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Style file: Slide & Glide with these pool slides

The once-humble pool shoe is breaking out of the changing room and on to the street, courtesy of very fashionable feet, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so, too, is ugly – and the current vogue for pool slides in all their practical glory is a celebration of the fine line that separates the two ideals. To some, pool slides are fit only for the purpose of protecting your feet from all manner of gubbins on the changing room floor or, at a push, slinking from pool side to the beach bar as the sun goes down.

But right now this style of footwear is breaking free from the pool and making its way on to the street, courtesy of some very fashionable feet.

It’s been a long time coming – for spring/summer 2012, Christopher Kane sent out silk jacquard, metallic leather and crystal-embellished versions that were at once fresh and youthful, and super-luxe. Fast-forward a year and Phoebe Philo presented her take on the shoes for spring/summer 2013 – here, some were lined in mink, which created something of a stir, but the best were those without any fuzz.

Now, a year later it seems that peak slide has been reached, as the style encompasses all the characters of the Spice Girls – or Sporty, Posh, and Scary at least. As well as multiple rubber-soled options, cork-based designs with buckled straps are reminiscent of Birkenstocks, which come in and out of fashion every few summers themselves.

The beauty of the right pair of pool slides is that they go with everything and nothing all at once – a slinky summer dress, wide-legged trousers, denim shorts – just as long as you feel confident getting your toes out without catching frost bite. Although pairing them with socks is strictly for embarrassing dads and hip-hop stars only.