Jun 14, 2023
18 Best Leather Sandals for Men 2023, Tested by Style Experts
Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Why Trust Us? Beat the heat in style, comfort, and quality with every step you take. IF YOU'RE
Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Why Trust Us?
Beat the heat in style, comfort, and quality with every step you take.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING for footwear that’ll enable you to stride through any adventure with confidence—from strolling along the beach to exploring the city jungle to casually enjoying a day out—leather sandals for men will be your faithful companions. Nothing beats the timeless appeal and durability of genuine leather fused with the alfresco swagger of our all-time favorite summer shoe style. Therefore, don't settle for anything less when it comes to selecting the best leather sandals for men.
Overall, the best leather sandals for men should combine style, comfort, and quality to offer a footwear experience that suits multiple sandal-appropriate occasions. No compromise should be made when it comes to craftsmanship, so the best leather sandals for men will be made with long-lasting, fine-grade leather and boast precision stitching and secure closures to withstand the elements for many summers to come. The best leather sandals for men need to offer a comfortable, personalized fit as well, even providing ample support and cushioning for your feet during extended wear.
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Additionally, versatility is key, and the best leather sandals for men will seamlessly transition from laid-back beachwear to smart-casual attire. So strap up, as we put over 50 soles to the test and interviewed a panel of experts to equip you with the 18 best leather sandals for men. From slides to flip-flops to mules and clogs, these best leather sandals for men guarantee comfort, support, and style with every step you take.
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Every man must own a pair of Arizona in their lifetime. It's an unwritten footwear rule. The combination of comfort, versatility in styling, and incredibly long lifespan is why these bad boys take the crown. According to board-certified foot surgeon Brad Schaeffer, D.P.M. who has worn these Birks for years, their design plus support structure work together to offer everyday comfort. "They have a solid cork footbed and contouring for our arch and toe box. I love the overall feel and wearability of these sandals and have been wearer since my teen years," says Dr. Schaeffer.
What we love the most about Arizona is the comfort of the footbed. Made of cork and latex which is extra soft and supportive, not only does it mold to the feet but also offers cushioning that will make you feel like walking on sponges. We love that the straps feel easy to adjust—and don’t chafe on the skin. The EVA sole feels lightweight and flexible when we walk, but because of the overall city-friendly design, we wouldn’t recommend you wear these Birks to the great outdoors.
What Do Other Experts Say? "I’m particularly partial to Birkenstock’s Arizona sandal—it’s the all-purpose shoe that works well in practically every situation. I love to pack them for vacation because I wear them everywhere—to the beach, to dinner, around the hotel. They pair as easily with a bathing suit as they do with a camp shirt and pleated cotton trousers," says Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s.
The robust construction and premium materials of ECCO’s Yucatan sandal really sets it apart from the rest, especially when it comes to comfort and support for walking. You will experience a one-of-the-kind foot-hugging sensation with its contoured microfiber footbed. The sandal also uses a Fluidform midsole featuring the Receptor tech to support and cushion every step while absorbing ground impact to relieve pressure and keeping the build flexible for walking. All in all, the stability these sandals offer is second to none.
We also love the adjustability of the nubuck leather straps which ensures a snug fit, and the tough rubber outsole that delivers outstanding grip and traction on various terrains. Lastly, because style points should always be considered, we especially approve of the rugged dad style that is everyday-friendly and easy to work into your wardrobe.
What Do Experts Say? "They provide more support for the ankle with their higher stabilizing strap, and have a well-made molded footbed to support the feet in the right places but yet provide cushioning," says multi-board certified podiatrist, Mark J. Mendeszoon, D.P.M.
Boasting a water-resistant build for all your long walks by the beach and a lightweight for easy carry and friendly mobility, these flip-flops are one of the best—and most comfortable—we’ve ever tested. As ergonomic sandals, they offer arch support with their EVA-made footbed—and extra stability when you walk with an extra layer of EVA midsole. (The footbed also contours to the shape of our feet to bolster the comfort level.)
We also love that the upper and lining are quick-drying, making these sandals perfect for the poolside and beachside. The rubber outsole crafted with “Wet Grip” rubber then ensures a great grip even on wet surfaces. We enjoy casually strolling and traveling for short distances in these, although, for men with wider feet, we don't think the fit will be optimal.
What Do Experts Say? "It's a favorite of mine that I always recommend to my patients. They are comfy, supportive, and not flimsy. A flimsy or hyper-flexible flip flop will cause your foot to bend in places it shouldn't or overstretch the places it does," says NYC-based podiatrist Daniel Geller, D.P.M.
For starters, the leather upper makes for a sleek, refined yet masculine look, and the outsole will keep your feet secure even on slippery, wet surfaces. They’re also easy to slip into, and the footbed offers arch support for going on the trail, excursions in the backcountry, or being on your feet during your BBQ in the backyard.
We were also impressed by how beastly these are at absorbing shock while remaining lightweight and flexible for walking, thanks to the brand's special outsole technology. The grooved outsole also managed to have a good grip on the ground to make the journey smoother as well in our testing. Lastly, because style points should always be considered, we especially approve of the dressy style that is everyday-friendly and easy to work into your wardrobe.
What Do Experts Say?: "Many men approach sandals with skepticism due to their perceived delicacy and discomfort. However, the Brutus sandals by Camper defy this notion by combining a remarkably comfortable and lightweight lug sole with a luxurious crisscross upper made of buttery nubuck leather," says NYC-based personal menswear stylist Turner Allen
Bound for summer vacation, the huarache is a traditional Mexican sandal with an instantly recognizable woven leather upper that is breathable, flexible, and durable. Nisolo’s take stay trues to the classic slip-on design but makes the style versatile enough to be dressed up and down.
Additionally, its comfort is just as impressive: we found that the supple upper will mold to the feet like warm butter—although it does require breaking-in over time—while the foam midsole cradles them like a sleeping baby, and the leather material is water resistant for hitting the beach, pool, lake, beach, etc. As you walk, the insole already comes with cushioning, and the linings at the heel or the underside of the upper ensure unobstructed softness and comfort.
What Do Experts Say? "This style offers fashion and function with water-resistant leather that allows you to wear poolside, beachside, or on the city streets. A classic style, these sandals work great for men of any age. Plus they have a cushioned footbed, which makes these a perfect pick for long summer days, which is something to always look for when shopping for a sandal," says personal wardrobe stylist Grace Thomas.
When it comes to reliable everyday performance and enduring comfort, TEVA’s Langdon rises above the rest and is my personal favorite. First, for walking about the city, the robust EVA footbed of these sandals delivers enhanced support that will last all day. In addition, the nylon shank plays a crucial role in stabilizing and supporting the feet—even on uneven terrain or when I'm walking fast—to grant you the ability to strut in sandals. The straps or webbing are also made to be quick-drying and offer a wide range of adjustability so that you can secure the sandals on your feet with a perfect fit that is customized to you.
What most impressed us about the Langdon is its outsole which offers extraordinary traction for the price. You see, I've worn these on a rafting trip just a few weeks back, and the exceptional traction of the sole did not give off once even on the raft’s wet surface. During a hike in a state national park where the terrain was uneven and bumpy, the grooved outsole still managed to have a good grip on the ground to make the journey smoother. The webbings, however, will chafe on the skin if they're too tight, so be sure to test the fit before you actually walk in these.
What Do Experts Say? "Honestly I would have to say that Teva sandals are hands-down the best sandals for men because it perfectly encapsulates both the function and form needed in an everyday sandal for all aspects of life no matter what walk of life you’re from," says men's lifestyle influencer, Tony Tran.
These sandals are a versatile option for those seeking comfortable and durable footwear for outdoor activities. While I'm still in the “break-in” phase, I’m already won over by their sturdy construction and comfort right out of the box. The soft lining adds an extra layer of comfort to protect against any rubbing or irritation, which to me is a vital factor to consider for my delicate skin.
I’m even surprised that they offered a decent amount of support, all courtesy of the cushioned footbed that absorbs shocks. With a pretty high arch, my feet feel well-supported in these when wearing them to hike or walk on even terrains.
The closed-toe design might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it really shines in the great outdoors to protect my pinkies from external impact or even injuries. The rubber outsole provides high traction, with a grooved non-slip texture to instill confidence in my steps and reduced the risk of slipping.
The next time you head out for a ride in the wild, your feet will thank you for putting them in Rockport's fisherman sandals. We have strapped these bad boys onto our feet and were impressed by how fit they are once the upper is strapped on and tightened, like a custom-made hug. We were also impressed by how tanky they are with a sturdy, extra grippy sole that has survived us kicking rocks, trudging through muddy rails, and dipping in shallow river water in them. Really, the outsole can survive an apocalypse.
But the real star of these leather sandals is the comfort. We tested out the footbed and were amazed by how it molds to our feet to provide support that's borderline out of this world. We’re talking about shock absorption and cloud-like cushioning that will keep your underfoot and arch happy all day long in the wild. And we love the wide base which provides us extra stability when walking.
Chaco’s leather slides are low-profile and ready for all kinds of travel. We tested out the LUVSEAT™ footbed it has and were amazed by how it molds to our feet to provide arch support for walking and standing. We’re talking about cloud-like cushioning that will keep your underfoot happy all day long in the wild. All in all, with these sandals, you shall conquer the mountain.
What Do Experts Say? "What I find interesting about Chacos is their LUVSEAT footbed, which is designed for all-day comfort and support, so they are ideal for long treks or walks. The classic Z-strap system is fully adjustable to fit perfectly to your foot. They might feel a bit unusual at first, especially if you're new to Chacos, but I've found that after a brief breaking-in period, they fit like a dream," says seasoned world traveler Shelley Marmor.
A surprising number of men have developed a personal relationship with their Rainbow flip-flops, and it’s easy to see why. The closed-cell SBR rubber of these sandals is perfect for traveling and vacationing in destinations with a warm, humid climate, but we love wearing them for those impromptu beach visits just as much and often.
Moreover, there's something to be said about flip-flops that don't lose their fit and support after a few wears. We have worn these for a few years on end, and they’re still in good condition. We also love that the single-layer arch of these sandals doesn’t look chunky and offers support that comes out easily on the beach and boardwalk. Better yet, the layer is made to counter slipping, which is an important factor to own since for flip-flops, there are only straps to keep your feet in place.
What Do Experts Say? "There's nothing like kicking off heavy hiking boots after a long day on the trails and slipping into these iconic leather flip-flops. They're the epitome of casual style, proving reliable when navigating Bali's balmy beaches or strolling through Barcelona'sboisterous streets," says seasoned traveler and travel expert Carl Broadbent.
We’ve dealt with lifestyle slides like the UGGs here before, but these ones really impressed us with their blend of form and function. Their foam-cushioned footbed cradles and contours to our feet which makes it extra comfortable to walk in, and the outsole has great traction and flexibility as well to take you from point A to point B. Wear them with your best summer fits, like a polo shirt with chino shorts, and they’ll really shine.
Making its second entrance is Birkenstock, but this time we recommend copping the brand's less ubiquitous but definitely more stylish model—the Clogs. "These are a more elegant spin on the classic Birks due to the closed-toe silhouette. They can be either dressed up or dressed down, and they truly get more comfortable with each wear," says lifestyle influencer Steven Fingar.
These all-terrain sandals are built for hiking—though we certainly have spotted quite a few dads and elderly men sporting them at the airport. In the outdoors, their sturdy upper will protect your ankles from any unexpected twists, and the sole with an outer arch will minimize shock impact to keep your feet going sans pain. We also love that the linings inside keep the stains and smells at bay, thus making the sandals very low maintenance overall.
Tricked-out, on-trend sandals are great and all, but a pair of simple leather flip-flops have the timeless appeal for every guy to sport for more than one season and the everyday practicality you seek. We even recommend these sandals to individuals with plantar fasciitis. These have excellent arch support and cushioning to relieve pressure on the heels and reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis. The outstanding orthotic support here makes these a prime choice for style and function.
An adjustable strap and a high-rebound, shock-absorbing midsole give these supportive sandals a gorp-y for the urban dweller to stay cool and look cool, too. And we love that they’re built with thick cushioning that uses motion-powered pods to support your every step and a contoured footbed for a total package of comfort. In terms of style, well, let's just say these sandals are the epitome of versatile chic for outdoor or urban treks.
Reef's leather sandals have everything in spades: style, support, and affordability. With a textured bottom for traction and a cushioned footbed that provides rebounding support, they're made for comfort on the go. In addition, professional surfer Griffin Colapinto, who's been really into slide styles recently, says he loves the customizable comfort design of these sandals which he can slip on with shorts and flannel to meet friends for lunch, or even rock with socks.
Menswear stylist Patrick Kenger says that not only does the relaxed and casual suede of these sandals keep you comfy, but the supportive foam footbed will also ensure your style flex is as comfortable as it looks. We also love how rugged and durable they are: the stitch is as unbreakable as you can imagine, and the outsole as well as the edges are seriously hard while still feeling smooth for your skin. For a fit, we love wearing them with a camp collar shirt and linen pants for smart casual.
Donning the design of the older sandal models, these sandals by Grenson present a stylish interpretation of classic fisherman sandals, says menswear stylist Turner Allen. We love that the premium calf leather doesn't irritate or rub on the skin, and the lightweight rubber has a bit of added cushioning for comfort on the go. "With their smooth leather and low-profile design, they provide a chic option that can be effortlessly paired with anything from shorts to flowing linen pants," says Allen.
Arch support: "Look for sandals with contoured footbeds or built-in arch support. These features promote a natural arch shape and evenly distribute pressure across the foot, minimizing the likelihood of discomfort or foot conditions," says podiatrist Daniel Pledger. For men with high arches at the foot or those who spend prolonged periods on their feet, arch support is a must, not just a plus.
Stability: To actually be supported in our heel and arch, Dr. Brad Schaeffer, D.P.M. says it's important to look for a stable footbed. "After all, sandals are not the most supportive thing we can wear on our feet and cannot replace a great shoe and insole," he adds. So look for a footbed that's slightly firm but still feels cushioned enough to nail both stability and comfort.
Outsole: When you're walking on slippery grounds or trailing on uneven terrains, the traction of your sandals' outsole will make or break your steps. "Look for sandals with rubber or non-slip outsoles, as they offer excellent grip and minimize the risk of slips or falls," says Dr. Pledger. We also recommend a textured outsole—such as grooved or "teeth"-like since the design will really grip on any terrain condition. Flexible outsoles are also great for walking by allowing for natural foot movement, adds Dr. Pledger.
Slides: In general, slides, not unlike the ones you wear to shower, are great for lounging or hanging at the poolside. Recovery slides are a breed of sandals to be worn after workouts or sports to help relax muscles since they generally support the arch with good cushioning, according to Dr. Mendeszoon. "These are generally recommended to be utilized for minimal walking activity," he adds.
Flip-flops: For flip-flops, definitely do not go cheap since the budget ones generally have horrible support and can cause more arch fatigue, pain, cramps, or spasms. "There are some flip-flops that have arches but once again they should not be utilized for long walking activities or standing on your feet for a long duration," warns Dr. Mendeszoon. Otherwise, they should be your go-to for the beach or the poolside.
Outdoors/Hiking Sandals: Dr. Mendeszoon says that these often have a closed-toe design—or at least have several durable strappings or webbings if they're open-toe, as seen in Teva's, ECCO's, and Chaco's sandals featured above—to protect the ankle, in addition to a durable outsole and a molded arch footbed.
Dress Sandals: While the dress sandals are often made of higher quality materials, and the ones we've tested here—such as Camper, Todd Snyder, and UGG—all fit and feel comfortable, Dr. Mendeszoon recommends them only for warm weather offer activities that don't require a lot of heavy walking.
Maverick Li is the Style & Commerce Editor of Men’s Health, where he covers clothing, footwear, watches, and grooming. He was previously the Assistant Commerce Editor at Esquire.
Christian Gollayan oversees e-commerce content for Men's Health and Women's Health. Previously, he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian's work has also been featured in Food & Wine, InStyle, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.
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