Words by Jimi Williams
As we move into the summer months, out of COVID19 restrictions and towards some warmer weather, consumers are looking for functional footwear that is also stylish. Sandals used to be something your dad wore in the garden, and sliders were just for round the pool on holiday or to put on after 5-a-side because your football boots hurt to walk in. But now, they’re all the rage with brands such as Suicoke, Keen and Merrel offering vast ranges
of casual footwear, alongside pioneers of the field such as Birkenstock and Crocs finally getting some wider recognition from self confessed ‘fashion heads’ and not just your parents. Maybe your dad was always your fashion icon but you just never realised it?!
Here we will go through a selection of the best sandals to choose from this summer. So whether you want mules, sliders, clogs, a classic sandal or something with a bit more of an outdoor feel, we’ve got you covered!
Are Sandals the New Sneakers?
First up with have Suicoke. Founded in 2006, this cult Japanese brand started out making small accessories such as hand painted dolls before moving into the functional footwear market. Each pair features a Vibram outsole for durability and comfort. They have collaborated with some big brands such as Norse Projects, Needles and Neighbourhood. Take a look at our favourite model the KAW-CAB Sandal on foot.
Next is the timeless German brand Birkenstock. The brand’s history can be traced back to 1774, and they’re commited to making orthopedically inspired shoes. The creators of the ‘footbed’, the brand has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most popular footwear brands in the world. Here is our favourite model, the Boston, in collaboration with Stussy.
A fairly new brand, Keen launched in 2003 by asking the question
‘Can a sandal protect your toes?’
and have gone on to grow as a company with values that set them apart from competitors. Within their first year they had gained a reputation for striving for innovation and new posibilities not only within the footwear market but the world in general. The Uneek OG is their most well known silhouette, recently being updated by United Arrows and Beams Plus.
Reebok have been in the trainer game for years with models such as the Club C 85, Workout Plus and the Classic. But more recently the Beatnik has shot up the ranks in terms of Reebok’s best selling shoes. Originally released in 1993 it wasn’t a hit in the US, but became a cult classic in Japan. A 2018 re-issue gave them a new lease of life, as well as iterations by Braindead, Nepenthes and Story mfg. This is the ultimate hybrid sandal.
No article about sandals would be complete without Crocs getting a mention. They are the marmite of the casual shoe world. Some
people have always loved them, some vow to never wear them, but they’re always there in the background. But now celebs are sporting them; Justin Beiber, Pharrell and Questlove have all been spotted rocking them recently. High fashion has had a go at re-inventing them such as Balenciaga back in 2018 and now streetwear is the next trend to take on the Croc. Beams Plus recently released a full on utility ready pair, and upcycling designer Nicole McLaughin has had her take. Looks like they’re going to be this summers big trend, whether you like it or not!