8 Summer Shoe Trends That Will Elevate Your Basic Jeans


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

If there's one thing about me, it's that I live and die by a good pair of trusted jeans. Over the years, I've collected my fair share of tried-and-true denim that I'll wear any time of the year, rain or shine— including in the hot, sweltering summers of New York City. My saving grace throughout those 80-degree days where it feels like stepping outside is worse than entering a sauna? Having a good pair of comfortable shoes to go with them. 

While I love to preach about the importance of a thoughtful, curated wardrobe in the name of sustainability and ease, sometimes, all that gets me through is throwing on a pair of great walking shoes that look and feel good on my feet. Enter eight shoe trends I can actually get behind now that summer is settling in. From chic flat sandals to editor-approved micro heels, these shoe trends are incredibly current and are a massive relief in a world full of six-inch platforms and step counts in the thousands. If you're looking to spice up your basic denim jeans this year, look no further than these eight summer 2023 shoe trends.


Minimalistic Sandals
(Image credit: @monikh)

Simple, minimalistic sandals have been on everyone's radar as the summer season fully settles in. Opt for high-waters or cropped flares to showcase these perfectly strappy sandals. I apologize for the tan lines in advance!


Sporty Sneakers
(Image credit: @claire_most)

If you're someone on the go, you know the appeal of having great sneakers year-round, but especially during the summertime. As the weather heats up and your step count goes up, the best investment you can make is in a pair of comfortable yet fashion-forward sneakers. Anything retro or sporty has my heart—especially when layered with wide-leg, baggy silhouettes. 


Fisherman Sandals
(Image credit: @smythsisters)

It may just be me, but truly, I smell a new shoe trend emerging—fisherman sandals. While the style is quintessentially European and old school and borders on "BBQ cookout" a bit, I've been noticing more and more of the fashion crowd leaning into fisherman sandals. I'm low-key obsessed with how they look under rolled-up straight jeans. TBH, any French woman would approve.


Ballet Flats
(Image credit: @laurenlicup)

Ballet flats may be my favorite shoe trend that's emerged over the last two years. While I'm all for simple, pretty flat shoes, their relevance among the fashion scene has made nearly every single pair available again, from square-toe beauties to bow-trimmed silhouettes and mesh-fiber shoes. You can't go wrong throwing a pair on under some puddle jeans.


(Image credit: @lois_la_mode)

Love them or hate them, flip-flops are here to stay. Truthfully, I'm all for the style when paired with some light-wash jeans and a simple matching top. Opt for a sleeker leather pair (rather than plastic) to give it a sophisticated feel.


Strappy Heels
(Image credit: @taniceelizabeth)

Nothing feels quite as summery as slinky heeled sandals. Personally, I own too many to count since they're far too easy to throw on under any pair of jeans and feel 10 times chicer than usual. Plus, I can get behind a micro kitten heel. No foot pain here!


Understated Loafers
(Image credit: @saraloura)

A pair of sleek, modern loafers never goes out of style. Instead of chunky-sole silhouettes, opt for low-heel styles paired with straight-leg denim or barrel jeans for an elevated French-girl look.


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

Slingbacks were 2022's unlikely hero, and I'm more than happy to report they're still incredibly relevant. The look of a knife-sharp toe box under a pair of bootcut flares is the definition of *chef's kiss*.

Next, Mango's Dreamy Summer Collection Just Went Viral, and I'm Loving These 33 Pieces

Assistant Shopping Editor
Ana Escalante is an award-winning journalist and Gen Z editor whose work ranges from dissecting size inclusivity at fashion week to discussing how American Girl Doll meme accounts are the the answer to society's collective spiral. She's covered it all: Queen Elizabeth II's corgis, Roe v. Wade frontline protests, and the emergence of jorts (or jean shorts for the uninitated). At Who What Wear, Ana is responsible for delivering smart, insightful, personality-driven shopping guides and trend features for a digital-first generation.Before joining Who What Wear, Ana was Glamour magazine's editorial assistant, where she focused on daily news and special packages, including leading the brand's 2022 Met Gala coverage. For more than half a decade, she has covered style, beauty, and digital culture for publications such as Paper magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Japan, and Allure, among others. Ana has been called a rising star in media by publications such as Nylon and Teen Vogue. (Her mother, meanwhile, calls her "the coolest person" she knows.)