The importance of summer shoes

While we're accustomed to lightening up our layers up top, there's a general tendency to neglect down below. But your feet need to enjoy the sunshine too, which is why we spoke to Grenson's owner Tim Little about the important aspects of summer shoes.

1. There are two reasons why a man needs a summer shoe; style and temperature. Men used to wear the same suit, shirt and shoes all year round, but as they have become more fashion aware and less formal, they have started to wear seasonal clothes. Shoes need to work with your clothes, so wearing lighter coloured shoes with softer soles looks better with your lighter linen suit or chinos. We have also realised that heavy winter shoes can be very hot in the summer, so a summer version is much more comfortable.

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2. A summer shoe should be light in weight and often light in colour although not always (navy suede is a lovely summer material for example). It should also be breathable, so the more natural the leather the better. Cheaper leather is treated to hide the blemishes and doesn't breathe as well.

3. For me I like summer shoes to be unlined.  This makes them very soft but also cooler in hot weather.  I also like lightweight soles like single leather or micro. Uppers are often suede or nubuck in summer as they look less formal and wont be ruined by the winter rain.

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4. You need a leather sole to go totally sockless as the foot breathes better and doesn't wiff. Rubber soles will make your feet sweat more and the result can be nasty. The sockless look is great and makes you look more relaxed and confident.

5. About 5% of the male population can make formal shoes and shorts work, the rest of us need to think carefully. A skinny 25 year old with shorts and a chunky brogue can look amazing, but get it wrong and you look more like the cast of It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

What do you think?

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