What Makes The Perfect Summer Sandal?
What sandals are the smart women buying this season? It goes without saying that they they’re not buying anything that will potentially gnaw at the feet. Beware of wide toe posts and non-adjustable leather backs – both are likely to result in a weird walk, or worst, injury. A 48-hour adventure in Rome isn’t an opportunity to break-in a pair of uncomfortable shoes.
When it comes to avoiding blisters (and a mosaic of Compeed plasters), barely-there lace-up sandals are a fail-safe bet. Isabel Marant’s draped leather flats (above) are possibly the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever wrapped my feet in. Avoid slippery silk – velvet or textured leather laces have grip and won’t constantly untie themselves, leaving you in a pool of ribbons – never a good look.
Valentino’s velvet tie pair (above) win in the comfort and looks department, although the £405 price tag might be less appealing. Mango and Mercedes Castillo both offer tie-ups that won’t dent the bank balance. If delicate isn’t your bag, the chubby slider’s not going anywhere, subject to a grown-up makeover for 2017, which leads me on to the next step in the pursuit of the perfect sandal: Invest in a sandal with a good base. Super-thin, flat leather soles are OK in your twenties but if you’re in your thirties and beyond, and planning to wear your sandals all day at work or sightseeing, your feet are going to need more support.
The Birkenstock revival that began five years ago has waned, but the appeal of a hidden orthopedic sole hasn’t thanks to Prada (above), Moncler, Chanel and Céline. If your day to day look involves upscale track pants, and your eveningwear go-to is a slip or suit, Chloe’s plush velvet sliders (£350 at Style.com) are the round the clock footwear solution with runway cache. Note: Unless you’re on Spring Break in Florida, foam pool sides are a definite no-no. Plush sliders are perfect for work meetings, but they won’t do for weddings. To cocktail-proof your feet you’ll need fancier footwork. The word ‘embellishment’ doesn’t induce shudders like it used to. From Stuart Weitzman’s icy Noughties glitz, to Tory Burch’s gobstopper pearls, prettified sandals work equally well with playful party wear as partied-out denim. Handy too, when you want a jewellery fix without going over the carry-on allowance. Likewise for the fashion set who are riding the buzz of Nineties-style logos – the new monogram sandals, (all eyes on Hermès, Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton) do hardware with a old-school twist (no pyramid studs in sight). Our advice? Retire the It bag, simplify your summer packing list and let your shoes do the talking.