Here you are, Googling reviews on the best sandals for men, because you’re in dire need of a new pair, or you’re preparing for an excellent lads holiday. Well, if you’re here, it’s definitely that time of year again. Mother Nature’s summer aphrodisiac has resurged with its glorious rays of sunshine, the smell of charcoal grills, and party-popping music everywhere you go. Now, the majority of men in this day and age follow the suns out guns out mentality, pumping iron and flaunting their physiques to anybody that cares to look ─ which isn’t all that many people!
For us, at Shoesops.com we’re all about flexing our toes, not our muscles, and so, we have taken a look at the trendiest, or best sandals for men, colloquially known as mandals, on the market this year. And, we’re going to give you the low-down on what’s hot and what’s not. If you do not like mandals, turn away now, my friends ─ because we’re about to go at it harder than a middle-aged father on the BBQ.
Top 10 Best Sandals for Men
What’s Hot and What’s Not in 2020?
Okay, here’s the exciting bit. So, we’ve gone through the advice ─ you know, the stuff that could prevent you from looking like a Hollywood A-Lister this summer ─ for the betterment of your feet’s health. Because, lads, looking like Clooney is excellent until you pull a tendon and face-plant the floor. Now we are going to check out the, in our humble opinion, best sandals for men, for your summertime sauntering. Let’s start this show like a sensible fashionista lanista.
Do you need a companion for your summertime antics? Well, of course, you do! Dockers have designed their Newpage outdoor sandal with sporty, active men in mind. The Newpage is breathable, durable, and ready to face long strolls on just about any terrain that you’ll find during the warmer months.
These sandals feature Fusion Footbed to give you some extra bounce when you hit the court with your crew and foot-hugging Memory Foam insoles to pamper your feet with instant comfort from the very first wear.
Dockers have made it easy for those of you who have slightly awkward sizes, providing velcro closures and Generous Fit, accommodating all shapes and sizes with a bespoke-fitted feel.
- Sturdy and durable
- Roomy, perfect for bunions and hammertoes
- Soft lining preventing blisters
- Classic image
- Not necessarily the kind of sandals that you would want to damage
Under Armour has been proving itself as an industry-leading sports brand in recent years and here is their best offering to the mandal marketplace. A slide-on with a dual-layered Performance 4D Foam® footbed, anatomical contours for additional cushioning, and an adjustable synthetic strap providing unprecedented comfort topped off with a HeatGear® lining to keep your feet feeling snug and loved.
These sandals are perfect for all your summer sports. They’re durable with treaded undersides, sleek in their design, and have implemented traction pods to comfort your heel when you’re stomping down the street. Just don’t forget that while they may feel awesome, they might fly off as you jump with joy!
- Durable undersole
- Breathable HeatGear® lining
- Well cushioned
- Sleek and stylish
- Midsole wears out quickly
- Not the strongest of straps
If you’re a bit of an adventurer, Dream Pairs are here for all your hiking needs, gentlemen! The 160912-M packs a punch with a classic fisherman-style sandal, featuring a high-quality, durable outsole with incredibly soft EVA cushioning on the insole. The sandal is both comfortable and lightweight, allowing you to hike for miles on any terrain you plan to tackle.
Much like other sandals on this top-10 list, the 160912-M has a velcro strap, which is fully adjustable and allows for any foot width, and also allows you to get the sandals on or off in a jiffy.
Dream Pairs 160912-M’s are an all-around goodie two-shoes if you’re looking for a tough pair of sandals that will carry you across all terrains with a dash of panache.
- High-quality, durable outsole
- Fully adjustable straps
- Super soft EVA cushioning
- Lightweight, flexible, and comfortable
- The sandals pull tab is only attached to the sandal with glue, so it can easily come off
Looking for that classic image, with modern durability? The Birkenstock Arizona is the real deal ─ in fact, it is a suede-lined mandal-sandal that has been worn by both men and women for decades. As we can see in just about every walk of life, simple is sometimes smartest. The timeless design of the Arizona, which features only two straps, made with synthetic Birko-Flor®, fitted with adjustable metal-pin buckles, amplifies that very point.
Simple though they may be on the external-front, Arizona sandals are quite the opposite internally. The footbed, listed as just cork, actually has eight implemented materials: natural jute, latex, cork, alongside moisture-absorbing and shock-absorbing layers. All of these layers mean that the Arizona sandal supports and caresses your feet with its contoured sole.
- Adjustable straps
- Great arch support
- Cork-based midsole
- Anatomical contoured footbed
- A slightly higher cost
- Very outdated style
- Cork and water do not mix well
What’s the difference between a flip flop and sandals? A flat, less-supportive sole versus an arched, supportive one. For those of you who love a flip flop frenzy but need the durability of a sandal, Gubarun has managed to meet you right in the middle. This lightweight thong-sandal keeps the sleek flip flop aesthetic complemented by a cushioned, synthetic rubber sole which holds on to your feet while its incredibly grippy footbed throws down some torque as you walk.
Gubarun meant business when it designed these sandals. The shoe is strong enough to hike through a valley, gripping enough to walk on the wet deck of a boat, and lightweight enough to feel the sand underfoot on a seaside stroll. All in all, Gubarun has brought this durable, versatile sandal to the market at a time when men are in need of fashionable, but flexible summer footwear.
- Lightweight, but durable
- Grippy for anti-slip purposes
- Excellent arch support
- TPR material on the footbed to ensure comfort
- Lacking an adjustable strap, limiting foot size
Did you know that, in Hawaiian, ohana means family? Now you do! And, with that in mind, it’s not all that surprising that OluKai has brought to the sandal marketplace an at-one-with-the-world offering: the Ohana.
As part of OluKai’s Makai, or ‘Toward The Ocean’, collection, Ohana is a water-resistant sandal created with nature in mind. Made of entirely vegan-friendly materials, the Ohana features a gum-rubber outsole designed to mimic a coral reef lug, giving wearers a shoreside grip like no other sandal on the market. The sandals have a jersey-knit lining alongside a neoprene foam backer, protecting your feet from wear-and-tear. And, to top it all off, the Ohana loves your feet, providing them with anatomically contoured Drop-in Comfort, ensuring a great fit.
To summarise OluKai’s Ohana sandals: Ohana’s yo mama.
- Usable in any occasion
- Very protective
- Quite expensive
- Not the best build
Built for comfort and style while participating in extreme activities, Teva Men’s Katavi sandal is– for lack of a more floral word–excellent. So, the Katavi sandal packs a very well reviewed arch support system, underneath a solidly built sole, and topped off with easily adjustable straps which are well cushioned.
The Katavi sandals are a great addition to your shoe-rack, for day-to-day use, or long distance abuse. In addition, the sandals have proven particularly popular among sportsmen who state that they are very comfortable for hiking and kayaking trips.
- Highly durable and versatile
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Great arch support
- The straps are cushioned and adjustable
- The front strap is known to be narrow and can cut your foot
Well, I’m not sure about ‘Phantom of the Opera’, but what I can say is, forget the body-builders flexing their muscles this summer, because ‘Beast of the Beach’ is certainly fitting for the men wearing Reef® Cushion Bounce Phantom sandals.
In Phantom’s, you will enjoy both anatomical arch support and heel cupping. They’re elegantly contoured to fit your feet, befitting of the luxuries of our times. The Phantom’s footbed features Reefs signature cushion bounce technology, made from ridiculously soft EVA foam, providing comfort for your feet while you set off a riptide for onlookers.
And, as Reef say… “Beach Freely.” Phantom’s are designed to make you feel chilled as a cucumber, and empowered in any environment, wherever you may be!
- Not very durable
- Lacking in grip
If you’re keen on the weird and wonderful that this world has to offer and like to make a, potentially questionable statement, KEEN’s name flipped with a focus on U at the front, will fit the bill. KEEN’s UNEEK sandal is, truly, unique, and can only be described as a melting-pot combination of your grandfather’s slippers, a flip flop, and a hiking sandal held together by the shoe-laces of a worksite boot.
While the UNEEK sandal looks like something that should fray and fall apart in an instant, it has actually proven itself to be very supportive ─ and with all those gaps, pretty breezy too! The upper on the UNEEK, or what I described as “shoe-laces of a worksite boot,” is made of microfiber and polyester braided cord ─ pretty unique. And, the sole is also entirely unique to KEEN. It’s got antimicrobial to avoid turning your grandfather’s slippers into a cheesy mess, and a particularly wide sole, just in case bunions occur.
That’s our theory, anyway. Oh, and… it’s probably inadvisable to wear these sandals when it’s raining, and best to wear them for hiking or just a casual stroll this summer.
- Unique Secure, supportive fit
- Incredibly comfortable
- Hybrid sandal for all activities
- Very heavy sole
- Polyester cords and hold everything you walk through
Well, you may not be a master Angler, but you can hook these bad-boys right now. The Searose fisherman sandals by Dockers are ‘sporty’ sandal representative of the classic closed-toe shoes that traditional fishermen once wore ─ or, maybe they could again.
If you’re looking for the comfort factor, you should consider these particular sandals, as they pack a Memory Foam insole upon a Fusion Footbed, giving you a super soft foundation on which you walk, which moulds itself to your foot. It’s like a snuggly cuddle… from a sandal. Yep.
Dockers, known for their quality, have created a durable, flexible construction which has a robust rubber outsole, which should be able to take on the rockiest of hillocks.
- Memory foam footbed for comfort
- Rubber, durable outsole
- Adjustable strap
- Smart and stylish
- Not advisable for extreme activities
- Not waterproof
What’s Good, What’s Not?
If you’re anything like me, choosing anything ‘new’ can be a challenge, especially when entering into the foray of fashion and footwear. ‘Does this fannypack go with this dress’, or ‘does this sandal suit these socks’, are common questions that often get met with a “goodness, no!” But more often than not, constructive feedback and solutions from the fashionista’s of this world are oddly not-forthcoming.
So, we’re going to provide it instead! Let’s go through the most important factors when nipping to the shop, whether it be bricks-and-mortar or online, to grab your next pair of summer sandals.
If you were picking out a nice pair of formal shoes, would you consider buying lesser quality ones, knowing they’ll likely cause you harm and fall apart pretty quickly? Nope. The same rule applies to sandals! Make sure that your sandals come packed with suitable arch support and cushioning to give you an extra spring in your step.
Flat is Flawed
A lot of sandals come with flat soles. This is a big no-no for your tootsies. Make sure that the sandals you choose have a small heel at the back ─ no, I’m not saying a pair of 6-inch heels is the way to go. A slight heel will prevent additional strain on your Achilles, heels, and knees. If you think about it, every great nation or system was built on a stable and supportive foundation ─ you should be on one too.
Appropriation for Your Life
Like a raincoat, sandals come in a variety of forms, all equipped with different benefits which are wholly dependent on what you need. If you intend to scramble over some rocks in the Grand Canyon, it would be inadvisable to turn up in a pair of lightweight, beach-going sandals with no grip on the bottom. Keep that in mind, gentlemen!
A Stickler for Labels
So, listen… if you see the ‘perfect’ pair of sandals for you and it’s based on the aesthetic of brand names, you may well be doing yourself a disservice. For example, if you see an Emporio Armani pair of sandals showcased at the Milan fashion show, and fall in love, we completely understand! However, if you buy those sandals with the intent of traipsing across a landscape, you may well be disappointed. Ensure that you find a company that offers a brand guarantee for specific qualities, and that provide both comfort and style.
Try Before You Buy ─ Internet vs Reality
The Internet has been an excellent place to shop for just about anything this past decade. When it comes to shoes, though, you should always use the platform for window-shopping only, and never commit to a pair of sandals of which you do not know the exact dimensions.
If you have already tested the brand, then you could be fine, but if you have not, you may end up busting a strap off with your wide feet, breaking your toe when it’s flopping off the end of the sandal, or breaking your own nose tripping over the excess sole at the front.
We know, that was an incredibly floral way of telling you that we’re going to do some FAQs, but it definitely made you wonder, right?
What midsole should I look for?
Ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, is definitely the way to go when considering the material that your feet will be rubbing all day long. EVA is a soft and spongy material that supports the arches of your feet, it won’t make your feet smell, and you’ll say “goodbye” to the ol’ sweaty betty’s, too.
EVA has been used for some time now and more specifically for the sportswear industry ─ football and rugby players’ boots, for example, feature the material, so that it absorbs the impact of their physical exercise. The same applies to sandals and any activity that you may do while wearing them.
Why do you keep mentioning “arches?”
Yes, we know, arches have been mentioned all over this article, but, not quite as much as I’ve mentioned the best sandals for men, mind. That’s the point of the article though.
Moving on… The “arches” I refer to are the tarsal and metatarsal bones in your foot. The bones are strengthened by ligaments and tendons, which allows your foot to hold the entire weight of the body while standing, at the minimum weight possible. The best sandals for men that we have listed here will all support your arches, bettering your long term health.
Closed toe or open toe?
Well, this one is entirely subjective and dependent wholly on what you would prefer to wear. It is worth taking note of the activities that you may potentially get involved in, and choosing which form of sandals to purchase, or wear, based on that. Just remember, if you choose the open-toe look, a pedicure never hurt any man!
Chances are, if you’re playing football on a gravel track, in open-toe flip flops, you’ve got a good chance of tripping and hurting yourself, so it’d be inadvisable to do so. KEEN specifically changed the styles of sandal saunterers, worldwide, and implemented an extended outsole which curves up and around the front section of the sandal. Doing so was an excellent move to prevent stubbed toes across the globe!
When should I buy flip flops?
If you’re chilling out with friends, camping around a fire, or dossing around on the beach, a simple pair of flip flops will be perfect for you. If you want to get the ultimate level of comfort from your flip flops, pick up a pair of leather ones; they’re super snug and far superior to rubber, as you would expect.
When should I buy hiking sandals?
Imagine the Lanista ─ a Roman gladiator trainer ─ that I mentioned earlier. A Lanista and his gladiators would wear the stereotypically ‘Greek’ or ‘Roman’ sandals, with straps that criss-cross across the feet. Why? Because a mere flip flop would have flown off their feet during training and daily life.
The same rule applies to hiking sandals. So, if you’re looking for a pair of sandals that have a tougher outsole, a shield against a broken toe, and something to hold them on to your feet while providing a bit more support for the ankle, you should be looking to buy hiking sandals.
Which materials should I look for?
The answer to this question is wholly dependent on what you are planning to do while wearing your new sandals. Allow us to run through it:
I’m doing rigorous rock climbing and hikes:
- Look for water-resistant sandals to avoid drowning your feet, that feature deep treads to assist you with your climbing endeavours, as the deeper the tread, the stronger the hold while halfway up a rock face. The upper section of your sandals should be, much like sports shoes, made with something breathable but also durable, like polyurethane or nylon webbing. And, aim for a memory foam interior as it will support your feet and comfort them when balancing on the tip of a rock, where a flip flop would snap a toe or, lead to a more unfortunate accident.
I’m heading down to the beach bonfire:
- Some simple rubber flip flops or sandals will do the job for less strenuous tasks. Always try to find a pair with a spongy midsole, like sandals which feature EVA, if you can. They offer more support for your arches.
Should I trust reputable brands?
You definitely should, yes. Rather than spending weeks researching certain materials that will be beneficial for x, y, and z, you can safely assume that well-known brands will provide precisely what is stated on the label. Big brands have already taken the time to do the necessary research, to ensure that they offer the very best products to the marketplace. And, they are the industry-leaders, after all.
The Best Sandals for Men in the Summer Sun
Whether you’re looking to make circles in the sand, prove that there ain’t no mountain high enough, or just stomp the streets, this summer, our top-10 best sandals for men will provide plenty of flexibility to achieve all of your wishes. And, if you need more information on any of the listed products, click on the relevant link to find out more information ─ maybe even make a purchase, if you fancy it!