Sandal shopping: Your thoughts?

So, as you may have noticed, I am starting my spring shop! (I tend to shop in four bursts a year. Once or twice for spring/ summer, and once or twice for fall/ winter. This year I'm going to have to do a fair bit of replacing/ upgrading because a number of items are worn out.)

It is something like -8 here today, so it feels a bit nutty, but I'm currently on the hunt for sandals. 

On my list are white sandals. I have been looking for white sandals for years. This is probably my biggest HEWI. I know they were "out of style" for a while, but I have always loved the look of the right white sandal. This year there are options in the US, but here in Canada the pickings are still slim. What do you think of these, available to me online at the Bay? I should note that the Camper probably wouldn't fit me -- they don't give me a good fit as a rule. Topshop is very reasonably priced and on sale today. Frye is of course much pricier. 

I am also considering a strappy dark sandal. I had a pair of black sandal booties last year (shown below in Finds) which were great in terms of their block heel and coverage for cool summer, but they felt too "heavy" for me. In summer, I delight in throwing off my dark footwear (which I'm confined to for much of the winter); having said that, sometimes to balance an outfit I do want a little bit of dark. I think a open sandal might have a better effect on me, and if I want a covered sandal bootie, a lighter coloured neutral would be better.  

Anyway, for strappy dark sandal, I'm looking at these two. The Sofft has the advantage of being a known quantity to me; I've had sandals from this company for years running and loved them and literally wore them into the ground. The low wedge is not as dressy but could have crossover from casual to dressy since it is patent. 

I'm also looking at silver or gold for the Ralph Lauren cage and could consider going with one of those for dressier wear. 

Is it my imagination or are there fewer bright coloured sandals this year? Or maybe that is just in Canada. We seem to have cognac, taupe, black, a little bit of white (not much) and metallic. I was thinking I also wanted a bright, but it may be tough to find. 

For comparison, I'm also showing  a few of the sandals already in my closet. The Franco Sarto gladiators in taupe are relatively new and in good shape; they will be my daily wear casual sandal. I'll also wear the relatively new Seychelles cognac quite a lot. The silver Eccos are for sportier wear, beach type stuff. The Vince Camuto cage heels (mine are actually a bit different -- they are taupe with snakeskin strap) I tend to wear on city days. The high heel is stable and comfortable but just a bit too much for my daily wear with shorts. 

The black Steve Madden mules and the Sofft breeze are basically worn out -- I am upgrading those. I also have a few pairs of Okalas, but they are dressy shoes for me. 

Would love your thoughts! Thank you! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    I'm very attracted to the Topshop Niche sandals...

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I got my sandals (below) while looking for white sandals as well. I am seeing an attractive selection of sandals, but agree that cognac, a pale 'nude', black, and blue dominate. There also seems to be a lot of sparkle, but that might be prom/wedding stuff that has just come out.

    I like your #1 pick the best in the white sandals. I'm concerned about the white heel of #2. Heels get abused and marked more in day-to-day, and once that white heel gets scuffed, I'm afraid that you'll be off that shoe.

    The Ecco silver sandal stands out for me, as well.

  • JAileen replied 6 years ago

    I looked at the Seychelles. I like them except I don't need brown or black sandals. I recently bought the first eight pairs (!) below, and sent back all but #1 and #5.

    #1 is Naot Kayla which I highly recommend, and they come in white. I also have them in a dark metallic and a coral. Later I bought #9 which is Johnston & Murphy. I didn't know they made women's shoes, but I'm keeping them, too. When it finally warms up I'll be wearing sandals everywhere except dog walking and hiking/birding.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Carla, I hear you on the covered heel -- good point. I hadn't thought of that. Hmm. 

    JAileen, thank you! I already own the Seychelles. I am looking for a not-completely flat sandal and a little bit dressier than your options since I already have the very casual Eccos. 

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    I'll be back to comment in more detail, Suz - but first a few questions.

    • Why have white sandals been HEWI's - there have been many great styles around the last few seasons. I'd like to understand a little better before I make suggestions
    • Are you looking at US styles at all? 
  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Hi, Angie -- fashionable white sandals have not been widely available in Canada. Or at least I haven't been able to find them. Retailers are quite conservative here and our summers are short, so this might be part of it. I am seeing far more options this year than in any year for the past six. 

    I could look at US styles (and I've put a few in my Finds)  but to use your word, it's a bit of a mare right now. With exorbitant exchange rates, duties, and taxes, I'd be looking at almost twice the US price. So unless I absolutely know the shoe will fit perfectly and I won't have to send it back, I would really strongly prefer to shop Canada for now. I might be able to take a trip to the US this summer and that would help -- but it won't be until August. 

  • Gaylene replied 6 years ago

    I like the TopShop sandal and the Sofft sandal. That Ecco sandal has also been on my radar.

    I'm all about walking even in my dressy wear, so I shy away from heeled, caged, strappy sandals from a "fashion" line like Lauren Ralph Lauren--but you never know. My current heeled cage sandals are the Earth bootie and my Arche purple-blue ones (warning, the color is almost electric in the sun but I adore it!). Both are supremely walkable because of the heel positioning and height, and the padded footbed. I also have the white Munro sandal in black and snakeskin--both are 10km walkers.

    I've noticed that both Arche and Munro seem to offer a lot more color in their lines than do other brands. Both brands are pricey, especially Arche, but have held up well to a couple of seasons of serious walking so I consider it money well spent. My knees and feet are important factors when I pick my footwear these days so I'm super picky.

    ETA: Suz, you need to schedule another trip to Vancouver/Victoria for some serious shoe shopping. We have some amazing independent shoe boutiques on the Island!

  • Tanya replied 6 years ago

    My favorites are Frye white sandals and I like the Ralph Lauren in all the colors.
    Suz, you have Zara there, right?  If I needed a new pair of sandals (and I don't) I would get these:

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Gaylene, I feel as you do about needing to walk. I am not 100% sure about the Ralph Laurens -- but they do have a couple of things in their favour. (I saw them in person but did not try on as I was quite loaded down and wet at the time.) Anyway -- they are flexible, lightweight, they have traction (a rubbery covering on the sole), foot padding (!!) and elastics on every one of those teeny straps. So it is possible they will be more comfortable than they appear. 

    Good point about the colour options in Munro. Maybe Shoeme will have them. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh, Tanya - yes! That's right -- I had noticed those. I need to check if they are leather. Some Zara shoes work for me and some do not. 

  • Tanya replied 6 years ago

    Zara  website says they are leather, and the price would suggest so as well.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Since your summers are short, unless you have definite outfits in mind, I'd go with a metallic or nude in a comfort sandal for walking. I like the Sofft Breeze as a dark metallic that could work with black and navy; the bright silver ECCO pair for lighter colors and a white or gold to bookend your hair. I like the look of all three white pairs. I had been on a hunt for white sandals and low-heeled pumps, but have since decided that a nude serves me just as well and may do a better job of lengthening the leg line.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, Joy. I have the Sofft Breeze already but it is worn out. The silver Eccos are still in good enough shape to use this year but they are a bit unsupportive for me. 

    I always need a dark sandal as well as a light one, for when I wear a dark top and want to bookend. 

  • Glory replied 6 years ago

    There are some great picks here Suz. I think we are just seeing sandals coming into the stores now so there will be more to pick from soon. The topshop ones are sold out in many sizes already so maybe order online and then return if needed?

  • replied 6 years ago

    I'm with you on the white sandal being a HEWI. My favourite here is the Frye - of course it is, it's the most expensive, sigh. White sandals need to look pretty cool in order to avoid that ortho-gone-bad look, which I'm kind of getting from the Campers and the Topshop ones. The RL are pretty , but seem a little delicate for an every day shoe, no? I on my phone so opening up all the photos is taking too long - and I'm confused as to which is which beyond the white one :) I also agree that what's out there now isn't terribly exciting . Maybe it's still early for all stores to have their full summer lines out, but so far nothing has shouted my name from the shelves either . If anything , im leaning toward another pair of the Freebirds a few of us have in another colour . Anyways - I'll keep an eye out for white for you and send you pics . We do have a good Browns and Town Shoes here . Have you checked Aldo ? They are far more fashion forward than many of the other shoe shops.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I did check Aldo, and Browns, and Towne shoes, briefly, in Toronto, and spent a long time at The Bay just looking. I've looked online at Shoeme. Aldo usually does not give me a good fit, alas. 

    I'll also look at Heel Boy. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    These could either be really cool, or really weird. They've caught my eye though, and look really wearable in terms of support, heel height, etc etc.  I'm going to pop in sometime this coming and check them  out - they also come in a blush/nude shade.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Got it, Suz. The US dollar is strong at the moment, and the exchange rates ARE a mare when you're paying Canadian.

    YES. Check out Zara too. Their shoes CAN work very well. 

    Of the ones you chose, I like the Fryes best because of the ankle strap - it's handy with the cropped pants trend. I like the Topshop a lot too. 

    I've added some suggestions below - some you will recognize as top picks. I've also added some Gabor sandals - a German brand that's very comfy, and you might be able to find them in your neck of the woods. Although not white, but very light. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, Angie. I have had a couple of those in my Finds, and will hunt to see if they are available here. 

    Maybe if I google by name and Canada I'll find a source. Sometimes that has worked for me. :)

  • UmmLila replied 6 years ago

    I liked those white Shelly sandals Angie mentioned here, and ordered them last week. I have a feeling they may be too big somewhere, but I am trying them out (along with studded clogs).

    I like Angie's ankle strap ideas for you; I think it will be a different look than some of your existing choices.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I've not looked at others response but will read later.
    I'll just say that we have several of the same sandals on our list.
    I love the Frye's for white and the Ralph Lauren's for black.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    I hear you Suz on the preference and need to shop Canadian - shopping over the border right now is so pricey.

    I'm wondering if it might just be a wee bit early in our spring season for all of the best options to be in stores?

    Check out what's available on as well. They have a great selection, are in Canada, have free shipping and free returns. I've ordered from them a handful of times now and have been very impressed - two day turnaround on orders!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, I agree -- the turnaround there at ShoeMe is spectacular. I got my snow boots there this year. And I have ordered from them in the past as well. Right now I don't see much that I like, although they do have the Sofft black low wedge that I know would be uber-comfortable on me. 

    Smittie, Lisa, Lisa, Glory, Joy - thank you! 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Sorry - meant to add that the ones i posted are at Little Burgundy.....home of the famous Hibou boot. And - I really like those buckled Shelly's too .....every time someone posts about them I mean to go check out a source for them here. The Bay carries that brand.....

  • Jules replied 6 years ago

    I feel the Campers are a bit blocky and high contrast for your style. The TopShop ones are inexpensive enough that maybe they could be shoes you wear when you can be a bit careful - out to dinner rather than a full day of walking etc?

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Update: I ordered a bunch and will send back what I don't want. Ordered the Topshop (on sale!) and the RL from the Bay, and from Shoe Me (which also had a sale on certain items) I ordered the Sofft and some Vince Camuto navy cage sandals to try as a darker heeled sandal. I will likely try the Zara also. If none of these tickle my fancy I will send back -- I get free returns on all of it, so no worries and I don't expect all of them to work out. 

    Thank you for your help and thoughts!! 

  • Tanya replied 6 years ago

    Love your choices, Suz, and hope that some of them work out.

  • Jaime replied 6 years ago

    A little late but I like all your white picks and think we need to seem them on your feet to know. I loved you in the cognac sandals from last year by the way. The Zara sandals do not have a leather lining, which does not bother me so much with boots, but with sandals might be a problem.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Jaime -- good point. And, on another you know that it was a year ago that we were communing in person together?? Wish I were there now!!! 

    Mark is headed your way in a few weeks....but we have to stay back this year, alas...

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Agh, so many choices!  My head is spinning.  I wish I could offer sage advice but all I can say is I'm glad you have options.  Let us know your decisions!  Looks like you ordered my two favorites, the Fryes and the Ralph Laurens. :)

  • krishnidoux replied 6 years ago

    For white sandals, try the German company named Ara, sold in good shoe stores in Canada. I have these, I love them, they are very comfortable yet the patent white makes them chic:

    Black open toe sandals: I found some by A2 Aerosoles at a Globo store that were surprisingly comfortable.

You need to be logged in to comment