Dressing for the summer is easy – it’s just t-shirts, linens, shorts and sunglasses on rotation for a few months. But summer footwear is another matter. For many men, the only options for sunny days are sandals or plimsolls, but these can look way too casual in certain situations, and they don’t exactly work with every outfit.
That’s why we are big believers in the power of the humble boat shoe, which can take you from the office to the BBQ no matter what the weather. Somehow, they manage to look just as good with shorts and a t-shirt as they do with a pale-coloured suit or pressed chinos.
Men’s boat shoes are having a bit of a moment, and there have never been so many different styles to choose from. So, we’ve chosen five styles that represent the best men’s boat shoes for 2017 – invest now and wear them with anything at all, all summer long.
1. Classic boat shoesBrown leather boat shoes are a classic for a reason – they look smart without being too formal, and they go with pretty much anything. These Sperry shoes are now being stocked by Footasylum, where they were an instant sell-out. They err on the more expensive side, but they are built to last, and given that Sperry has been making these authentic boat shoes since 1935, they’re not likely to be going out of fashion any time soon.
Wear with... pale chinos and a matching belt
2. Pastel boat shoesThere’s no getting away from it - pastels are set to be big news this summer. If you’re still feeling a bit unsure about baby blue shirts or lilac trousers, a pair of pastel boat shoes could be an easy way to incorporate the trend without going overboard (no pun intended). These light pink Docksides are incredibly wearable and will add interest to the most casual outfit.
Wear with... shorts and a faded t-shirt
3. Hardy boat shoesThere is a misconception that boat shoes are only largely decorative, but it all depends on the quality of the sole. The iconic American brand has brought its trademark toughness to these brown leather Timberland boat shoes, adding a cleated sole and waterproof reinforcements, and turning the humble boat shoe into a mini hiking boot. Perfect for outdoor adventures, either on or off a boat.
Wear with... khaki trousers
4. Multi-texture boat shoesMulti-textured shoes are very ‘in’ at the moment, with everyone from Adidas to Balenciaga getting in on the trend, but Asos is the first retailer to offer a multi-textured boat shoe. The easy fit and on-trend design makes these shoes easy to wear and effortlessly cool. Just remember, if you’re opting for multi-textured shoes, make sure the colour is consistent, otherwise they can start to look a bit too busy.
Wear with... turned up jeans
5. Dressy boat shoesThe right pair of shoes can make or break an outfit. Obviously, you aren’t going to wear scruffy trainers or sandals to a formal event, but similarly, there are times when an uncomfortable pair of pointy loafers are a bit OTT. For those in-between smart-casual occasions, these Polo Ralph Lauren boat shoes hit the mark – just make sure they’re scruff-free and shiny before you head out the door.
Wear with... a linen suit, or blazer and trousers combo