June 27, 2022 2:44 pm

Behold: The Only Shoes You’ll Ever Need In Your Summer Wardrobe

Listen, I love boots. I practically hold back tears when the sun starts blazing and I’m forced to shove my beloved Chelseas toward the back of my closet, lest my feet start to roast. But summer shoe season does have its benefits—for one, the sheer range of footwear available to shop.

Winter’s naturally restrictive; there are only so many styles that can survive multiple months of cold, grey slush. But summer means both open-toed and close-toed designs have free reign. And with so many summer events—vacations, weddings, Hoka Shoes cocktail parties, long walks on the beach, baseball games, casual Fridays at the office—there are more excuses than ever to fill your shopping cart.

Of course, that also means there’s a confounding number of options to choose from. Whereas a winter capsule wardrobe is straightforward, summer brings with it a million different styles of sneakers, sandals, flats, heels…the list quite literally goes on. To make stocking your shoe rack a little easier, we’ve narrowed down the possibilities to 20 essential summer shoe styles, including the all-important pool slide, dependable slip-ons, and a dressy sandal you can wear to parties and weddings all season long. Happy feet make for a happy summer.

1

A DRESSY SANDAL

Carile Sandal

KELLY & KATIE
Kelly & Katie

Every closet needs at least one pair of event-ready sandals. I’m an enthusiastic supporter of this summer’s braided strap trend, plus this Kelly & Katie pair features an elegant (but accessible!) square heel.

2

A DURABLE SANDAL

Arizona Waterproof Slide Sandal

BIRKENSTOCK
Birkenstock

There’s a reason why they’re the unofficial shoe of the summer: Birkenstocks have been battle-tested by a very ardent fan base. I recommend this waterproof pair for its ability to survive sun and splash.

BELLS & BECKS
Bells and Becks

If you’re hunting for a pair of comfy slip-ons, but are worried they’ll go flying off your feet, this pick by Bells and Becks is your answer. The buttery leather is snug enough Steve Madden to keep the shoes secure on your feet, but soft enough to feel every bit luxurious as you skip from dinner to drinks. I wear mine everywhere.

4

A SLINGBACK SANDAL

Desert Kiss Sandal

SKECHERS BOBS
Skechers

I’ve owned my slingback Skechers for a couple of years now, and believe me when I tell you these shoes have seen things. Specifically, they’ve endured miles of concrete streets, been soaked by rain and pool water, and been stuffed carelessly into many a suitcase…and they’re still kicking.

5

A POOL SLIDE

Sunshine Slide Sandal

HUSH PUPPIES
Hush Puppies

These chunky padded slides are luxuriously plush, but fret not: they’re tough enough to take on sand, saltwater, and chlorine without complaint.

GUCCI
Gucci

The tried-and-true flip-flop is a summer staple sure to transcend trends. Elevate yours with a Gucci logo in gold.

7

A HIGH-HEEL SANDAL

Lesley Sandal

KAHMUNE
Kahmune

Whether for weddings, boardrooms, or cocktail parties, a dependable pair of high-heeled sandals should take precedence in any capsule wardrobe.

8

A LOW BLOCK-HEEL SANDAL

The Block Sandy Ankle Strap Sandal

REBECCA ALLEN
Rebecca Allen

If stilettos frighten you as much as they do me, take my word for it: a sturdy block-heeled sandal will save you needless ankle pain. This pair by Rebecca Allen looks luxe, yet casual.

DREAM PAIRS
Dream Pairs

Summer is open-toe season, but there are always one or two occasions that warrant covering up. Zhuzh up your favorite pair of pumps with an adventurous hue for the season.

10

A CUSHY LOAFER

The Starling

BIRDIES
Birdies

Unfortunately not all summer days can be spent on the beach, so when I’m headed into the office and haven’t had a chance to touch up my pedicure, Clarks Shoes I opt for these cushioned loafers from Birdies. Whether dressed up (with a skirt) or down (with a pair of cropped jeans), they’re always stretchy, supportive, and chic.

11

A CLOSED-TOE FLAT

Huarache Flat

BROTHER VELLIES
Brother Vellies

The woven pattern on these closed-toe flats make them scream summer vacation, even if you’re forced to wear them to work.

VANS
Vans

Chances are you already have a beloved pair of white sneakers on your shoe rack, but if you’re looking to invest in a fresh new pair for summer, the classic Old Skools from Vans never get…well, old.

13

A SLIP-ON SNEAKER

Cahlvan Sneaker

UGG
Ugg

I’m not too proud to admit there are days when I don’t feel like tying my shoes. That’s the simple joy of a good slip-on: zero effort, maximum comfort, with the benefits of a sneaker and the style of a loafer.

14

AN ALL-TERRAIN SANDAL

Midform Universal Canvas Sandal

TEVA
Teva

An absolute must-purchase for adventurous among us. If your summer takes you anywhere near a hiking trail, you’ll want these soft but super-strong Tevas to transport you to the next view.

AMINA MUADDI
Amina Muaddi

Transparent straps and heels are another burgeoning trend this season, and Amina Muaddi’s glass-like block heels add a gorgeous contrast to the timeless leather mule.

16

A FLAT MULE

Majjik Mule

STEVE MADDEN
Steve Madden

If you tend to suffer from shoe-inflicted heel abrasions, these flat mules are the ideal alternative. Backless but close-toed, they’re a business casual favorite for warmer months.

17

AN ESPADRILLE WEDGE

Lulu Espadrille Wedge Sandal

DOLCE VITA
Dolce Vita

Beachside boardwalks and espadrilles belong together. These platform wedges—spot the trendy braided straps!—provide just the right amount of height without sacrificing comfort.

DREAM PAIRS
Dream Pairs

If you’d rather not toddle in platforms, an espadrille flat is the move.

19

A FISHERMAN SANDAL

Voss Fisherman Sandal

DR. MARTENS
Dr. Martens

The brand beloved for its durable boots makes equally resilient sandals, available in this clean but edgy fisherman style. Pair them with cropped wide-leg denim and a tucked-in linen shirt for a casual, resort-ready look.

20

A GLADIATOR SANDAL

Preslen Gladiator Sandal

CROWN VINTAGE
Crown Vintage

The gladiator sandal is back for summer 2022, most frequently in the form of a lace-up hybrid. With a strap circling your calf and a sturdy back supporting your heel, these Crown Vintage sandals might need a stroll or two to break in, but after that, they’re endlessly wearable.

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