During my last closet clean-out, I ended up donating or recycling a bunch of my old flip flops and sandals. The lone survivors of the purge were a pair of bright red leather sandals. Unfortunately I can’t wear them with all my outfits, so a few weeks ago I started searching for a new, more versatile pair for the summer.
The three main criteria for my search:
- Not a completely flat sole, but preferably a comfortable walking heel no more than 2 inches high;
- A strap around the ankle for added security; and
- A neutral, brown color that matches my skin tone fairly well (to counteract the fact that the ankle strap would visually truncate my leg line).
Also: The most I was willing to spend for a pair of non-leather sandals was about $20; for a pair of leather sandals, about $60.
Criteria #1 and #2 were not hard to meet all. Honestly, the most challenging part of my search was fulfilling #3– all my queries for “nude”-colored sandals yielded pale blush tones that were definitely not a match for my tanned feet.
This predicament brings to mind vivid memories of being in kindergarten and crying because I couldn’t use any of the crayons in my box to draw my family. It wasn’t until a couple years later that my grandma bought me a whole box of multicultural crayons to fulfill all my family-drawing needs. Gosh, she was a great lady.
Anyways, the search for the right sandal took a bit longer than I thought (I ended up visiting a few shops in person to verify colors shown online), but ultimately the wait was worth it. Here are my two picks.
Old Navy Sueded Wedge Sandal in Tan: I picked these up in-store for about $22. The materials are 100% synthetic– the faux-wood wedge is about 2 inches high and the rubber sole has some small treads to prevent slipping. The brown straps and heel cover are made with a sueded fabric. There is a little bit of cushion in the footbed, but not a lot. These sandals only come in whole sizes; I took these in a size 6 and found them to be true to size. After some minimal walking in them over the weekend, I can attest to their comfort– the straps didn’t chafe my ankles or toes at all. However, since there are really only two straps holding the foot in place, I don’t recommend wearing these for walking long distances. Overall, this is a nice, simple design that can be dressed up or down.
Talbots Tehya Strappy Sandal in New Mink: Worn in this review post. I recently purchased these on sale for $55. The thin lizard-embossed straps are leather and the cork heels are 3/4″ high with rubber non-skid soles. The footbed is also made with cork. According to the website, this sandal has “breathable antibacterial lining” which must be a good thing, right? Whole and half sizes are available; I ended up taking these in a size 6.5. I had to break these in a bit (the right sandal straps seemed a bit tighter around the toe area than the left sandal), but I found these to be comfortable, i.e., my feet didn’t hurt or blister after walking around the city in them all day. Overall, I recommend these if you are looking for a delicate-looking sandal that looks as good with jeans as it does with dresses.