It's not that these sandals are ugly. But they're going to take some getting used to for most of us. Forget your gladiators, abandon those flip flops, and leave your espadrilles in the closet. The warm weather answer to all those stylish sneakers we've been seeing is a flat, sporty sandal.
The Spring 2014 collections were dominated by the sport luxe trend, and nowhere was this more evident than on the feet of the models gliding (comfortably) down the runways. These shoes look like what might happen if a cobbler was high on ecstasy and making sandals for a couture disco soccer match on the beaches of St Barth. Substantial rubber soles with athletic treds have been fused with thick leather leather straps in metallics, neons, patent leather and prints. Buckles, tassels and studs add masculine detail, but the overall vibe is in synch with the continued minimalist '90s revival in fashion.
While delicate, pretty straps can help elongate the leg and pair well with floaty, feminine dresses—these flat sandals will do you no such favors. We're okay with that. Embrace the androgynous silhouette, and pair these with slouchy track pants, bermuda shorts with breezy tunics and even boyfriend jeans. Once summer really hits, wearing them with your denim shorts and coverups will still allow your legs to get ample attention.
It seems every It designer from Marni to Alexander Wang, Nicholas Kirkwood, Lanvin and Kenzo has their own version of the couture shower shoe this season. (Marni has quite a few, inspired by their SS14 runway collection.) Naturally, this trickled down to our favorite high street brands, so we've included affordable slides and sandals from Zara, Topshop and Jeffrey Campbell as well. Oh, and in case you're a sucker for the real thing, the original Birkenstock Arizona slides (in funky patent leather, of course).