Spring's 5 Weirdest Sandal Trends You're About to See Everywhere and Will Eventually Covet

These standout footwear looks are divisive, but sneakily the next big thing(s) you'll covet for your closet.
Publish date:
April 6, 2016
shoppables, fashion, sandals, summer sandals, summer trends

I'm currently at the point with my "winter" shoes where I have only two pairs left that don't desperately need to be resoled. New York City is notoriously hard on footwear, and though I love high heeled ankle boots with an unrivaled passion, I must admit that I am freakishly excited to put (most of) my boots into summer storage (and, let's be real, I'll probably throw a few pairs away too). I'll probably almost cry but whatever, footwear is important! It protects your feet from the elements and it stands between you and the ground! This is why I'm so excited that summer shoe season is almost here.

Some people think it's gross to wear sandals in the city. Personally, as long as I'm not wearing beach flip flops, I think it's perfectly fine (though I do a few questionably gross things, so I might not be the most trustworthy person this side of the Hudson river).

My definition of what constitutes a sandal is pretty all-encompassing and basically includes anything that exposes more than a third of your foot. Sandals and summer shoes are the best because — especially when you define them my way — there is so much variety to put on your feet. Every year, Fashion Week offers us multitudes of new variations on classic sandal and summer shoe forms, but there's always a few outliers that can change the summer footwear game.

I'm also the type of person who can have a very vitriolic reaction to a fashion trend, but then slowly grow to love it when exposed to it more (see: rompers, wide-legged jeans, normcore...etc). This season, there are few standout footwear looks that are divisive, but sneakily the next big thing you'll covet for your closet (do people keep sandals in their closet? I do, but once again, I'm weird).

Below, check out the five most interesting shoes you'll be seeing a lot of this summer — and not just on my feet (though definitely there too).

Huarache-Inspired Sandals

True huaraches are a type of traditional Mexican sandals that are made of leather and have to be handmade to be legit (sort of like how Bourbon has to be made in KY to be called bourbon). However, this year Thakoon displayed an alternative take on the huarache during his Spring 2016 fashion show and the summer sandal lines I've been seeing in stores have been heavy on the woven leather. I predict a huarache-inspired sandal waterfall come May and I certainly will be wearing them with maxi skirts or jeans and a flow-y top.

My Favorites


Mules certainly are not new on the scene, but nineties-meets-seventies chunky mules were displayed prominently in multiple 2016 fashion shows. They are not exactly sandals, but they're not exactly heels either, and I love how they give you height but they are also comfy as well (it's a small miracle, always).

My Favorites (for this summer):


Babouches also aren't technically sandals (I know, I know, they are more like flats), but they don't cover your entire foot, and they were one of the most buzzed about shoe trends from various 2016 Fashion Weeks. Though I'm not sure that the hype is entirely justified, the babouche — traditionally a slipper-esque shoe from the Middle East — made a prominent modern appearance in Celine's Resort 2016 collection, hence the furor over their trendiness this Spring. Even if you think the look is a bit too extreme or you have no idea how to style it (I think maybe wide legged culottes or long shorts could work?), I guarantee you'll be seeing fashion forward ladies flitting about in babouches (or at least pointed-toe slides) this summer.

My Favorites (in case you want to take a leap and buy your own):

Colorful (Like, Really Colorful) Shoes

Colorful sandals were everywhere on runways this year, and though I'm usually a total sucker for a classic all-black ensemble, I'm not mad about the new influx of rainbow. While it's so different from the neutrals, blacks, whites, and metals of the past few years, but in my humble opinion, it's nice to wear something bright on your feet sometimes, even when you're rocking a black romper, black shades, and a black hat (this isn't an entirely recommended styling choice, but you do you).

This trend toward multi-colored footwear reminds me of summer 2010 and I predict you'll be seeing a lot more multicolored sandals on the feet of people all over, not just the folks attending Coachella.

(Some of) My Favorites

Edgy and Chunky Platforms

I'm so, so, so into platform shoes. Even though I'm 5'9" — taller than the average American woman — I constantly want to be taller. Platforms allow me accomplish this goal while also looking chic and not hurting my high arches like stilettos always do. A few designers showcased some awesome edgy and chunky platforms for 2016 and though they were definitely in play last summer, I predict a new influx of fun platforms this summer.

My Favorites