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Put Your Best Foot Forward

Whether you’re taking your vacation closer to home, adventuring internationally, or even just trying to get more steps in, nothing can ruin a day like wearing the wrong shoes. Men especially have always known comfort prevails. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style in doing so. So, before planning your next getaway, or hitting the trails, make sure to include choosing the right footwear as well. 

Sandal Basics

Though you probably own a pair, not all sandals are created equal. Depending on what you’re trying to do, your closet’s plastic flip flops might not get the job done. A good pair of sandals need to be comfortable, durable, have excellent traction, fit properly, and of course look good. “A lot of guys are self-conscious about sandals, but if you like them, you should wear them; guys need to have a look that they like,” menswear icon Sid Mashburn says. “Function is more important than fashion, and sandals are just good summer shoes. But it can be surprising how cool they are, how chic they are, and how elegant they are. They hit all the buttons.”

When deciding to purchase a sandal, Footwear News reminds you to note a few essential basics. Start with contoured footbeds that gently cradle the foot and hold it in position while walking. Look for styles with arch support and heel cups. To further secure the foot while on a brisk walk, opt for a silhouette with adjustable straps and easy-to-use hook-and-loop closures. For those who prefer added foot coverage, classic fisherman styles are a great option and can double as closed-toe shoes. If enjoying water activities, an open-toed sandal is best, but if doing trail hiking, a closed-toe sandal will provide better protection.

Take your time selecting sandals that fit your needs. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends you opt for leather ones because they minimize blister potential. Make sure your feet fit snugly and don’t hang off the edge. And don’t wear open-toe sandals or flip-flops when walking genuinely long distances because many don’t offer enough shock absorption or support.

Travel Smart

Whatever warm location you’re headed to, sandals are essential, so your feet don’t become overheated, so you’ll want to make sure to pack for comfort. Shoes are, of course, an excellent choice, but often strong sandals can be just as effective and will always be lighter and more comfortable on the feet. Many of the top vacation destinations worldwide are designed to be explored by foot, so the last thing you’ll want to do is deal with painful blisters and aching arches. This is why packing a comfortable pair of travel shoes is so important. You’ll want to consider arch support, traction, and what kind of activity you’ll be doing. The place where you’re wearing sandals will influence the type that you want to purchase. 

Travel + Leisure reminds men the perfect sandals will not only allow their feet to breathe but will also offer support and comfort you’ll need to make the most out of your day. There are many stylish options, from leather to sport, but make sure to invest in quality footbeds that support all-day wear. 

Stylish Essentials

Summer and vacation is the time when dressed-down, casual looks become stylish. Chinos, short sleeves, and linen are back, and it’s acceptable to finish off the look with your favorite open-toed shoes. Using sandals can give your summer outfits a laid-back feel, plus they can be comfortable and stylish too.

Celebrity groomer Marissa Machado works with good-looking and style-conscious guys like Rami Malek and Zachary Levi. “I truly believe that if a man is going to show his feet, they need to be presentable,” says Machado. While men don’t want to come across as high maintenance, don’t be afraid to take some lotion to your dry feet before heading outdoors. At a minimum, clip your toenails and consider even getting a pedicure. There’s nothing unmanly about taking care of your body, especially your feet, when you’re exposing them to the world.

Whether it’s a walking tour, hike, or even just a night on the town, you’ll want to select a versatile pair of sandals that can carry you through every moment. When it comes to choosing comfortable sandals for men, it’s essential to do your research. Look for a sandal that’ll take on any environment, situation, and ecosystem with ease while still looking refined and stylish. 

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