It's that time of year again—ahem, sandal season. For many, it's an exciting period where you can finally pack away the tights, put on a fresh coat of nail polish, and step out into the world in a cute pair of open-toe shoes. While the possibility of a whole new realm of footwear choices is exciting, that doesn't mean it doesn't have its own set of challenges. It's relatively common to fantasize about emerging in the perfect outfit, only to subsequently realize you don't own the right pair of shoes. And once you do know you're missing them from your wardrobe, it can be equally daunting to decide what type of sandal fits your needs. Add on top of the fact that there are so many different trends, places to shop, and price points that it can feel impossible to discern whether shoes are worth investing in.
All of this is to say that that former feeling of excitement around frolicking in the sun in a great pair of sandals can quickly switch to exhaustion if you don't know where to find the best sandals for women. But to keep you from reaching that point, I've done some research to identify the eight most popular types of sandals based on runway trends, influencer outfits, and long-term wearability.
I've also shopped out the 48 best sandals online right now based on reviews, quality, comfort, various price points, and how stylish they are. Whether you're searching for a pair of sandals to add to your capsule wardrobe or want to find a fresher piece to add to your outfit rotation, I've got you covered.
1. Strappy Flat Sandals
One of the safest investments you can make in terms of footwear for spring is a pair of flat sandals. After all, you know for sure this style is not only comfortable but can also be worn with just about anything, making it one of the most important items you can purchase for your wardrobe. And while there are so many different types of flat sandals you can choose from, I recommend opting for a pair that's a bit more strappy to make the classic style feel trend-forward.
ICYMI, wedges have made a major comeback. But these aren't the chunkier versions you're likely acquainted with from the past. Recent iterations of this style are far more contemporary, thanks to elements like sculptural heels, slinky straps, and sleek patent leathers. The modern take on this once "dated' sandal style makes it the ideal investment for spring.
These sandals are made from kidskin leather, which is a softer fabrication that ensures the straps won't cause chaffing on your feet.
As much as there may be a "bad" reputation for thong sandals being too casual, the truth is the right pair can work for special occasions or weekend errands. The key to making this style feel elevated is to avoid those "touristy" plastic flip-flops associated with this style and instead purchase a pair with more luxurious materials (e.g., leather straps, metal hardware, and trending soles).
4. Strappy Heeled Sandals
Season after season, one style remains an essential part of building a stylish warm-weather wardrobe: strappy-heeled sandals. The great thing about this silhouette is how versatile the styling possibilities are—you can wear them to work, to weddings, or whenever you're feeling fancy. Just be sure to opt for a pair in a neutral hue (or color you love) so that you can get the most possible wear out of the style.
While slinkier footwear is super popular, if your feet are easily irritated, you might want to invest in a more effortless style. One potential option that's ultra-comfortable is flat slide sandals. Don't be fooled, though; just because this style is more practical doesn't mean you must wear those cliché pool slides. Designers have reinvented this staple by opting for minimal silhouettes that feature woven and crochet straps, luxe leathers, and neutral hues. Making it arguably one of the best types of sandals you can buy for the new season.
Are slides a bit too casual for your day-to-day wardrobe? That is totally understandable. There's another sandal style that's a bit more formal and just as functional: mules. This sandal silhouette always returns every single season because of its infinite styling possibilities and timeless sensibilities. You really can't go wrong with investing in any version of this sandal, but should you want a style that's a bit more trend-forward, opt for a pair with details like buckles, slinky straps, and sculptural heels.
7. Platform Sandals
It's no secret that platform shoes have been a big trend on and off the runway since last spring. While we might have thought this footwear trend was fleeting (myself included) after scouring retailers searching for the best sandals for this story, it's hard to deny this style's continued relevance. There are so many different iterations of platform sandals (from wedges to thongs to chunky heels and slides), making it one of the most versatile styles you can purchase for spring.
8. Sculptural Sandals
Last but certainly not least, there's one more popular sandal style that's worth noting: sculptural sandals. Whether scrolling through runway collections, street style imagery, or the new arrival section on Saks, it's hard to deny the growing popularity of sandals with sculptural heels. And while this style may not be the most practical out of all the other silhouettes listed in this story, they're not to be dismissed. One can argue that it's equally as important to own staple footwear styles as it is to own a pair of statement sandals. From a practical perspective, sculptural sandals can be what you turn to spice up a spring capsule wardrobe or pull together the perfect outfit for a special occasion. And from an emotional point of view, something can be said about investing in a pair of shoes that bring you joy. Because at the end of the day, the best sandals aren't just the ones that are a great price or are functional, but they're the ones that you're excited about wearing every time you pull them out of your wardrobe.