There is something about summer that makes me want to shed my skin. If there was a scale of how uncomfortable hot weather is, I am at that end of this spectrum which is visually represented by shorts, sodas with umbrellas in them, straw hats and slippers. I was never a slipper person — and even less a slider person — till a few summers ago; but over time the heat has melted my stance and comfort has become my primary solace through these sweltering months. Now I am mostly fine with my good ol’ camel-hide Kolhapuris; their versatile charm is as effortless as it is timeless. But the sneaker-gen has given us much fodder for a wardrobe upgrade. Here then, are a few options for sliders for the seasons; remember these are coming from a person who used to loathe the idea of exposed toes, pedicure or not, so they’d have to be mighty cool if I’m agreeing to step out in them.

 

CROCS

The brand finally went and did it. They managed to design a pair that I don’t dislike. In fact, these camp cross-lite slides are the first pair of Crocs that I have worn openly and proudly, like a badge of honour. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but you get my drift – these are cool, extremely comfortable (Crocs always had that down pat) and being anti-bacterial (like all Crocs), completely stink-free.

 

ADIDAS ORIGINALS

The Adilette by Adidas Originals is one slider that possibly helped start and grow the category, and decades later they are still running strong. Originally intended as sliders for footballers for their post-game showers, they were marked by their quick dry linings. This season, with the help of designer Eric Emanuel, they’ve also gone floral. Another version by Alexander Wang reinterprets the silhouette with Lycra. And there are still other versions too, sportier ones like the swim Aqualette Cloudfoam slides with one-piece EVA uppers, or the evergreen and classic three-stripes across version, in a bright neon hue.

 

LOUBOUTIN

Who said we can’t svelter in style? The brand with the red soles showcased Zandal Sport Flat this season, sporting multiple straps in their proprietary glitter sunset shade, Pointille Specchio leather and silver neoprene bearing the house signature. These are not just slides to wear to the local pool, no sir, these are for the most coveted pool parties of the season, or when you casually saunter into an Ibiza sundowner and order an obnoxious amount of champers.

 

SUICOKE

Like most streetwear Japanese brands, this one has an acquired sense of the aesthetic. You wonder if someone with a lot of money has decided to play a joke on the luxury industry in a ‘Let’s mock ourselves’ kind of way. But then you see people lining up outside the store in anticipation of every launch and realise that maybe the joke was on you all along. I, similarly, have come to like Suicoke but I doubt I will ever feel bold enough to rock these casually. Their construct looks extremely basic and frugal, designed in a manner that doesn’t feel conducive to summery style. Sure, they have ample cushion, Vibram soles too, but to me, they are more about a quirky style statement than a summer breeze. But since they do have a following of sorts, I have included them here.

 

BIRKENSTOCK

This is the OG of sliders, and the German brand has found ways to keep up with the times without compromising their look and feel. From the classic cork-bed ones to water-friendly and microfibre based models and more recently, limited edition collabs, they truly have managed to cover the entire spectrum. They may sound pricey, but they are utterly durable, so make sure you get a pair you won’t tire of too easily.