I'd Never Buy Designer Sandals—5 High-Street Brands I Turn to Instead

Over the years I've found that sandals, like bikinis or It dresses, wait for no stylish person. The best versions do sell out fast and particularly when they’re chic and at the lower end of the price spectrum—in other words the sweet spot for any smart person buying sandals.


(Image credit: @naaomiross)

You may know by now that we're big advocates of buying quality over quantity, and well-made shoes do last longer, look better and are likely to be more comfortable. However, because sandals get so battered so quickly (not to mention they become dirty when you’re walking around a city like London every day), I would say this is one shoe type that you can legitimately spend less on and not feel like you’re compromising on style. 

Like always, make sure you are purchasing wisely. Are your chosen sandals versatile, stylish, comfortable and likely to look just as current next year? All of these boxes need to be ticked if you want longevity from your more affordable footwear.


(Image credit: @claire_most)

A few stores, in particular, have really impressed me with their summer sandal offerings (& Other Stories and Mango included), producing chic, grown-up and elevated styles that I feel have staying power and look like they are made to be sturdier than some cheaper footwear. Keep scrolling to see the high-street sandals on my radar right now. 


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Whether you're looking for a chunky everyday style or a strappy heel, & Other Stories hands down has some of the best sandals on the high street this year, and it feels like so many influencers agree. 



(Image credit: @eniswardrobe)

I had a sneak preview of Mango's summer sandals and, boy, are they good. From minimalist flatform flip-flops to wedding guest–ready strappy styles, there's a lot to love here.



(Image credit: @trayslounge)

Arket's edit of shoes may be small, but it is perfectly formed. The higher price point and focus on design detail really separate this brand from many of its high-street peers. If you are a minimalist, this is your home now.

4. M&S


(Image credit: @_livmadeline)

Every damn year, M&S knocks it out of the ballpark with its brilliant sandals. The brand's penchant for comfortable yet stylish pieces makes them one of my first destinations for timeless shoe shopping, always.



(Image credit: @ada_oguntodu)

If in doubt, you can always rely on Zara's shoe department to serve up designer-looking styles on a budget, and this season's line-up is no exception.

Next Up: The 7 Best Shoes to Wear With Maxi Skirts This Summer

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.