8 Best Sandals For Men: Fabulous Low-key Footwear in 2024

Tourists are the worst… dressed. But it’s not their fault. They must pack light, dress comfortably, and wear a fanny pack for all the traveling knick-knacks. However, they give men’s sandals a bad reputation and I will not stand for that.

The best sandals for men offer a trifecta of fashion power: comfort, breathability, and style. They relieve you of the tyranny of sweaty sneakers, blistering loafers, and stinking socks. They are the thinking man’s summer footwear choice. And this article will force you to reconsider the joys of men’s sandals.

Definitionally, it can get blurry. Sandals are mostly open-foot shoes with straps around the top, the knuckle, and the heel. Sandals are not to be confused with clogs, slides, or flip-flops. They are a much more versatile beast, and the best men’s sandals span a breadth of uses and formality that match the versatility of shoes at large.

Some can see you through grueling hikes, rock pooling, and beach frolicking. So, as a stylish gentleman, you should be considering sandals as essential summer footwear.

But don’t just take it from me. Fashion has been hot on men’s heels in recent years. A sustained interest in outdoor wear has pushed interest in sandals, the rise of Lemaire (and its ballet sandals), Suicoke, Keen, and the general domination of Birkenstock Boston clogs have all indicated the sandals “it” status.

Not to mention Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Cousin Richie in The Bear) trying to bring back jellies (we salute you). Everyone’s having a go and in whichever way they can. But, the genre at large seems to split into a) super outdoorsy or b) formal, louche, and more artisanal-looking.

If only there were some guidance from a sagacious writer on the coolest and best sandals for men. Wink wink. Read on below.

Key Takeaways 

For this assignment, I asked Instagram for recommendations, then scoured reviews, blog sites, articles, e-com sites, and social media for the best men’s sandals. I managed to shrink all of this information to just 8 choices.

Overall, the best sandals for men are the Birkenstock Arizonas. Call it unimaginative, but nothing beats them. They can withstand a day’s walking, bring a suave edge to outfits, and won’t break the current account.

My runner-up choice is the Keen Hypersport H2. This style scores highly on outdoor capability, green credentials, and style. Plus, it comes in a range of zesty colors and an innovative Aquagrip outsole for optimum wet grip.

Our Top Picks

man jumping from rock to rock by the sea
keen / Instagram

Birkenstock Arizona Suede Sandals: best sandals for men

Why they’re great:  These Birkenstock Arizona Suede Sandals are the overall best sandals for men. The natural cork midsole is the perfect harmony of cushioning and durability. Plus, the cork is lightweight, fast-drying, and doesn’t irritate the skin.

The soft suede footbed and straps are good for daily use. With the Germans’ love of sandals well documented, it makes sense that a chic German brand would top the list.

Who are these for? The simplicity of design makes this a versatile wardrobe piece. However, the use of exquisite and intelligent fabrics will bring finesse and practicality to your summer footwear.

Best of all, Birkenstocks have timeless appeal and won’t get thrown out in the next trend cycle. The suede and cork combo adds a natural aesthetic that’ll make summer styling feel as cool and easy as the sea breeze that surrounds you.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: They come with a reputation of being a bit “basic middle-class.” But screw that. The label is only a testament to the quality and popularity of the product.

Material: Suede straps | Sole Material: Suede and cork footbeds + rubber soles  | Sizes Available: EU 39–46 | Colors Available: 2

CUSHIONAIRE Men's Lane Cork footbed Sandal with +Comfort

Why they’re great: These are in this list because they are the greatest cheap sandals in the style of Birkenstocks. What they lack in durability (and brand recognition), they make up for in affordability, comfort, and style.

These CUSHIONAIRE sandals use a suede footbed that’s grippy and soft, plus a cork sole underneath that molds to the contours of your foot over time. Eventually, every step will be the perfect step, making them among the best sandals for men.

Who are these for? This one is for the deal-seekers of this world. With countless Birkenstock imitators on Amazon, these come in at 4.4 out of 5, spanning more than 1,156 ratings at the time of writing. Customers rate comfort, style, and affordability.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: They aren’t the real deal. Expect quality, feel, and durability to take a hit.

Material: 100% Faux leather | Sole Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate | Sizes Available: US 9–13 | Colors Available: 8

Why they’re great: These are utility summer shoes, the cabriolet Suzuki Jimny of sandals, if you will. I recently bought a pair and in my limited time testing them, I have fallen in love. I strolled across a low-tide white sand beach, climbed up jagged rocks, and leaped between rocks, avoiding the pools with aplomb.

These are some of the best sandals for men. The rubber soles are grippy and durable. They are bafflingly lightweight. They’re extremely comfortable, and they feel secure, like no other summer footwear I’ve worn before. Plus, the style is deliciously divisive.

Who are these for? This is for style heads up for a sartorial adventure. Those who want to stir the conversation, or “push the culture,” or something like that?

Sometimes, to avoid looking like a fashion-illiterate German tourist, you need to become a fashion-illiterate German tourist. IYKYK sort of thing, in the same way that boat shoes can look chic or just achingly posh, depending on how they’re styled. The payoff is huge. These “ugly” sandals will tear people’s mind fibers asunder when styled right.

It shouldn’t look good… but it does. You will enter the God-tier of Fashion, and when you pass away, Anna Wintour will greet you at the pearly gates.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Build quality might be an issue, plus, if styled wrong, you can risk looking like a real dweeb. It’s a challenge.

Material: Synthetic Fabric | Sole Material: 100% Rubber  | Sizes Available: US 6–15 | Colors Available: 5

Officine Creative Charrat Leather Sandals

Why they’re great: These Officine Creative black leather sandals are timeless, minimal, and premium. The brand has created a pair of sandals in the image of its impenetrable reputation. The thick leather straps elevate, the rounded footbed brings comfort, and the tough rubber sole adds durability. This a stellar investment piece.

Who are these for? These sandals have exceptional stylistic versatility, too. They can be worn with shorts, swimmers, budgie smugglers, baggy trousers, slim trousers, T-shirts, shirts, and vests. They are effortlessly chic. And as such, they will always add a touch of sophistication to your summer look.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: These sandals wouldn’t fare well on a 10-mile hike. Let’s put it that way.

Material: Leather | Sole Material: Rubber | Sizes Available: EU 41–46 | Colors Available: 3

Lemaire Leather Sandals

Why they’re great: If you thought hat sandals were one-dimensional, casual, and ugly., then think again. These fisherman sandals by Lemaire take the sandal to refined heights. The high-quality leather has three main sections, all strapped firmly to the foot via a gleaming belt.

The simplicity of the aesthetic oozes class. And the initially tough footbed will meld to the foot over time. All of these attributes make this shoe a brilliant casual dress shoe.

Who are these for? This is the conundrum: how do you dress smart for restaurants/events in the summer while also retaining the ability to stay cool? These sandals answer the footwear problem.

The black tone and artisanal style go sweetly with tailoring, or with shorts and a linen shirt to bring suave back to summer attire. If you want formality and a lack of sweaty feet, then look no further.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Perhaps avoid the beach. There’s the annoyance of getting sand in your shoes and also the sand will grind at the lovely plush leather, lessening its desirable smooth texture. Oh, and these shoes will need a breaking-in period, so be prepared.

Material: Vegetable-Tanned Leather | Sole Material: Leather  | Sizes Available: EU 40–45 | Colors Available: 1

Suicoke Depa-Cab

Why they’re great: These Suicoke sandals are clean. Not just because they are brand new. Nor is it just for their pristine aesthetic. But mainly because of the innovative antibacterial EVA footbed and outsole. And those very same soles come with subtle raised sections and a grippy texture to help keep the foot in place.

It’s all very clean and practical, but let’s return to the look of the thing. Behold the shimmering nylon straps, tasteful branding, white plastic components, and the padded foam heel. For a standard pair of sandals, Suicoke has managed to make them look desirable. Kudos.

Who are these for? These sandals are for those who want the conventional style but in their most stylish form. The slew of Suicoke collaborations (Carharrt, GOLF and Aries, for example) have kept the brand at the forefront of sandal-fever.

As for the wide-footed among you, this open, strappy design is ideal. Just loosen the straps and let your bones spread wide. A holiday for the feet, you might say..

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Though a beautiful sandal, they are still very casual. Don’t waltz into The Ritz with these on.

Material: Nylon | Sole Material: 100% EVA | Sizes Available: US 4–16 | Colors Available: 13

TEVA Hudson

Why they’re great: These TEVA (pronounced “teh-vah”) sandals fulfill the “typical tourist sandal” choice. But this is no bad thing. In fact, it is a great thing. They are very practical, for one. The foot is secured via comfortable, padded straps made from soft suede and aerated synthetics.

Underfoot, the footbed is contoured to the striations of a foot for a natural fit. Then, the rubber tread keeps your feet gripping. This is what makes these the best sandals for men… at the beach.

Who are these for? This pair of sandals is about daily comfort. It’s about dealing with the unexpected all while keeping your feet cool and secure. You might be able to use the uncool aesthetic to your advantage.

I suggest leaning into the outdoor aesthetic by pairing with a technical cap by Soar Running, Patagonia hiking shorts and an edgy Satisfy running vest. If you surround the sandals in other cooler items, it might just do the trick.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: For sandals to be this practical and comfortable, they must sacrifice something else. If you hadn’t guessed by my scathing appraisal by now, I’m referring to the aesthetic, of course.

Material: Leather/Textile | Sole Material: EVA midsole, Rugged Durabbrasion Rubber outsole | Sizes Available: US 7–14 | Colors Available: 3

Keen Hypersport H2 Sandal

Why they’re great: When the product is called “Hypersport H2”, you know you’re in for an outdoor sandal masterclass. These sandals are a smart hybrid of sneakers and sandals. The foot is given respite from the usual trials of hiking/strolling by a combination of the soft insole and thick midsole.

The deft fabric canopy that splays and shelters the foot allows ample breathability. Plus, no “forever chemicals” are used in production, which is good for the environment. Finally, these sandals have an aqua grip rubber outsole for improved traction on wet surfaces. Now you can go rock pooling in peace, in these, some of the best sandals for men out there.

Who are these for? Yes, certainly, it’s for those whose idea of a good day is hiking dawn to dusk. However, the simplicity and excellent execution of the design are a boon to those who care about their style.

Plus, the color options are phenomenal. The green/beige/white is a winner for me. But the more vibrant red, yellow, or blue are all fashioned pleasantly, too.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: For walking and scuttling across wet rocks, they’re almost flawless.

Material: Polyester webbing | Sole Material: Foam insole, rubber outsole | Sizes Available: US 7–15 | Colors Available: 4

wearing a pair of white Suicoke Depa-Cab
suicoke_official / Instagram

Buying Considerations for the Best Sandals for Men

Upper Material

A leather upper gives a sophisticated aesthetic and is the most expensive sandal fabric. Moreover, it’s robust and will soften and meld with the idiosyncrasies of your foot over time.

Be sure to factor in an uncomfortable break-in period. Suede is soft so won’t need break-in time to be comfortable. However, you’ll need suede spray to keep it looking fresh and it can accrue bad odors over time.

Polyester fabric is lightweight, waterproof, quick-drying and is comfortable straight away. It is also cheap, environmentally damaging, and synthetic.

Sole

There are three layers to the sole: the insole, midsole, and outsole. Insoles are made from leather, grippy foam, or suede. Suede and leather are more expensive and more durable than their plastic counterparts. However, a foam insole/midsole will be the most comfortable for a long day of walking.

The outsole will dictate how you use a pair of sandals. A leather outsole will be slippy and won’t produce cushioning but will give a sleek and formal aesthetic. Outdoor-orientated sandals will have thick rubber treads for grip and comfort.

Style

The full spectrum of formality can be found within the genre of sandals. You can find GORPCORE-esq. Outdoor footwear, elegant smart-casual strollers and formal leather sandals ideal for smart situations.

a pair of suede arizona sandals by birkenstock on a chair
birkenstock / Instagram

How We Chose 

Throughout this article, I wanted to prove the breadth and depth of sandals in the marketplace. Within the modern world, we are presented with so much choice that it becomes overwhelming and difficult to make a good decision.

This is known as the paradox of choice. There are so many sandals. Why would I choose those sandals when I haven’t seen all of the other sandals yet?

I have been through many sandals online, and now I’m looking to present the best products that illuminate the spectrum of choice. This means presenting exquisite luxury choices next to the cheap and cheerful and presenting smart-casual titans next to their imitations. To get to my choices, I used a few different general gatekeeping factors.

Company Reputation: With sandals being quite in fashion, there are a few brands that I knew I wanted in the list: Birkenstock, Suicoke, Lemaire, and Keen. This also presents a nice span of options.

Price: It was important to get a range from affordable to luxury. I avoided famous high-fashion brands to avoid leveraging the weight of a name in favor of quality. The high-end options are expensive because the quality of the product warrants that price.

Customer Reviews: Numerous brands on Amazon make Birkenstock imitations. All I could do in this situation was to find the best imitator. This was done via reading customer reviews and looking at the overall stats.

Environmental Credentials: It was important to offer a more environmentally friendly option. Keen use no PFAs in their shoes and so that fit into the criteria really well.

Why Trust Us?

Harvey James has more than six years of experience writing for fashion magazines. In that time, he has stared longingly at pictures of various footwear online. He knows what’s good for your style and your feet.

For FashionBeans, he’s written about driving shoes, dress shoes, walking shoes, and even duck boots. While writing this article, he got a bit obsessed with “ugly/GORP” sandals (like the Nortiv8) and went on a shopping spree in Fort William, Scotland.

He loves his new sandals. While walking across the West Highland beaches, he dipped his sandal-clad toes into the waters and climbed the jagged rocks for a beautiful vantage point and an unforgettable ponder. He is a living embodiment of how sandals can open up the world… if only you’ll let them.

Final Verdict 

The overall best men’s sandals are the Birkenstock Arizona Suede Sandals. The smart-casual styling gives them exceptional versatility, making them good for styling multiple looks while on holiday. They are comfortable, durable, from a reputable brand and good value for money.

FAQ

    • I regularly hear that Birkenstocks are the most comfortable sandals. The mix of suede upper and insole create a soft cocoon for the foot while the cork midsole provides natural cushioning.

      • A walking sandal should be lightweight, be grippy and feel comfortable. With those factors in mind, I recommend the Keen Hypersport H2. It has a tenacious rubber outsole, a plush foam midsole and lots of cushioned fabric to keep the foot in place. It also has a rubber toe cap to prevent your toes from getting damaged by rocks, roots, and stones.

        • The best sandals for daily wear are Suicoke sandals. The ideal situation is that you don’t realize you’re wearing anything. That means that you’re free from pain, blisters, rubbing and excess weight. The Suicoke sandals check all these boxes and when bought in a neutral color like sandy/beige they’ll be easy to style for multiple daily outfits.

Style

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