The honest sandal has been a fashion staple since pre-Roman times, but there’s never been more variety on offer than in 2019.
Whether you’re after a 90s throwback option, the always-en-vogue ‘dad sandal’, or something a little more chic for your end of summer Saint Tropez sojourn, the market is bustling with choices.
There’s also never been a better time to invest in a new pair. As Autumn approaches prices are plummeting. There are serious bargains to be had across the board.
Upvote the sandal you’d most like to grace your wardrobe.
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The definitive dad sandal’s never-ending ‘moment’ continues, and this contemporary take on the Birkenstock classic is made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), rather than cork. Prioritising comfort, this synthetic material is lightweight, waterproof and designed for a smooth, cushioned step. It comes in a huge range of colours, and makes the perfect sandal for trips to the beach or hanging out by the pool.
Two thousand-odd years later, the Roman gladiator sandal is more popular than ever. These natty numbers from Aquazzura are cut from suede (goat skin), tie at the ankle for a comfortable fit and offer a slight heel. Available in both black and cinnamon (brown) a host of nice details are epitomised by the puka shell anklet, and this is a sandal designed for both daytime exploring and night time adventuring.
At the vanguard of the 90s-chic throwback obsession sweeping the fashion world are these Depa-V2 sandals from Japanese outfit Suicoke. Famously difficult to source, you may need to look abroad. But the label’s chunky, utilitarian approach is perfectly encapsulated in these sandals. Ankle and toe straps provide a firm fit, while the moulded insole offers comfort, and cleated sole plenty of grip.
In 2019 Prada helped legitimise the chunky trend with a number of footwear lines, and these sandals are some of the best from its summer range. The blend of neon PVC and white leather panels give these a sporty, comfortable vibe that make them a practical choice, too, and the large heel adds quite a bit of height. These are also a versatile sandal, being just at home on the beach as they are in the city.
These attention-grabbing numbers from Chloé are an example of how far fashion houses are willing to push the boundaries of fashion acceptability. Cut from leather in Italy, the mesh and woven straps form the structure, and a chunky heel with pops of green add a splash of colour to the futuristic design. Not one’s for the shrinking violet, the Sonnies certainly stand out in a crowd.
Clarks’s Trigenic line of footwears boast a wealth of innovative design features that make these sandals ultra light and incredibly comfortable. The internal leather construction moulds to your foot shape, and the sole has specially placed rubber pods that make the sandal very grippy. Ideal for the more active wearer, the Trie Cove Suns offer both form and functionality.
These simple, elegant sandals from Vince offer a chic, understated look and feel. Nylon straps suggest a sporty vibe, but the leather sole and slight heel make this sandal just at home in the office as it is on holiday.
Havaianas has made its legendary Brazilian flip-flops since 1962, but they also make a number of sandals. The Freedom Prints feature an attractive floral/flamingo pattern that comes in two colours, and boast an adjustable strap for the perfect fit. Constructed from rubber, the sole is heat-resistant, water-resistant and non-slip. Obrigado!
These casualwear icons from Adidas were first worn by athletes in 1972, but have since found their way out of the arena and onto the street (and even as far as the catwalk). Their popularity has a lot to do with how comfortable and affordable they are, as well as the huge range of colours they’re available in.
For all their collaborations and wacky special editions, the original Tevas (here in leather) are still the best. Their universal appeal comes from how good they are at everything. They’re comfortable, affordable, rugged enough for any kind of exploring and are experiencing a surge in popularity as the 90s throwback fad continues.