A Guide To Summer Shoes

Types of Summer Shoes

Flip Flops

Flip flops are the ultimate summer shoe. Consisting of a flat sole with plastic toe support between the biggest toe and the other toes, they are most often made from rubber, making them easily foldable and easy to carry in your beach bag. More premium flip flops can also be made out of leather or a wooden sole.

Fundamental flip flop styles have simple plastic straps, but they could also be pretty woven leather straps and finished with gems for some extra sparkle.

Flip flops are highly versatile and come in a range of patterns and colors to match your swimwear or outfit. They are very casual in style and perfect for pool parties, beaches, and hot hangouts.

Jelly Shoes

Jelly shoes or jellies are named after the material made of PVC rubber – a semi-transparent material that looks like jelly. Due to their affordability, these shoes became a fad in the early 1980s. Despite their name, jelly shoes used to be quite hard and could become uncomfortable with extended wear.

Since then, jelly shoes have come a long way and are not only comfier but also come in a large variety of colors and even glitter. There is also an array of styles available – such as flats, heels, and wedges.

Thanks to the wide selection of styles, jelly shoes are versatile and perfect for any casual outfit.


Backless and open-toed, sliders include a single strap or a sequence of straps across the toes and the lower half of the foot to hold the shoe on foot.

The name comes from the fact that this shoe is easy to ‘slide’ on and off the foot. Sliders can be traced back to Ancient Rome, but they only gained popularity in the late 1960s.

Known for their sporty look, sliders are mostly practical and casual, perfect for a day at the beach or pool or summer barbecues. However, high fashion designer houses have incorporated sliders into their collections, meaning you will find very fashionable designs, ranging from feathers over floral to faux fur and regal pearls.

Flat Sandals

One of the oldest shoe styles in history, flat sandals are open shoes, consisting of a sole held to the foot by straps going over the instep and around the ankle.

They are perfect if you want a casual, relaxed look and come in many different styles and color options. Opt for a neutral color such as black or tan to integrate them into your outfit. Otherwise, metallics are a great option to jazz things up and add focus to your outfit, and embellished flat sandals are ideal for making a style statement.

Heeled Sandals

Similar in design to flat sandals, heeled sandals – as the name suggests – is not flat. The heel can range from kitten to stiletto in heel height.

Heeled sandals can have any style: platforms, slingbacks, strappy, ankle straps, wedges, etc.

Thanks to the many variations, heeled sandals can be worn with casual outfits but can also polish off a more formal look.


Espadrilles are flat, closed-toed, and closed-back shoes, typically made out of canvas with a jute or rope sole.

They were originally Spanish and French peasant footwear and became a more popular fashion style when depicted in several American films – one of the Miami Vice.

Espadrilles are the perfect lazy summer shoe, great for a stroll around town.

Espadrille Wedges

Wedge-shaped espadrilles – or Castañer wedges, are a high-heeled version of the flat espadrille. They were introduced to the fashion world by French designer Yves Saint Laurent. In 1970, he met Spanish espadrille manufacturer Castañer at a trade fair in Paris, and they worked together to produce Saint Laurent’s designs.

Slightly more sophisticated than the flat espadrille, this shoe works well with summer dresses.


Gladiator sandals are open-toed with multiple straps made to resemble that of a Roman soldier’s footwear. A T-bar runs down the front of the shoe.

The straps can cover just the ankle or go as high as the knee. Classic colors for this sandal are black and brown, but many more are available.

Unlike their appearance might suggest, gladiator sandals are not just for casual outfits. Some styles are pretty dressy and can look very elegant.


Clog shoes are rounded shoes made entirely or partially out of wood.

They traditionally served as protective footwear for mines, factories, and agricultural activities but made their way into the fashion world in the 1970s and 1980s. Especially Swedish clogs became famous footwear.

Despite their chunky appearance, clogs are pretty versatile. Wear them with anything from a white cotton dress to button-down and trousers, or a pair of blue jeans.


Originally worn as bedroom slippers, mules are backless, closed-off from the front and open from the back. They are available in different heel heights – from flat to high. The flat version of the mule might appear quite similar to slide-ins, but mules are more elegantly sculpted from the front. Mules are extremely comfortable and easy to slip on and off. They lend ample support to the toes and keep them together while showing off the heels.

Though they can be worn with casual outfits, they can also lend elegance to a more dressy outfit.

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