5 Favorites: Summer Sandals {2020 Edition}

I was planning to post about the #NSale Preview today, but it hasn’t dropped yet, and I don’t know when it will, so I decided to update another 5 Favorites post.

Stay tuned, I will have my Preview post up as soon as I can, but in the meantime, let’s talk summer sandals!

I’ve actually purchased QUITE a few new pairs of sandals this summer… ahem. Way more than I typically do in one season, and I’m not even sure why. But there are definitely a few that I find myself reaching for the most, and they aren’t necessarily the ones I thought were going to be the most worn.

Another item of interest, at least to me: This is actually the first year in like the past 5 that the Tory Burch Miller Sandals are not #1 on this list. Whaaaaa??? Not that I don’t still love them; I do. But they’re not my go-to sandal this year for the first summer that I can remember.

Which one is? Keep reading…


By way of disclaimer, I don’t mind spending a little more on good shoes. Since this is a list of my favorites, there are no budget buys in this list. What’s the saying? Invest in your shoes and your sheets because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other… 

That said, some of my favorites are on sale right now, so there’s that!

#1. Birkenstock Madrid

Despite attending college in New England in the early 90s, this is my first pair of Birks. I know, shocking, right!?! I’ve tried them several times over the years, but never kept a pair until these.

I wear these literally every day at some point. I’ve started putting them on in the mornings instead of my slippers, and I rarely take them off on the days I spend mostly at home because they have really good support, and I’m trying to be kind to my feet (and legs and back.)

But I’m also really drawn to this updated style. They’re not as clunky as typical Birks, and I really like the big buckle and minimalist design.

They just have a great cool girl, carefree, casual vibe that works for this #stayhome pandemic life we are all living right now. I’m very tempted to get a second pair, maybe the Mayari.

These sandals go well with everything from joggers to jeans, from shorts to dresses. It’s pretty amazing, actually!

My old rose nubuck color is gone, but there are some other really good colors available. These run true to size, or a little small. I tried both the 38 and 39, and went with the 39, and I also have the narrow width.

Buy Them: Nordstrom // Zappos

#2. Tory Burch Emmy

You didn’t really think I could do a sandal roundup without representing Tory Burch, did you?

I’m loving this chic, minimal thong style this year. The price is up there, but they’re very good quality, with a leather footbed and soft leather straps, and subtle details like the gold accent around the footbed and double T on the top of the T-strap.

I like how the mini medallion is understated and not quite so in-your-face as the big medallion on the Miller sandals… again, I am not dissing the Millers. I still love mine! But I think this Emmy style is a great addition to their lineup.

Sometimes I wish I had these in gold, but I have a lot of gold sandals, and this amber shade is such a good neutral. It’s highly versatile — more so than a darker brown — and it has a way of keeping an outfit chic but not fussy.

These are definitely not as comfortable as the Birks. There is no support, and because of the thin straps, your foot moves around a bit as you walk, but I have no problem keeping them on my feet and wearing them for a few hours at a time.

They also have some padding in the footbed, so they’re plenty comfortable as long as you don’t need support. They run true to size; I’m in my usual 8.

Buy Them: Tory Burch // Nordstrom // Zappos

#3. Sam Edelman Gigi

These are very similar in styling to the Tory Burch Emmy, and they’ve actually been a favorite of mine for many years. This year I grabbed this snake print pair, and I’ve been wearing them a ton.

I would say these are slightly more comfortable and more stable on the foot than the Emmy, and they’re very good quality as well. Not in quite the same league, I guess, but I have no complaints.

I’m also loving the snake print right now. The dark, earthy tones in the snake print and the brown footbed complement casual looks, but the classic T-strap styling elevates the look. (Mine are the Pale Blush/Desert Multi/Ecru Exotic Snake Print.)

These sandals run small; I always have to size up to an 8.5 in these. They’ve recently been restocked at Zappos, and they’re on sale for $72.99.

Buy Them: Zappos (other colors at Nordstrom and Sam Edelman)

#4. Talbots Gia Rattan Buckle Sandals

I’ve been reaching for gold sandals a lot lately because I like how they dress up a more casual outfit. Now that I’m wearing shorts more than ever, I feel like metallics have a way of elevating a look, even when they’re flats.

This pair is from Talbots. I bought them to go with a specific dress I was styling for a blog post, and I’ve ended up wearing them a lot more than I ever expected.

They have a slightly padded footbed, and the way the straps are designed, with the thick strap close to the ankle, and the criss-cross straps around the toes, they are very stable and easy to walk in. Plus, the leather is soft against the foot, and they required no breaking in.

I think the raffia buckle is a fun detail too. They run true to size, and right now they’re on sale for $32, but they’re pretty much sold out. #boo

Another good option with the criss-cross strap styling is the Cole Haan Anica.

These aren’t gold, but they come in some lighter neutral color ways, and they’re really nice for finicky feet because they have a lot of cushioning — far more than the other styles I’ve mentioned so far. They also have an adjustable heel strap that makes them even more stable.

Yes, they’re a little more clunky than the Talbots pair, but I still think they look good with casual dresses and shorts. I have the black, and they’re 40% off right now!

For a lighter look, I really like this Amphora/Snake combo that is 53% off right now, and the Pecan/Rose Gold Leather combo is nice too.

Other pair of gold sandals I wear a lot are my Steve Madden Vivien slides.

These are true to size, and they’re a great price too!

#5. Marc Fisher Pava Slide

I cannot believe that every one of my favorites are flats, but that is the reality of the world we’re living in right now! Even when I dress up for church or dining out, I usually end up wearing flats because we often do a fair bit of walking.

This pair is the newest addition to my closet, but I’ve worn them a lot already. I like the edgy studded detail and soft leather caged upper, and I’m always a sucker for a sleek slide sandal.

These feel so smooth and soft against the foot, and I while there’s no support, I still find them very comfortable.

These also come in other colors, but I went with the black because I wear so many black tops, and I like how they bookend the look.

They’re currently 40% off, and they run true to size. I did size down to a 7.5, but I have very thin flat feet. Most ladies say they’re true, and I typically wear an 8 in this brand.

Buy Them: Nordstrom // Zappos

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14 Responses

  1. Jo-Lynne, where did you get your cute camo shorts that you’re wearing with the Pava sandals? I love them.

  2. I have been wearing Birks for four years. We have ceramic tile floors and my birks save my feet. I have had plantar fasciitis for 8 yearS, and wearing my Birks around the house has allowed my feet to heal. I am able to wear “stylish,” no support, fashion sandals when I go out to run errands without a problem. I’m working on my husband, he is starting to develop feet issues as well, and I believe a starter Birk is in his future. I love my eva Birks for running around outside with the kids & even when I clean the floors.

    Have a great day! 

  3. For as little as I’ve gotten out this summer, I’ve also purchased several pair of sandals so don’t feel bad. All were on sale and I’m sure I’ll get to wear them eventually. 
    Enjoy your time with your dad. 

  4. Your comments about not wearing Birks during your college days in the 90’s made me laugh—same here! I thought they were so ugly back then.  I finally bought my first pair last summer, in the Mayari style (in that classic brown shade). Loved them & picked up a second pair in the Gizeh style (in the lace color—love them!).  So this summer rolled around & I didn’t “need” another pair but got a silver pair in the Mayari style. Oh how I love them! I have pretty much worn no other shoes for the past 3 weeks now & I really prefer the silver ones to the brown ones.  I am a shoe-girl, definitely, but this love for Birks has been a real surprise. 

  5. Like you, I wear my Birks or other flat sandals with arch support in place of my slippers that don’t have sufficient support.  Down here I can actually wear some sandals almost year round, so I may check out the Birks and see if I can find them marked down.  I’m glad that your dad made it safely and that all three of the kids were home.  We need a teenager that enjoys cooking! 😉 Enjoy the time with your dad!

  6. Lol at all the Birk love. Same here! I think I had a pair many years ago, but I ended up buying two pairs last year – the Mayari (in the classic brown – as someone up above mentioned), and the Arizona in the tobacco. This year I bought the Madrid in the old rose, and recently the Gizeh in gold. As much as I’ve loved my Olukai flips over the years, and I have many pairs of those, I haven’t worn them at all this year. I’ve pretty much just worn my Birks, and am considering another pair.

    And by the way, I’m very much looking forward to your picks for the Anniversary Sale. I’ve got quite a bit on my wish list currently. Not much in the way of sweaters, but since I discovered Naadam cashmere last winter, I’m having a hard time choosing something other than another Naadam sweater. I did put the Rails grey camo cardigan and the Nordstrom Signature light grey heather hoodie on my wish list. Yes, I have an issue with grey. 😀

  7. Hi I was wondering if you’d be interested in this topic?  I know you’re into tracking your jogging/walking. Would you be able to tell us about fitness trackers? I know the have fashion bands too! 

  8. Is the Nordstrom preview just for bloggers or card holders? I’ve seen the preview through Instagram but it’s not showing on the Canadian website yet? 
    Thanks have a great weekend. It’s another hot and sunny one here:)

  9. Love all these, especially those Sam Edelmans!  Sale alert for anybody interested- I just found them on Amazon for $42 but they’re going fast! 

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