The past couple months I have been seeing casually chic, naturally tanned leather sandals everywhere I look. From feminine braided slip-ons (#10), to edgier ankle wrapping styles (#8), there seems to be a pair of tan sandals out there for everyone. Although I hate to spend lots of money on sandals (so little material! you can only wear them in the summer!) buying a pair of comfortable sandals in a neutral color is one of the better investments you can make in your warm weather wardrobe. The way I figure out if a sandal is worth investing in is by assessing comfort, versatility, and quality.
Comfort is critical– because no one wants to be hobbled by blisters, and you will reach for comfortable sandals again and again. Versatility is also great to keep in mind: if you can picture yourself wearing the sandals on a beach and in the city, you know you’ll be able to restyle your shoes often. Finally, check the quality of the shoe: see if the straps are sewn in strongly, and make sure the sole is leather which will hold up better over time. Case in point: my favorite pair of sandals are a black patent leather pair from theory. They are definitely the most I have spent on sandals, but they have lasted 4 years through several walking-intensive vacations, and look as great worn with a swimsuit and coverup as with black cigarette pants and a silk blouse.
As an alternate to my black sandals, I’m looking to add a tan pair to my closet as well. I’m leaning towards getting a pair of K. Jacques sandals (particularly #12 in this round up), since the company has been hand-making their shoes in St. Tropez since the 1930’s. However, I also plan to try on a pair or two of Ancient Greek Sandals, which is a relatively new company that cobbles their shoes in Crete: I can’t open a magazine without seeing a pair of their sandals somewhere in the pages!