Ugly Shoe Intervention: Summer Sandals

The weather is warming (slowly, but surely) and the ugly sandals are coming out to play.  Just this morning, I saw a woman on the street wearing a teal pair with coral turtles and starfish on them.  These were absolutely the perfect choice to wear with her business suit.  Here’s hoping she had another pair of shoes at work.

When it comes to sandals there are a myriad of fashion ills.  Some pairs are too heavily embellished.  Some pairs are too casual.  Like Goldilocks, it’s your job to find the pair that are just-right.

Polyvore Set Found Here.

Dripping in Decorations.  Our first pair of sandals are by Prada and are so heavily embellished that they look like cheap chandeliers.  And no, it doesn’t matter one iota that they’re designer.  Just ask Rita Wilson

If you like the look of a decorated sandal, skip the sparling sequins and go for a sandal with chunky, modern-looking stones.  This sandal from French Connection is neutral, chic perfection.  Perfect for running errands in the city or strolling along the boardwalk.

Child-like Color.  If you want to wear brightly-colored sandal, great.  But, you cannot wear a cheap looking, embellished, brightly-colored sandal.  Here, we’ve switched out this awkward looking (is that a tumor?) Juicy Couture sandal for a sleeker option from TopShop.  If you’re going to wear color on your feet, you need to choose a classic shape and a basic look.]

Hiking on the Boulevard.  Let me start by saying that in the right setting the Tevas pictured in pair three are totally appropriate.  These settings include: while on a hike, while camping, while rafting, while walking in the country, and even, maybe, while at the beach.  However, these sandals are a serious faux pas when worn to the store, to the office, to church, to a wedding and anywhere else where strenuous athletic activity in an outdoor setting will not occur.

Sadly, these shoes are worn with hiking shorts and cocktail dresses in my hometown.  *tear*  This is wrong, and must be stopped.

Instead of an athletic sandal, buy an insole designed for sandals (Dr. Scholls makes one for women that is thin and practically undetectable) and invest in a Huarache.  It’s substantial enough to stay on your foot with ease, and it looks a lot classier and more summery than that suede athletic sandal. 

Lesson?  If the only time you plan on climbing a mountain or fording a river is during a game of Oregon Trail, leave the athletic sandals on the shelf.

The Flip-Flop Flap. Last week, we discussed the many reasons why flip-flops are horrible for your bone structure and murder on your sense of fashion.  And if flip-flops are bad, wedge flip-flops are worse. 

If you want wedges, wear wedges.  If you like a thong sandal, switch it out for something more substantial with a higher rise on the instep.  This will take some of the pressure off of your joints, and it looks a good bit more stylish.  Miss M swears by Bernardos.  They’re suitable for the beach and for casual dinners out. 

Wearing closed-toe shoes all summer is such a drag, but so is looking perfectly put together from the ankles up and a fashion disaster from the ankles down.  Don’t ruin your pretty summer skirts and dresses with ugly sandals, make the switch today.



  1. Jessica says:

    anything but Toms. annnyyyythinggggg.

    April 14, 2011/Reply
  2. Terri says:

    I'm gonna try Dr. Scholls to try in my Jack Rogers. I love them, but can't spend the day in them. Maybe that will help.

    April 14, 2011/Reply
  3. gingerr says:

    I've been known to commute in Teva-type sandals. I've got a 30 minute walk on either end of my trip and I need something thicker than a Dr.Scholls insole!

    They rest under my desk and I wear something dressy once I arrive at work.

    April 14, 2011/Reply
  4. Alison says:

    Normally I completely agree with your choices, but this time I'm undecided on the yellow set. Something about those thick straps make me think 1990s! Next thing I know, mia's will be back ­čÖé

    April 15, 2011/Reply
  5. Leslie says:

    Birkenstocks! My husband and I wear Birkenstocks all year practically. He looks so hot in his Birlenstock Milanos. I like the Birkenstock Arizona because those don’t have a back strap. Our children have worn Birkenstocks for years. Our oldest son who’s 17 (and in a rock band) wears his Birkenstocks all the time. He thinks they look really cool in black leather. I’d love to see America become a sandalized nation!

    April 7, 2013/Reply