Men’s Sports Sandals Buying Guide

Historically, archeological research has found that the first men have been wearing sandals since at least the Ice Age. There are also drawings dating from the Paleolithic period picturing men with sandals. It is believed that it is the ancient Egyptian civilization that first developed thong style sandals but you can find evidence that men wore sandals in all continents, each with its own specificity and materials. But enough with the history, I guess you are more interested in present day, where sandals have become more of a fashion item than just a practical one.

Men generally own less sandals than women. However, there are actually many types and different styles of sandals for men, each suited for particular situations. This guide is here to help you get acquainted with the different types of men’s sports sandals and see eventually which one best suits your taste and needs.


Most important thing to consider, before presenting to you the different types, is to seek beforehand what is the functionality you want your sandals to have. In fact, there are sandals for different purposes, from boating to walking…, you’ll have to know if you want your sandals to be waterproof, or stronger (for hiking for example), or some easy-to-wear sandals to get comfortable indoors. There are countless sandals brands proposing their products online for you to find your perfect sandals.


Flip Flops/Thong Sandals


Thongs are typically known for their straps extending to separate the big toe from the rest of the toes. Thongs made with fabric, foam, and rubber are also known by the name of flip flops, name inspired for the sound these sandals make. Flip flops are popular for being easy to wear and low-priced. Consequently, thongs are not exactly the sandals to wear for any sports activities, as they do not exactly protect your feet and ankles; but their waterproof material make them perfect for the beach. The stylish design make it also possible to wear flip flops in casual use.


Slides/Soccer Sandals


Actually slides include single band sandals (the famous soccer sandals) as well as double-banded sandals as manufactured by Birkenstock and Dr.Martens. The name slides is inspired from the fact that one has to slide his foot into the sandal in order to wear it. Single band sandals were to become called soccer sandals because soccer players made them famous by wearing them in the locker room. Soccer sandals are waterproof thanks to the rubber/synthetic material. They are great indoors and between sports activities that require specific shoes. Some soccer sandals feature an adjustable strap to make the wearer more comfortable. Other slides include non-waterproof sandals made from cork or similar and leather/suede uppers.


Fisherman Sandals


These sandals are known for their ruggedness. In fact, the rugged soles cover almost the entire foot. On the top, the cut-outs feature that let air reach the foot is what constitute them to be called sandals. Fishermen like these type of sandals because of its strong support, durability, and waterproof feature. There are also more open-style Fisherman sandals, such as those made by Teva, that have heel straps to help keep the sandals on the wearer’s feet.




Cotton or canvas women’s sandals with rope/rubber sole are called espadrilles, but men also have their own type of sandals bearing the same name. They have generally the same design as Fisherman sandals but the uppers are made of leather instead of a waterproof material.  Men’s espadrilles have the top of the foot strapped in leather, thus allowing for more foot protection, but make no mistake, it is not enough to make them suitable for strenuous activities.

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