Spring’s best fisherman sandals

The ideal transitional shoes

Well it looks like the weather is taking a turn for the better, in my part of the UK at least. Which made this week Get Your Sandals Out Of Storage Week in my household. And the sandals that I revisit every spring, before we’re into the realms of proper summer, are fisherman sandals. Part-shoe, with their enclosed toe, and part-sandal, with plenty of breathing space, they’re absolutely ideal when there’s still a chill in the air or your pedicure is looking a little ropey.

Lemon Jelly

Lemon Jelly PVC sandals available in 8 colours, €69.90 (lemonjelly.com)

So…what makes a fisherman sandal a fisherman sandal? Essentially, it’s just a sandal with an enclosed toe, and they usually have a buckle. The most traditional styles are leather versions of the jelly shoe you may have worn as a kid, but I’ve included a couple of pairs of these too for good measure!

Free People leather sandals, £78 ([AD] freepeople.com); Grenson Ethel leather sandals (and top), £235 (grenson.com); Dr Martens leather leather sandals, £115 (drmartens.com)

Sadly, my long-term loves from Northern Cobbler and YMC aren’t available anymore as I’ve had them for years. The Northern Cobbler pair are a particular favourite; in white leather with brogue holes punched on the straps, they make for fantastic smart summer shoes. Luckily my other favourite pair from Grenson – the Ethel – have been carried through for another season. Although they’re not cheap, they are unrivalled in terms of quality and comfort and come with a bonus leather kiltie for extra snazz.

ASOS Design jelly sandals, £16 ([AD] asos.com); Juju jelly sandals, £26 (jujufootwear.com)

Of course, as the name suggests, fisherman sandals weren’t designed to be worn to smart occasions, rather they were practical footwear for fishing boats. This sensibility is carried through to the brands that make waterproof leather styles, such as Salt-Water and Samphire and, of course, those jellies. That said, I often wear mine as a smart summer shoe option, and I once went to a wedding where a guest was wearing her Salt-Waters (she obviously looked great).

Office woven leather sandals, £44 ([AD] office.co.uk); Salt-Water waterproof leather sandals, £65 (salt-watersandals.com); Samphire waterproof leather sandals, £21 (lunaandcurious.com)

As usual, I’ve included something here for every budget, so hopefully there will be a pari of fisherman sandals for you. I realise this is a bit of a Marmite shoe and isn’t for everyone! Particularly if, like me, you’re also partial to wearing them with ankle socks. But if you want to give it a go, here are three outfits I think would work really well. They go with pretty much everything, are a fantastic summer office shoes.


Wide leg cropped jeans

Monki cotton utility jacket, £50 ([AD] monki.com); Monki cotton jeans, £40 ([AD] monki.com); Weekday Kate long sleeve organic cotton tee, £18 ([AD] weekday.com)

A shirt dress and socks

COS cotton shirt dress, £79 ([AD] cosstores.com); Arket lurex socks, £5 ([AD] arket.com); & Other Stories leather tote, £159 ([AD] stories.com)

Some animal print

Zara Join Life TENCEL™ Lyocell jacket, £69.99 (zara.com); Filippa K Enca viscose blouse, £97.50 (filippa-k.com); Baukjen skirt, £99 ([AD] baukjen.com)


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