'90s Sandal Trends Were Elite—5 Elegant Pairs Set to Take Over This Summer

With summer finally upon us, we’ve taken careful consideration to identify the hardest working pieces in our wardrobe, that we can reliably call upon for the next few months. We’ve hunted down trending dress styles, explored the latest sophisticated take on shorts, and now it's time to look at the footwear. After a primary scan through the current sandal offerings, it's clear that the standout shoes of summer all have a very '90s influence. As the sun’s just come out, let’s get straight into it.

Christy Turlington wears a beige suit, beige top and strappy sandals

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christy Turlington wears strappy sandals on the Calvin Klein runway, 1992.

Having grown up in the '90s there are plenty of trends that I'm glad to see didn't make it out of the decade. Some, however, are simply too special to let go of. Of these '90s trends that continue to circulate, some return like clockwork every few years—like the micro statures of skirts and handbags, whilst others have only just re-emerged, like the controversial pedal pusher trend.

After the playful prints of the ‘70s, and the bold silhouettes of the ’80s, the following decade is often remembered for logomania, disc belts and swathes of body glitter. And whilst many of us may remember it that way, there was also a more discreet fashion revolution in the works at the same time. For the first time we saw fashion quietening, as minimalism in its first form came to prominence, heralded by designers like Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Prada. This summer, '90s refinement is back on the up, and it's culminated in the following 5 sleek sandals trends that are destined to reign this summer.

Jennifer Aniston wears a navy sweater, denim shorts and flip flop sandals

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jennifer Aniston wears flip flop sandals, 1998.

Amongst the background noise of overalls and tie-dye, designers began to dedicate their time to pared-back designs, and the understated aesthetic has only grown in popularity. For 2024, we’re taking influence from iconic sandal styles that punctuated the ‘90s, but with a contemporary refinement to suit the current season. Think platform flip-flop sandals now with a sleek think sole, knee-high lace-up sandals now finish around mid-ankle and the cage jelly shoes we squeaked around in now come in refined leather in the form of the fisherman sandals. To make tapping into the '90s style trend even easier, I've curated a concise edit of styles from investment pieces to high-street heroes to know about this summer.

Keep scrolling to explore the '90s sandals that are already trending for summer 2024.

1. Flip Flop Sandals

Woman at cafe wears beige dress and black flip flop sandals

(Image credit: @simplytandya)


2. Lace-Up Sandals

Woman on balcony wears white dress and tie-up sandals

(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)


3. Fisherman

Woman wears black vest top, long denim shorts and fisherman sandals

(Image credit: @francescasaffari)


4. T-Bar Sandals

Woman wears brown slip dress and black t-bar sandals

(Image credit: @anoukyve)


5. Strappy Sandals

Woman wears black strappy top, white maxi skirt and black strappy sandals

(Image credit: @mcristinastyling)


Florrie Alexander
Acting Affiliates Editor

Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Whilst studying in Aix-en-Provence, she began to write her dissertation on the history of fashion and the influence of Haute Couture, and landed her first role at Harper’s Bazaar. Following this, she interned for various publications including Elle, Grazia and Marie Claire before joining the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller. There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content.

During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications including Vogue Italy and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping. Florrie actively pursues an in-depth understanding of fashion and jewellery, and after styling a jewellery cover shoot at Conde Nast Traveller chose to complete the De Beers Diamond Foundation course. Florrie first joined Who What Wear UK as a freelancer before becoming the Commerce Writer, blending both editorial and commercial content. Now, as the Acting Affiliates Editor, she monitors current trends, new-in styles, wardrobe heroes and how best to style them. In her downtime, Florrie can be found in her hometown of London, usually with a coffee in hand.