Yes, our feet occasionally slip out of Everest-worthy footwear to feel the sun and sand. And when they do? They pull on one of these new favorites.
Chaco is more than river-busting protection and water-going dominance. With more hiking and casual style in the portfolio the past three years, the brand is going both inland and uptown. Elias returns to the company’s sun-warmed roots with one of the most beautiful men’s sandals Active Junky’s enjoyed. At less than half the price of designer footwear, this slide is crafted from select full-grain leathers with a pigskin lining to embrace feet the Chaco way. Incorporating the LUVSEAT PU footbed, Elias looks good standing still with an embossed design underfoot. Lug depth of 2.5mm powered testers across sand, gravel and loose rock to get to insider beaches and applauded brewpubs with energy to spare. This is the sandal on which to center an ocean or lake trip while getting plenty of miles from urban outings. At only a touch over $100, every boardshort and tee in the drawer gets an upgrade when joining Elias on your travels.
Best For: Everyday casual, special outdoor events (as in, weddings) and waterfront destination travel
Time to grow up and stop slopping around in $10 foam sandals. SuperFeet positions feet to actually walk (shebam!) whether carrying boards back to the car, a cooler down to the sand firepit or queuing up at the ATM. Active Junky’s no stranger to the proprietary deep heel cup, SuperFeet’s secret to proper foot position in sandal or ski boot (as we proved in testing last winter). The synthetic leather strap feels more cow than creepy science project for naturally long-wearing comfort in the face of repeated soakings. True to size, Outside is a top choice for adventure travel given all-day support, a go-anywhere look and moderate packed weight. Traction on slick, jumbled surfaces is solid as is the ability to dig into sand, stroll across pavement and stand on hot parking lot concrete. Oh, and there’s enough of a “flip-flop” sound to avoid being overly self-important.
Best For: Extended oceanside trips, international travel, casual wear
Really, how much more simple can it get. With a soft toe post and a blanket of shock-absorbing OOfoam underneath, this sandal prompts Rastafarian impulses from the first. As in, don’t worry even when they go swimming (they float, in 13 colors). Slyly helping feet, ankles and knees recover after strenuous exercise, the Ooriginals work for shower duty in hostels as well as beach patrol on stretches of black sand. Carrying you instead of toting foot odor, these bacteria-resistant sandals are a value even at full retail (under $50, in fact). While they slide into the casual category, the science behind their biomechanical footbed is Phd-worthy.
Best For: Home, gym and resort wear