These Classic Sandals Always Look Expensive, No Matter How Much You Spend

Although I occasionally dabble with tan, red, and white, I’d still say that 90% of my shoe collection is made up of black footwear. The reason for this? Versatility. Seldom will I wear an outfit black shoes don’t look good with. I find that when I wear pastel and lighter tones, black sandals give my look the edge I so crave. As for busier ensembles, they act as the perfect neutraliser. And in summer, even with the gorgeous array of colours on standby, I always come back to black shoes. This is particularly handy in 2023, where all of summer’s top sandal trends tend to have this colour in common.

Of course, ’90s strappy sandals have received serious backing from almost every brand going, from Reformation to Arket. Similarly, chunky fisherman sandals have been given a stylish seal of approval, thanks largely to The Row, whose caged design has become a regular on our feeds and sparked a legion of high-street homages. In fact, after months of extensive research, I’ve come to the conclusion that summer can be defined by six black sandal styles, with each serving as the solution to any sartorial dilemma the next few months can throw at you.

Keep scrolling to see and shop the best black sandals of the season. I promise you’ll be in awe at just how versatile they are.

1. ELEVATED FLIP-FLOPS

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(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

Style Notes: A shoe style of note right now is the 'elevated' flip-flop, i.e. a leather or suede take on the casual sandal. Make like Emma and wear yours with laid-back summer staples.

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2. VELCRO-STRAP SANDALS

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(Image credit: @theannaedit)

Style Notes: Whoever said style and practicality don’t go together clearly never saw these sandals Anna wears on repeat. Not only are they incredibly comfortable, but the velcro straps also loan a down-to-earth air to any look.

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2. MULES

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(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: Mules are sticking around for another season. Instead of the pointed iterations of black heels we wear year-round, summer 2023 places an emphasis on open-toe styles.

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4. FISHERMAN SANDALS

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(Image credit: @francescasaffari)

Style Notes: If your outfit requires a dose of cool but you’re keen not to detract from the clothes themselves, fisherman sandals are the shoe for you. From The Row to M&S, all your favourite brands are on board with this trend.

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5. SLIDES

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(Image credit: @pia_mbd)

Style Notes: They might not be appropriate for walking tours, but slides are essential for leisurely summer days. With the ability to make any outfit look effortlessly sleek, the fact they require zero fastening effort on our part is an added bonus.

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6. STRAPPY SANDALS

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(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: If you haven’t bought into strappy sandals this season, now’s the time. Featuring incredibly thin straps that weave across the foot, this barely-there design has remained in style for more seasons than we can count.

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7. ANKLE-TIE SANDALS

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(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: I particularly love an ankle-tie sandal with dresses and shorts in summer. Flattering, comfy and yet still polished, they go with just about everything in my capsule wardrobe and feel a tad more protective than slides. 

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This story was originally published at an earlier time 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 twelve years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content 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, works closely with influencer talent on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media. Previously, Maxine appeared on TV 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, she was offered a position on the Look magazine fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. She went on to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others. Maxine works remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh.