Sandals Guide

flip flop
Flip-flops are a summer staple, but check with your workplace dress code before you wear them into the office.
John W Banagan/Getty Images

When the snow melts and the spring rains subside, it's time to put away those Ugg boots and thick socks and show off your tootsies. To be clear, we define sandals as anything that shows the majority of your foot -- and often the toes. Sandals keep your feet cool and sweat-free when the temp is warm by allowing air to circulate around them. Yep, it's sandal season! Are you ready?

Types of Sandals

Advertisement lists more than 15,000 different kinds of women's sandals [source: Zappos]. High-heeled, low-heeled, wedge, thong, gladiator -- how do you choose? First of all, decide on the sandal occasion. Do you need sandals for work? For a fancy event, like a wedding? Casual sandals to wear to the farmer's market? Flip-flops for the beach? Athletic, water-resistant sandals? If you're like us, you probably want a pair for every occasion!

You can find sandals in just about every color, too. Of course there's the basic brown and black, but look a little harder and you'll find sandals to match any outfit or fashion whim -- in orange, blue, yellow, green.

Are sandals always appropriate?

Just because it's sandal season, doesn't mean sandals are always appropriate attire. If you're unsure about whether to wear sandals for a certain event, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from any casual sandal. Think closed-toe with open backs, or open-toe with closed backs -- not both and definitely not a flip-flop. And remember, some workplaces don't allow sandals -- so check your company dress code before you saunter in wearing your favorite thongs. Your office might allow certain types of sandals, or, for safety reasons, may not allow any sort of open-toed shoe at all.

See more sandal tips on the next page.


More Sandal Tips

Sandal Styles to Flatter Your Feet and Figure

Newsflash: Not every sandal looks good on every person. You want your favorite sandals to flatter your feet and legs, and if you plan to actually walk or dance in your sandals, you should insist on comfort. Trust us: Nobody looks good in blisters. Now let's talk style. If your feet are a bit pudgy, avoid strappy sandals because they cause bulges. Sandals with ankle straps make your legs look shorter. If you have big feet, choose sandals that cover your foot at its widest point. Like Cinderella's prince, search until you find the perfect fit.


Prevent the Dreaded Stinky Sandal

Unlike athletic shoes, you can't just throw your sandals into the wash when they get dingy. However, we do have a few tips on how to lengthen the life of your sandals. If your sandals are waterproof, you can wash them with soap and water and set them out to dry. You'll need to be more careful with leather sandals, however. Gently wipe the footbed and straps with a damp cloth about once a month. Once a season, use an old toothbrush to clean and remove dirt. You can also buy special treatments for leather at any shoe store.

Buff those heels, polish those nails and get ready to welcome your feet to summer! We bet they'll thank you for it.


Lots More Information

Related Articles


  • "Flattering Sandals." Style Tips 101. 2009. (March 31, 2010)
  • "Frequently Asked Questions." Paul Taylor Custom Sandals. 2010. (March 31, 2010)
  • McGraw, Sally. "Reader Request: Tights and Sandals." Already Pretty. Oct. 8, 2009. (March 31, 2010)
  • "Sandals." 2010. (March 31, 2010)
  • "Shoes, Womens, Sandals." 2010. (March 31, 2010)
  • Sutton, Tina. "Dress for Success." Sept. 13, 2005. (March 31, 2010)