(Even though I obviously LOVE Birkenstocks)
Regular readers of this blog will know that I DO love Birkenstocks, and all other cork footbed sandals of their ilk. I can’t imagine summer without them. But I do get lots of messages from people that aren’t fans – either because they find them uncomfortable or because they simply don’t like the look – and if you fall into that category, this blogpost is for you.
This season there seems to be a particularly lovely selection of sandals available on the high street and beyond, so it’s a great time to think about investing in a pair you really like that have the potential to last you a few years. While these are all on trend in some way, I can definitely imagine wearing them well after 2019 because they’re not too out there or fashion-driven. You’ll also notice that I haven’t included anything particularly cheap or flimsy; that’s because this is designed to be an edit of shoes that should you choose to buy them, will make an impact on your summer wardrobe, rather than just replicate the same old sandals you get every year.
Kat Maconie sandals, £140 ([gift] katmaconie.com); Folk trousers (old season)
The people at Kat Maconie kindly sent me these sandals as a gift, and they arrived months ago, so I’ve been itching to shoot them and show them to you! Also available in a plain coral colour, I absolutely love the hiking-lace style ties, which are surprisingly comfortable and don’t dig into the skin. These are proper look-at-me shoes, so I thought I’d wear them with some equally eye-catching trousers. They also have the added bonus of essentially be lace-ups, which means you can adjust the width (I find lots of non-Birk sandals tend to me quite narrow so this negates that problem).charleskeith.co.uk); Cara Shoes hassle slides, £105 (carashoes.co.uk); Boden ‘Emily’ espadrille slides, £60 ([AD] boden.co.uk)
Block coloured sandals like this not only look great, but they have the added bonus of really lifting your mood whenever you wear them. They look especially brilliant with blue denim, which is handy if you live in the UK like me, since that’s far more likely what I will be wearing all summer rather than pretty summer dresses. If you go for a pair with a black footbed and sole, like mine and the Charles & Keith pair above, you’ll get a slightly more luxury look, which means they double as excellent evening shoes, too.
Ivylee Copenhagen sandals, £184 ([gift] ivyleecopenhagen.com); COS trousers (old season)
Regular readers of this blog will know I am a sucker for mixing a Breton stripe with a leopard print, and I since I spend the majority of my summer in a Breton stripe, it makes sense to get some animal magic on my feet. Leopard in this instance is interchangeable with any kind of animal print, and although I’m not always a fan of snake, I love these from Ivylee Copenhagen with their yellow tinge. Very me.aldoshoes.com); Anthropologie leopard sandals, £75 ([AD] anthropologie.com); Massimo Dutti zebra sandals, £69.95 (massimodutti.com)
Animal print might be a trend at the moment – zebra seems to be particularly popular – but I can’t think of a time since I started writing this blog nearly seven years ago when an animal print shoe hasn’t been on trend. It’s one of those classics that will never go out of style. If you’re going to the trouble of choosing a printed shoe though, opt for one with a fair amount of leather so you can actually show it off. Even these ALDO thongs have a wider than usual strap to make the most of the pattern.
READ MORE: 3 WAYS TO WEAR SOCKS WITH SANDALS
Luxe leather Velcro
Vagbond ‘Erin’ sandals, £80 ([gift] vagabond.com); Marni trousers (old season)
As well as Birkestocks, another sandal style that not everyone can deal with is the Teva walking sandal. Again, I am a big fan of these, but this season I’ve discovered the luxury leather version and it is much easier to wear. Mine are from Vagabond and I highly recommend them; they are really good quality and incredibly comfortable. Exactly as a walking-style sandal should be.cosstores.com); Camper sandals, £95 ([AD] camper.com); Dr Martens sandals, £55 (drmartens.com)
There are loads of similar styles at all sorts of prices – Chanel and Prada both have offerings that will set you back hundreds of pounds – but you absolutely don’t need to spend as much to get the same high end look. Style with tailored trousers and crips white shirts, or oversized summer dresses, and add a pair of ankle socks if you dare…