Man wearing black closed heel sandals

How to Style Sandals for Summer. Your comprehensive guide to rocking this summer look.

Sandals have been a summertime staple since the 90’s, but somewhere down the line someone decided to combine the practical breezy footwear with socks, and things just got messy. We here at The GentleManual decided it’s high time sandals (a.k.a mandals) get their well-deserved redemption into the fashion world. Here are the hottest styles of sandals for summer 2018 and how we suggest you style them

Types of Sandals

Slide on sandals

Men's Slides Sandals
Moncler Sandals

Slides are perhaps the most widely accepted sandal at the moment, re-popularized by the luxury Gucci slides. Rubber slides are the perfect summer shoe because they are durable and can’t be damaged by water. However, you don’t have to spend big bucks to achieve this look. There are plenty of affordable options on the market to achieve this look-for-less. Get yourself a pair of these, and you will be the envy of all of your friends.


Men's Sandal Styles-Birkenstocks

Birkenstock Unisex, Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal – Narrow Width

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal Narrow Width
  • 100% Leather
  • Slide style sandal with two adjustable buckle closure straps for a perfect fit
  • Leather lined insole keeps feet fresh and dry

Birkenstocks contoured design makes it the pinnacle of comfort. The only thing that can make these shoes better is their sleek design making Birkenstocks the perfect go-to footwear to pair with any outfit.

Leather Sandals

Men's Sandal Styles-Leather Sandals

Leather sandals are an upscale solution when flip-flop don’t feel fancy enough, but you need something more breezy than a boat shoe. A nice looking pair of leather sandals is hard to come by so when you find the perfect pair make sure to take care of them.

How to Style Sandals for Summer

The Casual Look

Men's Sandal Styling Jeans with Sandals

Sandals are the perfect finishing touch to a casual summer outfit. Whether you’re headed to the park or going out for drinks with the guys, this look can take you from day to night without breaking a sweat. Pair your favorite sandals with a rolled up pair of jeans and a casual tee for a relaxed but put together look. Be sure to match the proper sandal with the appropriate shorts. Upscale shorts such as chinos should be paired with an elevated shoe whereas jean shorts will call for a more casual option such as slides.

The Nighttime Look

Elevated Men's Sandal Style

Birkenstock Milano Sandal

Birkenstock Milano Sandal
  • fabric-and-synthetic
  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sole

When the sun goes down, and the temperature cools off you might be tempted to reach for a longer pair of pants. But if your dirty old sneakers aren’t cutting it, consider reaching for a couple of Birkenstocks and a button down shirt. This is the perfect lightweight vacation outfit that you’ll wear again and again.

The Elevated Look

Suit and Sandals Outfit

If you have an event booked in your calendar this summer that calls for you to dress up, it may be the perfect excuse to try out the sandal and sports jacket combo. Layer a short-sleeved shirt under the suit jacket to lighten up the look and ensure maximum comfort from the summer heat. Finish off the look with a pair of neutral leather sandals, and you have the ultimate summer looks.

What Not to Wear

Although sandals have come a long way since their invention, there are a select few styles of sandals we recommend steering clear of.

Fisherman Sandals

Fisherman Sandals in Men's Sandal Styles

Are they sandals? Are they shoes? Who knows! Are they ugly? Yes! Fisherman shoes will only hinder an already put together look. Unless you are going camping we suggest leaving these in the back of your closet where you found them.


Tevas Men's Sandals

Teva Men’s Open Toe Sandals

Teva Mens Open Toe Sandals
  • Rubber sole
  • Quick-dry webbing made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi supports your foot and stands up to abuse, these sandals save 5 plastic bottles from ending up in landfills.

If your Dad owns Tevas, it means you shouldn’t. Although it can be argued that Tevas are making a comeback they are still more function than fashion. For that reason, they have ended up on our what-not-to-wear list.

Socks and Any Sandals

Why not to Wear Socks and Sandals

This shouldn’t need to be said but we will repeat it again for the people in the back…DO NOT WEAR SOCKS AND SANDALS. Just don’t. You’ll thank us later.

With this trusty guide in hand, you should feel confident displaying your (hopefully pedicured) toes this summer.

Tell us in the comments below how you style your favorite sandals.

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