Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Here we've broken down the six essential sandal trends you need to waltz through the warmer months, from criminally-comfortable weekend slides to work-appropriate block heels. Plus, there are plenty of platform, lace-up, and metallic styles for the good times in between.
The Flat Sandal: Slides
The humble slide sandal was once notorious as the choice of off-court basketball players before Isabel Marant gave them a luxe makeover in padded leather, igniting a footwear trend that has picked up steam over the last few summers. There's good reason, too: In addition to being obviously quite comfortable, slides are surprisingly flattering (with no ankle strap, they're visual witchcraft, making legs look extra, extra long). This season's updates are loaded with rich texture, like calfhair in the Dolce Vita 'Genivee' pictured above ($120), and strap details.
The Work Sandal: Block Heel
Look no further than the chunky block heel for daytime lift that's sturdy, versatile, and not too sexy for the office. Adjustable ankle straps and minimal other straps make these styles easy to customize for all day comfort, and cute enough to transition to after-work plans.
The Party Sandal: Platform
Platforms are back, right in line with the 1970s resurgence quaking through fashion. The massive lift up front actually makes the intimidatingly tall shoes easier to wear than they look, using simple Heel Math (trademark pending): Five-inch heel minus two-inch front platform equals three-inch heel, really. For understated sexiness—and to avoid Vegas bachelorette stereotypes—pair with long, swooshy dresses.
The Update: Espadrilles
Jute-bottomed espadrilles get refreshed this year with high-contrast colors, mixed materials, and smooth leather uppers. It's like your preppy cousin went to college, made friends with the art kids, and is home for the summer with a much cooler look.
The Detail: Lace-Up
Lace-up sandals were a big runway trend, some of the best seen at Chloé (whose pinkish suede wedges will cost you $1,450) and Valentino (which is selling out of its 'Aphrodite' style, despite the $1,345 price tag). Rope closures allow the shoes to be fit Goldilocks-style to your foot—just right.
The Special Effect: Metallic
For something otherwordly, slip on a pair of metallic sandals. They're a cool way to add dimension to an all-white look, and are striking with pastel pedicures like lavender.