Espadrilles are a stylish and comfortable choice for men. Here are some places where you can buy them.
With their European origins, espadrilles are often associated with that resort-ready cosmopolitan vibe. Even before the greater male population started adding them to their core rotation, this casual, summery shoe was already popular among the ladies (I always associated them with high wedges).
These days, however, they’re not only an easy way to keep your feet cool and keep your outfit effortlessly stylish, but they can often be a lot less intimidating than, say, fancy leather sandals or full-exposure flip-flops.
They’re relaxed, but not sloppy, and come in a variety of different aesthetics. Overall, they’re just easy on several levels. Let’s learn a bit more about them, and look at some great selections.
What Are Espadrilles?
Espadrilles are a type of slip-on shoe with a woven, rope outsole. Traditionally, they’d also have a cotton or canvas upper.
Today however, the rope outsole is the design element that typically qualifies a shoe into the espadrille category — so you might even find leather or suede “espadrilles” on the market (and in this round-up).
The rope is often made from esparto grass, the same material used in wickerwork, which is what gives it that laid-back, beachy aesthetic. In fact, the word “espadrille” is French for “espardenya,” which is Catalan for “esparto grass.”
Here’s why I translated it that way. Long before the era of Toms, true espadrilles were worn by dock workers in Spain. Soon, they spread to France, then, France being a fashion spearheader, to the rest of Europe.
Legend has it that even before this, in the 13th century, the king of Aragon, a region in Northeastern Spain, had pairs knitted for his soldiers.
Modern-day espadrilles aren’t always made with full rope outsoles. A lot of them feature rubber soles that are then adorned with esparto rope or jute rope, which is the same material used for burlap.
Here are our top recommendations from the list:
Viscata's Sitges espadrilles offer a simple and authentic design, with a light cotton upper and a durable rubber bottom for longevity. Priced at approximately $100, they offer impressive value in terms of cost-to-quality ratio
Unlike pricier alternatives, this versatile option allows you to embrace a laid-back vibe without breaking the bank. Its moderate style effortlessly complements any casual outfit, making it the perfect choice for any occasion.
Read on for more info and the complete list…
15 Best Espadrilles for Men
Here they are, representing a wide range of personal styles, different takes on the traditional espadrille, and of course, price points!
Viscata Sitges Canvas Espadrille
Viscata is worth mentioning first since their full focus is on espadrilles made with all-natural materials. More than that, they serve up hand-made footwear and are based in Spain, which gives them an air of legitimacy.
We also did a full in-depth review of the brand, in case you missed it.
If you’re looking for a simple, authentic espadrille, their Sitges are definitely on-template. The light cotton upper consists of one larger front piece that wraps around and over the back and sides, so it’s pretty minimal.
Instead of a fully woven sole though, there’s a rubber bottom which makes it much stronger and longer lasting. It doesn’t compromise the look of the shoe since it barely peaks out and almost looks like a thin, darker layer of natural jute on the rest of the sole (until you see the underside, of course).
At ~$100 at the time of this writing, the Sitges flaunt an impressive cost-to-quality. Even more, Viscata is an eco-driven brand, and they have a shoe recycling program that you can read about on their website.
Todd Snyder Guanabana Espadrille
Guanábana’s Espadrille is more of a modern rendition of a classic espadrille, though it still uses all of the traditional materials.
Its silhouette isn’t as flat, though the edges are fortified, so it doesn’t fit sloppily. There’s just a bit more room around the vamp. Moreover, there’s a piece of cloth attached to the back, which serves as a pull tab, while giving it a fun pop of red and blue.
I love how the stitching that attaches the woven sole to the canvas upper acts as a visual bridge between the two parts. It gives it a fun, folksy, DIY aesthetic.
You can wear these guys on city pavements as well as on the boardwalk since the heel’s suede panels and rubber outsoles provide excellent traction.
Ralph Lauren Cevio Washed Espadrille
If you’re interested in something fancier, Ralph Lauren also makes a premium, leather espadrille. Still, I think their Cevio Washed Espadrille is more of a traditional take while also being more on-brand.
By that, I mean they have that elegant, but not flashy, way about them that people turn to preppy brands for.
The washed cotton upper adds character while making the shoe decidedly beachy. This is the case with every colorway, whether you’re looking at the salmon-hued red version (which is very Nantucket), or the earth-toned olive version.
Another cool quality is the fact the woven jute sole pops up into the toe area of the upper, providing a unique texture accent.
Naturally, the interior is lined with madras and there’s a polo pony embroidered towards the back, by the heel.
Seavees Del Mar Espadrille
Seavees almost “skater-ifies” the classic espadrille with their Del Mar model. It has a youthful, close-to-foot silhouette, similar to a Vans Slip-On.
In fact, with its natural rubber outsole, which features pebble-like texturing and the lowest heel known to man, you probably can use these for skateboarding.
On top of that, there’s a memory foam footbed, which not only cushions your feet but allows air to flow keeping you cool and impact-protected — at least more so than the average espadrille.
Of course, the woven part of the outsole is more visually prominent than the rubber part. While most espadrilles are built for comfort, I’d say this one takes that component of it up a notch.
Greats The Jones Leather Espadrille
As a New Yorker, I know a lot of people try to maintain their urban mostly-black aesthetic. The Jones Leather Espadrille from Greats bridges the gap between summer casual and streetwear cool.
It’s definitely a modern take, leaving most of the traditional espadrille elements behind, save for the required woven jute sole and the slip-on shape and architecture.
The weaving is seen on two thin layers of the sole, with the dark rubber beneath it being just a touch slimmer. Meanwhile, the leather upper and perforation lean into a slightly athletic aesthetic.
The perforations are there so that, despite this shoe being leather, it’s still breathable and easily worn during the warm seasons.
Top that off with suede accents, and you’ve got an espadrille that might even satisfy the hypebeasts of the fashion world.
Soludos Dali Sandal
The Soludos Dali Sandal is what I like to call “standard, but in the best way possible.”
It checks all of the boxes, from the canvas upper and rope sole to the rubber bottoms, and is neutral in both the creamy-colored “natural” colorway and the blue.
This is a no-nonsense espadrille that you can wear on the beach in a more carefree way than if you could with a more expensive variant and is moderate enough to go with any casual outfit.
I think they’re good shoes to keep by your door when you need to quickly pop out to take out the garbage, check the mail, or run a quick errand.
Toms Santiago Espadrille
Of all of Toms’ espadrille designs, the Santiago is definitely the most functional. It’s as minimal as any espadrille, but it’s more structured and features a bit of a lip. The website mentions it’s inspired by classic smoking slippers, and it certainly has that kind of elegant silhouette.
Its construction is mostly one-piece, or at least looks like it, but the back is stitched so that it’s collapsible. This means you have the option of wearing it like a backless shoe too.
The Ortholite insole makes it extra comfortable and breathable, while the rubber outsole provides great grip. And since this is Toms, the upper is made of at least 50% recycled cotton.
With its reinforced collar and stitch-defined vamp, the Bobbies Salvador looks like a cross between an espadrille and a suede loafer.
More than just a loafer with a rope sole though, its overall shape is more defined than the average cotton espadrille but still more “drapey” than the average loafer.
Still, the Italian suede leather and the fact they’re handmade in Portugal make this shoe slightly dressier. It really leans into the resort-chic aesthetic, meaning they’d go great with shorts or even a linen suit.
Tod’s Line of Premium Espadrilles
If you want an espadrille that’s fashion-with-a-capital-F, then Tod’s has a pretty excellent, albeit pricey, line of top-notch models.
Tod’s is known for their luxury leather goods, so it’s no surprise that all of these are handcrafted with supple and immediately soft full-grain leather or beautifully napped suede.
I’d say that their Suede Slip-Ons are the most “standard” representative of the line. The two-story sole includes a rubber bottom with embossed pebbles for grip and comfort and a hand-woven rope trim.
Any of their high-end espadrilles would go well with an elegant type of casual, say, a linen shirt and fitted chinos. However, if you’re in a tropical or warm-weather environment, you can definitely pair this shoe with a summer suit sans tie.
Paul Smith Summer Espadrilles
Leave it to Paul Smith to take a European classic and put a fun twist to it. These espadrilles are undeniably summery.
The signature stripe colorway, with its thin rainbow stitching, is equal parts kitschy and folksy, both qualities restrained enough that it isn’t a super loud shoe. Meanwhile, the multicolor variant flaunts airbrushed blues, some neon accents, and vivid shades of sun red.
They’re both a touch whimsical, very spring break appropriate, and would look absolutely stylish with camp collar shirts and brightly-framed sunglasses.
Boss Madeira Espadrille
Almost Bond-like in its elegance, the Boss Madeira Espadrille boasts smooth and steady lines without being as extra structured as the Toms Santiago or loafer hybrids. It’s effortlessly classy and, as espadrilles are, anti-flashy.
There are some cool details on this shoe that are subtle but add personality. The multi-color pull tabs add pops of color while maintaining the neutral look. Meanwhile, the stitching that extends onto the uppers, as well as the woven toe, provides just a touch more texture.
Finally, you’ve got a beautiful, buttery beige upper, that makes this shoe easy to style (as an espadrille should be).
Drake’s Herringbone Espadrille
There are two distinct qualities about Drake’s Espadrille that make it unique. First, the herringbone texturing on the upper adds a bit of topography to match the rope sole.
It’s completely monochrome though, and gives the shoe a touch of class, like the wood paneling on the floor of a modernist room, or the surface of a professorial fall sport coat.
Second, the one-piece construction balances out the broken twill weave, ensuring the entire shoe is still relatively minimalist.
Since Drake’s is known for their shirting and ties, it’s no surprise their summer shoes has a bit of a smart-looking twist to them.
Aldo Kianou Espadrille
The Aldo Kianou is a trendy shoe with a unique construction, but one that isn’t completely out of left field.
By that, I mean that the upper, which is made up of interlacing fibers, is a non-traditional take on the espadrille.
However, it’s reminiscent of wicker, which is also summery, casual, and associated with warm weather activities (or non-activities, like sitting on your porch on a warm afternoon sipping whiskey).
Of course, this means that a lot of your foot is exposed, which is perfect for the beach. It features a slip-on design with elastic webs between the lip and sides, making the shoe easy and comfortable, but still secure.
Aurelien Beachside Loafer
The Aurelien Beachside Loafer is categorically luxurious, and an amalgamation of three shoe styles, each of which represents “the good life” to some extent.
It has the overall build of a loafer, with the laced upper lip of a boat shoe, and, obviously, the espadrille braided jute trims.
The materials used are just as high-class as the design. The upper is 100% French calfskin suede, which means it’s soft but strong, while the interior is foot-conforming calfskin.
This shoe would pair just as elegantly with swimming shorts as it would with summer dress trousers. That’s a pretty wide dress code range, as far as espadrilles go.
Michael Kors Owen Jacquard Espadrille
The Michael Kors Owen Jacquard Espadrille has a truly leisurely, borderline tropical look about it. The silk-like upper almost makes it look like a more structured indoor slipper that they slapped a cool woven sole to.
The upper even features leather accents, which gives it definition and makes it that much more upscale looking. Between that and the polyester and cotton construction, this shoe is pretty durable overall.
It’s definitely one of the most effective indoor/outdoor shoes.
Here are some quick answers to common burning questions regarding espadrilles.
Are espadrilles good for men?
Yes. They’re comfortable and easy to style, and give a classy but relaxed touch to essentially all casual outfits.
Who makes the original espadrilles?
Catalonian artisans have been making espadrilles since the 14th century. The original espadrilles were worn and popularized in Spain and France.
Should I size up or down for espadrilles?
There’s nothing about the espadrille’s design that would require you to size up or down. They typically run true to size, but this depends on the brand.
What is the best color for espadrilles for men?
Espadrilles can be made in any color, so it’s up to your personal tastes. Beachy hues like blues and creams are common, and you can never go wrong with espadrilles in menswear neutrals like olive, gray, and navy.
Again, espadrilles are a perfect option when it comes to casual, warm-weather shoes for several reasons.
If you don’t like wearing flip-flops or exposing too much foot, espadrilles are an excellent and often classier alternative.
If you just want something beachy and classic, espadrilles come in so many different renditions these days. It’s not hard to find a pair that’ll fit easily into your personal style.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!