Every spring I start a massive, hours-long hunt for summer sandals. I had a pair once that were real champs. They were cheap, too, made of fabric and in a sweet Mary Jane style. I got compliments for days on those things, and they were incredibly comfortable.
Alas, they're long gone. Not only did they wear out, but after two long, hot summers they smelled bad.
I know. The Glamour.
This season, I'm on the hunt again. I have a pair of cute summer sandals from last year, but they're from a brand that only makes shoes in full sizes. I'm a solid size 8.5. I've wasted hundreds of dollars and a lot of time over the years trying to fit into an 8 or 9. The result is wearing shoes that are slightly off. Maybe my toes go just a bit too far to the edge, or the strap is too loose.
I'm no longer interested in wearing shoes that fit okay.
So I'm on the hunt again.
Finally, I tend to gravitate toward neutral-colored sandals. I don't care for black sandals, as I think they just look harsh against this alabaster skin of mine. Also, I think black sandals make my feet look big, and I love neutral sandals with a black dress.
I have so many requirements. The sandal has to be comfortable with some cushion. I refuse to wear thongs/flip-flops outside of pool/beach scenarios (so...rarely). I can't be teetering around in heels. And the sandals have to be easily paired with shorts or a dress.
You can see my dilemma.
Here are 10 neutral, comfortable, breezy summer sandals tempting me this year:
AEO Asymmetrical Thong ($23)
I'm not into thongs at all, but there is enough here to get me past that, and the price-point is great. Sometimes the cheapest shoes turn out being the best. I'd give these a try, for sure.
Cole Haan Anica Cuff Sandal ($130)
These are classic and classy. I love the solid ankle cuff and basic structure of this sandal. They might be a slight bit too swank for daily life around here, though.
Birkenstock Lola ($140)
I am really tempted by these Birkenstock Lola's. I am late on the Birkenstock bandwagon, perhaps because I grew up in the late 70s and 80s and have too many un-chic memories of these. But I see them everywhere now, and I often think: those look great. I especially like the Gizeh style. But these Lola's have that ankle strap I love.
Bella-Vita Luc-Italy ($85)
These are classic, neutral and have a slight cushion on the sole. I think the tiny wedge is cute without being teetering, too. And at $85, they're not over-the-top in terms of price.
I know what you're thinking with these Me Too espadrilles: bless her heart. But hear me out. First, I like having a closed-toe sandal option. Sometimes I don't want to worry about a pedicure or having my toes hanging out. Second, these are just the sort of shoes that might look a little middle-aged-mom at first but that, with the right style, could be comfortable and chic and surprise everyone. I'm willing to at least try them. It's just this sort of dark horse we're all looking for, right?
Tom's Lexie Sandal ($80)
These hit all the marks. They look comfortable. They're neutral. They're not too complicated. I don't love thongs/flip-flops, but there is enough structure otherwise to get me over this. I'm really temped to give these a try.
Miss Mooz ($80)
I know I said no black, but the black here is broken up a bit, and these sandals come in a handful of colors. I'm tempted by the gold or silver, but then I think I'll look like Blanche from the Golden Girls. Come to think of it...that might not be a bad thing?
Kork-Ease Audrina ($144)
I love these. I'd buy them in a heartbeat if they came in an 8.5. I may try them anyway. Sometimes, with whole-sized shoes, I get lucky. It all depends. I think these are worth a try. I have Kork-ease sandals now, and I love them. But....they're ever-so-slightly too small. Ever-so-slightly means having sore baby toes after an hour. Life is too short.
Chocolate Blu York Sandal ($135)
There is also a cheaper Bass version The Rosie Sandal ($45); though I like the Chocolate Blu better due to the lack of heel, even if it's slight on the Bass version. I think these look classic but somehow updated, maybe due to the thicker straps? I like that the Chocolate Blu version has no heel to speak of. I love both colors: natural and gunmetal.
These kind of take neutral and add something with the cork. I'm not sure about the ankle straps. I'd have to try them on, but I like them. They look comfy.
Finally, here are a few sandals I'd consider if I wasn't limited to a half-size:
Dansko Vera Sandal ($140) - one of the few black sandals I'd consider
Solillas Flat Sandal ($90) - I see these on chic women of all ages on Tumblr, blogs and fashion sites. I've never tried them but am tempted. This Born version I like slightly better at a the same price-point. I love the blush leather and tan leather options. I'm seriously tempted.
Isable Marant Etoile Leather & Burlap Sandals ($155) - I'm not sure these would be uber-comfortable, but I do like them.
Shoespie Cute Flat Sandals ($90) - I've never even heard of this brand, but these are adorable.
Born Lovely Sandal ($85) - Another pair from Born. I own a pair, and it's 1/2 a size too small, but every time I wear them, people compliment them. I love these in the natural leather.
And in case that's not enough, here are some I'd consider if I wasn't 42 and needing some cushion:
American Eagle Wide Band Gladiator Sandal ($30) - I might get these anyway. They're adorable, and I typically hate gladiator styles.
Anthropologie Awakening Embellished Sandals ($108) - These are neutral without being boring.
Valia Gabriel Hemmick Sandals via Anthro ($250) - These are beach resort, sipping white wine by a sparkling pool kind of sandals. I'm thinking Palm Springs or Scottsdale here. I'm thinking a tray of fresh fruit and chips and guacamole. I'm thinking a cabana.
Madewell The Boardwalk Multistrap Sandal ($60) - Classic and simple, I'm shocked at how cheap these are.
Soludos Lace-Up Espadrilles ($65) - I love these. I just can't imagine walking in them for hours-on-end. Plus, would my ankles swell under those straps? I think we know the answer to that.
That's it for me. My arm hurts from scrolling through sandals, and my vision is officially blurred.
I hope everyone's week is going along swimmingly. We've got 4 bottles of wine in the kitchen, kids with dodgy attitudes (who say they don't have time to unpack lunch boxes due to ballet schedules - oh honey, we can make time) and a dog who jumped out of the car and tried to go to school.