What will the well-dressed foot be wearing this summer? The hottest new sandal trend for summer 2008 is a throwback to older times. Gladiator sandals, inspired by the strappy cutout and wrap styles worn in ancient times have taken the fashion magazines and runways by storm for the past two years, and this year they explode onto the fashion scene with styles from some of the hottest makers of fashion footwear.
Gladiator sandals feature multiple straps across your foot, and range in style from sturdy to dainty, depending on the material and thickness of the straps. Darker colors such as black and various shades of brown are current favorites as well. It should also be noted that although rugged in concept, a more delicate profile can be achieved with gladiator sandals that lace across your foot and tie around the ankle.
While gladiators are all over the high fashion runways this season, the most popular sandals with the everyday fashion maven are far less complicated. A popular sandal currently are the Cleo style from Croc’s, an open two-strap slip-on style that cradles the foot in comfort and offers casual appeal in a style that’s somewhere between chic and office-acceptable. Low-heeled and fitted, the style is a great choice for just about any summer activity. The Cleo is not the only Croc top seller in the line either. Standard Croc Cayman clogs are a huge seller again this summer, in some of the most eye-popping colors that ever graced a foot.
Reef’s Seaside sandal is another big seller. The toe-strap thong is a classically styled summer perennial with arch support, making it a huge favorite. The Seaside comes in a huge selection of colors and materials, and is inexpensive enough that you can pick up a variety to go with all of your favorite summer outfits. You can even buy them in two-pair variety packs. Funky pink and gray camouflage, as well as bright, plaid-and-pastel combo flip-flops are popular color choices and are so hot they may be the coolest shoe for the summer season.
What would a top five sandals list be without Uggs? Uggs entry into the summer footwear fashion bag this year is the Fluffie, a wonderfully fun thong style with rubber t-strap and shearling sheep wool upper to keep your foot comfy, cool and dry. These are among Uggs’ top summer sellers perennially, with a thick rubber sole that walks like clouds and wears like iron.
For something a little dressier, Softspot’s top seller this summer is their Virginia style, a delightfully sophisticated sling-back sandal with a mid-size posted heel. In black, brown, tan, white and red, the Virginia is ideal for wearing with skirts, dresses, jeans, slacks and shorts. Of course, it is more than just style that makes the Virginia so popular. The slender sling strap conceals a hidden elastic strap for perfect fit, and the memory foam foot pad makes these sandals a pure joy to wear. The Virginia is a popular sandal style for office and corporate wear, with its sleek, fashionable and sophisticated styling and the pure luxurious comfort of the memory foam insole.
If you are looking for a sandal that makes a bold fashion statement, there are many brands which manufacture comfortable and fashionable sandals. The Raya is a classically dressy flat sandal without a toe post, for those who cannot abide that rubbing between the toes. The double-strap slip-on is accented with a chrome ring that provides a flashy contrast to the bright patent leather uppers. It is available in funky colors including a turquoise blue, a bright orange and a dark, shiny red. The low stacked heel is incredibly comfortable, thanks to the core of gum rubber, and the padded insole offers a bit of cushioning to make you feel like you are walking on clouds.
Softspots Tatianna style offers a feminine and flirty huarache styled sandal in a variety of colors. The close-toed strappy style is fashionable and office-casual, perfect for wear in situations that do not allow for the bare-to-there summer styles offered by many others. The mid-height stacked heel is the perfect compromise between fashion and comfort, and the pillow-top cushioned insole makes these the most comfortable summer shoes you will wear. The closed heel and toe offer additional protection for your feet without looking boring or old-fashioned. They are ideal for wearing on a cruise vacation, work well with your office clothes and are comfortable enough to be worn on a hike or out dancing.
Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics concerning fashion and shopping often highlighting certain brands and products such as Merrell Sandals