One day, we’ll show off fits in real life again, even if it takes a little re-learning along the way. The Highsnobiety Summer Style Guide is here to help, ensuring that lightweight pieces still result in heavyweight looks.
Summer’s here and we’re buzzing to rip off our jackets, hoodies, winter boots, and other restrictive garments to enjoy the sun, warmth, and outdoors. A big part of that summer feeling is freeing your toes from the confines of toe boxes and giving them free rein. That’s where open-toe footwear comes into play.
Open-toe footwear is loosely defined as shoes that are open at the front to expose the toes. That can mean anything from sandals to slides. Open-toe footwear can come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. For the sake of our curatorial sanity, we’ve included all footwear styles in which you’re not strictly required to wear socks, and in which your toes have more freedom of movement than in traditional sneakers or boots. So if you see a shoe that doesn’t expose all five toes, don’t panic, we’ve included it for good reason.
Some of the most popular open-toe footwear brands include mainstays such as Birkenstock, Crocs, and Suicoke, but because the world of open-toe footwear is so vast, there are so many different kinds of options at all ends of the price spectrum. High-end luxury brands, such as Marni or Balenciaga have their own, distinct takes on the style. Similarly, outdoor brands, such as TEVA or HOKA ONE ONE provide more functional options.
When you’re deciding on the best open-toe footwear for you, the question you should ask yourself is what you will be doing in the shoes. If you’ll be more active, going for long walks or light hikes, a more utilitarian sandal might be the best option. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a stylish sandal that doesn’t restrict your toes and allows you to enjoy the summer in all its heat, a luxury brand may be the way to go.
Without further ado, and because we imagine your toes are itching to be freed, scroll through our selection of the best open-toe footwear below.
Shop the best open-toe footwear for men in 2021
MASTERMIND x Havaianas Flip Flops
Brazil meets Japan. Two labels with cult followings so deeply rooted in their home countries have come together to give the classic pair of Havaianas flip flops a streetwear-royalty update. MASTERMIND's signature Jolly Roger motif details the soles as well as the straps.
Marni Fussbett Sandals
We’re starting our selection out with a banger of an open-toe sandal. This Marni option features synthetic materials that look both comfortably soft and technical. Add to that the fact that the color blocking is fun and likely to be a conversation starter, you should be picking up this Marni Fussbett Sandal if you’re looking to make a statement at your next cookout.
Marsell Sanpomice Sandals
For something more toned-down (but equally regal), check out Marsell’s all-leather Sanpomice sandal that covers more of the foot than Marni’s option does but still frees the toes. Due to the leather construction, these may need some wearing in, so pick them up before all of the summer functions. There’s nothing worse than blisters when all you want to do is party and dance.
YEEZY Foam Runner
The YEEZY Foam Runner is an enigma. On the one hand, it’s pretty much a sandal. It’s made out of foam produced using algae and features several cutouts that increase breathability. On the other hand, though, your toes aren’t as free in these as they are in traditional open-toe footwear. Still, we think they count and if you’re looking for something out-of-this-world, there’s no better option.
TooGood x Birkenstock The Mudlark Slides
Birkenstock’s collaboration with TooGood is a slightly chunkier take on the former’s classic Arizona sandal. The two front buckle straps are swapped out for a Velcro strap, while the sandal is made from leather in a smooth grain finish for a high-quality look.
Balenciaga Track Slides
One of Balenciaga’s most popular sneakers, the Track, has been turned into a slide. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more “over-the-top” design. This is one is for those that want to flex on multiple levels — brand, price tag, and eye-catching design. How to style them is the next question. Probably just a full Balenciaga fit at this point, right?
APC x Sacai Sandals
This APC x sacai sandal has flown somewhat under the radar — probably because it looks a little confused, featuring a buckle and strap combination. But that’s exactly the type of look you should be going for when letting your toes hang loose. The crazier the better, in my honest opinion.
Crocs Classic Sandal
The classic Crocs Sandal features all of the customizations of the Classic Clog, with much more toe freedom. As far as open-toe footwear goes, Crocs most definitely had to be on the list. The beauty of these is that you can really make them your own by adding Crocs Jibbitz to them. Add to that the fact that Crocs footwear is usually supremely comfortable, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Sankuanz Double Strap Sandals
Double Strap Sandals
Sankuanz embodies “go big or go home.” And just because you’re wearing sandals, you don’t need to give up on that mantra. The double strap sandals are about as big as you can make sandals, while still leaving more than enough room and breathability for your toes and the rest of your feet. Next stop: big, bad, open-toe footwear.
HOKA ONE ONE Recovery Flip Flop
HOKA ONE ONE’s ultra-comfortable midsoles are available in flip-flop version. No, this is not a drill. Sometimes, you can get tired of sandals or slides, as they don’t fit quite right or are just too flimsy for a full day out and about. The HOKA ONE ONE Recovery Flip Flop is made for runners whose feet need a break, having just pounded the pavement and recorded a personal record. If comfort is what you’re after, grab a pair of the HOKAs.
TEVA Hurricane XLT2
This is the “go outside and get shit done” sandal. TEVA is known for its ultra-durable and utilitarian sandals that make short work of rugged landscapes. When you wear these, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting that you’re wearing sandals. If you like being outside when it’s hot out, and like to move around — either on hikes or long walks — these are for you.
Bottega Veneta Band Leather Sandals
Suicoke OG 299 Faux Fur
OG-299 Faux Fur Sandals
Suicoke makes a lot of great sandals and open-toe footwear. This OG 299 with faux fur is very high on our list. Not only do you get something fun and different, but you’ve also got a little bit of faux fur to keep you warm if you’re out longer and get caught by one of those cool summer nights. And if you’re extra freaky, you’ll love the tickle the faux fur gives your toes when you least expect it.
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