Rubber thongs are the biggest style mistake you can make

I'm not the first and I certainly won't be the last but I'm here to emphatically tell you that your rubber thongs need to go. Unless you are quite literally standing in a communal shower or hot-footing it across the sand at the beach there is simply no place for them in your wardrobe.

Putting aside the fact that they're really not very good for your feet (podiatrists say they cause the foot to overarch and can lead to calluses on the toes and balls of the feet), they're pretty gruesome, right?

Hardly anybody among us has beautiful feet, and while beauty is of course subjective, your feet - gnarly and hairy toes and all - deserve better.

And there is better. 

Just look at the recent men's shows in Paris. From the show goers wearing cool slides with socks (yes, you can do it!) to Jonathan Anderson's awesome backless loafers with chunky chain detail, there's an abundance of alternatives to consider.

Here are some of our favourites to make the most of those last long days of summer. 


Forget the image of your high school science teacher, chunky hiking style sandals have been trending for a few seasons now and with good reason. They provide a cool balance to tailoring and pair well with shorts. You'll look good but not like you're trying too hard.

Look to brands like TEVA, one of the originals of the ugly sandal club, for a straight-up style to get you started. Then consider the likes of Prada (Mrs Prada is a long-time connoisseur of "ugly" too) for smart criss-cross styles, Dries Van Noten for something a little heavier, Bottega Veneta for a sophisticated style and Ancient Greek Sandals for a cool twist on the classic flat Grecian sandal. 


Pool slides have long left their sloppy locker room reputation behind. Loads of the big brands are doing them. You might even feel tempted to wear them with socks like Jared Leto (go for either a contrast with your sock choice or a complementary tone). The most sophisticated version is the Hermes' 'H' cut-out Izmir sandal. But there's something fun about an in-your-face, bright and punchy and logo heavy version too - see Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Bally. Oh don't forget the Adidas original version. You might even still have a pair at the pack of the wardrobe from your sporting days. 


Boat shoes

Grab your gin & tonic, the preppy boat shoe (originally created for sailors as the grippy soles meant they wouldn't slip) is another key summer style, for now and forever. Prada has several great versions in two-tone leather, as does English footwear brand Church's. Parisian brand Christian Louboutin has a studded version. You can wear them with shorts and a button-down or polo on the weekend and with chinos for a more casual day in the office. Or aboard a yacht too I guess, lifestyle permitting.


If you're more about the less fuss the better, plimsolls are forever and ever the eternal summer shoe. According to legend, they get their name for their resemblance to the Plimsoll line on a ship's hull. But essentially, they're just a low-rise white canvas sneaker the most famous of which is Converse. Soft canvas means you can kick the back down for slide-like comfort; Springcourt make theirs washable; and as far as pricepoints are concerned you practically save money by buying a pair because they last forever.

Check out the gallery up top to see 12 alternatives to thongs.