9 Common Types of Sandals That You Should Know

Sandals are a timeless type of footwear. Even sandal styles that date back to ancient times are still fashionable today.

Not everyone lives in a place where sandals can be worn year-round, but those who can’t wear them all year eagerly anticipate the day when they can.

In this article, we’ll look at nine types of sandals we consider classics. The styles themselves don’t set fashion trends for the most part, but variations on them often do.

1. Sports Sandals

Sports sandals are the most rugged sandals. They’re often waterproof, have comfortable soles, and offer multiple adjustable straps for the best fit.

Sports sandals are great for walking, running, or playing on the beach. They’re also good for running errands that involve a lot of walking.

2. Flip Flops

Flip flops are easy to find and are popular around the world. They’re inexpensive yet highly functional! Flip flops come in many styles and materials besides the plastic and rubber “standard.”

They come in styles from the basic to the more elaborate. The flip flop theme is repeated in other sandal types, too—for example, the wedge. Overall, we consider flip flops to be a highly versatile sandal.

3. Everyday Flats

Everyday flats are another versatile sandal type. These are characterized by a fairly thin sole—less than one inch with very little or no heel elevation.

They may or may not have a thong sandal. But they have more straps than flip flops, including one at the heel and possibly another one or two that cross the top of the foot.

4. Dressy Flats

These often have a very thin sole and either spaghetti straps or more decorative ones. Some have decorative metal buckles or connecting rings, too. Dressy flats come in many colors, but the dressiest ones are black patent, white, or metallic.

These are often worn with dress slacks, but sometimes with skirts or dresses—especially in summer.

5. Slides

Slides usually have either one wide strap or multiple narrower straps over the bridge of the foot behind the toe area. You could say slides are like flip flops only with a strap instead of a thong. With nothing to hold them on at the heel, they need to be a good fit!

Slides cross into other sandal styles, too. A lot of them are worn very casually by both men and women. The casual wear might have to do with the fact that a lot of slides are made by athletic shoe companies.

But slides (often with higher heels or wedge soles) can serve as “office casual” footwear, complementing just about any outfit. Some slides are outright dressy, perhaps with rows of spaghetti straps crossing the bridge of the foot.

6. Wedge Sandals

Wedge sandals are great office casual footwear—dressy enough. Their wedge sole is either a single height (more like a platform shoe) or tapered from high at the back to lower at the front (more like traditional heeled shoes).

Sometimes, individuals may worry that women may “break their necks” wearing wedge sandals. But in fact, they’re a pretty stable shoe overall and very comfortable to wear (unlike high heels).

They have a larger base and an overall better foundation for balance than they may look!

7. Gladiator Sandals

Talk about a throwback! Gladiator sandals originated in Ancient Rome—worn by actual gladiators, of course (not Russell Crowe or Joaquin Phoenix, except on the set).

Somehow, this extremely retro sandal fashion keeps coming back, in some new iteration, every few decades or so. They were especially popular in the sixties and have been in recent years as well.

It’s hard to say whether gladiator sandals should be classed as dressy or casual. They make a statement, no matter what the occasion!

8. Casual Mid-Heeled Sandals

We love this type of sandal. It’s so versatile and comfortable! It can be worn with dresses or pants and is suitable for beach vacations or even afternoon weddings, depending on the clothing they accompany.

Women, especially older women who can’t or won’t wear very high heels really appreciate the flexible styling potential of mid-heeled sandals.

Like wedge sandals, these have a great deal of office casual potential. As Grandma would say, you can walk around at work without breaking your neck.

9. Dressy High-Heeled Sandals

And speaking of high-heeled sandals… Stiletto-style sandals? Yikes! Good for you if you can get around in them.

This style is adored by high-end fashion designers like Christian Louboutin, Stuart Weitzman, Gucci. Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and Manolo Blahnik—among others. High-heeled sandals show up on the runway a lot!

A Brief Word on Sandal Styles

One thing that’s kept sandal styles around—and continually refreshed—for millennia is their ability to adapt to shoe trends generally. Another is the fact, as stated at the beginning of this article, that people love to wear them.

There are variations in all types of sandals such as a toe loop that either accompanies or replaces a thong, both a slide-type strap and a thong (maybe even a heel strap as well). And don’t forget the gladiator-style stilettos!

Find the Perfect Types of Sandals for You

Start thinking about what types of sandals you’d like for the next sandal season.

\If you’re interested in purchasing some, we have plenty of options to choose from.

You know how much we love sandals, too! Take a look at our online catalog and find the perfect pair for you today.