You know summer is here when the days are getting hotter, the air is getting more humid, and you’re sweating more than ever in your Chelsea boots. That’s when you know it’s time to break out your summer shoes and let your toes breathe.

So just in time for the season, here are the essential shoes you’d need to get you through the incoming heatwaves. We’ve recommended both a pair for the ladies and the gents in each category. A little shopping never hurt your feet, right?

Flip Flops

Orlebar Brown flip flops on Mr Porter (S$65).
Gianvito Rossi leather flip flops on Net-a-Porter (S$550).

The infallible flip flop, what would we do without thee? While they might not make as much of a statement as the other options on this list, the flip flop is a fundamental piece of summer footwear that everyone needs a pair of.

Sandals

Prada canvas sandals on Mr Porter (S$942).
Zimmermann leather sandals on Net-a-Porter (S$500).

Just a little more acceptable than a flip flop is the trusty sandal. It’s not going to chafe the space in between your toes, and if you’re running to chase your sun hat, its trusty straps will make sure you don’t lose your sandals while you’re at it.

Sliders

Gucci rubber slides on Mr Porter (S$442).
Givenchy rubber slides on Net-a-Porter (S$287).

If you want to flex your streetwear knowhow, then a slider with a bold logo emblazoned across, letting everyone know where your loyalties lie. Just kidding, we know you love all the brands.

VLTN x Birkenstock Sandals

summer shoes
The VLTN x Birkenstock collaboration. (Photo: Birkenstock)

This collaboration between Valentino and Birkenstock deserves a category by itself. Using the silhouette of the Arizona sandal by Birkenstock, Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has infused the Italian luxury house’s signature colours of red and black. While the shoes are currently sold out, Birkenstock has announced a second drop coming in June.

Espadrilles

Tod's collapsible-heel suede espadrille on Mr Porter (S$466).
Gabriela Hearst Espadrille on Net-a-Porter (S$540).

What’s there not to love about espadrilles? They’re lightweight, come in neutral tones, and can be worn anywhere from Tanjong Beach Club to a stroll in the Botanic Gardens as they toe the line between a casual sandal and a smart boat shoe.

Boat Shoes

summer shoes
Prada colour-blocked leather boat shoes on Mr Porter (S$1,151).

What’s a summer without a sail out onto the ocean in your superyacht? To help you keep steady on board your tender, a pair of boat or sailing shoes would keep you from slipping into the seas, unplanned.

White Sneakers

Common Project Achilles sneaker on Mr Porter (S$451).
Saint Laurent Travis logo-print leather sneaker on Net-a-Porter (S$1,200).

The white sneaker is a staple for any season, summer included. They’re versatile and can be paired with virtually any outfit. Whether you’re in shorts, chinos, or a sporty dress for the tennis court, a white sneaker is one of the more appropriate footwear that can transition from day to night seamlessly.

Josiah Neo
Writer
Josiah Neo is a tech writer who contributes occasionally to the fashion, travel, and culture beats. When he’s not busy keeping up with the keynotes, he’s probably stuffing his face with the best Melbournian donuts (at Shortstop, BTW) or watching his favourite esports team, the Los Angeles Valiant, pummel their opponents into oblivion.