Top Ten Trainer Alternatives for Summer

Trainer socks. Invisible or not? Wait, you’re missing the point. We don’t need to spend an hour every warm morning deciding whether or not to let our feet go commando, there are other options out there.

Below we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites. Ten of them.

KEEN Uneek

While this list is in no particular order, there’s a reason why we’ve gone straight in with KEEN. Their Uneek model has been a spring/summer staple in our place for weeks now. Not sure we’ll cope when the sun pisses off to some other continent in a couple of months but we’ll be making the most of them while we can.

Best for: Attracting confusion from your boring mates who will be wearing these on the first day of next spring anyway.

Buy from: Oi Polloi, the ones above are their Beams collaboration.


First surfacing in 1984, there’s nothing particularly dystopian about these. There’s just a reliable, eco-conscious summer sandal that’ll provide comfortable companionship to your feet. 

Best for: Scaling Sand dunes in Lytham St Anne’s then hitting the charity shops/tea rooms.

Buy from: Parasol


The thinking man’s sandal, these are the warm weather equivalent to the comfort shoes you and your weird uncle wear. Often aped by cut price shoe retailers, when you sample a pair of Birkos for real, you know there’s no substitute for the original.

Best for: Pushing a pram in Poulton-le-Fylde, walking a Westie in Weston-super-Mare, trimming an unkempt hedge in Barrow-in-Furness.

Buy from: Yards Store


The resurgence of Merrell is long overdue. Their Hydro Moc may look a little like a wheel of exotic Swiss cheese left to slowly melt in the mid afternoon sun, but that’s why they’re so good. These are the crocs it’s OK to rock.

Best for: That one day when the man in the papershop is employing his “Hotter than Barbados, you know” patter to all who will listen.

Buy from: Merrell themselves, you can get 10% off your first order too.


We’ve gone straight in with the weird and wonderful so far, but these OOFOS sandals provide a more familiar silhouette for the safe and stoic sandal proponent. These are the ones you buy when the rest are too far out of your comfort zone.

Best for: On holiday, next to the pool, listening to an audio book about a serial killer who might not have actually done it.

Buy from: The OOFOS website. They donate 2% of everything to the Royal Marsden, the worlds first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment and education and research.


Beloved of those who dwell within phlegm shot of the mouth of the Mersey, Montbell really is a smashing brand. Simple branding, tasteful colours and gear that works. These sandals fit the bill like a muzzle on a duck.

Best for: When your ma is bein arlarse and won’t lend you a flim to go on the ale.

Buy from: The Outsiders Store, who have a load of Montbell. In unrelated news they also have a shop in Liverpool.


You know, despite this wonderful brand being permanently attached to our radar, we only just found out they were doing summer footwear. Yep, behind the curve, us. Their summer sandals encompass everything we all know and love about Gramicci, including some innovative repurposing of some climbing rope.

Best for: When you’ve let your hair grow long and you’re contemplating an actual Alice band.

Buy from: Gramicci UK


A relative new kid on the block for most of us, Chaco have all the credentials you’d want in an open-toed, open-minded brand. Founded in California (obviously).

Best for: When your circle of achingly cool pals have been wearing Teva and KEEN for a year or more and you want to bring something new to the party/barbecue.

Buy from: Outsiders again.

Nike ACG Deschutz

No list of almost any footwear would be complete without an inclusion of the swooshy sneaker set who began life as Blue Ribbon Sports. Their All Conditions Gear silo has long been making us wonder if we had grown up in the Rocky Mountains in a previous life. Famed for footwear usually in a different guise, these ACG Deschutz are suitably fruity (fruitably?) and won’t force you to take a hammer to your piggy bank either. You’ve probably got enough in your Monzo savings account for these.

Best for: The end of summer when your tan is divine, your mood is contemplative and your hair is sunbleached.

Buy from: Size?


And finally, something even further away from your comfort zone. Politely arriving to the party late, these Yogi sandals want to talk to you about Jesus Christ, and because they’ve asked so nicely and they look so lovely, you’re willing to listen. We can all sport a pair of pared down sneakers with bright colours but only the real deal among us will consider rocking these. Is that you? Of course it is.

Best for: When you’re listening to Chris de Burgh in your Volvo estate, thinking about building an ark for when the rains come.

Buy from: The Yogi Website.

Mark Smith

I had pizza for tea.

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