Summer sandals: 20 of the best, from stilettoes to Birkenstocks

Bare your toes in these beauties, from €16 Penneys mules to high-end designer espadrilles

Summer sandals demand good pedicures — having ditched the winter boots or sneakers for greater exposure, those feet will be on public display for the holiday season whether in flip flops, tractor soles, feathered affairs, or even surrealist heels, like those shaped to look like upturned red roses from Loewe’s latest collection.

Styles to put a spring in your step this season range from barely-there flats with minimal strapping to more ornate embellishment with eye-catching glitter, right across to heavy industrial-looking chunky rubbers, or sky-high platforms. Simone Rocha’s black flats come with black crystal decoration, while Christian Louboutin’s glorious Greek espadrilles rock a carefree summer look.

Formal occasions demand more glamorous sandals. If you don’t have to stagger around the grass at garden parties or wedding events, stylish silver or gold stilettoes add some glitz, while breathable options like stretch mesh means you can hit your stride in comfort.

There’s a lot of colour, as shown in the bright red or blue velvet Birkenstocks from the now sold-out collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. In Dublin, find Birkenstocks in colours from silver to all shades of blue in dopl in Wicklow Street and online at The new Kyoto style with a wide Velcro strap is a more minimalist take on the conventional shape.

With many of us walking and cycling more since the pandemic, comfort explains this summer’s fetish for what’s called fisherman sandals. There’s no need to be wielding the rod, but for those who can’t hot foot it into mules, slides or fit flops, it’s a stylish alternative and one on which many are already hooked.

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan

Deirdre McQuillan is Irish Times Fashion Editor, a freelance feature writer and an author