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10 best summer sandals for women that will put a spring in your step

From flip flops to slides, refresh your wardrobe with these summer footwear styles

Eva Waite-Taylor
Wednesday 12 May 2021 15:26
<p>We considered quality, trendiness, comfort and cost </p>

We considered quality, trendiness, comfort and cost

With the sunny weather here, it’s time to consider how you will complete your unlocking outfit in style – because nothing really finishes off a look like a statement shoe.

So it’s time to bid farewell to your fluffy slippers and say a fond hello to a new summer sandal.

With many of us spending the past year prioritising cosiness over couture, designers have incorporated this into their spring/summer looks, with practicality and comfort being essential components.

At Jacquemus, Kenzo and Tom Ford we saw new takes on the Nineties thong flip flop, with designers playing with the thickness of soles and materials to give them a much-needed 2021 makeover. Meanwhile, flatform sandals made a bold appearance with colours galore at Versace and Erdem.

Elsewhere, chances are you’ve seen dad sandals (a chunky tread designed with comfort in mind) all over your Instagram feeds.

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With the most coveted pair by Chanel coming with a hefty £2,000 price tag, high street brands have created their own take on the look for a fraction of the price – with Dune’s lockstockk sandals reaching cult status thanks to their comfort and range of colourways. 

To help you make sure you are well and truly nailing your re-entry outfit, we’ve tried and tested some of the top styles currently available.

There were a number of non-negotiables, which had to be met in order to make this list – versatility, style and, most importantly, comfort (because beauty is not pain). You can be safe in the knowledge that these sandals will put a spring in your step.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Nasty Gal tie dye knot detail chunky platform sandals

Searching for a fun and colourful sandal? This pair from Nasty Gal is the next best thing to Arizona Love’s classic treads, but with an affordable price tag. Don’t be put off by the bright green, tie dye colourway – you’d be surprised at just how wearable and versatile they are. It’s the perfect way to add a little edge to a feminine and floaty white summer dress. With a slight platform to the sole, they add extra height and are a great, affordable addition to your spring/summer wardrobe. You won’t regret it. We’ve also got our eye on the floral print pair in the same design (£15.40, Nastygal.com).

Na-kd contrast stitch slippers

These shoes present another take on the chunky sandal trend, with a thick sole and double strap. The cream colourway means there will be endless styling opportunities and we loved how it offers a contrast to the bold black. If you’re looking for a comfy yet on-trend tread, this is a great option, especially at such a low price point.

Russell & Bromley quiltmule quilted flat mule

For a look not too dissimilar to Bottega Venetta’s classic padded slides that were everywhere last year, these Russell & Bromley sandals were comfy fresh out of the box and added an instant update to our outfit thanks to the strong lilac colourway (but they’re also available in black, camel and white, should you prefer). 

Raid Amylia quilted sandal in white

While Dune’s lockstockk sandals (£110, Dunelondon.com) have received rave reviews from us here at IndyBest (and just about everyone on social media), for an even more affordable way to recreate the Chanel footwear look, these chunky sandals are also a great option. 

Owing to their similarities in design (padded leather and double strap) we were expecting big things, and our positive opinions were exceeded as soon as we took these out of the box. Instantly comfortable, we were obsessed with the chunky design and will be wearing them all summer long.

Sam Edelman garson knotted slide sandal

The double-strap, knotted design of these sandals offer a more understated way of tapping into the chunky trend. What’s more, owing to the softness of the leather, they were comfortable and could easily be worn for hours on end. While we opted for white owing to its endless versatility, you can also choose from one of the other colours, with metallic gold or green on the cards.

All Saints Mae leather sandals

While Birkenstock sandals are a popular choice for summer (and for good reason), if you’re looking for something a little different, allow us to introduce you to these metallic silver sandals. With a double strap and contrasting gold metalware, these 100 per cent leather treads were comfortable straight out of the box. Unsure how to style them? They’ll go with just about everything in your wardrobe too, from straight leg jeans to floral summer dresses. 

The Drop women’s issi quilted flatform sporty sandal

Featuring in Instagram star Monikh Dale’s fashion edit for Amazon, these slides instantly caught our eye. Despite the chunky sole, they’re lightweight and comfortable and would look great with a full range of outfits, from dressing down straight leg jeans and a blazer, to with midi dresses in the height of summer.

Hobbs black Helena sandals

Slip-on sandals are all the rage this season, but often they don’t have the same level of comfort as the chunky dad style. But that’s not the case with these slides from Hobbs. Despite being made from 100 per cent leather, which we often find needs a little wearing in, we wore these with no problems straight out of the box. They are the perfect option if you’re returning to the office and are looking for a slightly smarter shoe, but they would work equally as well on dress-down days. Wear with straight leg jeans (£80, Levi.com), a hoodie (£17.99, Hm.com) and a trench coat for the ideal outfit.

Tory Burch kira quilted flat slide

If you’re looking to splash the cash on a special pair of sandals, we’d recommend doing so with this padded pair from American fashion label Tory Burch. Not only would the yellow versions offer a bright pop of colour to an outfit, they are also made from an ultra-soft leather for ultimate comfort; a non-negotiable when it comes to choosing the perfect sandal.

Dune London lockstockk double strap flat sandals

When Dune’s quilted dad sandals launched last year, fashion heads turned. The sell-out lockstockks were everywhere after being dubbed as a dupe for Chanel’s covetable £2,500 pair, and thankfully they were re-launched this year in new colourways, with eight to choose from. We opted for the classic black pair and found that they go with everything, from leather trousers and a blazer to a sweeping maxi dress.

The real-leather sandals feel top quality, as you’d expect for £110, with weighty gold detailing and a soft quilted finish. You do have to wear them in, but that’s a given with most sandals, and the customisable double straps make them a great option for wide feet, too.

The verdict: Women’s sandals

Choosing one pair of sandals from this selection is no mean feat, as all excelled on our non-negotiables: being versatile, on trend and comfortable. But, we’ve told just about all of our friends about Nasty Gal’s tie dye knot detail chunky platform sandals, which are not only chic but also very affordable, making them a great choice if you’re looking for a dupe of Arizona Love’s designer sandals. They are certainly a must-have this summer.

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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.