Boot styles don’t change drastically from season to season; the staple models have been largely the same for decades, with occasional new materials or color trends coming to the fore. And though most boots are great cool-weather footwear by design, there are many styles that you can keep lacing up (or pulling on) right through beach season.
Sure, you’ve probably made peace with trading your moc-toes or Chelseas for a pair of swim trunks and Ray-Bans, but if you plan the rest of your outfit correctly you can get away with boots even on the doggiest dog days of summer. Just be willing to lighten up your denim or chinos with thinner fabrics and open weaves, or make like the bold hikers of the ’70s with chunky boots, tall socks and short cut-off shorts. It’s all fair game, and we’re just glad you’re out there.
SeaVees Huntington Middie
These sneaker-esque chukkas barely meet boot standards, but guess what? They’re comfortable, they’re sturdy, they look cool and they are technically boots. If you like the ankle-height slip-on style anywhere near as much as Brad Pitt does, you’re doing yourself a disservice by even hesitating. Watch for more new colors as the summer progresses, but with five great colors already in stock, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
Vulcanizer Work Oxford High
This lightweight lace-up also barely qualifies as a boot. But these hybrids are far more structured than most canvas high-tops, they offer a significant amount of splash and scuff resistance, they’re almost certainly more breathable than any other boots on this list and, most importantly, they’ve got that iconic moc-toe.
Clarks Desert Boot in Oak Suede
What do you mean, you don’t own a pair of desert boots yet? They’re comfortable, warm-weather friendly, easy to get on and off and they were even endorsed by Anthony Bourdain, the patron saint of traveling well. This color is new for the season, but be sure to check out all the rest. With loads of hues and leather finishes to choose from, this is a pretty sure win.
Danner made a name for itself long ago with durable hikers, and in the last few years, the brand has released multiple lightweight boots that are actually, well, lighter (and more ventilated) than its original full-leather shoes and boots. And since retro-styled hiking boots are having something of a moment, we’ll forgive you if you want to pair these with calf-height socks and some period-correct (read: very short) hiking shorts next weekend.
Wolverine Vic Mensa Combat High
When Vic Mensa teams up with an established boot brand, this is more or less the brainchild you’d expect to come of it. Part combat boot, part work boot and part sneaker, the VM Combat Highs are full-leather sturdy and favorite-sneaker flexy. You’ll pay a small premium for the quality Wolverine’s known for, but when you realize these outlast everything else you put on your feet, your buyer’s remorse will give way to real pleasure.
Lucchese Lawrence Roper
Roper boots like these are the gateway drug to top-tier Western style, especially if you’ve always wanted to dabble but couldn’t make yourself commit to ostrich, gatorskin or loads of ornate stitching. They’re good enough for ranchers out in the hot Nevada sun, and good enough for handling whatever chores you’ve got around your own house (even if it’s just hauling groceries up the driveway).
Alden Indy for J. Crew
Alden has been making some of the best boots available for many years, and many men have ponied up along the way to have the very best on their feet. So speak to their warm-weather wearability, look no further than the namesake of these lace-ups: Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford wore these bad boys through all of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Temple of Doom (a subtropical desert and a subtropical jungle, respectively), and he never once complained about his feet being hot. To be fair, he usually had more pressing things to worry about.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.