Best Summer Shoes Reviewed & Rated for the Heat
Oh, wonderful summer, full of so many adventures and activities. Pool parties, graduations, weddings, trips to the beach and hiking, hanging out with friends on decks – the summer fun doesn’t stop until the leaves begin to change again. As the seasons change and you start to pack up those bulky wool coats, flannels, and Spring rain gear, a change in footwear is called for. Summer consists of so many different events you need summer shoes that can keep up with you.
The important factors to consider when buying summer shoes are, breathability, comfort, and function. Whether you are wearing your shoes by the pool all day or doing long hikes in the sun, it is important your shoe can keep you cool and comfortable. It is also important that your shoe is suited to the type of summer activity you are taking part in, which is why so many people own more than one pair of great summer shoe.
- Crocs Classic Clog
- Very durable
- Keen Whisper Sandals
- Cool and light
- Teva Olowahu
- Secure straps
Below are the reviews of the top ten summer shoes, keeping in mind the important factors specific to summer shoes, including comfort, breathability, and cost, to help you find your perfect summer kicks. There are shoes for the beach, for camping and hiking, for hanging out, and for touring about. Everyone is sure to find a great summer shoe that suits them.
10 Best Summer Shoes
1. Crocs Classic Clog
The wider footbed supplies a roomy fit for maximum comfort, especially perfect for people with wide feet, bunions, or other foot problems. The backstrap is convertible so you can choose a snug secure fit or a looser slip-on fit. Crocs supply a good grip so even on the slippery poolside you will be sturdy.
The ventilation holes in the shoes provide great air circulation keeping your feet cool all day. As well the ventilation holes help drain water or debris making them the perfect beach shoes. The slip-on style features an open heel also allowing more air into your shoe. The roomier fit will keep your foot from feeling cramped and hot.
Cost and Value
Crocs are very inexpensive, and they will last quite literally a lifetime. Minus any encounters with extreme heat, (keep them away from campfires!) it is very hard to wear Crocs till their destruction making them the most affordable and durable shoe on this list.
- Water friendly
- Convertible back strap
- Easy to clean
- Extremely durable
- Very Casual Shoe
2. Keen Whisper Sandals
Keen’s sandals best feature is the closed toe, you get all the breathability of a sandal but the protection for your toes of a shoe. The mesh straps do not rub your feet uncomfortably and can be adjusted to fit your foot better optimizing comfort.
Anyone who spends the summer adventuring should invest in a pair of Keen’s sandals. The perfect summer hiking shoe that is breathable, comfortable, but also able to protect your foot adequately with a closed toe.
Cost and Value
Although more expensive than other sandals Keen is a quality brand so you are paying for a dependable sandal that can keep up with all your adventures for years to come. They are washable and easy to clean so after trekking through the mud or dropping an ice cream on your foot they still will look new.
- Water shoes/washable
- Comfortable footbed
- Cleansport NXT
- Adjustable straps
- Lighter and cooler than most hiking shoes
- Closed toe
- Back strap can slip on looser fitting sizes
3. Teva Tirra Slide
A blended EVA unit built into the heel that will transfer the shock of impact through the footbed and away from the heel. This leads to a greater spring with every push-off from the forefoot.
Microban Anti-Odor Treatment
This effective odor control method uses antimicrobial technology to capture odor-causing bacteria eliminating the smell before it even starts.
Cost & Value
While Teva Tirra’s Slide is slightly higher priced than similar options, it is well worth the splurge! This sandal absorbs shock from the heel and keeps feet feeling great all day long, thanks to their EVA cushioned footbed. These sandals are great for outdoor summer activities and will keep you looking stylish while on the go.
- Anatomic footbed
- ShocPad™ in heel
- Microban odor-resistance
- Spider Rubber outsole
- Hook-And-Loop Webbing Straps
- Wide Footbed
4. Adidas Cloudfoam Lite
With Cloadfoam in the name, you know these shoes have to be comfortable. The foam sole is the perfect cushion for your foot whether you are working, hiking, or just hanging out, your feet will not get sore even if you are on your feet all day. The shoes themselves are very lightweight which makes you feel as if you are just walking around barefoot with no bulky shoes weighing you down.
The mesh fabric creates a great flow of air. Your feet won't get too sweaty like in some sneakers and the lightweight of the shoe itself also helps keep your foot cool by not having all the extra bulk of traditional sneakers.
Cost and Value
Adidas Cloudfoam Lite Racer Slip-on is an affordable option for a casual everyday slip-on. The shoes are washable therefore they will look new even if you take an accidental muddy walk through the park. Adidas is a trusted brand that is known to create well-made shoes you can wear for a long time.
- Comfortable Cloudfoam Soles
- Very light
- Breathable mesh fabric
- Fabric can stretch
- Sizing can vary
5. Teva Olowahu
The squishy footbed forms to the arch of your foot making it the most comfortable fit for your specific arch. The two straps provide a more secure fit so your foot will not slip around causing those uncomfortable blisters associated with traditional flip-flops.
Cross-strapping ensures a secure and comfortable fit, perfect for fun summer activities. The straps also make the flip-flop uniquely stylish.
Cost and Value
Teva makes quality footwear for its outdoor-loving consumers. These flip-flops will last years to come if worn as normal flip flops but have a slightly shorter lifespan if you wear them out adventuring. They are well worth the extra couple dollars instead of getting cheap flip-flops that only last one summer.
- Two straps
- Many styles and colours available
- Will smell if they get wet
6. Bobs from Skechers
Bobs have a memory foam sole so your foot will be as comfy as a bug in a rug. The fabric also has some elasticity so they can stretch to fit your foot in the most comfortable way.
Bobs has so many options to choose from lots of solid color options to different patterns and fabrics to choose from you will look super chic all summer long. Bobs also look good paired with any outfit so you can slip them on while you run out the door to a casual picnic or to a garden party.
Cost and Value
Although cheaper than other slip-ons throughout this list Bobs have a lower quality and one pair will only last you a summer if worn every day. The nice thing about them being inexpensive is you can buy multiple pairs in different styles or use them as an inexpensive formal shoe option.
- Memory foam sole
- Many colors and patterns to choose from
- Poor arch support
- Not durable
7. Jessica Simpson Mandalaye
Nothing fits better with summer than a pair of slip-on shoes. Easy on-off wearability makes transitioning from the city to beach a breeze.
Complete with a cushioned man-made footbed which contours to the shape of your foot, providing all-around comfort.
Cost & Value
The great thing about Jessica Simpson is that she doesn’t charge a fortune for her fashion-forward, trendsetting numbers. The Mandalaye is considerably lower priced than similar styles of footwear but is equally as stylish.
- Crisscross Elastic Strap
- Stylish Design
- Rubber Outsole
- Fabric Upper
- Synthetic Lining
- Can Be Tight Fitting
8. Nike Roshe One
Nike Roshe One’s have a lightweight cushioned sole that absorbs any impact when you are wearing them making them extremely comfortable. As an everyday shoe, these are perfect for working on your feet or spending lots of time walking. The lacing supplies a comfortable snug fit so you do not have to worry about them slipping off. Along with the extra cushioning around the opening of the shoe to create comfort for your ankle these shoes are a dream come true of comfortable everyday footwear.
The layers of mesh fabric are perfect for air circulation keeping your feet cool during every activity from running to walking. The white fabric will keep your feet from overheating as they can with some darker fabrics.
Cost and Value
Nike is a trusted brand, known for their well-made shoes for both athletic use and everyday use. Nike supplies many of the world’s top athletes so you know their footwear is quality. Although more expensive these shoes last you even if you wear them every day. Although the white fabric can get dirty without proper care making them look older than they are.
- Mesh fabric for breathability
- Cushioned collar around ankle
- Great for summer running
- Get dirty fast
9. Reebok Princess
Premium synthetic leather offers the same stylish look as the real thing, only you can rest assured that no animals were harmed in its making. It is soft, breathable, and low-cost, enabling retailers to charge less for shoes made from real leather.
EVA is made up of thousands of tiny bubbles joined together that hold air. When these bubbles are compressed, they provide superior cushion and shock absorption while feeling completely weightless.
Cost & Value
Princess sneakers are an average cost option which offers total lightweight comfort. Their premium synthetic leather upper and rubber outsole design make them long-lasting, while the EVA cushioned footbed make it feel like you’re walking on air.
- Lightweight EVA Cushioning
- Rubber Sole
- Padded Foam Sockliner
- Premium Synthetic Leather
- Lace-Up Sneaker
- Fit Small
10. Sperry Boat Shoe
Boat shoes are a fashion statement whether it is as a casual everyday shoe to a going out fancier look you are going for you will have a footwear that is as versatile as it is fashionable. Available in a multitude of colors to choose from you can match it to your wardrobe.
Razor-Cut Wave Siping™
Small wavy slits in the outsole combine with larger, deeper waves to repel water away from the sole to give superior grip. Wet, or dry, these shoes guarantee you won't slip.
Cost and Value
On the more expensive side, Sperry’s boat shoes are made out of quality leather with rust resistant eyelets and featuring genuine hand-sewn tru-moc construction, meaning you are paying for a quality made shoe.
- Made out of genuine leather
- Rust resistant eyelets
- Thin soles with poor arch support
The best 10 shoes of summer list strive’s to highlight the best summer shoes in terms of quality, cost, breathability, and durability so you can start your summer off on the right foot! Whether you’re looking for a summer flip-flop, slip-on loafer or sneaker, you will find a shoe in our top 10 that will become a new summer fave.
Criteria Used To Evaluate The Best Summer Shoes
Did you know that quality summertime shoes are good for your health? Lightweight summer shoes and sandals allow for better airflow to the sensitive skin on our feet. Proper airflow keeps the feet cool and dry while promoting blood flow and improving circulation. The level of breathability a summer shoe can offer is largely dependent on the materials used to manufacture it. But how do you know which materials to look for and which ones to avoid?
Choosing The Right Materials:
- Leather may sound like a poor choice for a summertime shoe, but in reality, leather is a breathable material. With that in mind, choosing a shoe with a leather upper may not be the best option, what you want to look for is a shoe which has lined with leather. When used to line a shoe leather allows air to flow while absorbing excess moisture and perspiration.
- Fabrics are perhaps the most widely used materials for summer shoes, and with good reason. The fabrics to look for are cotton, linen, and viscose, they are all exceptionally breathable materials with excellent moisture absorbing properties.
- Materials to avoid are synthetics like polyester and acrylic. These are commonly used materials, but they fail to absorb moisture and can cause shoes to feel hot and become smelly. Manufacturers often use these materials to cut costs.
When summer begins the desire to see-and-be-seen takes hold. Suddenly looking stylish and trendy is more urgent than ever before, maybe it’s because of the tremendous choice of apparel the weather allows. Wearing a fashionable pair of shoes can make-or-break an outfit in an instant.
So, how can you tell what’s hot and what’s not? While at risk of sounding cliche, the best place to look for trend-setting clues, is to the stars. Hollywood is an endless inspiration when it comes to piecing together glamorous, sexy, or casual chic attire.
There are, of course, a select few brands which never go out of style, brands like, Birkenstock, Adidas, Teva, Vans, and Keen. These brands will always have a summer shoe which is fashionably stylish and a comfortable wear. You can rest assured you will always look on-point if you’re wearing a pair of shoes from these brands.
The footbed of a shoe is the part that runs underneath the foot and is often referred to as the insole. There are many types of insoles available which have different beneficial purposes, though a pair of shoes will usually have one of the following two types of insole style; cushioned arch support, or no-arch support(flat). Each type of insole style will also have many variants to better suit different consumer needs. When choosing between the two styles it is best to first determine what type of arch you have and then select the most appropriate.(For more on arch support and to see what type of arch you have, see the ‘Support’ section below)
Different Types Of Insoles:
- Cushioned arch supports are insoles that offer flexible arch support and are made completely of cushioned padding. This type of insole is made with an emphasis on the cushion but does provide some support. These are perfect if you plan to be on your feet all day long, walking, or engaging in other types of outdoor summer activities. The extra cushion will minimize fatigue and prevent foot pain. This type of insole is often sold separately from the shoe.
- Flat cushioned insoles offer no support, they are designed solely to line the bottom of your shoe. These are the standard insole used in many shoes and should not be worn for long periods of walking. Spending hours in a pair of shoes with a flat cushioned insole will result in tired, achy feet.
- Orthotic insoles are available for individuals who suffer from various physical conditions which affect the legs, feet, and back. They are also advisable for anyone who finds their muscles and joints tend to become painful, or stiff. Orthotics work by correcting the alignment of your feet while cushioning them from the pressure of walking. Various orthotic insoles are available for different problems associated with the feet.
Finding a summer shoe which offers proper arch support can be a drag. Many of the shoes designed for warmer weather are made with next-to-nothing in the way of support. That’s why it is so important that you take the time to find a pair of shoes that are going to support both your heel and arch. Shoes which are designed to cradle and support your specific type of foot arch will prevent pain, arch collapse, and fatigue.
What Type Of Arch Do You Have?
- Flat Foot/Low Arch: A low arch, or flat foot, is characterized by a low arch that typically rolls inwards excessively. Low arches’ can better absorb shock as the muscles and tendons are more relaxed and the foot is supple. However, low arches are more at risk for knee pain and of developing plantar fasciitis.
- Average Arch: This type of arch has a ‘normal’ height and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock. An average arch is less likely to experience discomfort, or develop certain issues related to the foot.
- High Arch: With a high arch, the foot rolls slightly outwards which causes the muscles and tendons to be tight and rigid. This means the foot does not absorb shock particularly well, causing problems in the foot and Achilles tendon.
Different levels of support will be needed depending on the arch of your foot. For example, a low arch would be best suited to shoes which offer stable support, whereas, a high arch requires a cushioned shoe which does not have any added stability devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are summer shoes?
A: Summer shoes are designed to keep your feet cooler in warm weather, they often have an open toe and are lighter than those made for colder temperature. Sandals, flip-flops, and flats are the most common styles of summer footwear.
Q: Are flip-flops bad for your feet?
A: Flip-flops aren’t good for extended hours of walking because they do not support the arch, cushion the heel, or absorb shock. Wearing flip-flops is known to cause foot pain, fatigue, and tendonitis.
Q: How can I keep my summer shoes from smelling?
A: Sweaty feet tend to make shoes smell in the summertime. The best way to prevent odors from occurring is by choosing a shoe with a moisture absorbing footbed, leather or fabric materials will absorb the most. You may also consider buying a secondary odor neutralizing product, such as a powder, or insole, specifically designed to prevent smelly shoes.
Q: Which brands make the best summer shoes?
A: There are tons of brands which produce quality shoes for summer, but only a few stand out above the rest for comfort and style. Brands like Adidas, Keen, Vans, and Birkenstock are the biggest names when it comes to summer footwear.
Q: Can I wear summer shoes in the winter?
A: While it’s really a matter of personal preference, it is not advisable to wear summer shoes in the winter. Shoes made for summer do not adequately protect your feet from the harsh winter weather conditions.
Q: Do you have specific lists of summer shoes?
A: Yes, we have specific lists for a number of shoes that are great for summer. Check out our:
These are just some examples of specific lists that we’ve researched, which will be handy if you’ve narrowed down the type or brand of summer shoe you’re looking for. We have lists for kids as well – because your children also need comfortable summer shoes. For example, we have lists relating to the best water shoes for kids and the best sandals for kids.