Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Julia Marzovilla
Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed
Photo: Courtesy of Free People; Teva; Vagabond Shoemakers; Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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I’m only five-foot-one, so I can use all the help I can get in the height department. While platform sneakers or heeled booties usually do the trick in the winter, I’m constantly in search of some warm-weather alternatives that aren’t necessarily full-on high heels. All this to say that I am freakin’ stoked about the rise of what the fashion set is calling flatform sandals, A.K.A. flat sandals with a mega-chunky platform sole. How’s that for a few added inches?

If you’re a ‘90s baby like me, you probably remember flatforms well. In case anyone reading this was born after the year 2001 (Hello! How does it feel to be young and hip?), here’s a refresher: There were lots of chunky sandals back in the day, from platform pool slides and flip-flops to thick strappy styles with sky-high platform made for stomping around.

It’s no secret early-aughts trends are back in a big way in the fashion world right now. Low-rise jeans and flared leggings—ahem, yoga pants—have all made comebacks recently, so it was only a matter of time before platform sandals joined in on the fun, too. Luckily, a lot of the brands that made platforms cool back then (like Steve Madden and Dr. Martens) are still making versions of their most iconic styles for summer 2021. But these new iterations feel entirely fresh, trust me. 

To keep you on your toes (sandal pun intended, obviously) I rounded up a few platform-heavy options for you to rock this summer. Prepare to channel Lizzie McGuire in the very best way.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Zappos is a STYLECASTER sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale. 

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Courtesy of Teva.

Flatform Universal in Hypnosis Silver Cloud Multi

Let’s start off strong with this pair of flatform sandals by Teva. These ain’t your usual hiking sandals! The familiar sporty shape has been reimagined for 2021 in a bevy of prints, like this gold option, with the bonus chunky sole.

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Courtesy of Free People.

Harbor Flatform

Give your footwear collection the flatform treatment courtesy of this pair from Free People. The wavy chunky sole is a fashionable touch, don’t you think?

flatforms zappos vagabond 1 Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Vagabond Shoemakers.

Courtney Sandal

If you’re sick of wearing black sandals all summer long, try this white pair from Vagabond Shoemakers. The flip flop shape is totally retro but the all-white colorway makes them feel fresh for 2021.

 

flatform dr marten Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Dr. Martens.

Voss Quad Sandal

For some added edge, try these white Voss Quad Sandals from Dr. Martens. Perfect for anyone who kicks around in their Docs all winter long and wants the summer version!

 Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

Better Wedge Sandal

I really think that Lizzie McGuire would love these sandals by Steve Madden. They’re so perfect for this early aughts-inspired trend thanks to their classic silhouette and colorway.

 

flatform steve madden 1 Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Steve Madden.

Bay Sandal

This pair of Bay Sandals by Steve Madden has it all. Thick platform? Check. Big straps for added comfort? Check. Edgy all-black colorway that makes for easy styling? Check!

 Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Loeffler Randall.

Marlo Sandal

Cheetah print gets a sporty upgrade courtesy of these Marlo Sandals by Loeffler Randall. The brand known for their frilly heeled styles is officially heading over to the comfy side of things.

 

 Flatforms Are The “Ugly” Summer Shoe You Didn’t Know You Needed

Courtesy of Dirty Laundry.

Pivot Sandal

In a black-and-white world, try a bright pop of cloudy blue! It’ll do wonders for your closet—and will make you smile on even the dreariest of summer afternoons. I love this option from Dirty Laundry with its thick white flatform sole and cushioned footbed.

STYLECASTER | Flatform Sandals Trend

Courtesy of Teva.

Teva Flatform Universal in Light Multi

These sandals are so nice, I had to include them twice (in a new colorway, of course). Teva makes some of the comfiest sandals on the market, so are you even surprised? Style with a black midi slip dress for an unexpected contrast.

STYLECASTER | Flatform Sandals Trend

Courtesy of Vagabond Shoemakers.

Courtney Sandal

Who doesn’t love a faux-croc moment? These Courtney Sandals at a little texture to your look—and that flatform sole is no joke!

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