Relaxed footwear to see you through the summer months in style and comfort.
While the Drake’s house style often leans in the direction of formality, it will by now be no secret that we’re likely to unbutton a shirt collar, or to shuck off a sportcoat in favour of a relaxed overshirt when the occasion (or the climate) calls for it. Equally, while a penny loafer or a split-toe lace-up might spring to mind when thinking of Drake’s, we are careful not to overlook the value of a casual shoe, particularly once the warmer months have rolled around.
This comes down to two main reasons: the first being comfort. A good pair of dress shoes should be as comfortable as anything a man owns, but formal footwear still can’t rival the lightness and breathability of, say, a tennis shoe on a hot day. The second reason (which is very much a symptom of the first) is that dress codes relax considerably in summer, to account for the discomfort that a hotter climate can beget. So, casual footwear seems to make more sense in the summertime, and fortunately we have a small but highly versatile selection of shoes to provide comfort and a certain air of insouciance, given the rising temperatures.
The New England Outerwear ‘Four Eye Cataumet Moccasin’ is something of a classic in the summer footwear stakes. Redolent of Massachusetts lake-house porches and crackling campfires, the Cataumet Moc is purpose made for lounging around while taking refuge from the heat, or for strolling along leafy trails.
However, if the mercury really begins to rocket, you may find yourself wanting something even cooler, even lighter. That’s where the humble espadrille comes in. Another warm-weather staple, the espadrille originates from Spain, and has taken various forms over the years, but always consisting of a rope sole and a canvas upper. The Drake’s espadrille – made in the style’s native Spain – is a little more rugged and substantial than your average, with an upper made from a sturdy herringbone canvas, and a rubber outsole with classic jute rope braiding. It’s our way of elevating a classic but notoriously flimsy shoe, making it something to wear for summers to come.
Finally, we have something a little bit less traditional than the moc or the espadrille, but no less of a summer essential. Zespa is a shoe manufacturer based in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. Taking classic silhouettes and refining them using premium materials, Zespa creates footwear that is sleek and understated. We’ve chosen to carry a highlight of their offer – a contemporary take on the classic German army trainer. While a German military shoe, reproduced in the south of France, may not sound like the most obvious choice when it comes to classic summer footwear, Zespa’s nappa and suede option is as versatile and elegant a sport shoe as you’re likely to find, ready to be paired with anything from denim to tailored linen trousers. A little fresher than the rugged moccasin or the slouchy espadrille, Zespa adds just a touch of athleticism and savoir faire to a warm-weather ensemble.