay light on your feet. And, from easy slip-on loafers and smart sneakers, to a selection of sleek suede Derbys, we’ve got just the summer shoes for the job.
The loafer is still the king of summer shoes
The best, most memorable summer adventures often happen at the drop of a hat. And, when the rest of your friends are busy piling into the back of that sunshine yellow VW Rabbit convertible, you don’t want to be stuck on the front step trying to lace up your old chukkas. You want to be wedged in there with the best of them, road-trip-ready and jostling for control of the cassettes. You need speed; you need loafers.
So we’ve slipped together some of the best. If you’re behind the wheel, there are few options better than Tod’s Gommino driving shoes — Italian icons of style and speed with a signature rubber pebble outsole. Scarosso’s take on the classic driving shoe is equally alluring, handcrafted by skilled artisans. Or, for a more formal spin on the slip-on style, Crockett & Jones’ Cadogan loafers boast the stiff upper uppers of trusted British shoemaking — with a nod to European flair.
Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes
Crockett & Jones Cadogan Loafers
Scarosso Carlo Blu Scamosciato
Smart sneakers are a perfect office alternative
Like it as we might, summer isn’t all going to be free, easy adventuring. Though we can step outside again for the first time in months, some of those trips will have to be back to the office. But that doesn’t mean you have to return to your fusty brogues or old Oxfords. When the warmer weather rolls around, we tend to slip on a pair of smart sneakers for the office — ideal for keeping up appearances and keeping comfy.
North 89’s No-1 Light sneakers are breezy in both name and nature. Handcrafted in Portugal from luxurious Italian suede, they’re as continental as your kicks are likely to get this summer — and will look just as good behind your desk as they will boarding a plane for a city break. Oliver Cabell’s Low 1 shoes are the chicest sneakers we’ve found so far this year, and the Series 1s from Uniform Standard, although unseasonably dark in colour, feel surprisingly summery on your feet.
North 89 No-1 Light
Oliver Cabell Low 1 Sneakers
Uniform Standard Series 1
Boat shoes are your best bet for coastal kicks
The seaside — be it Barcelona or Bognor Regis — is a key part of any summer. We flock there in droves, we eat ice cream and fish and chips, we splash in the sea, attempt to surf and charter boats for coastal adventures. And the unofficial uniform of the amateur sailor, the boat shoe, is the ideal footwear for any budding first mates.
From G.H. Bass, these Jetty II Boater shoes couldn’t sound more nautical if they tried. With waxed thread, rubber soles and nickel eyelets, they’ll always be ready for the waves — even if you’re feeling a little green around the gills. Sperry’s cheaper — but equally cheerful — lace-ups are tanned to a ruddy, burnished hue and durably constructed in the label’s signature ‘Tru-Moc’ style. Or, if you really want to push the boat out (forgive us), Brunello Cucinelli’s suede shoes are a reliably upmarket option.
G.H. Bass Jetty II Boater Shoes
Sperry Burnished Leather Boat Shoes
Brunello Cucinelli Suede Boat Shoes
Breathable trainers will be your everyday saviours this summer
Style is all well and good, of course — but nothing beats practicality. Whether you’re walking to work or heading out for a weekend getaway, it always pays to make sure your feet feel comfortable. After all, most of us won’t have walked more than the few steps to the shop in almost two months. Your feet, then, need some protecting — and there are few things better for that than a breathable trainer.
The No-2 is North 89‘s second and sportier model, stitched together using breathable materials such as cotton mesh and perforated leather. They don’t look half bad, either. Similarly, Unseen Footwear’s Trinity style pairs a clean, minimal and unbranded design with lightweight fabrics. Or, for a real masterclass in materials, Loro Piana’s 360 LP Flexy Walk trainers are woven from Wish wool — and supremely comfortable as a result.
North 89 No-2 Breathable Sneakers
Unseen Footwear Suede Mesh Sneakers
Loro Piana 360 LP Flexy Walk
Suede Derbys are the ideal formal summer shoe
As the world returns to normal, we’re looking forwards to one type of social occasion more than any other: the summer wedding. The open bar, the bad dancing and, most of all, the chance to dress up. Nothing says summer formal like a pair of suede Derbys, and we’ve been known to walk our favourite brushed leather lace-ups out of the reception and into the office the very next day. We’d suggest you do the same.
Of course, you won’t take much convincing if your shoes look as good as Crockett & Jones‘ Latimer Derbys — with soft suede uppers and lightweight rubber soles for comfort. Edward Green, too, is flying the British shoemaking flag with its Luccombe design; so named for a sunny summer hamlet on the Isle of Wight. Or, if you’re looking for a more colourful option, Cheaney has a pair of blue suede shoes so stylish they would make even Elvis blush.
Crockett & Jones Latimer Snuff Suede
Edward Green Luccombe Shoes
Cheaney Murton Suede Derby Shoes
Want to refresh more than your shoe collection? Enter our latest competition to win a summer wardrobe worth over £2,000…
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