With socialisation comes a desire for outfits that are a little more visually appealing than the trackies and comfy trainers many of us have lived in for an entire year. While it’s fairly easy to turn to your most reliable boots and trainers over the cooler months, I think it’s fair to say that finding aesthetically pleasing, durable and blister-free sandals can be somewhat of a tougher feat.
As someone who can’t bear the thought of a closed shoe throughout May to October, I’ve never been one to turn down a new pair of sandals. This season has been no different, as the extensive variety that our favourite retailers have on offer is enough to tempt even the most dedicated of trainer-wearers. With every new season, there tends to be two separate camps; those who opt for all-out glam with an unyielding post-covid-freedom sentiment, and then on the other hand, an increased appreciation for practicality and utility. Obviously, there’s really no need to choose a side; sometimes I am more inclined towards a toned-down pair, and sometimes I feel like being a bit more OTT. Either way, comfort is king, and luckily for us, it’s definitely not too late to get stuck into a new pair of summer shoes as we’ll be likely wearing them well into October and beyond.
Undoubtedly one of summer 2021’s most popular shoe silhouettes, we have the ‘cage’ or ‘fisherman’ sandal, featuring thick straps, a buckle fastening and a chunky sole. Aside from being super comfy and keeping your feet firmly in place, they also offer an ideal solution for the more unpolished of toes (yes, guilty), yet still allow your feet to breathe and feel cool throughout even August’s stickiest days. They definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea from an aesthetic standpoint, but you won’t find much better options from a utility/comfort perspective.
I honestly wear my Birkenstocks practically all year round, and whether they’re on trend or not is truly irrelevant, I just can’t get enough. It just so happens that one of the shoes of the moment is the well-loved Birkenstock. Whether you opt for the classic Arizona model, or prefer one of the more out-there designs, they offer the sartorial trifecta; comfort, versatility, as well as an undeniably effortless cool vibe, whether paired with loungewear or a more refined work/drinks outfit. They also have a vegan range that incorporates the use of synthetic and natural products, which is a massive win for me!
CHUNKY FLIP FLOPS
A lot of the time, I resort to simply chucking on my flip flops for convenience-sake, but I’ve recently discovered chunky iterations that look much more fashion-forward than their flimsy counterparts. I find that my mental registry of quick and simple looks that I know will always work are centred around my go-to sandals, and my chunky flip flops are starting to secure one of the top spots without a doubt. Be it some cropped jeans and a tee, or a ditsy floral dress, there aren’t many outfits that a pair of chunky sandals won’t tie up seamlessly.
The 90s strappy look started several summers ago and has developed over time to include chunkier heels, but predominantly flats! A few years back, I remember flats had many noses turned up at them, I suppose for not being sartorially elevated or as chic as heels. Nowadays, we can find a plethora of flat shoes that look just as good as heels, if not more so. You can’t go wrong with a dainty, barely-there leather lace-up flat, which can do wonders to add a bit of elegance to any summer outfit. They’re also perfect for minimalists who just aren’t about chunky, in-your-face styles.
As someone who once upon a time rejected even the mere thought of a kitten heel, it looks like my age is starting to show, because I am in on this trend. I suppose they were once considered questionable due to the tiny, maybe pointless elevation, but we can’t deny that they’re so versatile and have the ability of pulling double duty too, offering an ideal desk to drinks solution. They’re perfect if you’re still easing your way back into wearing taller shoes after our lengthy event-drought.