Style, Fit & Comfort

Comfortable Sandals That Aren’t Completely Hideous To Look At

If you are foolish, as I was, to initiate a search for “comfortable sandals,” then be prepared for an onslaught of page after page of unprecedented hideousness. It seems that we are in the midst of a calamitous style trend which involves the Frankensteining of multiple shoe genres into one, such as the sneaker-espadrille-sandal, or the sandal-sneaker-spaceboot or the sneaker-ballet flat-gladiator.

I’m not risk-averse; I’m totally down with innovation. But I affirm that just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s any good. It’s equally important to have a critical eye as it is to have an open mind. So in that spirit, I have scoured earth, sea and outer space for sandals that are both easy on the eye and comfortable enough for you to stroll up the coast from Miami to Maine, should you feel inclined. Here are my seven all-star sandals for style and comfort:

Clark’s Artisan: The Parram Waltz Sandal

While the Parram sandal from Clarks might not be my first choice for a shoe to dance the waltz in, I love the footbed (which is lined with moisture-wicking fabric), the not-too-high wedge heel, and the festive open toe to show off my pedi. It comes in black, white and beige, and I’d like one in every color.

$100, macys.com

Ugg Kari Slides

Uggs wanders dangerously close to ugly territory with the Kari slide, but alas, does not pass over into enemy turf. The elegant criss-cross leather straps and color-coordinated detailing on the sole make these summer essentials respectable-looking. And the cushioned sole makes them endlessly comfortable to walk in.

$110, macys.com

Marni Striped Criss Cross Leather Color Block Wedge Sandals

Have you ever noticed that Shar pei dogs are so ugly that they’re cute? It’s sort of along the lines of what the French refer to as jolie-laide. And that’s the basic idea behind the Marni wedge. The unmatching colors! The chunky platform heel! The textured straps! I can’t explain it other than to say that it’s the Shar pei of shoes. Just try to imagine it with a denim mini, a plain t-shirt and a cool jacket. Get it?

$950, saksfifthavenue.com

Mercedes Castillo Fallon Toe Ring Leather Slide

Sometimes simple is best, as is the case with the Toe Ring Leather Slide from Mercedes Castillo. The leather upper and heel provide comfort and the metal detailing adds a dash of simple elegance.

$425, saksfifthavenue.com

Ferragamo Enfola Metallic Thong Sandals

If you prefer a thong to a ring around the big toe, Ferragamo has your style under wrap. The rubber sole and leather upper/lining are all components of comfortable footwear.

$495, saksfifthavenue.com

Franco Sarto Platform Wedge Espadrille

The humble espadrille gets an upscale make-over, with a leather upper, durable rubber sole and elegant ankle strap. Just remember, the minute you see any fraying on the braided jute, bring it to the cobbler for immediate repair lest the entire sole unravel. (That happened to me once.) And in case you were wondering, this is not the shoe to be splashing around in during spring showers.

$495, nordstrom.com

Sam Edelman Oda Slide

Patterns and bows are major shoe trends this season, but sometimes it is just too much. Sam Edelman got it right here, adding a little pizzazz without going overboard, The block heel, also on trend, gives the suggestion of height without making you feel like you’re walking on stilts.

$119.95, nordstrom.com

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