My friends, my clients and our forum members all wear boots and booties in cold weather. But as it warms up in Spring and Summer, many of them switch directly to sandals, leaving out the option of a “transitional shoe”. And by transitional shoe, I mean footwear that has less coverage than a boot but more coverage than a sandal. We’re talking about loafers, sassy sneakers, flat oxfords, peep-toe booties, slipper flats, ballet flats, and any style of pump or wedged pump with a closed toe. 

As someone who does not own a single pair of sandals, cutting out the transitional shoe made little sense. So I asked my clients, friends and our forum members why they move directly from boots to wearing sandals because I am as committed to understanding their footwear needs as I am to understanding my own. Here are some of their responses:

“We rarely have transitional weather, moving from boot weather to sandal weather almost overnight.”

“I’m much more comfortable in sandals and want to wear them as soon as possible.”

“I have pretty feet and like to show off my toes as soon as possible.”

“Slip-on transitional shoes don’t stay on my feet, whereas I can keep sandals securely fastened with a strap.”

“I run very hot so as soon as it starts to warm up, I need to feel the breeze on my feet.” 

“Transitional footwear makes me feel frumpy and dumpy.” 

This was very interesting. I’m always learning about the similarities and differences in our wardrobe needs. I now have a much better understanding of why some prefer to cut out the transitional shoe altogether. 

I am a rare breed who prefers closed shoes, full-stop. I live in Seattle where it’s seldom warm enough to wear open shoes in the first place, and because I run very cold, I just don’t see the point. But there are other reasons too. I have lived in tropical climates (Hong Kong and South Africa) and even then I wasn’t a big sandal wearer, favouring closed toe and heel covering shoes over anything with more exposure. My feet freeze in air conditioning when I wear sandals no matter how hot it is outside, and I find any form of strap quite uncomfortable. My feet don’t feel the heat so while others are wearing sandals in 75 degree Farenheit (24 degrees Celcius) plus weather, I’m in sockless, closed transitional shoes and as happy as a clam. I do have a pair of peep toe oxfords that you’ve seen me wear here and here, but I’m ready to pass them on. For the most part, I just prefer the look of closed toe shoes. Until my needs change I am completely committed to wearing shoes that are closed on the toes and heels.  

Do you wear transitional footwear, or do you skip that step and wear sandals at the first signs of Spring? Do transitional shoes represent a short-lived period in the year for you, or do you wear them quite frequently.