Summer's around the corner, and with it a whole new bag of activities to tackle. Whether it's the beach, the mountains, the trails, or just the backyard patio scene, it's time to start gearing up for an epic few months of sunshine and good times.
Flip-flops might be the summertime go-to, but for many of the adventures upcoming, those flimsy pieces of rubber just aren't going to cut it. Here are four of our favorite summer footwear options for the activities and the lifestyle that we love.
Hit the trail: La Sportiva Helios"Lightweight" is the name of the game for the La Sportiva Helios, an 8.1-gram gem of a trail shoe that more than holds its own in a variety of off-road terrain. Aside from reduced weight, the Helios features Hydrain Nylon mesh, which drains water quickly without letting in sand or small pebbles — good for anyone looking to tackle wet mountain trails this summer. Add to that a surprisingly strong yet equally flexible midsole and you may have trouble buying a different pair of trail shoes again. Consider that your fair warning.
The one-shoe quiver: Teva Original UniversalIt's hard to categorize this classic Teva sandal under anything but "jack of all trades." Lightweight and easily packable, the Original Universal was the sandal that put Teva on the map 30 years ago, and after its reintroduction last year, it's still as relevant as ever.
This is an awesome shoe for moving from water to beach to trail to rock pile and anywhere in between. A thick rubber sole protects against rough and wet terrain and the classic nylon webbing straps we remember from our elementary school days are just as functional now as ever. The Original Universal has even caught on at music festivals and with the hipster crowd, according to Fashionista.com. Weird.
Beach bum alternative: Quiksilver AG47 AmphibianInstead of the go-to flip-flop, check out Quiksilver's new beach-specific water shoe, the AG47 Amphibian. No, these aren't the goofy water shoes Mom used to buy you from Walmart; there is some style here, and more than a little tech to boot.
With a one-piece breathable mesh upper and drainage ports in the sole (protected by mesh screens to keep sand out), the AG47 Amphibian is built to get wet and stay comfortable. The footbed has built-in Agion scent protection to resist fungus and odor-causing bacteria, and the rubber pods along the Amphibian's sole are great for long beach-trail approaches. Skip the flip-flop struggle on your next hike to that secret surf beach and get a shoe designed to handle it all.
Out on the town: CLAE Hamilton SPEvery once in a while we have to come home from the outdoors and class it up around town. That doesn't mean the experience should be painful, though. Just take the CLAE Hamilton SP, for example. A super-clean leather upper with suede accents has you looking sharp, but a molded EVA footbed for breathability and a protruding tread for improved grip makes the Hamilton SP both comfortable and functional, keeping feet happy without sacrificing that urban aesthetic.
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