Yellow schutz block heel sandal - The Wardrobe Consultant

Summer Shoes Fashion Segment

My friends at WKYC Channel 3 reached out asking me to do a Fashion Friday segment this week about summer shoes. And while I LOVE partnering with them and going TV segments, ironically, even though I write this blog weekly, I always still prefer to talk rather than type. However, there is only so much info you can pack into a 2.5-minute segment. 

And in a blog, I can go deeper with links, tips, and even different styles. For example, I posted on Instagram asking what summer shoe questions you all had. There were quite a few comments about summer shoes that don’t show toes. Bunions, no pedicure (thanks COVID), and such. Honestly, I didn’t think of that before filming. But, I’ll be sure to address it here.

BTW, the spot should air Friday, July 17, 2020. Tune in if you can. I always try to share it on Facebook and Instagram as well, so make sure to follow me there too.

What’s Old is New Again

The cool thing about the “in” shoes of summer 2020 is that they’re totally practical.  AND in many cases, you might already have them or something similar in your closet.

The fact is, fashion reflects what is happening in society. The pandemic of 2020, the necessity to shelter in place, reassess what is important and of value is 100% reflected in the shoes that are trending right now. It’s all about comfort, practicality, and old school vibes.

Just to note, these summer shoe styles were gaining traction and would likely be in fashion even if this year was not a total sh*t show. But the confluence of the need for comfort, tightening of the purse straps, and outdoor entertaining has completely solidified their standing.

The HOT Summer Shoe Styles for Women

Summer Shoe: Birkenstock

Celebrities in Birkenstock's - Alexa Chung, Jessica Alba

Birkenstock’s are not just for Grateful Dead shows anymore. They’ve been around FOREVER! Like since 1774!! And in the USA since the mid-1960s. And while they’ve never gone totally out of style, in the past few years Birkenstocks have become a HUGELY fashionable summer shoe, beyond the tree-hugging bunch. To the point that there are Birkenstock collaborations with high fashion houses like Fendi, Valentino and Proenza Schouler. 

Once a Birk is molded to your foot, it becomes custom and perfectly comfortable just for you. Personally, I love the newer rubber iteration. They’re cushier and with more support than a traditional rubber flip flop. I can walk all day in them, and also rinse them off because they’re rubber. It’s practical fashion all the way.

The juxtaposition of the casual, chunky sandal and more tailored or feminine pieces is what will make a Birkenstock outfit feel modern and chic.

Basically, if you have an old pair collecting dust in your closet, now’s the time to wear them. And if you don’t own a pair, they can be found at all price points.

Summer Shoe: Sport Sandal

Sport sandal, tourist sandal, water shoe – basically, it’s a teva style sandal with a modern twist. I talked about this type of sandal as a post quarantine summer shoe survival item. And they really are. Easy to walk in and wear, and can be found at all prices too.

Summer Shoe: Retro Sneakers

The sneaker trend has been steadily growing in recent years. I first wrote about it in 2016 (and btw those rules are STILL relevant). While ALL sneakers give that casual, effortless feel, the retro styles are most current (paradoxical right?) As a summer shoe they’re also perfect if you don’t want your toes to show.

Just for clarification, the definition of retro casts a pretty wide net. From Tretorns to Airforce 1’s to Stan Smiths to Nike Cortez – they’re all retro and all super cool. Pick what shape and style fit your foot and your aesthetic and then rock them with dresses, suits, shorts. The possibilities are endless. I found great kicks from $22 – $790 and everything in between.

Summer Shoe: Block Heel Sandal

The block heel sandal is an easy to walk in, stylish, wedge alternative. People LOVE their summer wedges. I think it’s a height + walkability kind of thing. And a block heel offers the same elements but in a sleeker package. Many clients are hesitant to give up their wedges. However, once they make the switch to a block heel they feel more modern and current in their outfits.

A block heel has a more airy feel on the leg than a wedge so it balances both pants and dresses in a more attractive way.

Pro Tip: If buying a block heel right now, and you’re an on the cusp of the trends person, opt for a square toe and/or lace-up version. Those details are what’s on the horizon in regards to shoe style.

A Closed Toe Shoe:  Mules

As I said, I had quite a few requests for a closed-toe summer shoe. That had not really been on my radar because my piggies can’t wait to get air come summer. Closed-toe shoes like mules and sneakers are great for that transitional time between boots and sandals. That being said, they’re also perfect all summer long.

There’s not a single stiletto, wobbly, painful shoe in this whole post and they’re all completely fashionable and current. See, something good has come out of this pandemic, quarantine bologna. Stay well, comfortable, and stylish friends!

Affiliate Links

Since the purpose of this blog is to take the stress out of getting dressed, we try to make it easy on you by sharing shoppable links (accessed by clicking the PINK words or the actual photo) with awesome readers like you. We want to let you know, some of those contain affiliate links for products. There is absolutely no additional cost to you if you take action (click, purchase, subscribe) with one of these links. As a result, we will earn some coffee money from your click.  But we promise to drink it while creating more ad-free, helpful content like this.

Photo: Molly Nook


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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