Sturdy sandals for spring/summer

For the spindly heel averse, our womenswear blogger has a more grown-up outlook…

From top: Preen Indria sandals, £740. Joseph Cheaney & Sons Belle T-Bar sandals, £250. Church’s Rainbow sandals, £370
From top: Preen Indria sandals, £740. Joseph Cheaney & Sons Belle T-Bar sandals, £250. Church’s Rainbow sandals, £370

The resurgence of barely there, spindly sandals this summer looks, to me, like several months in a plaster cast waiting to happen. As an advocate of sensible shoes, I will be firmly sticking to flat run-around styles with sturdy soles and the strong scent of nostalgia – the kind of closed-toe summer shoes not dissimilar to the leather sandals I wilfully scuffed in the school playground. But it’s not all jam sandwiches and Enid Blyton – a very grown-up version of the sturdy summer sandal appeared on the spring/summer 2019 catwalk at Preen. The label’s leather Indria sandals (£740) prove how versatile practical warm-weather footwear can be, working with everything from the brand’s trademark romantic dresses to sporty nylon shorts and loose-fitting trouser suits.

Margaret Howell Basket sandals, £425
Margaret Howell Basket sandals, £425

A Margaret Howell collection is never without a sensible shoe, and this summer’s leather, crepe-soled Basket slingback (£425) is selling fast. Howell’s best-of-British approach favours cropped front-pleat trousers and a short-sleeved linen voile shirt. Alternatively, try a striped poplin shirtdress and saddle leather cross-body bag. Similarly old school in style, Joseph Cheaney & Sons’ calfskin Belle T-Bar sandal (£250) has a Goodyear welted sole, is handcrafted in Northamptonshire and comes in mahogany and black, among other colourways. 

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Owned by Prada and prone to endorsing the block heel is Church’s, whose collection continues to feature sturdy sandals from one summer to the next. The Kelsey (£430) comes in black, white, navy and high-shine silver and is described as “the kind of sandal that doesn’t mind a structured look”, making it the perfect accompaniment to a pinstriped linen trouser suit. For a more elegant take on the closed-toe style, Church’s vintage-inspired Rainbow (£370) would look wonderful with a floral tea dress at a special summer occasion. A T-bar sandal, it is available in glorious shades of suede, including blush pink, walnut and deep red, in addition to high-shine calf in white, blush pink or black, with options in metallic gold or silver leather.

From top: Grenson Willa sandals, £150, and Ethel sandals, £235
From top: Grenson Willa sandals, £150, and Ethel sandals, £235

Those who prefer a little elevation might enjoy Grenson’s Ethel sandal (£235), featuring a lightweight, low-wedge sole and a fringed, apron front. The brand’s summer exclusive for women is the Willa sandal (£150) in dark brown or black. A handpainted, open-toed leather sandal with interlocking straps, a buckled slingback and a leather-covered, moulded footbed, it looks like it could create a serious stomp – not that there’ll be any of that kind of behaviour from this quarter…

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Alyson Walsh is the author of Know Your Style, published by Hardie Grant, £12.99. She blogs as That’s Not My Age. To read more of her How To Spend It columns, click here.

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