These Are the Only Shoes You’ll Ever Need in Your Summer Wardrobe
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While a winter capsule wardrobe may be sacredly straightforward in terms of footwear (think Chelsea boots, Ugg Minis, and patent Mary Jane shoes), warmer weather brings with it a plethora of summer shoe styles to choose from: comfy sneakers, poolside slides, open-toed heels—the list goes on. And that’s not even inclusive of styles like comfortable wedding shoes or sandals fit for a sunny soirée.
With the passing of grey, gloom-and-doom weather comes a flurry of design options suitable for vacations, cocktail parties, beachside jaunts, and casual Fridays at the office. In other words, there are plenty of excuses to fill your shopping cart with all of the best summer 2023 shoe trends available to shop.
To make stocking your shoe rack a little easier, we sifted through the vast market and narrowed down 25 essential summer styles, including the all-important slip-on strappy sandals and foolproof flats you can wear all season long.
Every closet needs at least one pair of do-it-all sandals. These strappy black heels from Tony Bianco are elegant enough to always be event-ready, yet classic enough to pair with everyday denim.
Colors: Black, White, Acid Green, Skin Capretto, Acid Pink
Material: Leather upper
The Real Jelly Kim
These aren’t the same jelly sandals you wore to run through the backyard sprinkler during your childhood heyday. They’ve been reinvented and reimagined in the form of this dainty, Barbie-esque slip-on.
Colors: 6 options
Carina Ankle Tie Espadrille Wedge Sandals
Beachside boardwalks and espadrilles belong together. These wedges (beloved by Kate Middleton) provide just the right amount of height without sacrificing comfort.
Colors: Azul Marin, Black, Ivory, Sand
Material: Fabric upper, leather lining
Strappy Knotted Leather Sandals
If stilettos frighten you as much as they do me, take my word for it: A sturdy block-heeled sandal will save you needless ankle pain. This metallic pink pair looks luxe yet casual.
Colors: Beige, Silver, Cream, Pink
Material: Leather, rubber upper
Unfortunately, not all summer days can be spent on the beach. Whether dressed up with a skirt or down with a pair of cutoff shorts à la Hailey Bieber, these vegan loafers are reliably versatile, supportive, and chic. Bonus: you can wear them well through the fall and winter months, too.
Material: Plant-sourced vegan leather
Yaffa Pointed-Toe Knot Sandals
If you tend to suffer from shoe-inflicted heel abrasions, these flat mules are the ideal alternative. Backless but close-toed, they’re a business-casual favorite for warmer months.
Colors: 6 options
Material: Elastic knit made from plastic bottles, rubber
Love 100 Patent Pumps
Summer is usually open-toe season, but there are always a few occasions that warrant covering up. Zhuzh up your favorite pair of pumps with an adventurous hue for the season.
Women's Sunshine Slide Sandal
These chunky padded slides are luxuriously plush, but fret not: they’re tough enough to take on sand, saltwater, and chlorine without complaint.
Colors: Very Berry, Maui Blue, Tiger Orange, Black, Vanilla Cream
Material: Synthetic, polyurethane
Jerzi Rope Lace-Up Sandals
The gladiator sandal is back for summer 2023. In this case, with a lace-up feature and minimal pearl-bobble detail.
Colors: Natural Rope
Material: Fabric upper, manmade sole
Eleonora Slingback Block Heel Sandal
Jazz up a day-to-night look with these ’70s-inspired slingbacks from Reformation. Just a heads up: these do run small and slightly narrow.
Colors: Black, Gold, Metallic, Pearl Snake, White
Material: Recouro-regenerated leather, EVA padding
Solar Platform Sandals
A stable style reminiscent of a ’90s Olsen twin, these pastel platforms are meant to merge “contemporary design with casual LA style.”
Colors: Lilac, White, Orange
Material: Vinyl, polyurethane
Champion Originals Sneaker
Chances are you already have a beloved pair of white sneakers on your shoe rack, but if you’re looking to invest in a crisp new pair for summer, the classic Keds never get old.
Colors: 6 options
Material: Canvas, twill
Widths: Small, Medium, Wide, Extra Wide
Old Skool Stackform Sneaker
These chunky Vans go beyond the revival of skater style—match them with a white summer sundress or a pair of cutoff denim shorts.
Colors: Black, Blue, Lilac, Green, Picnic Pink
Material: Leather/textile upper, synthetic materials
Marmont Logo-Embellished Leather Sandals
The tried-and-true flip-flop is a staple sure to transcend trends. Elevate yours with a Gucci logo in gold.
Colors: Black, White
Material: Calf leather
Stay in a seaside state of mind with these woven, beach-inspired sandals. The lightly cushioned footbed and slip-on style make them an easy accessory to sweeten up any summertime look.
Colors: Beige, Pink
Material: Woven raffia, synthetic
There’s a reason why they’re the unofficial shoe of the summer: Birkenstocks have been battle-tested by a very ardent fan base. This waterproof pair has the ability to survive sun and splash.
Colors: 11 options
Widths: Regular/Wide, Medium/Narrow
Whether for weddings, boardrooms, or cocktail parties, a dependable pair of high-heeled sandals should take precedence in any capsule wardrobe.
Colors: 10 options
The woven pattern on these closed-toe flats screams summer vacation, even if you have to wear them to work.
Colors: 6 options
Midform Universal Canvas Sandal
An absolute must-purchase for the adventurous among us. If your summer takes you anywhere near a hiking trail, you’ll want these soft but super-strong Tevas to transport you to the next peak.
Colors: Birch, Olive, Ginger
Material: Canvas, EVA
The Original Slip On Sneaker
The simple joy of a good slip-on? Zero effort and maximum comfort, with the benefits of a sneaker and the style of a loafer. Plus, Rothy’s is quickly becoming a brand known for impactful sustainability—their shoes are actually knit from plastic bottles (and these are even machine washable). Comfort, convenience, and eco-consciousness.
Colors: 13 options
Material: Single-use plastic bottles
Feather Recovery Cloud Slide Sandal
Ah, the cloud slide. The hottest new “ugly shoe” trend that’s all about comfort and convenience. This specific brand has a 4.4-star rating from almost 29,000 Amazon reviewers.
Colors: 30 options
Material: EVA foam
Espadrille Casual Flatform Sandals
If you’d rather not toddle in wedges or platforms, an espadrille flat is the next best move.
Colors: 8 options
Material: Polyurethane, synthetic materials
GO WALK Arch Fit
Summer is the season of the tourist. Whether you’re exploring a new city or vacationing abroad, you’re probably doing a lot of walking. This pair of sandals from Skechers provides contoured arch support and a cushioned footbed to keep you from having to deal with blisters and sore arches along the way.
Colors: Black, Black/White, Navy, Rose
Material: Mesh upper
Widths: Medium, Wide
The Azura Dusty Rose
If you’re hunting for a pair of comfy slip-ons but worried they’ll go flying off your feet, this pick by Bells and Becks is your answer. The buttery leather is snug enough to keep the shoes secure on your feet, but soft enough to feel every bit luxurious as you skip from dinner to drinks.
Colors: White, Olive, Dusty Rose
Chiara Woven Leather Mary Jane Ballet Flats
Perfect for picnicking or popping by a sunny outdoor happy hour, this woven ballet flat puts fall’s favorite shoe in vacation mode.
Material: Woven polyester, goat leather lining
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