When the temperature cranks up, footwear needs to be reconsidered. Unfortunately, though, most of your favorite kicks just don’t cut it in the heat. Your Jordan 1s leave no room for breathing, and those faux fur Grateful Dead Dunks you just copped are doing no favors for foot temp.
On the other end of the spectrum are open-toe sandals, which undoubtedly solve the breathability issue, but divide opinions when it comes to style. So, if a pair of Suicoke or Birkenstocks is a visible toe too far for you, fear not, because there may be another solution.
We’re here to prove that the beloved world of sneakers is not completely out of the question in the height of summer. In the past few years, we’ve seen several huge leaps in sneaker technology, from technical uppers to 4D engineered sole units. That means that sneakers have never been so comfortable as today, and that goes for breathability, too. So if sandals are a no for you, keep your feet cool with our selection of lightweight sneakers for summer from Nike, Acne Studios, Salomon, and more.
Browse the best sneakers for people who hate sandals below.
adidas YEEZY Foam Runner “Sand”
The adidas YEEZY Foam Runner is basically a cheat code. Some people consider it a sandal, others call it a sneaker. You can wear it with or without socks. It’s comfortable, it’s light, and it’s breathable. If you’re someone that hates sandals, you won’t find a better compromise than the YEEZY Foam Runner.
Salomon RX Moc 3 ADV
Salomon is second to none when it comes to outdoors sneakers, so does it really surprise you that the French outfitter has an ultra-breathable Moc sneaker that will have your feet feeling like they’re wearing sandals without that being the case?
SANKUANZ Double Strap Shoe
Double Strap Shoe
SANKUANZ comes with one of the strongest statement sandal alternatives of the season in the form of the Double Strap Shoe. Punctuated by a platform sole, this pair can be styled with socks if you'd rather hide your toes.
ROA Lhamu Mock Slip-On
ROA is another one of those outdoors brands that has been embraced by fashion and functional folk alike. The Lhamu Mock Slip-On is the perfect compromise between shoe and sandal. It’s rugged enough to survive a trek through the outdoors, without weighing you down and allowing your feet to breathe.
Acne Studios Bolzter Bryz M Sneakers
Acne Studios' characteristically unconventional approach is on display for all to see when it comes to the Bolzter Bryz M Sneaker. This all-black colorway features two straps to hold you in and a chunky hiking sole for comfort.
Acne Studios Paneled Faux Suede & Ripstop Trainers
Acne Studios is traditionally a fashion-first brand, which is why it might surprise some that they’ve got two entries on a list that should be dominated by outdoors brands. This sneaker is the epitome of breathable and — thanks to its translucent upper — gives off heavy sandal vibes.
Nike Waffle One
Mesh is your best friend if you want the sandal feeling without actually wearing sandals, and unsurprisingly the Nike Waffle One has an overload of mesh. This results in a breathable, versatile design.
Adidas x OAMC Type 0-4
adidas taps OAMC for help on the Type 0-4, a futuristic trail runner which, thanks to suede panels to the upper, can be styled for city wear as easily as hiking. We're loving the muted color palette, too.
Keen Uneek Laced Mesh Trainers
Keen is king when it comes to offering ultra-breathable sneakers that look different to the mainstream adidas and Nike running shoes. This Uneek sneaker features a combination of materials that ensure your feet will be cool whatever you decide to do in them.
1017 ALYX 9SM Mono Slip-On
If the adidas YEEZY Foam Runner found a place on this list, ALYX’s high-end version also needs to be considered. If you want something that is a little more luxury, the Mono Slip-On is for you.
Merrell 1TRL Wildwood Aerosport
If you can see through a sneaker’s mesh upper, it’s probably going to be pretty damn breathable. Merrell 1TRL is on the come up, so don’t sleep.
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