Trend Trial | Sensible Sandals as a Fashion Statement

This summer, sandals are getting sensible. And by “sensible”, we’re talking Birkenstock-esque levels of comfort, all worn with the kind of outfits we’re more used to seeing with much more dressy shoes:

zara pencil skirt

sensible sandals at Topshop

primark gingham dress

Images: Zara, Topshop, Primark

 

Now, before we go any further here, we just want to make it crystal clear that we’re not talking about people who wear these shoes because they have foot problems, or because they need to walk miles in the midday sun, and just want to be comfortable while they’re doing it. Nuh-uh. That’s not why the brands showcased above have styled their clothes with chunky, almost orthopaedic looking footwear. They’re not doing it because they want the models to be comfortable: they’re doing it because they think it looks good, and they want YOU to think so to.

So: DO YOU?

Our own natural inclination (and we’re sure this will come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever to those who know us), would have been to pair these particular outfits with slimmer, more delicate shoes. They could be flats, they could be heels, they could be wedges – we could probably think of at least a dozen different shoes we’d have gone for before arriving at these three. (And they’d be comfortable shoes, too:  there ARE comfortable options which DON’T look like this, seriously.) But of course, we’re not edgy, and these looks are – sort of. Wearing flattering shoes is the boring thing to do: wearing these ones is the edgy, unexpected, fashion-forward way – and we predict that it’s something we’ll be seeing a lot more of as the summer progresses.

This may be good news for feet, but is it good news for style? That’s the question before you today, so tell us: what do you think of the trend for “sensible” sandals (as a fashion statement, as opposed to when they’re being worn for purely practical reasons)? Do you like them? Will you be wearing this kind of look this summer? Over to you, jurors…

12 Comments

  • February 4, 2014

    Desiree

    I like the multi coloured shoe.

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  • February 4, 2014

    LamentingLizzie

    Probably will not wear these. I am much more likely to wear a ballet flat or sneakers for a more casual outfit. I have never liked the look of Birkenstocks.

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  • February 4, 2014

    lizvocal

    Time to stock up on sandals!

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  • February 4, 2014

    Theresa

    Hideous. Edgy isn’t worth making yourself look like you have boats for feet. Comfort might be, but fashion is about looking pulled together and intentional. These look like you forgot to pack the right pair of shoes on vacation and were forced to wear the comfy ones you brought to wear to the zoo.

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  • February 4, 2014

    Sharon

    No I would not wear them. All three outfits have a “delicate” feel and the shoes to not sync with that. The first might pass because it has thinner soles and does not look horribly out of place. The last two make the outfits look unbalanced to me. They rather look like concrete blocks on the feet.

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  • February 4, 2014

    Gillian

    They’re all ugly. If you want sensible sandals, there are a million cute flat versions out there, or with really low wedges. I don’t see a need to wear flatforms.

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  • February 4, 2014

    Claire

    No way! I can’t stand this trend of wearing things that are purposefully clunky or unflattering or poorly fitted (see also: tops as wide across as they are long, sweaters that look like they’re falling apart) – why would you purposefully make yourself look so blobby and malformed? Is it “edgy” to make it look like you have plantar fasciitis or flat feet?

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  • February 5, 2014

    Kota

    As someone who has problem feet, it’s nice to see how a more “sensible” shoe looks with fashionable clothing. However, even WITH problem feet, I wouldn’t wear these particular shoes with those clothes. There are sensible shoes that you can put orthotic insoles (even sandals) in that are MUCH cuter than these. I should know; I’ve got about 20 pairs. 🙂

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    • February 5, 2014

      Erika

      Another foot-problem child here, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard finding stylish looking sandals, but not impossible. I’m very fond of my Birkenstocks, but they’re definitely not what I would consider with anything other than jeans. Currently crushing on Earthies, which have lots of arch support and don’t even need orthotics!

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  • February 5, 2014

    egon

    Disgusting. My eyes have been insulted for ages by the sight of people wearing Bierkenstocks in the streets instead of using them in their (dark) homes. I hope the inventor of Bierkenstocks rots in hell, as, being a shoe fetishist, I loathe the sight of those revolting sandals.

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  • February 9, 2014

    Muskaan

    I think this is the most outdated collection of sandals, no one is gone wear these type of sandals . ya but old guys can prefer this collection.

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  • February 10, 2014

    Leah

    They hurt my eyes with the dressier clothes. The visual imbalance is giving me a twitch.

    It’s kind of funny to see the power of fashion. In “the emperors new clothes” kind of way. The “Cool crowd” would never in a million years touch those. People who wore them for comfort/health reasons were laughed at for looking dowdy and nerdy. But the second the fashion gods crowned (er, footed?)them they all run at it feeling edgy and daring. Seriously, nothing better illustrates the concept “fashion victim.”

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