Sandal Season Is Here: I Test-Drove 4 Anti-Trend Styles so You Don't Have To

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

Flip-flops have undergone a renaissance over the last several years. Once a functional, practical piece often relegated to casual trips to the beach instead of high-fashion settings, flip-flops are now a staple in the wardrobes of style insiders. Flip-flops regularly appear everywhere, from street style looks to runways to stylish vacations, and there's no doubt they're a packing essential for summer trips.

Whether you're looking for trend-forward or streamlined designs, there is a style of flip-flops that will perfectly complete your summer looks. From easy flats to cool platforms to heeled versions, designers from Toteme to The Row are debuting their own takes on flip-flops. Flip-flops are a key buy for the season, which is why I decided to test-drive a few standout styles and share my reviews.

Whether it's the classic pair of Havaianas that will never cease to be relevant or the pretty hardware-embellished ones from Tory Burch I can't stop staring at, consider this your ultimate guide to the anti-trend sandals for summer 2024 and beyond. Ahead, read my reviews for my four top picks, see how I'm styling each of them, and then add the best flip-flops to your cart armed with my shopping intel.

My Flat Flip-Flop Pick: Havaianas Slim Flip-Flops

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

You really can't go wrong with classic flip-flops, and the styles to prioritize right now are those with streamlined designs finished in everything from leather to faux croc. They offer the perfect counterpoint to a dressier look when paired with tailored trousers, a maxi dress, or dark-wash denim.

Of course, if we're talking classics, it's not a conversation without Havaianas. The Brazilian label continues to be the ultimate source for this affordable essential, with dozens of colors to choose from. For me, the Slim Flip-Flops in glossy black are the ultimate style staple.

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

How they fit: True to size. The minimal straps mean the fit doesn't need to be exact, but they feel just right.

How they feel: Havaianas' classic rubber flip-flops are a summer mainstay for a reason. They hold up, plain and simple. I opted for the style with slimmer straps than the original and have no complaints about comfort.

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My Platform Flip-Flop Pick: Ancient Greek Sandals Charys Slides

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Platforms are having a moment in the world of footwear, and that includes flip-flops. One of the biggest shoe trends for summer is platform flip-flops. It's a cool upgrade that makes simple slides feel fresh for the season. My pick is the Charys style from Ancient Greek Sandals. They feature a thick comfort sole that doubles as a stylish platform.

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

How they fit: These run small. I took my usual size, a European 39 (for reference, I wear a U.S. 8.5), and my heel was awkwardly hanging off the back. I highly recommend going up a size in these for the best fit.

How they feel: Unreal levels of comfort. The sole itself is cushy but firm, and the wide straps are generous in the way of support. I have a different pair from this brand with the same kind of sole, and I've worn them all over, from walking through the city to hiking over boulders, so I'd expect nothing less for these. In other words, they're the pair you'll want to prioritize on every vacation.

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My Heeled Flip-Flop Pick: Tamara Mellon Luster 40 Sandals

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If you're looking for wearable heels that strike just the right balance of cool, heeled flip-flops are it. Endorsed by best dressed A-listers like Kendall Jenner and Zoë Kravitz, this shoe style adds just the right amount of casual cool to your outfit. Call them controversial all you want, but heeled thong sandals seem to be sticking around longer than we thought they would, so it's about time we talked about the best ones.

Because they have minimal straps, they can quickly get uncomfortable, which is why I beelined to Tamara Mellon, a brand known for making sneakily comfortable heels.

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(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

How they fit: I'd say these are true to size. I wore a 40, although I typically wear a 39, and they fit well but were a tad roomy. I think they would have fit perfectly if I'd gone with my normal size.

How they feel: Next-level comfort. Like many of Tamara Mellon's heels, the Luster 40 sandals feature a memory foam-like support layer I can only describe as cloud-like. Normally, heeled thongs start to become annoying after an hour or so, but I could have run a marathon in these, despite their minimal straps.

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My Hardware-Adorned Flip-Flop Pick: Tory Burch Patos Sandals

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There will always be a place for basic styles in my closet, but the longer flip-flops trend, the more pretty versions begin to emerge. Enter hardware-adorned flip-flops, the latest iteration I'm absolutely swooning over. Styles that feature sculptural metal embellishments, like the Tory Burch Patos Sandals, offer a fresh and elevated feel to the simple sandals.

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How they fit: I found these to be slightly large. I wore my regular size but found there was about half a size of extra room, although it wasn't enough to be a nuisance. Since Tory Burch offers half sizes, I'd recommend trying a half size down if you prefer a tighter fit.

How they feel: You expect quality from a classic American sportswear label like Tory Burch, and this pair certainly delivered in that department. The leather feels buttery soft, and although I only got to wear these twice while reviewing them, I'd wager the leather molds to your foot shape over time, making them even more heavenly to wear as they are to look at.

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This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.