LET’S CONSIDER our feet for a moment. It must be their favorite time of year, don’t you think? The 10 little piggies can come out and play, freed from the confines of closed-toe shoes. And there are so many summer sandals to choose from: Crunchy, sporty-looking options (yep, Birkenstocks, Tevas and the like), reinvented with feminine flourishes; styles that show off ankles with skinny ties or fabric wraps, slip-on slides with a retro vibe, even flip-flops with heels. Imagine that.
So, without further ado, here are our 13 suggestions for a footloose, if not care-free, summer.
SLIDE IT ON
The minimalist’s answer to footwear this summer.
TOP: My problem with slides is they often slip too easily off my feet. Everlane’s buttery-soft Day Crossover Sandal ($98) with double-folded criss-cross straps could be the solution, plus add comfort sans chafing. The sandal’s square-toe shape, in vogue this summer, gives toes plenty of wriggling room. If the embossed snake look doesn’t appeal, choose from six other colors. CENTER: Want to be cool around the pool? Tel Aviv label Freedom Moses sells juicy colors, prints and eco-minded principles (shoes are recyclable). These synthetic rubber Two Band Slides ($45, Shopbop), with their snappy black-and-white checkered design, are waterproof and nonslip. Plus they’re scented with honey. BOTTOM: The fabric on these Burkina Stripe Slides ($285, Farfetch) from eco-friendly, Black-owned business Brother Vellies is handwoven in Burkina Faso in local patterns by a community of female weavers and then finished in Ethiopia with a handmade leather lining and sole. Pair them with white jeans and/or a throw-on dress.
In 1984, a river rafting guide who wanted to keep his flip-flops from falling off his feet, created Teva’s Velcro sandals. The shoes, which represent adventurousness, have now stepped into everyday style.
LEFT: Loeffler Randall’s Maisie Sport Sandals ($136.50, Shopbop) interpret the classic with Velcro straps in dark-wash denim, topped off with a bow. RIGHT: Another fresh look on the sporty girl’s shoe, Arizona Love’s Trekky Bandana Sandals ($185, Shopbop) make a fun fashion statement with colorful bandana trim. Wear both styles to socially distanced backyard get-togethers.
Slightly clunky, buckled sandals offset summer’s best-loved billowy dresses.
TOP: The Madrid Big Buckle ($130), a refined Birkenstock, wins our hearts in jade green. In case that’s sold out, though, there’s also black, lavender and cognac. Arch support, an anatomically shaped cork footbed, toe grip and a narrow fit add to our admiration. CENTER: Japanese designer’s Toga Pulla Metal Grommet Buckle Sandal ($273, Shopbop) combines her love for the American West with traditional Asian elements. BOTTOM: Channel the ’60s, courtesy of a Dr. Scholl’s and Kate Spade New York collaboration. The whimsical Falling Flower Slide Sandal (40 percent off $130 with code SUMMER40) features Dr. Scholl’s much-loved contoured footbed and durable sole; the new spade studs are the label’s finishing flourish.
IT’S A WRAP
Lace-up sandals continue to be a style do for summer 2020. I’m personally a fan, although they do require a little effort and ankles on the trim side.
LEFT: Time for a lift? Tie on these Ganni Bow Wraparound Sandals($345, Saks Fifth Avenue). The oversize Minnie-Mouse front bow is balanced by the square-shaped, angled kitten heels, square toes and fabric ankle tie. I’d like these best with a dress. RIGHT: Influenced by the Greek gods, myths and sculpture, Christina Martini and Nikolas Minoglou founded Ancient Greek Sandals, which are handmade with leather that gets softer as it ages. Rest your heels and go flat with the brand’s Persida style ($305, Shopbop) with its flash of glimmery, gold-tone beads. We think Circe would approve.
Love ’em or leave ’em. You know who you are. But do trade in the flip flops you used to bring to your pedicure for something a little chicer.
TOP: Way more posh than your favorite flip-flops, Staud’s Rio Flip Flops ($150, Shopbop) pamper your feet with zebra-print padded straps and a lizard-embossed footbed. The rubber heel patch on the sole ensures you don’t slip and slide. CENTER: Your toes will thank you for the wiggle room in Mango’s squared-toe Flat Croc Sandal ($27.99). And the hot-orange hue makes a high-octane accent. BOTTOM: Flip flops for dress-up night? Say yes to Schutz’s Leopard-Print Patent Leather Thong Sandals ($160, Saks) with kitten heels!