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Sandals, flats, and low heels that are easy to wear all day (without treading into orthopedic territory).
This designer's background is actually in ceramics, evident in her keen sense of form and use of interesting materials. (Some of the line's best sandals this summer use a multicolored, flecked leather that almost looks like marble.) Most come with a supportive micro-platform, making them super easy to walk in and durable for the long haul. The label is stocked at boutiques like Steven Alan, Totokaelo, and Need Supply Co.
Topshop reliably stocks a great selection of heels in the two and three inch neighborhood, making them easy to wear all day. Despite the British store's reputation for trendiness, it offers work-appropriate and—dare we say—classic shoes, priced from $45 to $130.
Truthfully, clogs are pretty alienating. If you fall on the "love" side, though, No. 6 is the almost undisputed ruler of the comfy wood-soled style, with summery options in multiple sandal silhouettes as well as open-toe mules. Find the brand at shops from Steven Alan to Net-a-Porter, with the best selection on its own site.
Polished, comfortable heels that can walk right into after-work plans, too.
ICYMI, Banana Republic got a new creative director, and her design impact has successfully rippled into footwear. There are a ton of perfectly simple, versatile styles in stores this summer. We were happily surprised to see that they're really well made, especially for the reasonable price point.
One of our favorite boutiques has expanded its in-house line to include footwear, and it's good. Heels are chunky and not too high, so they'll dress up your summer outfits without letting things get too uncomfortable.
Another boutique that's launched a terrific shoe collection, Maryam Nassir Zadeh has possibly perfected the block heel. Part of what makes the line so covetable is the sense of color: suede in deep coral and pale watermelon, patent leather in caramel brown and a glossy blush dubbed "shell." The shoes are available through the boutique as well as at Bona Drag, Nasty Gal, and Steven Alan.
Whether it's a schmancy wedding or a blowout birthday, you can't pass through summer without one party under your belt.
The in-house line from this massive e-comm store always delivers fun, inexpensive footwear with plenty of party options. This season, shop tons of colorful platforms, delicate lace-ups, and metallic leather styles, all priced under $100.
Loeffler Randall does amazingly comfortable heels, bringing together great materials, solid construction, and walkable heel height. Each season, its pumps come in an interesting leather or calfhair, making them versatile buys that can jazz up work outfits or tag along for special occasions.
There is no shoe designer quite like the UK's Sophia Webster for unapologetically fun. Her wilder options have butterfly wings, speech bubbles, and beaded heels, but there are more versatile styles, too.
The easiest day-off shoes that won't fall apart before your time off is up.
The lower-priced sister of Dolce Vita offers up all the trendiness of fast fashion, but with much better construction, so they'll actually hang around for a while (and your feet won't kill from walking on flimsy footbeds). Buy the brand at Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdale's, and Nordstrom Rack.
This Aussie brand perfectly marries quality materials and stylish silhouettes at really, really reasonable prices (almost everything is under $100). Easy leather slide styles in handsome shades like deep khaki and blush nude are available at Shopbop, Free People, Nasty Gal, and Need Supply Co.
These handmade flats are an investment buy as far as barely-there sandals go. The brand's Greek roots shine through in rope details and lace-up styles, available in a rainbow of neutrals from sand to bordeaux. The label is stocked all over the place—Net-a-Porter has a great selection of classics, while Creatures of Comfort offers some very cool colorways and unconventional materials.
Be sure to check out our shoppable list of 2015's essential sandal trends, plus the ultimate guide to keeping summer shoes clean.