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10 best women's shoes for spring that will freshen up your wardrobe

As sustainability was a big theme on the spring/summer catwalks, we’ve found well-made, wear-with-everything shoes that still acknowledge this season's trends, from square-toe mules to kitten heels

Eva Waite-Taylor
Thursday 12 March 2020 18:00
When it comes to choosing new shoes, go for a pair that will update your favourite dress from last season 
When it comes to choosing new shoes, go for a pair that will update your favourite dress from last season 

The spring/summer catwalk shows were rife with eco-centric eyes on the industry’s waste and sustainability issues. Prada highlighted the current culture of disposability while Gucci announced it was going carbon neutral.

There’s no doubting that there’s still a long way to go, but this season’s shoe trends represent this shift in perspective. Think a return of classic, well-made, wear-with-everything shoe that will see you through from the first day of spring to the final days of summer, year after year.

When it comes to choosing new shoes, go for a pair that will update your favourite dress from last season (if you bought the Zara polka dot dress, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s still on point this spring/summer).

The question is, what will you opt for in the battle of the sandals? Will you go for Nineties thong, or goddess gladiator, alternatively off-piste with a bejazzled chunky flatform?

If sandals aren’t your thing, opt for a fair weather take on loafers or a chic white trainer. Whatever your preference, from timeless classics to summer appropriate sandals, there’s a host of great shoes on offer to reinvigorate your perennial spring staples.

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 us to fund journalism across The Independent.

St Agni olive sandal

This cult Australian brand needs to be on your radar. In a bid to reduce the harmful by-products of tanning agents, St Agni’s sandals are crafted from 100 percent vegetable dyed leather, and are artfully constructed by hand. The square heel and ultra-minimalist design make them chic, sophisticated and totally wearable. As a timeless classic, these are bound to go with everything in your wardrobe, and are well worth the investment.

Who What Wear Siena kitten-heel leather sandals

If you thought thong sandals were “so last year”, you’ll stand corrected. Luxury buyers far and wide have mentioned this directional style as a spring/summer staple. Who What Wear’s newly launched accessories line pays homage to the Nineties minimalist trend with this pair of stylish and surprisingly wearable sandals. While a kitten heel is a divisive trend, we’re obsessed. Coming in black, snake print and white, there is something for everyone.

Russell & Bromley loafer mules

Loafers have shaken off their school-girl reputation – Prada opted for something chunky on the spring/summer catwalk, while Fendi went for a sling-back. But, we are obsessed with this pair from Russell & Bromley, a chic take on the trend. Offering a great way to master smart-casual, these are a sartorial staple. Wear with black cigarette trousers for work or with your favourite pair of jeans at the weekend. Versatility at its best.

Topshop Penelope white woven sandals

With the renaissance of Bottega Veneta fully underway, quilted accessories are big this season. Think plush, woven leather and statement square toe designs. And these Topshop sliders offer a great, budget-friendly way to tap into the trend. Allow a couple of days to wear in, but once you have these make for a comfortable spring must-have.

Russell & Bromley gold mine double buckle sandal

Chunky sandals were everywhere last spring/summer and they’re here to stay. A comfortable insole and supportive double strap make these an excellent choice. Russell & Bromley has tapped into this season’s “shoelery” trend with gold detailing galore, and we love it. What better way to boost your work wear wardrobe in the height of summer?

Topshop Leah soft leather ballet shoes

Need a pair of flats that will enhance your capsule wardrobe? Enter Topshop’s ballet shoes. With a slightly squared toe, these pay homage to the trend as well as Chanel’s classic pumps. It’s worth noting that these come up slightly large, so try sizing down.

Alighieri lion medallion embellished grosgrain and canvas espadrilles

Espadrille meets gladiator, with a touch of “shoelery”, these Angheleri sandals tick the boxes. We loved the sentiment behind the lion medallion, which signifies walking with courage. Perfect for when the sun comes out. Wear these with a tiered summer dress to nail an off-duty look or style with a linen suit for work.

Veja V-10 leather sneakers

Veja’s strong focus on transparency and sourcing Fairtrade, organic materials means it’s a key player in the sustainability game. And these distinctive kicks are the perfect transitional shoe. These may take while to wear in, so keep blister plasters nearby. But we think they’re worth it.

Manolo Blahnik maysale

A Carrie Bradshaw classic, heeled mules are perfect for spring and offer a failsafe eveningwear choice. Elevate a simple outfit of jeans and a white tee, or nail the look by wearing with a longer hemline and flash a touch of ankle. Coming in a myriad of colours, there’s a pair for every taste, but they do come up small, so size up. While a real investment purchase, these are bound to last a lifetime.

Birkenstock Arizona

The humble Birkenstock is back. Last summer we saw our favourite fashionistas reverting back to this old school classic, and we’re here for it. These double-strap, lightweight Birks tap into the ugly-chic trend in a big wag, and fulfil a consumer’s desire for comfort over costume. If you didn’t buy a pair last year, make 2020 the year you do.

The verdict: Women’s shoes for spring

The delicate design and sophisticated look of the St Agni olive sandals make them a standout for spring/summer. Embodying the care-free Byron Bay lifestyle, the interlocking leather straps are refined and effortless. If you’re looking for something more practical, the Russell & Bromley loafer mules are a failsafe option.

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.

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