I don't know about you, but I have a habit of wreaking havoc on my favorite sandals each summer. Between New York City sidewalks, impromptu detours through sandy beaches and grassy lawns, and the occasional outdoor concert, I usually find myself apologizing to the cobbler when I hand them over in August for some necessary rehab.
I used to skirt around this problem by buying cheap sandals that I could just toss in the trash at the end of the season until realizing a) yikes, super wasteful and b) I tend to get attached to shoes I like, so parting with them was never fun, even if they were falling apart. Nowadays, I like to invest in pairs I know are well made so they can handle a bit more of the beating I put them through each year—and I gravitate toward simple, practical styles that will go with just about everything. (And if there's a flash-in-the-pan trend I can't live without, then I'll go to Zara.)
I'm also always on the lookout for new brands to source my everyday sandals—and in the interest of sharing the wealth, I've rounded up four emerging labels making classic yet crazy-covetable footwear.
Keep scrolling to shop them all.
If you follow any cool Scandi girls on Instagram, odds are you've seen this brand tagged in a photo or two. Based in Stockholm and made in Italy, ATP Atelier (the acronym stands for All Tomorrow's Parties) has a knack for making sleek, sculptural shoes that don't look the least bit fussy.
Drawing on traditional Greek shoemaking techniques to craft durable, stylish, and thoroughly modern sandals, Kyma's wares have caught the eye of buyers at retailers like Barneys, The Dreslyn, and Reformation. And while the final product may look simple, the details prove otherwise: Each style is named after a Greek island, and every pair features the brand's signature blue sole, a nod to the Mediterranean Sea.
Transparency is a word that's thrown around a lot these days, but Nashville-based Nisolo walks the talk. On the brand's website, you'll find an impact report detailing every inch of its supply chain, from the factory it built in Peru to tackle ethical manufacturing goals to its partnerships with other factories and artisans. Plus, the sandals are super cute and largely under $100.
You remember the barely there skinny-strap sandals you loved in 1999? Well, they're back—but way, way chicer this time. Rafa is a team of 20 artisans working out of Los Angeles, and the brand's block-heel suede Simple Sandals have become its signature, selling out in every color of the rainbow. (If your favorite isn't available now, hold tight and follow @_rafa_usa on Insta—a restock is coming soon.) Its latest release, a carnation-pink colorway called Femme, is especially worth treating yourself to: All proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.
Planning ahead? We've found the Gucci slides everyone will be coveting come fall.