If you've been anxiously awaiting the bittersweet moment when the high temps render your chunky dad sneakers unwearable until fall — feel free to relax. Taking their place for the warmer months ahead is the sporty sandal, providing the same controversial, utilitarian and comfort-first look and feel while allowing your feet to soak up the sun, too.
Complete with vulcanized soles, supportive straps, velcro fastenings and other tourist- and outdoorsmen-approved details, the style has only picked up momentum after their unofficial fashion debut during Prada's Spring 2018 show. Since then, street style regulars and designers like Sandy Liang, Cecilie Bahnsen and Dries Van Noten have embraced look — a good indication that these "ugly" sandals are as cool as they are comfortable. Plus, we'd be remiss not to mention that Phoebe Philo debuted her take on the Birkenstock sandal at Céline's Spring 2013 show, and it really does not get chicer than that!
"We've been seeing nostalgia-inspired styles completely take over the past couple of years," says Erika Gabrielli, Senior Director of Global Marketing at Teva — the brand arguably responsible for the trend's existence. "Similarly, Teva evokes positive memories for a lot of people, and the silhouette is recognized as iconic. With high-end designers crafting their own iterations of the style, its really no surprise that the trend is back in full force." Surely, if we've learned anything about nostalgia-invoking fashion, it's that people want it, even if it takes a bit of convincing (and a significant period of skepticism) first.
Whether your aesthetic leans more minimal and you're curious about embracing the full-on clunk, or your personal motto is "the uglier, the better," click through the gallery below for 18 sporty sandals that'll surely win you over.
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