Flat Sandals Are the Quintessential Summer Shoe

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Photography by Getty Images

Who needs heels? Step up your footwear game with the understated style of the season.

Summer should be spent doing exactly two things: showing off your toes and feeling generally fabulous. Flat sandals are a quick and easy way to achieve both.

Eliminating the fuss of high-heeled designs, this type of less-is-more footwear keeps you grounded (get it?) while still delivering the fun styling opportunities of fisherman slip-ons and platform slides.

How to wear flat sandals

It’s easy to assume that because flat sandals have no heel (or a very tiny one), they’re a strictly minimalist choice. On the contrary, they are incredibly aesthetically versatile. Less hardware makes them more lightweight, meaning you can play with shapes and textures in your clothing choices.

street style flat sandals
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LAUNCHMETRICS.COM/SPOTLIGHT

If your flat sandals are simple and black (like those pictured above), style with a playful pattern and foot-reaching fringe. Want your flats to make more of a statement? Try a pair with a long strap that can be wrapped up to reach your calves.

When in doubt, experiment with colour. Silver and gold continue to trend as outfit add-ons, so consider investing in a pair of flat sandals that have a sleek reflective hue. With the right shoe choice and a great pedicure, you’re set for a winning sunny season.

Our fave flat sandals for summer 2024

Best overall

Steve Madden Women’s Hadyn sandal

steve madden flat sandals

These slip-on Steve Madden sandals are both an uncomplicated footwear option and a visually intriguing statement. With a suede outer make and a faded denim upper, they are the perfect choice for showing off your summer pedi in style.

The winning design element is the cutout-filled straps, which adds some geometric newness to the classic slide-on shoe. Available in 12 colours, they’re sure to be a staple in your rotation. And just think how perfect they would look with a denim jumpsuit.

Pros

  • Available in 12 colours
  • Trendy denim design
  • Reviewers love how comfortable they are

Cons

  • These are not water-resistant, so they’re not ideal for rainy weather

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Best budget

Amazon Essentials casual strappy sandals

amazon essentials flat sandals

Featuring leather lining and a straightforward secure buckle closure, these flat sandals are an easy everyday pick. With over 9,000 ratings and a price tag that starts at under $25, they’re a crowd-pleaser with a strappy asymmetrical edge.

Plus, their lightweight feel makes them the ideal easy-to-pack travel companion.

Pros

  • Quality flat sandals starting at less than $25
  • Available in five colours
  • Reviewers love how comfortable they are

Cons

  • Some reviewers say they run small, so consider sizing up if you’re in between sizes

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Best rated

Dream Pairs Elatica sandal

dream pairs flat sandals

The standout feature of these flat sandals is the thick elastic straps that mould perfectly to fit your feet. Without any buckles or adjustable closures, they’re crafted to hug your foot for all-day maximum comfort.

Made using high-quality faux leather and a non-slip rubber outsole, they promise plenty of stability and longevity. And the minimalist finish makes them extra versatile.

Pros

  • No buckle closure for easy slip-on styling
  • Available in 20 colours
  • Slingback design with ankle support

Cons

  • Some reviewers note that they wish there was slightly more cushion in the soles

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Best gold flat sandals

The Drop Samantha lace-up sandal

the drop flat sandals

You can never go wrong with gladiator sandals, and these gilded iterations are double the fun. Putting a modern twist on the classic sandal style, the gold strappy design exudes contemporary sophistication. Plus, the cork outsole means they have a durable edge.

Whether you wear them solo with a linen dress or step things up by lacing them around a pair of loose-fitting trousers, these sandals will shine as part of any outfit.

Pros

  • Available in eight colours and prints, including snake-print, rustic cork and shiny silver
  • A modern spin on the classic gladiator aesthetic
  • Reviewers are impressed by the support of the padded soles

Cons

  • Reviewers say these run slightly narrow, so they may not be the best for those with wider feet

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Best black flat sandals

Colgo flat sandals

colgo flat sandals

Elevate your everyday look with a blend of under-the-radar chicness and uncompromising comfort. On these Colgo flat sandals, the adjustable buckle closure ensures a snug fit, while the soft latex insole keeps your feet feeling pampered.

With a sleek black finish and subtle gold hardware, they’re made to fit any summertime uniform.

Pros

  • Non-slip rubber outsoles ensure a durable grip
  • Available in 21 colours
  • Adjustable ankle support

Cons

  • These are not water-resistant, so they’re not ideal for rainy weather

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Best white flat sandals

Reformation Ludo strappy flat sandal

reformation flat sandals

The beauty is in the details with these ultra-sleek white Reformation flat sandals. Crafted with almond leather and a durable rubber outsole, they offer a supple feel for your foot with the added bonus of easy walking.

Featuring a rounded toe shape and a thin minimalist strap, they have the right amount of structural intrigue and a hit of quiet luxury coolness.

Pros

  • Available in six colours
  • Supple leather
  • Timeless flat sandals for women you’ll wear for years

Cons

  • Reviewers say these run slightly narrow

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Best silver flat sandals

Shoe Land Anisha slip-on slides

shoe land flat sandals

In a rich silver hue and lush quilted fabric, these slip-resistant sandals are the perfect outfit finishing touch. The secure outsole promises stability and safety, while the one-band upper fits snugly without any discomfort.

Complete with a soft padded memory foam insole, you can simply slide them on and experience all-day coziness.

Pros

  • Available in 15 colours
  • Easy slip-on styling
  • Intricate quilted detailing adds styling intentionality
  • Price starts at less than $25

Cons

  • Some reviewers note that they run big, so consider sizing down if you’re in between sizes

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Best luxury

Seychelles Lilac sandal

seychelles flat sandals

Nothing says sun-bathing ease like a pair of intricate sandals. These ultra-strappy shoes by Seychelles emit all that vacation-ready ease. With a manmade sole and a leather upper, they don’t skimp on craftsmanship for a wearability that feels indulgent.

The square toe silhouette and adjustable ankle closure work together for a finish that is both refined and casual. For ultimate carefree coolness, pair them with a white flowy maxi skirt and a crochet top.

Pros

  • Available in three colours
  • Adjustable ankle strap for a secure fit
  • Plush leather lining

Cons

  • Reviewers say these run slightly narrow, so they may not be the best for those with wider feet

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Best for men

Brunello Cucinelli tonal suede slides

harry rosen flat sandals

If you’re investing in but one pair of flat slide-on sandals for men, let it be these Brunello Cucinelli gems. With a style that oozes built-in convenience, they have an elegant finish thanks to the quality suede upper and midsole.

Made in Italy, they are filled with luxe detailing — like the two-tone colour palette and the intricate crisp stitching.

Pros

  • Buttery suede feel and two-toned finish for an elegant appearance
  • Versatile brown tone that complements an array of colour palettes
  • Easy slip-on styling

Cons

  • These are pricier than other options

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Best leather

Etsy leather sandals

etsy leather flat sandals

Looking for quality leather sandals? Don’t opt for anything but the best. These handmade flats are an Etsy top seller because of the exquisite construction and elevated finish.

Crafted with genuine cowhide leather, they have an unmatched elegance with an anti-slip durable rubber sole for easy wearability. Inspired by Greek design, they offer a secure fit that hugs your foot, toe and ankle.

Pros

  • Available in four colours
  • Handmade with high-quality craftsmanship
  • Made of leather for a strong but flexible feel that embraces your foot

Cons

  • Because these are handmade, no two pairs are exactly the same, meaning  one should expect some slight styling variation when ordering these

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Best fisherman style

Everlane The Day fisherman sandal

everlane fisherman flat sandals

We put these as one of our top choices for fisherman sandals because they are soft, supple and ultra-high quality. Plus, their flat fit gives them the minimalist stamp of approval.

Made of Nappa leather and available in three neutral colours, they deliver a pillowy texture and closed-toe support if you’re looking for extra security.

Pros

  • Monochromatic minimalist finish
  • Available in three colours
  • The handcrafted design promises long-lasting durability

Cons

  • Because of their high-quality leather construction, these are not water-resistant and should only be spot cleaned

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Best dressy

Melissa Ivy slides II

melissa ivy ii flat sandals

These tortoise-shell print flats bring a one-and-done dose of dressiness to any evening outfit. With an open-toe design and a grip rubber sole, they also double as a casual everyday footwear choice.

Featuring two straps — a thinner slinky band followed by a thick patterned one — they deliver more charm than your typical slide-on design.

Pros

  • Glossy finish for a refined aesthetic
  • Double strap design adds visual uniqueness
  • Rubber sole

Cons

  • Only available in one colour

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