8 Expensive-Looking Shoes Fashion People Love to Wear

Long sunny days and beer gardens are finally here, and with them a fancy summer shoe'drobe. 

Sure, temperatures might be increasingly (albeit fairly slowly) on the rise right now, and the thought of swapping out your comfy trainers to slinky sandals might seem fill you with some dread. However, with months of wear yet to come, you can still treat yourself to some new summer shoes should you wish to. But which pairs are worth spending your money on and will still feel relevant next summer (and every summer that follows)? Well, I have the answer.


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Simple shoes always look the most premium. 

In my tenure as a fashion editor, I’ve discovered the secret behind expensive-looking summer shoes, and it’s to avoid anything too trend led. Uncomplicated silhouettes, neutral palettes and no-fuss detailing will always win out over of-the-moment colours and treatments. They might not be as alluring as rhinestones, but classic shoes will stand the test of time and go with practically everything you own, which is a boost.

So which expensive-looking summer shoes do I recommend? I’m glad you asked, for I’ve found eight styles that fit the bill. Scroll on to see them in action on the feet of stylish influencers, then shop my edit of the best high-street options in each category.

1. H-Strap Slides


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Sliders are a key sandal style for summer. It has proven its worth over the past few years, having never wavered in being in style. Right now, I keep seeing styles with H-shaped bands across the toe, which I’m putting down to the influence of Hermès Orans. 

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2. Ankle-Tie Heels


(Image credit: @amagodson_a)

Style Notes: Sexy but chic, sandals with minimal, floss-like straps that tie around the ankle are a must-have this season. Personally, I prefer them in black for a classic feel, but there really is no limit to the colours currently on offer.

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3. Western Boots


(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

Style Notes: I know you’re currently dreaming of beach days, but if you think ahead to the end of August, you’ll likely be looking for a transitional shoe option to carry you through until autumn. Allow me to present Western boots, which have long surpassed their trendy label and our now firm favourites in a fashion person's wardrobe. Plus, they look so good with a slinky midi or pretty mini dress.

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4. Suede Clogs


(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Style Notes: If there’s one shoe brand that’s dominating right now, our editors agree that it’s Birkenstock. The strappy sandals will always be a mainstay in our wardrobes, but those in the know are favouring the Boston clogs. Now, lots of other brands are serving up their own suede mules. 

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5. Flatform Thongs


(Image credit: @_livmadeline)

Style Notes: We have The Row to thank for the revival of the ’90s-style platform thong sandals that have been at the top of the summer shoe agenda for years now. Significantly sleeker than they were 25 years ago, modern-day iterations centre around thick leather straps in either black, white or tan for timeless appeal. 

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6. Kitten-Heel Slingbacks


(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Style Notes: Some of the more divisive shoes on my list (or in any shoe round-up) are kitten-heel slingbacks. Kitten heels have sparked enough debate on their own, let alone with the once-outdated slingback strap to the back. Together, however, they create a shoe style that feels fresh and that fashion people are finding impossible to resist. 

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7. Fisherman Sandals


(Image credit: @louisahatt)

Style Notes: If you’ve already invested in the fisherman-sandal trend, then you’ll be pleased to hear they’re still very much a thing and will loan themselves especially well to wearing in autumn, as they also look great styled with chunky socks. 

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8. Ballet Flats


(Image credit: @SYLVIEMUS_)

Style Notes: Ballet flats are a year-round shoe solution, but it’s one I think serves its purpose in summer. With a soft silhouette, they pair just as well with lightweight dresses and skirts as they do with jeans, making for a versatile option you can throw on and go.

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

Next Up: The Chic Summer Sandals Fashion Minimalists Have Been Buying for 22 Years

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.