Footwear hybrids are a component of modern fashion and have trended for a while. For example, mainstream sandal booties are part sandal and part bootie. Sock booties are part sock and part boot, and shooties are part loafer/oxford, and part bootie. You get the idea. 

Since sneakers are the shoe of our fashion era, it makes sense that shoe styles are combined with sneaker detailing to create a new look hybrid. For Spring and Summer, sandals are being combined with sporty sneaker details like: chunky rubber platform heels, velcro fastenings, spongy perforations, gauzy insets, chunky laces, plastic vamps, rubbery wedges, elastic straps, lug soles, eyelets, and canvas straps. The collection shows examples of the vibe.

Zappos
Clarks Un Roam Step
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Zappos
Easy Spirit Esplash
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Shopbop
Joseph Inca Sandals
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Shopbop
Champion IPO Slides
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Zappos
Naturalizer Finlee
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Zappos
Naturalizer Febe
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Eileen Fisher’s Sport Platform Sandal was one of the first versions to go mainstream, and I have many, many happy clients in the style. A repeat top pick and fab find for years with good reason because it’s an extremely comfortable, breezy and on-trend walking shoe. Trendier clients though, have moved on to the next more dramatic level of the sporty sandal.

There are many interpretations of the trend, and the visual effect varies greatly. Some versions are more refined, others are extremely chunky, and there’s everything in between. Birkenstock made the iconic Arizona in plastic for their version of the trend. Plastic pool slides and flip-flops are looking fancier each season, and Fly London are milking the
quirky-chunky–sporty integrity of their brand. Tevas and Chacos – which are authentic “gear” shoes – have been elevated to make a fashion statement. With the way fashion is going, their fashion moment was bound to happen and it doesn’t surprise me.

The idea is to wear sporty sandals with just about anything, much like you would wear sneakers these days. Sporty sandals are simply the breezier version of sneakers. The more jarring the combination and irregular the juxtaposition, the more fashion-forward and trend-setting the outfit. For example, here are sporty sandals worn with a dressier shorts suit.

CHLOÉ Sonnie Canvas, Mesh and Suede Sandals

Personally, I’m a refined footwear gal with very low-volume feet, so even if sporty sandals were my thing – they wouldn’t fit or suit the shape of my feet. Too wide and heavy, and too casual for my sartorial preferences. I don’t wear sandals that frequently, but when I do, I stick to narrow, lightweight, flat, dainty, dressy and classic designs because they go the distance for my urban walking lifestyle, and suit my style. But of course, I’m thrilled that the trends are supporting our needs for comfortable and happy feet by making items like sporty sandals a fashion statement, AND that you can wear them however you want to. Almost anything goes these days if you wear something with verve, intention and confidence – and that is empowering. I like the sporty sandal trend for others. How about you?