WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT
From materials and fastenings to the perfect occasion – the things to consider when investing in the biggest purchase of the season.
Sandals are by definition . . . strappy. To fasten, or not to fasten – that is the question. The trend for sliders means you can completely dispense with the need to muck about with clasps when putting your shoes on. Slip-on sandals are by nature laid-back and low-maintenance – perfect for summer. Likewise, Velcro will appeal to those who cba to strap in, giving Dad sandals and modern styles like Suicoke’s DEPA-Cab a sporty edge. Alternatively, look for bronzed buckles or delicate straps and wrap-around ties for a classic, elegant look.
SOLES AND HEELS
Considerations number one and two: heel height and footbed. We’ve welcomed the trend for cushioned, chunky soles with open arms – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t space in our wardrobes for pretty, flat shoes and stiletto sandals. The question is: are you prepared to negotiate the cobbled streets of your holiday destination in a five-inch Gianvito Rossi heel? If you’re gunning for a modern, minimal vibe, consider block heels and kittens by Wandler or The Row. Bottega Veneta’s summer collection is all reasonably heeled and devastatingly chic.
It goes without saying that your sandals need to suit your needs and your wardrobe. If you plan to wear them on the daily, they should be easy to walk in and work with what you’ve got in the closet. Versatility is key. Neutral colours and a wearable silhouette are all important here. If they’re for a special occasion, they need to make your heart sing, and be something you love enough to invest in and wear again and again – pink feather trim, diamantes, and all.
No matter where or when you plan to wear your sandals, comfort is king. You can see it on a woman’s face when her shoes hurt. It’s not a good look. Straps that don’t dig in are of paramount importance. When you try them on, walk around on a carpeted surface. Remember that at the end of a long, hot summer day, your feet will swell and what seemed to fit in the morning will start to rub like a b*tch at night. If there’s even a whiff of tightness, forget it. And if (we’ve all been there) a pair of shoes are too heartachingly beautiful not to buy (despite the fact that they’re made of skin-piercing PVC), make sure they fit like a glove.
Once upon a time, sandals were largely made of leather. Now, they come in a whole host of materials – from rubber and nylon to suede and vegan pleather. Generally speaking, natural and, to some degree, technical materials will allow your feet to breathe better – important if you’re somewhere hot. If it’s the ‘look’ you’re after, consider Ganni’s satin sliders, Amina Muaddi’s Perspex mules or Aquazurra’s pink stilettoes to make an impact. Fashion with a capital F.
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