Spring is an ideal time to take stock of your current shoe rotation, get rid of the shoes you should have let go last year and spruce up your collection with some new additions.
Sneakers have taken over, especially for Spring, and have even become workday shoes in some environments. “Office casual” has started leaning more and more towards full-on casual.
That said, at Peter Manning NYC we still believe that there’s a sharper way to wear casual and it can and should be stylish. With sneakers stick to classics that aren’t too athletic.
Save your Asics running shoes for, well, running and spruce up your slip ons with some color, comfort and a little pizzazz.
Shoe #1: Tretorns Sneakers
Speaking of classics, Tretorns are experiencing a bit of a revival.
These simple canvas tennis shoes, which were a WASP mainstay for generations, aren’t as common as the current of-the-moment sneakers, Adidas' Stan Smiths and Superstars.
Shoe #2: Vans Slip Ons
The other sneaker that is having its moment right now is Vans. We recommended this last year as well.
Vans started out as a California skateboard sneaker but has moved into the mainstream without losing its street cred.
Not only do these look great with jeans, chinos and even a suit (if you are feeling particularly devil-may-care), they are the perfect airport shoe.
Easy to slip on and off when going through the dreaded security lines, and to kick off when you get settled into your plane seat.
They come in lots of crazy patterns and styles, but we love this one.
Shoe #3: Quoddy Boat Shoes
Boat shoes start rearing their head about now and we suggest these, from Maine shoemaker Quoddy, as an alternative to the ubiquitous Sperry Topsider.
The handmade quality is noticeable right away and they offer subtle variations (pebbled grain leather) to not-so-subtle options (Marine Blue, anyone?).
An investment but worth the time and trouble to break in, like a great pair of jeans.
Shoe #4: Cole Haan Loafers
For something a little snazzier and outside the box, we love these hand-stained Weekenders from Cole Haan.
They come in six gorgeous colors and will take any basic outfit from “ho-hum”to “hell yeah!” just by slipping them on. Wear these with confidence and a sense of fun.
Shoe #5: Allen Edmonds Suede Bluchers
A suede blucher (a more casual version of an oxford) is versatile and always welcome during the spring. You can’t go wrong with these classics from Allen Edmonds, a great American shoemaker.
The rubber sole makes them comfortable and great for walking but they always look spiffy without drawing unnecessary attention. This is a casual shoe, able to spruce up a casual outfit from jeans to chinos, and should not be worn with a suit.
Shoe #6: Rainbow Flip Flops
For the second year in a row, we are going to stick with our recommendation for our favorite Rainbow flip-flops.
A reminder: wear these at the beach or at the pool. We don’t recommend flip-flops or sandals unless you are very near a body of water.
(Let’s face it, there are very few places where people actually want to see men’s toes.)
That said, we are highlighting these again because the quality is so good and they wear so well and, frankly, we have yet to find something better.
Rainbows have a nice arch in them, so when you do have to walk or pedal that cruiser to the beach, you’ll be able to do so with more support.
Shoe #7: Soludos Espadrilles
Finally, for the more sartorially adventurous guy going for a bit of spring/summer savior faire, try the espadrille for a laid-back Euro vibe.
Something about putting on an espadrille immediately puts you in vacation mode. We like this cool, classic and well-made version from Soludos.
You can channel the Spanish or Almalfi coasts with these and they are also great for just padding around the house in the warmer months.
With espadrilles your worn-out shorts and tees will immediately look chic.
We hope this guide helps you refresh your casual shoes collection so you can stay cool and stylish this spring and summer!