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At the recent menswear shows I caught a glimpse of some of the more adventurous summer footwear heading our way next year: glossy winkle pickers at Jonathan Saunders, bright suede espadrilles at Mr Hare, and endless variations on high-tech, luxury trainers and printed pumps. Colourful monkstrap shoes are also set to be popular.
Summer footwear for men can be a challenge: no one really wants to (or should) be wearing sticky flip-flops on their daily commute, sandals often divide opinion and preppy boat shoes and loafers are just looking a bit tired. With all that in mind, here are a couple of my current summer favourites: a smart sandal and a high-tech, futuristic trainer.
The sandals are from British brand YMC, and have been serving me well this summer. Indeed the ‘Punk sandal‘ has become a staple for YMC, a brand ‘not led or influenced by seasonal trends’. I love the fact that the shape recalls both the English seaside holiday, a la Martin Parr, and the classic jelly sandal, (the transparent rubber sandal with an unlikely history as the footwear of choice for dancers crossing the Punk/Soul divide, as documented in the film Young Soul Rebels). Thankfully, YMC‘s version comes in more grown up navy leather (amongst other colours) with a comfy crepe sole.
Stepping up the technology (and the price) the trainers are by Raf Simons for Adidas. Debuted at Simon’s show for AW13, and with a suitably autumnal palette, (with details picked out in contrasting pastels) they’ve just arrived on the shelves of the more discerning outlets, and given the timing can be considered summer footwear. Featuring ‘bubbles’ which catch the light and seemingly change colour, of-the-moment sport mesh and rugged ‘mud release’ soles, they combine perfectly with this summer’s tailored technical sportswear or (when the season changes) under wide-leg tailored trousers (as at the Raf men’s show). The Raf x Adidas range comes in a wide variety of colours, with selections available at Oki-ni. Whilst I love a traditional shoe as much as the next person (and often enthuse about them here), summer seems a perfect time to be wearing something a bit less obvious.