One of the best parts of summer is wearing sandals. You can free your feet from the confines of sweaty gym shoes, stuffy dress loafers, and clunky boots to provide your toes with newfound freedom. This summer make sure you’re investing in sandals that are also better for the environment.
Sustainable footwear is defined by the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA) as “shoe design, development, manufacturing, distribution, and selling processes that minimize negative environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources, are safe for employees, communities and consumers, and are economically sound.” Who knew that just by wearing sustainable shoes, you could be doing so much good in the process? Of course, you still want to have a stylish and functional pair of sandals that look right all summer long. Here’s the best in sustainable sandals for men that we’ve found this season.
Nisolo Men’s Huarache Sandal
In case you don’t know what a huarache sandal is, it’s a type of pre-Columbian sandal that is made of hand-woven braided leather. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style. The Nisolo Men’s Huarache Sandal shows impeccable craftsmanship, is very breathable, and will go well with linen pants, shorts, and even dressier looks for a night along Ocean Drive in South Beach with your pals. This particular style comes in four different colors from light to darker brown shades. The “brandy” tone is especially nice in a dark reddish-brown hue. Nisolo is a company that is committed to making sure that in the creation of their products everyone on the supply chain is paid a living wage.
Indosole Men’s Slide
This is a basic waterproof rubber slide that is made out of recycled tires. The Indosole Men’s Slide is a completely vegan style that is very comfortable. They have embedded arch support, which a lot of sandals don’t have, and an ENVRO strap lined with microfiber that feels good on the tops of your feet. Get them in basic black or go wild in any of their 14 color styles. Their “sun coral” print is a fun one to have in the summertime. The slide is the pair you are going to want to take to the beach or pool. One of the ways this is considered a sustainable sandal is that they are made without any fuel-powered machinery.
Reef is probably one of the most popular sandal companies in the world. They are famous for their bottle opener flip-flops that have an actual bottle opener on the bottom of the shoe. How neat is it to be able to pop open a beer at the beach with your foot? Granted, it’s a little bit of a frat boy party trick, but fun nevertheless. So why not roll with the fun? This flip-flop, the Reef Draftsmen is the way to go. It’s a full-grain leather sandal in “chocolate,” “bronze brown,” or “espresso.” All very nice shades of brown with arch support, excellent traction, and that famous built-in bottle opener. The leather is ISA LITE (low impact to the environment) which is an eco-friendly leather manufacturer.
Olukai Malanai Men’s Beach Sandals
When you need a really comfortable flip-flop, the Olukai Malanai Men’s Beach Sandal fits the bill. Malanai means “sea breeze” in Kailua, which is fitting since this is a water-resistant style with a breathable jersey knit lining on top and a footbed that is made of compression-molded EVA, a synthetic rubber. They have two color choices, a taupe style and a blue one. One of the best things about this company is that Olukai gives a portion of each purchase to support initiatives that maintain the cultural traditions of Hawaii.
Freedom Moses Men’s Slide
Another fun pair of slides on the list is the Freedom Moses Men’s Slide in navy. This is considered one of their bestsellers in a vegan and recyclable style that they describe as feeling like you’re walking on a cloud. They look pretty comparable to a Birkenstock sandal, but without the high price or real leather. The sole is sustainably injected PCU, non-slippery, waterproof, and oddly enough smells like milk and honey. Plus, if you aren’t a fan of navy, this pair comes in so many colors that at a $45 price point, you might want to pick up a few pairs to have on hand all year long.
Duckfeet ÆRØ Sandal
A classic slip-on thong sandal, a code word for the flip-flop, is here with the Duckfeet ÆRØ Sandal. It’s a leather top that over time will get molded to your foot shape. The company advertises that they ship carbon neutrally which means that they offset the cost of the CO₂ produced during your shipment. They also have a bunch of other sustainable practices, like donating to One Tree Planted, with every shoe purchased a dollar goes to planting a tree. The shoe itself comes in three different shades of brown, a grey, and a black one. Overall, this is a durable and mature-looking sandal that is water-friendly and made in Poland.
Sole Monterey Casual Flip
The Sole Monterey Casual Flip is completely eco-friendly. The base is made with recycled wine corks from ReCORK. Using the wine corks is a huge part of their endeavors to be a pro-environment company. On top, it’s a chromium-free nubuck leather strap that is made to shape to the top of your foot. So the more you wear them, the more comfortable they’ll feel, as though they are practically part of your foot. Amazing. The style comes in black or grey and are neutral enough to wear with any of your shorts and t-shirts, even that old concert Metallica one your girlfriend hates.