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.
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 (I’ve included a pair of these for good measure! See Sun Jellies, 12), but I’ve included some snazzier updated versions here, too.
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. The closest I can find are these from Church’s (5) – not exactly cheap, but neither were my pair from Northern Cobbler and they must have seen me through 5 summers, so the cost-per-wear ratio has worked out well.
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. As well as Salt Water (8), which you are probably already familiar with, and whose Shark enclosed toe sandals have been a favourite of mine for a few years, this summer I’ve also discovered Samphire (3) which have a bit of a masculine vibe to them (this appeals to me). Both of these brands are pretty cute if you have kids and want to wear matching shoes to them!
As usual, I’ve included something here for every budget, so hopefully there will be something for you. I realise this is a bit of a Marmite shoe and isn’t for everyone! 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, and they also look great with the kind of wide leg tailored trousers I featured in this week’s En Brogue In Full, which you can read here.