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Two trends have all but defined our fashion landscape over the past few years. The first? The enduring athleisure trend, marked by sneakers, activewear and old-school streetwear staples reworked with a polished edge. The second? The endlessly pervasive “ugly” fashion movement, perhaps best epitomized by the now-iconic chunky dad sneakers that have captivated luxe-leaning fashion girls and tomboys, alike. These overarching style phenomena have historically existed in different realms, but an upcoming spring shoe trend promises to upend that separation. Before long, we’ll start to see sporty sandals looming large—whether we like it or not.
Given the unending prevalence of both athleticized and “ugly” fashion, it may come as no surprise that one of spring 2019’s staples is basically a warm-weather version of chunky sneakers. These strappy sport-style sandals with fuss-free Velcro fastenings are about to go viral—once it gets warm enough, of course. (Think: the Chaco sandal that pervaded music festivals in 2013 and 2014, rendered for the fashion set.)
And we’ve already gotten glimpses of the trend at work. Teva’s iconic flatbed sandal—one of the most notable purveyors of this footwear style—was spotted on a slew of street style stars, influencers and models during Spring/Summer 2019 fashion week, with some brave enough to style theirs with white socks underneath (which was actually pretty cute). The S/S 19 runways were also a good indication that this style will be as cool as it is comfortable; designers including Anna Sui, Cecilie Bahnsen and Sandy Liang embraced the ’90s-throwback sandals in their collections.
We never thought we’d see the day Velcro sandals emerged as a veritable trend, but hey—they’re comfortable, practical and surprisingly versatile, as far as styling goes. Love them or hate them, sporty sandals are here. All you can do is decide whether you want to give the controversial style a shot.
1. Teva Universal Flatform Sandal, $60 at Urban Outfitters
The iconic Teva Universal Sandal with a bit of additional height.
2. Jeffrey Campbell Workout Sporty Sandals, $130 at Shopbop
A surprisingly flattering marriage of the dad sneaker and traditional Teva style.
3. Prada Logo Embossed Leather Canvas Sandals, $590 at Net-a-Porter
Even Prada is on board with this budding trend.
4. Melissa Papete + Rider Sandals, $79 at Shopbop
Comfort never looked so chic.
5. For Real Chunky Sport Sandal, $48 at ASOS
The snakeskin effect that emblazoned last year’s ankle boots has made its way to the sandal sector.
6. Teva Midform Universal Glow Sandal, $75 at Free People
The O.G. Midform Universal Sandal with a slight upgrade: a glow-in-the-dark base.
7. Vince Leather and Canvas Sandals, $195 at Net-a-Porter
Leather accents elevate the look of these hiking-inspired sandals.
8. Shine On Sport Sandal, $128 at Free People
Sporty sandals with a touch (or decent helping) of bling.
9. Marc Jacobs Somewhere Sport Sock Sandal, $295 at Shopbop
These space-age sandals are one part dad sneaker, one part hiking sandal and one part sock boots—nailing three trends at once.
10. Gucci Metallic Leather Sandal with Crystals, $1,250 at Farfetch
We’d expect nothing less from Gucci than a maximalist-approved version of the minimalist shoe.
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