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Luxe to Less
8 February 2021

The Coolest Summer Sandals to Suit Every Budget

Words By Eleanor Wilson

Heeled sandals will make all of your 90’s shoe dreams come true.

Luxe

Summer sandals are jumping in on the resurgence of Y2K trends this season, and what’s more reminiscent of the late 90s and early 00s than Mean Girls-era thong platform sandals and Carrie Bradshaw-esque slip-on kitten heels?

And It’s easy to see why the trend has us trading in our six-inch stilettos for a more down to earth feel.

With Mule inspired slip-on heels and flip-flop shaped straps, the shoe has an effortless, laissez-faire vibe, while sleek leather and petite kitten heels elevate the shoe for an equally chic look. There’s no doubt the thong-heeled sandal will be a true staple in your shoe-drobe this season.

The re-emergence of the thong-heeled sandal itself was elegantly popularised by luxury, leather-loving fashion House Bottega Veneta in 2019, who maintained their signature square-toed heel for a renaissance of the shoe.

Designer shoe labels across the globe such as Christian Louboutin and Alexander Wang have been quick to follow suit on the trend, showcasing classic variations on the sandal. We love this braided strap edition from premium Italian shoe house Gianvito Rossi.

Gianvito Rossi Black Tropea 70 Heeled Sandals, $1,050, SSENSE

Less

Once deemed a fashion-faux-pas, the kitten heel is the thong-sandal accessory helping us say goodbye to stiletto-induced foot aches, and hello to stylish comfort.

Originally emerging in the 50s, the kitten has re-surfaced several times throughout the last century. Modest T-bone strapped heels dominated the 60s, while more recently a slip-on variety graced Prada and Chanel runway collections in the late 90s.

And as it seems, the dainty, functional heel is back yet again, and we can’t help but wonder if this time it might be here to stay.

Incredibly versatile, the heel has been added as a central wardrobe piece for many fashionistas, like Kim Kardashian-West, who famously paired a padded taupe thong-heel with Lycra activewear shorts and a cropped sports bra back in 2018, cementing the heel as a true jack-of-all-trades.

This Red snake skin Simon Miller pair will add a sexy flair to your next date night fit.

Simon Miller Red Lizard Beep Thong Heeled Sandals, was $655 now $195, SSENSE

Low

With the evolution of any trend comes an abundance of styles, colour and patterns, and the thong heel is no exception. Be it the classic leather-strapped heel, thick padded or thin strapped varieties, whether modestly monochromatic or vividly neon, it’s safe to say the thong-heel market has a shoe to match everyone’s style, and budget too. Our ‘Low’ Category is perfect for those who don’t fancy breaking the bank on a humble flip-flop.

Whether you choose to style your beach-to-chic heels with a crisp pair of Bermuda shorts for a relaxed day look, or dress them up for dinner with a satin slip dress like this one from Dazie, it’s hard to find an outfit this all-purpose slip-on won’t look good with .

We think this Burgundy pair from ASOS would balance beautifully alongside wide leg linen trousers, a ribbed sleeveless tank, and fine, layered jewellery for a classy look to complement all plans.

Charles & Keith Thong Heeled Sandals, $73, Charles & Keith