The most covetable kicks from summer seasons past have been delightfully unexpected and just the right amount of quirky. Our Legacy’s disco-y Camion mule is fit for a jaunt on the Italian coast or a sweaty night out dancing in Soho. The outdoorsy Merrell Hydromoc feels just as practical and fashionable as when it first wooed menswear’s inner circle during the early days of the pandemic. If you thought that the days of bizzaro summertime footwear were behind us, get ready for another season of out-there kicks. Collections from both Bottega Veneta and Prada feature high-style, foamy rubber kicks that will keep you looking cool all summer long.
Bottega Veneta has been on a footwear streak for a while now. Thanks to a stellar boot program, the somewhat niche bag brand became a global powerhouse within luxury fashion. One of those standouts was the Puddle boot, an esoteric play on the classic rubber rain boot offered in a kaleidoscope of funky colors. Bottega Veneta then flipped the style to be more appropriate for summer: the Rubber Flash clog with its showy, ultra-treaded sole and the Puddle sandal, a square-toed loafer-sandal with a slingback strap. Both styles come in more subdued shades like black and gray and in some total head turners, like metallic silver, bright tangerine, and acid turquoise.
Now, on to Prada. When it comes to footwear, the Italian label might be better known for shiny leather dress shoes or that recent Adidas collaboration, but these new foam-rubber mules are sleekly designed. The silhouette still feels sharp and elegant—in other words, it feels like quintessential Prada. There are some nods to the utilitarianism of classic water shoes like the Hydromoc (and perhaps Fear of God’s “The California” mule). Prada even included vented holes at the sides. While jumping into a lake wearing Prada shoes isn’t advised, one would think these could handle it.
Lightweight rubber isn’t typically a material synonymous with designer footwear. The outlandish styles and funky details elevate the material into the realm of covetable fashion and show that these types of wild-style kicks are now a constant in contemporary menswear collections. In the summertime, you want a shoe that is equally durable, comfortable, and light on the foot. These from Bottega Veneta and Prada fit the bill—plus, the high-style design means you can get away with wearing these in places where regular ole rubber sandals might not do the trick.