Take on summer, or summerlike weather, with the precise pick from your classic sandal collection to conquer the occasion. Closet as bare as your feet? Shop traditional sandal styles, but be sure to bag this season’s spirited updates. The hot new sandals are bolder, kickier and more romantic than ever. So, fortify your wardrobe with timeless sandal styles that will see you through all your almost-barefoot adventures.
1. Celeb-Worthy Flats
Famous and infamous feet have always summered in sandals, the flatter the better. A sandal beats flip-flops for glamour awards and doesn’t take as much work as a shoe. Stride along like a movie star trailed by paparazzi in a slip of leather barely held to your foot by a strip of fabric over the instep. Dazzle your fans with a silver sliver of thong or a web of straps studded with metal or rhinestones. Dresses, pants, jeans — anything goes with flat sandals.
Abandon anonymity and attract attention in a pair of flat, metallic gladiator sandals with straps that end just above your ankle or climb dramatically all the way to your knee. With gladiators, your minis, beach cover-ups and shorts shine a spotlight on your toned, terrific legs. Don’t forget your dark sunnies and a slick of lip gloss.
Contoured sandals are foot-molded, earthy, retro-hippie and a little bit boho. The high-comfort, cork-bed sandals still come in the clunky, suede double-strap styles that became popular in the 1960s, but today’s versions feature thongs, metal studs, T-bars and patent leather. It’s all about happy feet — and the sturdy silhouette flawlessly offsets a delicate, flimsy babydoll dress or a tailored pair of shorts and an expanse of tanned leg. Wiggle your toes in them — but make sure you have a wicked pedicure peeping out first.
3. Play Outdoors
Function and comfort are at play in an offshoot of the contour sandal — the active sandal from brands like Teva. These rubber-soled, grippy, sensibly-strapped get-‘em-wet sandals are perfect for that whitewater date, weekend at the lake, scavenging walk along the tide line or just some warm-weather puddle-stomping. The straps are adjustable and feature textile designs to coordinate with your outdoor gear.
4. Strappy and Sassy
Raise your fashion profile to new heights with a strappy stiletto that’s all about your feet on tippy-toe and that killer 5-inch heel. High-heeled sandals turn any activity into an occasion — try a web of skinny gold straps and sky-high heels under a flowered chiffon summer dress or the long slink of a body-con black gown. Silver satin sandals with crisscross straps, sequins and jewels are good enough for a garden party or an afternoon wedding. A splash of leopard print, tiger or zebra on a tall black spike adds serious interest to a simple white T-shirt and boyfriend jeans outfit.
5. Smile in Slides
Slip your feet into a pair of flat slides and head out; the wide strap across the front of your foot is enough to hold the sandal on and telegraph a hint of your style. A natural leather sole and a soft black leather band is about as simple as you can get, but it’s a look that takes you to the corner market or across St. Mark’s Square with equal confidence. If you’re looking for a pop of color, try this lemon yellow Matisse sandal that’s very on-trend for the season.
6. Work the Wedge
Get a bit of a lift with the same style in a wedge. Tall cork or low straw wedge heels tilt your bare feet into a front fabric strap in a hot tropical pattern or neutral hue. Or try an upper that’s more covered-up — the delicate white or pastel femininity of cotton eyelet uppers with a peep-toe, a summery style that merges slide, wedge and espadrille.