Pretty much every guy should own a pair of boat shoes — and not just preppy dudes with sweaters around their necks and girlfriends named Muffy. See, boat shoes are the perfect men’s summer shoe since they can be worn without socks, and can be dressed up or dressed down. (Sorry buddy, sandals have their place but you can’t wear them to places with table cloths.) Thing is, a lot of guys don’t know how to wear boat shoes without looking goofy. But it’s easy:
• Always go sockless. If you’re worried about odor — and you should be — try not to wear them every day, and spray the insides with an anti-fungal spray now and then.
• Wear them only in warm weather. If you want a similar look in the fall, get loafers.
• Wear them only with khakis or khaki shorts. Never with your dress pants, jeans, or Zubaz.
• You’re always safe sticking with a classic white sole. Colored soles are fine, but they’re more difficult to pull off.
• Don’t untie the laces. Boat shoes are meant to be slip-ons.
Now, if you’re going to have one pair of boat shoes in your closet, I recommend Brooks Brothers Washed Leather Boat Shoes. Most boat shoes are brown, so these will immediately set you apart without being too crazy. The washed leather means they’ll wear well, whether you’re sailing in Father’s regata or pounding whiskey shots at Thirsty O’Grady’s. And best of all, they’ll never go out of style, so you won’t have to worry about summer footwear for years … or until you black out and lose your boat shoes at Thirsty O’Grady’s.