I'm Done With Sandals—These Closed-Toe Shoe Styles Are What I'm Wearing Now

We’re already at the tail-end of July and it looks like summer has left before it even started. After enduring a winter filled with long, dark and hatefully cold nights, summer '23 has fallen short of its promised sunny respite. To adapt, our woollen jumpers remain close at hand and our summer sandals have been thrust back into the depths of our wardrobes.

As rain clouds appear throughout the day, strappy sandals simply can't withstand the moody weather. Enter: the closed-toe shoe. From dainty ballet flats to stylish mary janes, a good pair of closed-toe shoes can shield you from the elements whilst simultaneously polishing your look. 


(Image credit: @saraloura )

The fashion crowd have been embracing closed-toe summer shoes for many seasons now, for an alternative take on summer styling. But this year, perhaps out of necessity, closed-toe styles have reached universal appeal. Clogs are on every corner, closed-toe slingbacks are in all the best mirror selfies, and retro trainers are back like it’s the '70s.

To avoid having to live out the rest of the summer months in soggy sandals, or succumbing to cladding your feet with chunky boots for lack of inspiration, read on to find our edit of the best closed-toe shoes for summer '23.



(Image credit: @kendalljenner)

This closed-toe shoe style has risen to cult-status in recent years. Style with a pair of low-slung jeans or breezy linen trousers for a comfortable ensemble that you won't want to take off, even at the end of day.

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(Image credit: @styledsara)

Ballet flats have had a makeover and 2023's styles feel totally fresh. Composed of sleek leathers and deeper front-cuts that elongate the foot; ballet flats are the new season It shoe that have made their way into all of our shopping baskets.

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(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

This year, cult favourites from the '90s and '00s have re-emerged to an extent that very few of us realised was possible. As our wardrobes begin to morph into those which we owned twenty years ago, it’s not surprising that the retro trend has permeated our shoe collections, too. Buzzy collaborations like Adidas x Wales Bonner have cemented the retro trainer as the #1 style to add into your wardrobe this summer and beyond.

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(Image credit: @kristincabat)

A mainstay in any autumn wardrobe, it makes sense that loafers are appearing on the streets a little earlier this year as we face this rather mild summer. Ideal for retaining a polished edge to your look, loafers will fair a drizzly day with more grace than any sandals.

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(Image credit: @andi_mun)

Elevate your look (literally) with a pair of classic heels. From micro to maxi, the heel height isn't what counts. This season it's all about wearing classic styles that could be found in your wardrobe for decades to come.

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Next Up: I Take Shoes Seriously—5 Satisfying Storage Solutions You Need


News Writer

Natalie Munro is Who What Wear UK’s news writer. Previously freelance commerce writer at British Vogue, Natalie’s experience spans journalistic and styling roles, which have seen her work on shoots for publications such as British Vogue, Vogue Ukraine, AnOther Magazine and Elle UK and write for publications including British Vogue and Conde Nast Traveller. With an interest in uncovering the latest fashion trends, Natalie takes a leading role in identifying news and trends for Who What Wear UK, with a particular focus on celebrity style and emerging fashion trends.