Sliding into a pair of the best mules for men feels like whipping a drop-top down a long, open road: a little terrifying at first, and then wildly freeing. So if you were hesitant to take a pair out for a spin before this, it’s time to learn the rules of the road. Only a few years ago, mules (and all manner of freaky clogs, really) were the sole domain of line cooks and healthcare workers, people who appreciated the silhouette’s no-frills design and easy-wearing attitude. (And save for a handful of outliers, the space was largely dominated by names like Birkenstock and Crocs).

The Best Mules for Men, According to GQ

In 2024, though, designers of all stripes have cottoned on to the mule’s appeal—after all, what’s not to like about a shoe you don’t have to fuss with any laces to keep on your feet? Which means today’s hyper-saturated mule market has something for everyone, from versions you can toss in a tote before you head to the beach to A-list-approved options you can wear to make a splash on the red carpet—or on an early-morning run to the bodega. That new 911 a tad out of your price range? The best mules for men might not plop you down in the car commercial of your choice, but they come pretty damn close.

The Best Mules Overall: Birkenstock Boston Clog

Bostons are like a mule gateway drug—except way better for your personal style. Birkenstock’s signature slip-ons are a mainstay of Grateful Dead concerts and Michelin-star kitchens for a reason: they’re about as durable—and handsome—as a pair of mules can get. Recently, the comfort-focused German operation has cooked up high-flying collaborations with brands like Jil Sander and Rick Owens, but for our money, the OGs (in goes-with-everything sand suede) are still the coolest. Wear ‘em with swishy basketball shorts to take out the trash, wear ’em with baggy jeans on the weekend, heck, if you’re really feeling saucy (and your office skews relaxed), wear ’em with with a slouchy suit to work. For maximum fresh-out-the-box cushiness, opt for the ultra-soft footbed version spotlighted here.

The Best Mules for Trips to Erewhon: Fear of God California Slip-On

The latest advancement in footwear technology? Shoes crafted entirely from EVA foam, a material once reserved for sneaker soles that’s steadily enveloped shoes in their entirety. There are plenty of non-mule versions out there, but none like the Fear of God California. They look like two elegant slabs of concrete for your feet only, you know, a million times lighter and cushier. Plus, they’re so god dang comfortable you may never want to kick ’em off.

The Best Mules for Cowboys: Needles Stitched Mule


“Papillon” Stitched Mule Shoes

Didn’t think there was such a thing as a convertible cowboy boot? The brand behind your favorite mohair sweater would like you to think again. Needles’s freaky riff on the stacked boot features a pointed toe, custom embroidery across the upper, and an extra-cushy insole to make sure you’re hitting your two-step in the utmost comfort. Wear ‘em with busted up Levi’s jeans and a silky button-up for a look that’ll make ‘em blush.

The Best Mules to Wear with a Suit: G.H.Bass & Co. Penny Mule

G.H.Bass has been keeping some of the world’s most powerful guys well-heeled (JFK was a fan) since 1876. The Winston is a slip-on riff of their bestselling Weejun loafers, and will pair just as well with your finest suits as they do with a very informal pair of jeans. Wear ‘em to beachside dinners, summer fundraisers, or to stunt on the post-brunch crowd in your Sunday finest. Bonus points if the suit you pair ’em with is Pharrell-level cropped—and the corresponding pants are actually…shorts.

The Best Mules for Fashion Guys: Our Legacy Camion Mule

You know how a camel hair topcoat can make you feel like the most stylish, powerful version of yourself? These guys do the same from the ground up. While Our Legacy’s Camion boots have kept our toes looking exceptionally sharp against the frigid winter temps, the mule-ified version allows our ankles to air out without cramping the style points we’ve accrued. If you find the usual assortment of mules to be too gorp-coded, these chunky, vaguely industrial slides should hit the spot.

The Best Mules for Bad Weather: Crocs Dylan Mule

If the start of spring is any indication of how the rest of the season will pan out, it’s time to brace for rain—a lot of it. While a slick rain boot will keep your toes dry after crossing a series of “shallow” puddles that turned out to be very deep, Croc’s Dylan mule provides the easy on/off access you want when you need to hit the block amidst some drizzle. Bonus: The cushy, EVA silhouette will only set you back a humble $50.

The Best Mules for Eclectic Grandpas: Hereu Ferriol Mule

You’re probably several decades away from sipping Mai Tais in retirement, but Hereu’s Mediterranean-inspired slip-ons will make you feel like you’ve got your pension right now. Made from woven, vegetable tanned calfskin that’s been stitched down to a sturdy, rubber leather sole, they’re a breezy alternative to loafers and far more elegant than flip-flops. You can pair ‘em with a nice linen two-piece if you’re feeling especially rich or with the pair of broken dungarees you just recently scored off the sale rack at the local thrift store.

The Best Mules for Green Toes: Plasticana Hemp Mule

If you haven’t heard, garden clogs aren’t just for shoveling perfectly uniform holes in your backyard anymore. With their sleek, water-resistant profile they look just as good on the yard and as they do paired with the quintessential hoodie and denim downtown look. If you fell in love with Plasticana’s Gardana clog, you’ll love their mule. Made from the same upcycled hemp, they’re lightweight yet extremely durable and make the conundrum of being practical vs. fashionable a non-factor.

The Best Mules for Spring Adventures: Merrell Hydro Next Gen Mule

Mules likely won’t be your first choice of footwear for a cross country hike but if you’ve got an “easy” trek in the books—or need something to slip into once you’ve completed your descent—you’ll love these extra-grippy mules. Made by hiking boot connoisseur Merrell, the Hydro Next Gen Mules are crafted from lightweight EVA that gives the cushion your sore and busted feet want without weighing you down. They also feature cutouts along the vamp for ventilation and treaded rubber sole to keep you upright.

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