Summertime is all about staying cool while still enjoying the warm weather. And for those of us who love sneakers, you want options you can wear even when it’s hot. Here, we highlight 20 different styles that you’ll want to break out this summer, or start looking for now, so you don’t always have to go with sandals. From Nike Flyknit to adidas Primeknit, tech has come a long way on trainers recently and these kicks are not only durable, but they’re all super lightweight and breathable which is key when the temps start to heat up. Take a look and let us know in the comments section below which is your go-to sneaker to wear in summer instead of sandals.
adidas Pure Boost
The warmer months are all about plush comfort, and adidas knocked it out of the park with their (relatively) new Boost technology. Perfectly blending form and function, the new adidas Pure Boost draws a clean aesthetic from the brand’s Y-3 line, while keeping it real on the performance front. Really comfy.
Sure, the Nike Kukini silhouette isn’t for everybody. It is pretty wild. But try a pair on, and they just might sway you. Pairing ‘outside the box’ lace-less technology with Free 5.0 soles, these are plush for summertime.
adidas ZX Flux and ZX Flux Weave
Another example of the “Marque aux Trois Bandes” really stepping the game up lately, has been the introduction of the adidas ZX Flux. Hitting the market in a wide variety of colors and materials (including the dope Flux Weave), the ZX Flux is on pace to give Nike’s Roshe a run for the money. And with the introduction of their crazy ambitious mi adidas ZX Flux Photo Print app (seriously, check it out), the Flux has a bright future ahead.
Nike Solarsoft Moccasin
Another love-it-or-leave-it silo from the Swoosh boys, the Solarsoft Moccasin is most certainly proper summertime footwear. The lightweight mesh upper and cushy foam outsole, coupled with a wide array of styles, both loud and subtle, make these kicks like Goldilocks in summertime: jussst right.
Nike Free Trainer 5.0
Summertime also means training season for those fall sports, which makes Nike’s latest Free Trainer 5.0 hit right on time. So far, we’ve seen a few dope colorways. But the standouts are certainly the fantastic “Paid in Full” and “Jerry Rice” editions. In the gym or out, these lightweight trainers are banging.
adidas Originals ZX 500 OG Weave
Oh these are super clean. Taking the OG adidas ZX 500 and throwing a breathable woven upper on it, brings these babies to the next level. Yeah, you could catch us in these all summer long.
Nike Flyknit Lunar2
Ah, the Flyknit Lunar2. Improving on one of our favorites silhouettes from 2013, the Flyknit Lunar2 is just an essential staple of the summertime sneakerhead. Whether hitting the gym, getting a run on, or just chilling wherever, it doesn’t get much more comfortable than this. Trust.
Nike Roshe Run "Gold Trophy" Pack
While we’d like to believe Nike is also clairvoyant, and they put out their “Gold Trophy” pack to predict a trophy for the US in the upcoming World Cup, some dope shoes are a decent consolation prize. Delivered on a variety of iconic Nike silos, including one of our favorites, the Roshe Run, the Gold Trophy Roshe is going to be an amazing summer sneaker.
Nike Flyknit Chukka (Lunar or Free-soled)
Oh, and if the trainer style isn’t really for you, the Flyknit silo also comes in a Chukka model. The Lunar versions are some of the most comfortable sneakers we own and recently we’ve seen Nike slap a sweet Free sole on them in some fantastic colorways. Ah, summer. BBQs, sunshine and Flyknit. These truly are like socks for your feet and you won’t believe how light they are until you have them in your hands.
adidas Y3 Yohji Boost
Okay, so we know there are a lot of barriers to entry on these upcoming bangers from adidas. Limited numbers, high prices and a new-found hype surrounding the upper-end of adidas labels, makes the adidas Y3 Yohji Boost a tough get. But seriously, just look at them. Beautiful. Picking sandals over these? Child please.
Invincible x Reebok Instapump Fury
No doubt, we’ve seen plenty of collabs on the Reebok Instapump Fury. And the silo may not be for everyone. But this upcoming release, from Taiwanese brand Invincible, is one of our favorites yet. That floral patter on the upper just screams summertime and the openness of the design will still keep you cool. Plain and simple, these are gorgeous.
adidas Originals Primeknit 3.0
Adidas is really coming after that Nike market. Not only do they have the “Roshe-killer” ZX Flux, the crazy comfort of Boost technology, and the big-ticket endorsements from some of the biggest names in music, but adidas also has its own knitted technology with Primeknit. Just another great trainer you will barely even know you’re wearing.
Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit
Nike had some real success the past few years when pairing that wonderful Flyknit technology with their tried-and-true Free outsoles. And their latest entry in the series, the Free 4.0 Flyknit is a winner. We’re particularly fond of their retread of the hugely popular “Multicolor” makeup, but we’re starting to see Nike really come through with some true heat in the colorway department, like these awesome Bright Crimson bangers.
adidas Element Refine JS
When you think of eco-friendly, hippies and sandals often spring to mind. But don’t fret fellow green sneakerheads, adidas has you covered. Utilizing 90% recycled PET materials and a solid-pieced upper, the adidas Element Refine are perfect for the warmer months. Style and performance all in one package.
Nike Free Hyperfeel
Okay, so the Nike Free Hyperfeel is technically a running shoe. But with the low-profile and crazy Hyperfeel soles, you can rock these babies all summer long. Hey, if you’re looking for low-profile, the Free Hyperfeel is head and shoulders above the sandal option.
adidas Primeknit Pure Boost
Another tough-to-get recent adi release, the Solar Blue Primeknit Pure Boost is definitely primed for summertime. But, with only 266 pairs released, it’s certainly a quality over quantity kind of sneaker. If you were one of the lucky 266, you better not let us catch you wearing sandals instead. Come on man!
Nike SB Koston 2 Max
What the Koston 2 Max lacks in the hype or “swag” department, it more than makes up for with a minamalistic silhouette, legendary tech and super clean colorways. That makes the Koston 2 Max an excellent choice…particularly the fantastic ‘Light Crimson’ makeup. If they’re almost lighter than feathers in your hand, imagine how great they feel on foot.
Nike Flyknit Racer
You already know what these are. If you’ve been fortunate enough to catch any of the Nike Flyknit Racer releases in the past, you already know they’re one of the best and most comfortable summertime sneaker options in your arsenal. And we’re really feeling the recent colorways Nike has put out lately. The white/black and the ‘sport turqouise’ iterations are particularly awesome.
Nike Flyknit Trainer
Yeah, after Kanye spent last summer rocking the Flyknit Trainer, the surrounding hype made these beauties tough to cop. But, if you got on the Flyknit Trainer bandwagon before the hype, or you simply bit the bullet and paid the higher resale costs, you better be picking these over sandals this summer. These are proper.
Nike Air Max 'Breathe / Barefoot' Collection
The Nike Air Max ‘Breathe’ collection was engineered with summer in mind. Employing a mash-up of breathable mesh uppers, taped seams and elastic laces, all draped over several of our favorite Air Max silhouettes, the ‘Breathe’ collection is the right choice for summer. Always choose Air over sandals. Always.