“Flat & Average” is a Good Thing: Versatile Sandals

The start of summer really has me in the mood for some sandals. Well, either it’s that, or the fact that I tore a chunk out of my big toe the other day, and literally can not wear anything except flip-flop-level sandals and those terrible knit sweater boots that no one admits to wanting or owning. (But we all do. And you know they’re as comfortable as they look.)

My sudden hyper-interest in sandals may also be due to the fact that I can’t find my flip flops anywhere. They’ve been absorbed into my bedroom, and who knows when I’ll see my Havaianas again?

Despite the fact that my sidelining toe injury was 5 days ago, the Universe still required that I go out and do things like “buy food” and “pick up my boyfriend from work.” They don’t seem like important tasks, but you’d be surprised how many times per week you need to ingest food and allow your boyfriend to come home.

So when the time came to accomplish these responsibilities, I’m desperately looking for something easy and non-violent to put on my feet, quickly, so as not to disturb my Macgyver-ing of bandages. It occurs to me, also, that plastic-rubber flip flops are not necessarily appropriate for some responsibilities, and sometimes, it feels good to try a little bit, you know?

And sometimes, you don’t want people to notice your shoes. Maybe you’re wearing a fabulous, basic top and you want to downplay everything else so that the top shines… But on the off chance that someone does notice your shoes, you want them to look decent! Flip-flop-esque shoes are the way to go.

So here are some flip flop alternatives.

By no means do I advocate getting rid of flip flops – my life wouldn’t be the same, by a long shot, but here are the flip-flop equivalents in adult sandals. Shoes that grown-up women wear instead of flip flops (but we’re not growing up, so we don’t have to worry about “instead”).

Super basic, minimalist designs in neutral colors like black, nude, and navy. There are even a couple metallics thrown in for good measure! Everyone should have a pair, if you ask me. Even if they’re only used to cart yourself to the store or hide under a perfect-length maxi dress, you’ll be surprised at how they can make you look more put together simply by not being made from rubber.

Best Minimalist Sandals: DV by Dolce Vita Archer SAndals

DV by Dolce Vita Archer Sandals, $16.99-$80 at Amazon
I hate Amazon’s screwy pricing system, but that means that one color-size combination of the 13 is only going to be $16.99! The rest hover around $50, which isn’t bad because these are really cute and totally play into my love for all things metal tipped shoe.

MIA Cruise Sandals

MIA Cruise Sandals, $48 at Madison Los Angeles
They look rough around the edges because they are. These are some of the strappiest sandals on the list today, but they’re also one of my favorites. Definitely wearable year after year, and I have had good luck with MIA shoes.


The Best Minimalist Sandals: TOMS Correa Criss Cross Sandals


TOMS Correa Criss Cross Strap Sandals, $59 at Neiman Marcus
This is the first time I’ve encountered this design from TOMS. I became a convert about three years ago, when my friends took me to buy my very first pair (which, to my shock, I still have). These are a great, affordable, sustainable choice for under $60 – not bad!

Best Minimalist Sandals: Madewell Sightseer Braided Sandals

Madewell Braided Sightseer Sandals, $60 at Shopbop
Very few things are more basic than this sandal, and that’s a really good thing. The braided strap almost seems ostentatious!

Best Minimalist Sandals: Steve Madden Kroatia Sandals


Steve Madden Kroatia Sandals, $33.46 at Nordstrom
Oooh, two colors – getting wild amongst the neutral sandals! I really love the tan and black leather together, and the simplicity of the design makes me feel like I could wear these with everything. I can only imagine what they’d be like without that brass dot right in the middle…

Dorothy Perkins T-Strap Sandals

Tan T-Bar Sandals, $29 at Dorothy Perkins
Taking “minimalist sandals” to the extreme, these are about as basic as sandals get. These are definitely the kind of sandals you need to wear sunscreen with.

Best Minimalist Sandals: Two Tone Cross Strap Sandals

Two Tone Cross Strap Sandals, $18.90 at Wet Seal
These may be one of my absolute favorites of the bunch! Coincidentally, they are the least minimal when you consider the two buckles, and two colors… Pretty fussy, especially compared to the previous pair. Nevertheless, I think I could happily wear these instead of flip flops forever.

Best Minimalist Sandals: MaddenGirl Cravee Sandals


Madden Girl Cravee Sandals, $39.99 at 6pm
These are patent leather, which definitely makes them different from all the other selections here. I loved the lines of these sandals, and how parallel to the sole the “straps” are. The metallic gold touch is nice, but I especially love how they tied it in by gilding the heel!

Basic sandals are clearly a must. You can’t be rocking purple snakeskin with everything, nor are your drugstore shower shoes necessarily what you want to be wearing with that maxi dress. Luckily, there are so freaking many ways to rectify this non-problem, and do it on a budget!


Where are my flip flops?

Please tell me in the comments.

Probably watching Netflix.