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The Look: Modern Mandal

Though the man sandal, or “mandal,” is still a scandal to some, the style has become more accepted as brands like Birkenstock and Teva enter mainstream fashion. At Capsule New York (July 20-21), brands revealed new developments in the category, branching out from the men’s sports sandal.

A more sophisticated style popping up for men is the closed sandal with cutouts, a design that has become a staple in women’s. Grenson offers an updated take on the fisherman sandal with a side buckle and teardrop cutouts along the upper, as well as a loafer-style sandal with cutouts on the sides and fringe over the vamp.


Yuketen is stepping forward with a cutout sandal and a semi-chukka, both inspired by the classic huarache sandal. The cutout sandal has a perforated upper and heel and is trimmed with a braided leather cord. The open-toe, semi-chukka is accented with the same woven leather detail and a triangular pattern. Both shoes are hand-cut and hand-constructed from tumbled American-tanned leather and have a crepe rubber sole.

For men who prefer something more understated, brands are offering global styles made by local craftspeople. Chamula showed a variety of huarache sandals, handwoven in Mexico. The shoes are available in a variety of colors, with some styles combine three colors of leather woven together.

Riudavets makes a sandal originating on the island of Menorca in the Spanish Mediterranean called the avarca. The shoe is a flat slingback sandal worn by both men and women, and the current model carries many of the same characteristics Riudavets created with the original sandal in the 1920s. It is still made with a classic tire sole, a suede inner lining, greased leather and a hidden border stitch. The shoes are made from Spanish leather and 100 percent recycled rubber.


For consumers looking to refresh their traditional Teva-like sports sandal, Suicoke offers updated versions of the adjustable silhouette with a color palette that includes electric blue, soft pink, and bronze, all with a metallic sheen. The footbed of the shoes is an exclusive design made by Vibram, one of the only smaller shoe companies to commission this specialized feature.