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Heels,  Sandals,  Spring/Summer

40 Best Summer shoes for women who love fashion

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Last Updated on April 8, 2023 by Eve Dawes

The 6 styles of chic essential Summer shoes you need & the 40 best pairs to do it in

Women’s Summer shoes season is here so time to give your shoe collection a little update and get a fresh pedicure. Having these 6 essential styles of summer shoes ensures you have a pair for all occasions and outfits from work to vacation to date night to everyday comfort. From practical slide sandals and water shoes to seriously stylish strappy sandals, beachy espadrilles and wedges for a heel with stability for long leisurely summer evenings sipping cocktails on vacation. There are so many fun and stylish warm weather shoes but these are the basics, classic styles and best summer shoes to build your summer shoe collection from to make sure you have something for wherever your Summer takes you.

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What shoes do you need for summer?

Some of these essential womens summer shoes are either/or items depending on which suits your personal style and needs the best but are generally styled the same way and worn for the same or similar reasons. Having these 6 different styles means you have a shoe to go with every outfit and for all of your Summer plans:

  1. Summer sandals or slide sandals
  2. Wedges or espadrilles
  3. Loafers or Ballet pumps
  4. Strappy sandals or mules
  5. Flip flops or water shoes
  6. Sneakers
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1. Summer sandals or slides

A pair of chic summer flat sandals are the ideal summer shoe for women for everyday. Whether that’s something like Birkenstocks, a sparkly pair of strappy flats or slide sandals. They’re the ideal shoe for everyday comfort, whether that’s running errands or on vacation. The style you choose all comes down to which you like the most and will get the most wear out of.

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If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking in them something with a moulded cushioned flatbed might be better for you than slides. However, if you’re just slipping them on to grab lunch or go down to the pool, slides might be better.

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2. Comfortable womens summer shoes | Espadrilles

Espadrilles are the classic style of wedge sandals that are timeless and an easy way to add a heel without breaking your neck. They’re one style of shoe that always gets packed with me for Caribbean vacations. I tend to go for strappy sandals, mules or dressier wedges in Europe.

Cream espadrilles are the most versatile color to go with as many of your outfits as possible but don’t be afraid to have fun with color either. I tend to not recommend black shoes in the Summer as they make your feet hotter and tend to look to heavy with most summer outfits. Go for canvas rather than satin styles unless you’re going to a wedding as they’re more durable. That way you can get more than 1 years wear out of them.

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3. Loafers or ballet pumps

This is an either/or as you probably don’t need both types of flats as they’re both worn for similar reasons. Loafers or ballet pumps are a more sophisticated way to wear comfortable flats than sneakers and create a more polished look. They’re both great for styling with jeans, shorts, rompers, summer dresses and workwear and doing lots of walking.

It all comes down to personal choice on the aesthetic. Having personally done the ballet pump trend to death I think I’m going to go for a pair of convertible white loafers to trek around Europe this Summer. I like the styles with the fold down heel to be able to wear them 2 ways and it also solves any issues if the heel starts to rub while breaking them in. For a classic style look for gold horsebit detailing on the upper, for an on trend pair look for buckle details.

I normally just walk around in my slides but I know that’s not the best for my feet and wonder why my shins always hurt!

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4. Women’s summer heels or sandals

Strappy heels, mules or block heels are a great option for women’s summer shoes if you want a high heel but for your feet to still be able to breathe. I have lots of both. I tend to wear strappy high heels with cocktail dresses and mules for the daytime or more casual summer outfits in the evening. I’ve been wearing more square or spool heel mules recently for more stability e.g. at events on grass of for lots of walking and regular heel mules for lunches and dinners, etc.

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The height of the heel comes down to personal preference. Obviously a kitten heel is going to be more comfortable and more practical, Manolo Maysale mules are iconic. However, kitten heels don’t look good on everyone and I’m one of those people.

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5. Flip flops or water shoes

Water shoes and/or flip flops are a beach vacation or poolside essential. Flip flops don’t personally work for me, my feet just spill over the edges but I always pack water shoes. We tend to do a lot of water activities like paddle boarding and kayaking so water shoes or water socks are more practical to us than flip flops.

However, if you’re planning on just soaking in some sun at the beach or pool, flip flops might be a better choice. They’re both so light, little and relatively inexpensive you might even want to pack both depending on your plans.

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6. Practical womens summer shoes | Light sneakers

Time to swap out your black sneakers for a lighter pair of brighter or white leather sneakers. Whether it’s for everyday casual with shorts and a tank top or for traveling. I tend to always fly in sneakers and keep my sandals in my carry-on to swap into when we land. That way if I need to run to make a connection I can and because my feet are always cold sandals don’t do too well for me at airports.

I’ve added the sneakers below either for their style, breathability, weight or all 3.

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Shop the best womens summer shoes

Here are the best womens summer shoes to slip into this season from classic styles to what’s trending now:


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Eve Dawes is a fashion & lifestyle blogger with an eye for accurate fashion & shoe trend forecasting. She share the best shoes, footwear reviews, how to wear, when to invest & when to save & the latest shoe trends.