Summer Ready: Get to Know Your Favourite Sandal Styles (for men & women)
Welcome to sandal season, where comfort and style combine to make your summer footwear dreams a reality. As a leading shoe brand, Bata is proud to offer a wide selection of both women’s and men’s sandals that combine the latest trends with superior comfort and quality. From classic flip-flops to trendy gladiator sandals, our shoe shop has everything you need to improve your warm-weather style.
That said, we also understand that choosing the right pair of outdoor sandals can be tricky, as they come in many different styles, each with its unique features and levels of formality. To help you choose the appropriate type for any occasion, we've created this guide so you can easily achieve that perfect balance between comfort and style.
Let's dive in and explore some of the most popular sandal styles out there and find the right pair of sandals to elevate your next look.
The most casual of all sandals, flip-flops are a simple design that consists of a flat sole and a Y-shaped strap that goes between the toes. They are usually made of rubber, but nowadays, you can find elevated versions in genuine leather for both men and women. Some flip-flops for women even come with a small heel or as platform sandals, making them a more versatile option for dressier occasions. For both men and women, flip-flops are perfect for the beach, pool, or any casual outing.
Thongs, T-Strap Sandals & Toe Loop Sandals
Thong sandals are similar to flip-flops in that they have a Y-shaped strap that goes between the toes, but they also have a strap that goes around the ankle or across the top of the foot. On the other hand, T-strap sandals have a vertical strap that goes down the middle of the foot, creating a T-shape. Finally, toe loop sandals have a loop that goes around the big toe, holding the sandal in place. These types of sandals are usually made of leather, but you can also find them in other materials like suede or synthetic fabric. They offer more support than flip flops, are versatile for both men and women and can be worn with casual or dressier outfits. Try pairing them with tailored trousers and a button-down shirt for a polished yet relaxed look.
Slides are a popular and adaptable sandal style with a single strap that goes over the top of the foot. They come in many variations, including sporty, elegant slim strap, double-buckle, and criss-cross straps. Slides can be made of leather, rubber, or fabric and are suitable for both men and women. They are an excellent option for casual outings or, when purchased in a shinier and more eye-catching material, can even serve as a comfortable alternative to high heels for women.
Mules are a backless style of sandal that slip on and off easily. They are a closed-toe sandal with an open heel that can be flat or heeled. Mule shoes can be made of leather, suede, or synthetic fabric and are generally suitable for casual and dressy occasions. A perfect solution when you do not have time to stop in for a pedicure, they are a stylish and comfortable option that looks great with a well-tailored pair of pants or a knee-length dress. Meanwhile, men can pair them with a polo shirt and chino shorts for a classic and comfortable summer look.
Peep-Toe & Cut-Out Sandals and Pumps
Peep-toe sandals are a cute style of women’s sandals with a small opening at the front of the shoe that just exposes the toes. Cut-out sandals or pumps, meanwhile, have decorative cut-outs on the sides or front of the shoe. Both styles can be made of leather or other fabrics and are suitable for dressy occasions. Peep-toe sandals are especially popular in the summer months, while cut-out pumps can be worn year-round. For something more relaxed, you can pair them with cropped, wide-leg pants or high-waisted skinny jeans for a casual yet put-together look.
Slingbacks & Ankle Strap Sandals
Slingback shoes or slingback heels are a sandal style with a strap that goes around the back of the heel, holding the shoe in place. Ankle strap sandals have a strap that goes around the ankle, providing additional support. Both styles can be made of leather or synthetic fabric and are definitely known as a flirty shoe suitable for dressy occasions. We love slingbacks for their adaptability. They are a classic shoe style that can be worn with dresses or pants, while ankle strap sandals are perfect for showing off your pedicure in the summer.
When it comes to summer footwear, strappy sandals are the epitome of style and light-hearted fun. With their thin and elegant straps that wrap around the feet and ankles, strappy sandals have a way of making any outfit look effortlessly chic. They can be made of leather, suede, or synthetic fabric, and are suitable for casual and dressy occasions. Whether you opt for a lace-up style, a multi-buckle design, or a simple one-strap look, strappy sandals are the perfect way to add a touch of sophistication to your wardrobe. Plus, with a variety of heel heights to choose from, women can rock strappy sandals for any occasion, from a casual day out with friends to a more formal event. For a bohemian-inspired look, pair your strappy sandals with a printed maxi dress or flowy skirt.
Gladiator sandals for women or men are a type of open-toe sandal that features a caged design with multiple straps that wrap around the foot, ankle, and sometimes even up to the calf. This style is inspired by the sandals worn by gladiators in ancient Rome and Greece. The name "gladiator" refers to the resemblance of these sandals to the footwear worn by gladiators in the arena. Gladiator sandals are usually made from leather but can also be made from synthetic materials, such as PVC or nylon. They are available in both flat and heeled versions, and the straps can vary in width from thin to wide. Considered more of a statement shoe, you should wear gladiators to get some attention for your footwear choice.
Fisherman sandals are a type of sandal that features a closed-toe design with a cutout or perforated upper and an adjustable strap. This style is inspired by the footwear traditionally worn by fishermen to protect their feet from the water and slippery surfaces. Fisherman sandals are a popular choice for both men and women who want a comfortable and practical sandal. Fisherman sandals are typically made from leather or canvas and can be found in various colours and designs. Fisherman sandals for women often feature more intricate designs and decorative elements, such as embroidery or beading. On the other hand, men's fisherman sandals tend to be more utilitarian in their design, focusing on durability and function.
Sport and Hiking Sandals
Hiking sandals serve as an excellent alternative to hiking shoes, especially in regions with scorching temperatures or frequent encounters with water. These sandals possess comparable levels of traction, durability, and cushioning to their shoe counterparts. For hikers seeking closed-toe options, sandals with toe-bumpers, polyester webbing uppers and quick-dry linings, like the Weinbrenner Miami or Finland, are highly recommended. These features make them suitable for both land and water, enabling hikers to confidently navigate through streams without interruption or fear of encountering a sharp edged rock or stick. Alternatively, those who prefer a more casual open-toe design will find that hiking sandals with mesh and full-grain leather uppers, coupled with soft linings or patterned webbing straps, meet their needs. Designs like the Weinbrenner New Toledo or Berlin fit the description and these sandals also boast a quick-drying design with neoprene lining, ensuring your feet stay comfortable even after encountering water.
The Final Word on Finding Your Perfect Sandal
Ultimately, sandals are a versatile and comfortable footwear option that can be worn in a variety of settings, from sporty to casual and even semi-formal. When choosing a sandal, it's essential to consider things such as materials, level of formality, and intended use. By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose the perfect pair of sandals to complement your personal style and lifestyle needs. To learn more about pairing sandals with your outfits, don’t forget to check out our article "9 Rules for Finding The Perfect Pair of Shoes for Any Outfit."