How Early is Too Early to Start Wearing Sandals? An Unofficial Guide

Leah Bourne
when is it warm enough for sandals

Photo: Getty

When the weather starts to turn warmer in mid-March, fashion items we’ve all had stored away for months—light jackets, short skirts, maxi dresses—get to come out and play. But, for many of us, getting to break out out our sandal collection is the real thrill when temperatures starts to rise.

However, as much as you can justify wearing a maxi dress with a sweater on top, sandals are a different story—bust them out too early, and they just look weird, not to mention their ability to make your feet freeze when the sun goes down. But how early is too early?

MORE: 10 Ways To Rock Socks and Sandals

It’s an issue that women seem to have mixed emotions over. On various message boards debating the topic, opinions are decidedly split. One woman’s thoughts: “A sunny, 60 degree day in March is warm enough for sandals—at least in my book.” Another woman wrote: “Usually when it hits 70 degrees.” Other commenters veered towards the extremes, saying sandals were fine in 50-degree weather while others said that only 80 degree-plus days call for open-toed shoes.

MORE: Try This Fashion Risk and Wear Sandals and Black Pantyhose 

Since no one seems to have offered up a definitive rule on the topic, here are some general rules to follow that we think make perfect sense when wondering if it’s too chilly to wear sandals.

when can i start wearing sandals

Photo: Getty

1. Let’s call this the no-goosebumps rule
If it’s warm enough to comfortably go outside with bare legs, it’s warm enough to wear sandals. The keyword here is comfortably, ladies—for some that might be in the 60-degree range, and for other people that could mean temperatures in the 80s. Yes, we realize this isn’t a science, but until various weather services to start offering sandal guidelines, this will just have to do.

2. You can push the above rule a bit when you’re getting dressed for a formal event
If you’re headed to an end-of winter or early-spring wedding, fancy charity event, or even prom, some gowns just call for a pair of sandals. Plus, it’s not like your going to be outside for long.

3. Really want to wear sandals when it’s still chilly? Just add tights. 
Take a few cues from some of our favorite style influencers like stylist Kate Foley or the Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and wear them with tights or a pair of cute socks to ensure you’ll stay warm.

4. Chance of heavy rain or snow? Leave the sandals at home.
We’re all for doing crazy things in the name of fashion, but if they’e calling for heavy rain or snow—even if it was 70 degrees yesterday—do yourself a favor and wear a pair of boots instead. Not only is it a given that you’re going to be freezing, but it’s just going to make everyone looking at you uncomfortable.

5. Keep flip-flops on hold till it is actually hot. Like dead-of-summer hot. 
Fine, if you’re absolutely desperate to wear your flops, Memorial Day weekend works. Otherwise, hold out for the first day that hits 80 degrees—not the first day in April that you can step outside without eight layers on.

At what temperature do you start wearing sandals outside? Share your thoughts on this in the comments below!