The Anti-Pretty Sandal Trend the Fashion Set Is Gasping Over


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

Until last year, the only sandals that really mattered to me were strappy or heeled. But with the popularity of The Row's ultra-chic Ginza thong sandals last season, my tastes slowly began to broaden. In addition to cushy flip-flops, I'm adding another style to my list of go-to sandals this summer: the gorpy slides. If you're having trouble envisioning just what I mean, think Birkenstock's classic Arizona sandals. For years Birkenstocks were generally shoes you'd only spot on art teachers or people who camp on a regular basis, but in a turn of events, the silhouette has become one of the major trends defining the year. And perhaps the biggest signal that the style has been fully embraced into the fashion fold is Birkenstock's recent high-profile collaborations with designers like Rick Owens, Proenza Schouler, and Manolo Blahnik. But the buzz over gorpy slides doesn't only exist on the internet. It has translated into real life too. All of my fashion friends have recently bought into the trend. It's one of those things that are cool in an unconventional or "ugly" way, but once you get it, you can't shake the idea.

With the industry's stamp of approval and everyone I know suddenly wearing them, it's fair to say that I've been properly influenced. As we speak I have dozens of tabs open, shopping to find the pair to kick off my membership into the ugly-sandal club. To see the pairs currently in my cart, keep scrolling below—you'll probably join the fandom too.

Up next: For Your Viewing Pleasure: 5 of the Summer's Biggest Jewelry Trends

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.