the open verdict

Anyone who wears high heels in summer is brave, or mad. Thank goodness then that this summer fashion lets you off the hook, because strappy, flatty, thongy things are in. You can pay a couple of hundred pounds for a designer named flip-flop, and the leather will be softer, but really the high street versions are better. Oasis, Clarks and Dorothy Perkins have excelled themselves this season with sandals starting from around pounds 12. The subject of sweaty feet has raised its toe on these pages of late: so make sure the insoles of your sandals is leather, otherwise your feet will slide around like a syrup on a bald man's head when the weather turns hot. Also worth remembering, although not featured here, are more casual sandals such as Birkenstocks (0800 132194) and Panama Jacks (01582 765774), they are comfortable beyond belief. It's also worth spending a few minutes pampering your feet - hard skin and claw-like toe nails defeat the object of a pretty sandal.

Top: white multi strap sandal, pounds 27 .99, Oasis branches nationwide, enquiries: 0171 377 5335

Above left: white fine strap thong sandal, pounds 99, Joseph Azagury, 73 Knightsbridge, London SW3, tel: 0171 259 6887

Above right (two black sandals): left: black strap sandal, pounds 69 right: black patent toe strap sandal, pounds 97, both Senso as before

Left: red and blue sandals, pounds 49.99, Office branches nationwide, tel: 0181 838 4447

Below (l to r): black buckled sandal, pounds 97, Senso, 23 Brompton Arcade, London SW1, enquiries: 0171 584 3484; 'pearlised' thong sandal, pounds 79.99, selected branches of Russell & Bromley, enquiries: 0171 629 6903; black knotted strap sandal, pounds 16.99, Faith branches, enquiries: 0800 289 2971