17 Types of Men’s Sandals: From Casual to Chic


The Fashionisto


Updated June 2, 2024

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Explore the different types of men’s sandals.

When it comes to warm-weather footwear, there are many types of men’s sandals that cater to different styles and sensibilities. Each design offers unique benefits and aesthetics, from the minimalist appeal of slide sandals to the traditional charm of dress styles.

Popular Types of Men’s Sandals

Whether you’re looking for stylish sandals to complement your fresh spring wardrobe or a chic silhouette to balance your trendy summer style, there’s a perfect pair to suit most occasions.

Barefoot Sandals

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Barefoot sandals bring the feel of no shoes with a stylish twist for beachside strolls. Photo: Feelgrounds / Art: The Fashionisto

Barefoot sandals offer minimal coverage, simulating the experience of walking barefoot while providing some protection from the elements. They typically use thin soles and light straps, making them perfect for beach walks or casual wear in warm weather.

Their unobtrusive design promotes a natural gait, ideal for those who prefer a minimalist approach to footwear.

Clog Sandals

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Clog sandals offer comfort, perfect for casual wear. Photo: adidas / Art: The Fashionisto

Clog sandals are easily recognized by their chunky soles, often made of wood or durable synthetics. These are suitable for informal occasions, offering a stylish blend of comfort and support. The elevated soles support good posture, making them popular for extended wear.

Cross-Strap Sandals

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Cross-strap sandals combine elegant simplicity with practical design. Photo: Cole Haan

Cross-strap sandals are celebrated for their interwoven straps that create a secure and fashionable look. The straps crisscross over the foot, providing visual interest and enhanced support.

The refined lines of cross-strap sandals complement a wide range of outfits, from casual shorts and a tee to more formal summer attire.

Dress Sandals

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Dress sandals enhance formal looks with sleek elegance and wearable comfort. Photo: Allen Edmonds / Art: The Fashionisto

Elegantly crafted with fine materials such as leather, suede, and decorative accents, dress sandals combine the breeziness of the style with the sophistication of formal footwear. They suit upscale events like garden weddings or evening gatherings. They are often designed with heels and offer a chic alternative to closed-toe dress shoes in warmer settings.

Fisherman Sandals

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Fisherman sandals combine durability with a classic, interwoven style. Photo: ASOS

Fisherman sandals are defined by their closed-toe design and interlaced leather straps, providing protection and breathability. These sandals are versatile and ideal for everyday outings and light outdoor activities. The protective design makes them suitable for city walks and easy hikes, shielding the toes while keeping the feet cool.

Flip Flops

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Flip flops are essential summer footwear for casual outings. Photo: Shutterstock

Flip flops are the epitome of casual summer footwear, distinguished by their simple thong strap between the toes and flat soles. They are perfect for beach days, poolside lounging, and quick errands, offering convenience in hot weather.

Gladiator Sandals/Caligae

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Gladiator sandals make a bold statement, reflecting the style of ancient warriors. Photo: Dr Martens / Art: The Fashionisto

Gladiator sandals, historically known as caligae, feature multiple straps that wrap around the foot and leg. These stylish and functional sandals make a bold statement suitable for music festivals and fashion-forward outings. Their design adds a dramatic touch to simple outfits and provides a secure fit that keeps the foot stable.

Hiking Sandals

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Hiking sandals are built for outdoor adventures, offering support and durability. Photo: REI / Art: The Fashionisto

Designed for rugged terrains, hiking sandals feature robust soles and adjustable straps that ensure traction and support. Ideal for trail walking and light hiking, they offer a blend of breathability and protection, making them a practical choice for outdoor adventurers.

Japanese Sandals/Geta

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Japanese sandals, or Geta, offer a slice of traditional style with a minimalist flair. Photo: Shutterstock

Geta are traditional Japanese sandals known for their wooden bases known as dai and fabric thong straps. They elevate the wearer slightly above the ground, protecting the feet from dirt and moisture. Paired initially with kimonos, getas are now worn for summer events, adding a unique cultural touch to modern outfits.

Mexican Sandals/Huaraches

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Mexican sandals, known as Huaraches, feature a breathable, handwoven design rich in heritage. Photo: Nisolo

Huaraches are traditional Mexican sandals made from woven leather. They mold to the shape of the wearer’s feet over time, offering a custom fit. This sandal style is perfect for everyday wear, paired with outfits like jeans and a polo shirt.

Recovery Sandals

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Recovery sandals focus on foot health with soothing, cushioned support. Photo: OluKai

Designed with ample padding, recovery sandals soothe and support feet after intense physical activity. They are ideal for those prioritizing foot health, especially following workouts or sports. These sandals often feature soft, responsive materials that help reduce joint stress, making them tailored for relaxation and post-exercise wear.

Running Sandals

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Running sandals provide a minimalist, speedy solution for the avid runner. Photo: Xero / Art: The Fashionisto

Running sandals are a lightweight alternative to traditional sneakers, offering freedom and a close-to-nature feeling while maintaining essential support and traction. Suitable for various terrains, they are crafted to balance temperature regulation and protection, allowing for extended runs under the sun.


Slides are all about convenience and comfort, ideal for lounging or post-exercise. Photo: Biola Visuals / Pexels

Slides reflect convenience and effortless style, favored for their easy slip-on design. They are excellent for quick transitions between recreation and relaxation, making them popular around pools, showers, and casual outings.

Slides are often made from water-resistant materials and are a practical solution for keeping cool in hot weather, pairing well with swimsuits or board shorts for a laid-back look.

T-Bar Sandals

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T-Bar sandals merge stability with chic design for stylish, secure wear. Photo: Birkenstock

T-Bar or T-Strap sandals feature a distinctive T-shaped strap that connects to the sole at three points, offering a secure fit and stylish silhouette. Often chosen for their distinct lines, these sandals can complement various outfits, from jeans and a t-shirt to more dressed-up options.

Thong Sandals

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Thong sandals are light and airy, perfect for beach outings and casual days. Photo: Kenneth Cole / Art: The Fashionisto

Synonymous with sun-soaked adventures, thong sandals feature a single strap between the toes, channeling a minimalistic yet classic style. They deliver effortless ease that is ideal for beach-goers and party attendees.

Walking Sandals

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Walking sandals ensure comfort for long strolls and explorations. Photo: ECCO / Art: The Fashionisto

Walking sandals are crafted for long-lasting wear and durability, making them excellent for extended strolls and day-to-day activities. These sandals typically feature adjustable straps and a cushioned footbed to ensure a personalized fit and enhanced support.

Water Sandals/Water Shoes

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Water sandals are crafted for aquatic activities, ensuring water resistance and secure traction. Photo: KEEN

Water sandals, also known as water shoes, are designed for activities in wet conditions, offering protection and traction on slippery surfaces. They are made with quick-drying materials and often incorporate mesh for water drainage and breathability.

These sandals are essential for water-based recreation, such as kayaking, river trekking, or beach sports.

Sandal Materials

From the textured weave of cloth to the ecological charm of cork, each material lends a distinct character to men’s sandals, shaping every step’s aesthetics, comfort, and functionality. Whether cushioned by foam’s airy lightness or leather’s classic durability, these choices reflect timeless style and modern innovation in footwear design.


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Cloth sandals offer a soft touch to your casual look. Photo: Zara

Cloth is a favored choice for sandal uppers due to its versatility and ease. Textile sandals often use cotton, canvas, or synthetic blends, prized for their softness and breathability. This material is especially popular in casual and fashion-forward designs, where the color and texture of the fabric can make a style statement.


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Cork sandals are eco-friendly and mold to your feet, providing unique comfort with a natural aesthetic. Photo: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Cork is celebrated for its natural cushioning and sustainability, making it a sought-after material in sandal construction. Sandals with cork footbeds provide excellent support and mold to the shape of the wearer’s foot over time. This material is commonly used in both casual and therapeutic footwear.


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Foam sandals deliver comfort with lightweight materials that feel like walking on air. Photo: Nike

Materials like EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) are used primarily in sandal soles and offer exceptional lightness and shock absorption. These properties make foam optimal for sandals designed for extensive walking or recreational activities. Due to its ability to absorb impact and deliver gentle support, foam is a staple in athletic and casual styles.


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Leather sandals exude timeless elegance, aging beautifully with every wear. Photo: MFAHEEM FAHEEM / Shutterstock.com

Leather is a classic choice for sandals, prized for its durability and aesthetic appeal. It molds to the wearer’s foot over time, delivering a customized fit that enhances comfort. Leather sandals range from sleek and sophisticated designs for formal occasions to rugged and relaxed styles ideal for everyday use.


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Plastic sandals are all about playful practicality, waterproof, and ready for summer. Photo: Urban Outfitters

Plastic materials in sandals are often used for their water-resistant and easy-to-clean properties. These sandals are particularly useful for beach or poolside wear, where exposure to water is frequent. Plastic can also be molded into various colors and shapes, allowing for a wide range of playful and stylish designs.


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Rubber sandals are the go-to for slip-resistant, all-weather wear. Photo: Shutterstock

Rubber is extensively used in sandal soles for its excellent grip and waterproof qualities. This material works well with sandals designed for outdoor activities and wet conditions, providing stability and protection against slipping. Rubber’s flexibility and durability ensure long-lasting wear and comfort in various settings.

Synthetic Leather

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Synthetic leather sandals offer a classic leather look with a cruelty-free twist. Photo: Shutterstock

Often chosen for its ethical and environmental advantages over traditional leather, synthetic leather is a cost-effective and cruelty-free alternative. It mimics the look and feel of genuine leather, offering similar durability and style but at a lower cost and with better resistance to water and stains.

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