Summer sandals you can walk everywhere in

— by Alyson Walsh

Sturdy sandals. Photographs: Claire Pepper


The Birkenstock has been my Shoe of Lockdown. First with socks and then with a dodgy DIY pedicure; at-home style never looked so polished. Some people refer to these sturdy sandals as ‘ugly shoes’. Not me. I find shoes I can actually walk an attractive proposition. Particularly now we are avoiding public transport as much as possible. Or is that OK after Independence Day, too? Being a 56 year old comfy shoe obsessive, I’m delighted by the sturdy, bunion-covering sandal’s ongoing presence. Chunky soles and sporty styles pair well with summer dresses, rolled-up chinos and wide-leg trousers and are perfectly suited to pavement-pounding in London whilst holidays are on hold.

Now sandal season has well and truly arrived, I’ve ordered a new pair of white Birkenstock Arizona’s. What with all the walking I’ve been doing lately, the soles on my old pair are worn right down and the white-not-quite uppers look like someone’s thrown up on them. Nice. If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget the one-metre-plus rule and a pair of Eva plastic, water-friendly Birkenstocks; this style in navy blue was the go-to sandal on my Italian beach holiday, last year. And for those of you who are Birki’d Out, try the cork footbed sandals at Mosholu, instead.

Tevas Forever

For lightweight practical sandals, I find Tevas are perfect for summer cycling and strolling; the velcro-strap design offers maximum outfit mileage, too (opt for the simple Original Universal or Sanbourn Universal). And Arizona Love sandals are all over my Instagram feed, thanks to the brightly coloured bandana-wrapped straps (from £100) which pair brilliantly with wafty summer dresses and denim. I’m wondering if the Trekky Camouflage version are ‘yay or too T.A?’  For posh performance sandals, Japanese brand Suicoke keeps finding it’s way on to my fortnightly not-so-basic-basics list. I like the offbeat colour pairings and flexible soles (from £106). Shoppers have also dubbed them ‘the comfiest sandals ever.’ Praise indeed.

In leather, Grenson currently has a brilliant summer sale with many sandals reduced to half price, including the excellent Willa and Lois styles (from £64). While the best-selling Fussbett from Marni (from £330) is the Sandal of My Dreams. One day, readers, one day. All of these styles are sturdy and chic; team with a cotton shirtdress or pair of Capri pants and an oversized shirt for easy summer style. Those who prefer a flatform might enjoy Clergerie’s Freedom sandals (on sale here and HERE) featuring cross-over front straps and a chunky rubber sole with a cushioning effect. The latest collection from Ancient Greek Sandals features a lightweight, low wedge heel and a rubber ‘comfort sole’. Perfect for bringing the spirit of the Med to the local market. For sustainable shoppers, Australian brand St Agni is the home of super chic sandals. The Basque Espadrille and Sportsu Espadrille are handmade from vegetable-dyed leather and biodegradable jute rope, are free from toxic chemicals and synthetic dyes.



Affiliate links in this post may generate a small commission


Keep Reading

How lockdown improved my coffee-making skills

  The Birkenstock has been my Shoe of Lockdown. First with socks and then with a dodgy DIY pedicure; at-home style never looked so polished.