The best women’s sandals for summer 2022

Zoe Gunn

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15 March 2022

Ditch your sneakers and book a pedicure – sunshine is just around the corner

15 March 2022 | Zoe Gunn | If you purchase something via our website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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he beginning of spring also heralds the start of sandal season which, for anyone rueing the restrictions of boots and loafers post-lockdown, will come as quite the relief. The other good news? With holidays on the horizon and summer weddings and parties filling diaries, designers have stepped up to the plate and delivered a bumper crop of women’s sandals for all styles and occasions this season. From chic flats and beach-friendly wedges to sky-high heels, these are the best sandals to buy now.

The best flat sandals

Birkenstock Arizona nubuck sandals, £115, harveynichols.com
Arizona Love Trekky bandana sandals, £110, brownsfashion.com

A great pair of flat sandals are the bread and butter of any good spring or summer wardrobe so, accordingly, the choices are vast. For something versatile enough to pair with everything from dresses and skirts to cut-offs and jeans, you can never go wrong Birkenstocks – although Arizona Love’s cult bandana hiking styles are quickly giving them a run for their money.

Bea ankle strap sandals, £475, fabrizioviti.com
Louboutin Niloofat sandals, £525, matchesfashion.com

If you’re in need of something a little more formal, Fabrizio Viti’s daisy-detailed designs come in raffia and black gingham colourways, ideal for garden parties, while we can think of few designs better suited to dancing the night away than Christian Louboutin’s floral silk sandals.

 
 

The best wedges

Amina Muaddi Lupita wedges, £610, selfridges.com
Vlogo calfskin wedge sandals, £680, valentino.com

Banish all notions of the chunky, bottom-heavy wedges that were so popular in years past. For summer 2022 there’s a new breed of wedges in town and they are much, much chicer. Take, for example, Amina Muaddi’s mules, which tap into the Y2K revival trend with their sleek, minimalist lines. Alternatively, Valentino’s classic leather versions add height without the discomfort of an actual heel, making them an ideal option for summer in the city.

Castañer Brini scalloped espadrilles, £125, farfetch.com
Gucci linen GG espadrilles, £435, harrods.com

Of course, if it’s holiday sandals you’re looking for, you’ll want something a little lighter and more casual. Espadrilles are the obvious choice here and few do them better than Spanish brand Castañer, which created the world’s first wedged version in collaboration with Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s. For SS22 it’s updated the original with a whimsical scalloped edge, while Gucci has followed suit with its own embroidered take on the style.

The best flip flops

Gianvito Rossi Tropea flip flops, £535, net-a-porter.com
Melissa Odabash leather flip flops, £60, selfridges.com

While we would never recommend them for work, flip-flops can be a great choice for casual and even smart-casual events if you know where to look. Eschew more common rubber and foam designs in favour of luxe leathers with interesting detailing.

Gucci GG Marmont sandals, £435, matchesfashion.com
Alexandra Birman Clarita sandals, £225, flannels.com

Gianvito Rossi and Melissa Odabash keep things simple with classic silhouettes in versatile hues. For something a little more eye-catching, Gucci's version reworks the style with an elongated toe-post and its iconic GG logo while Alexandra Birman renders hers in a pretty pastel purple with soft bow detailing.

 
 

The best slides

JW Anderson chain slides, £465, brownsfashion.com
Khaite Thompson leather slides, £590, net-a-porter.com

Again, probably not a style for the boardroom but, as streetwear has become an increasingly important part of the modern fashion industry, so too has the humble pool slide been elevated to a summer must-have. If you’re going to an actual pool, rubber versions are perfectly practical, but for pretty much everything else you’re going to want something a little smarter.

Chloé Woody crochet slides, £395, matchesfashion.com
Anine Bing Lizzie leather slides, £309, farfetch.com

JW Anderson’s wildly popular chain slides have been the must-have shoe of the summer for a few years now and show no signs of going out of fashion. In fact, count yourself lucky if you manage to get your hands on a pair (should you fail, Khaite’s oversized buckle designs are the next best thing). Chloé, meanwhile, takes a more laidback approach in colourful crochet, while Anine Bing’s pillowy cross-strap slides are as comfortable as they come.

The best heeled sandals

Bottega Veneta quilted mules, £750, net-a-porter.com
Norah mules, £475, malonesouliers.com

Ascot, church weddings, Glyndebourne – there are some summer events for which heels just feel more appropriate. If you’re the type that jumps at the chance to don a little colour when the sun comes out then Bottega Veneta’s lemon yellow mules are sure to be firm favourites. Malone Souliers, meanwhile, has taken its signature seasonal take on the classic court and worked it in a hugely-versatile deep green hue.

Prada embossed leather sandals, £590, mytheresa.com
Manolo Blahnik Araspe sandals, £595, net-a-porter.com

Elsewhere, Prada and Manolo Blahnik are each offering their take on the timeless ankle strap heel in embossed black and neutral suede, respectively. These are shoes that may quite possibly offer the best cost-per-wear in your wardrobe.

Read more: The best sunglasses for women