Sh*tkicking Sandals: Oxymoron?

By now, most of you know that I am madly in love with boots. They make me feel strong, protected, prepared... but as a SoCal native, it would make sense to own more sandals. I currently have only three pairs in normal rotation -- two nude and one black.

So is it impossible to find a truly bad*ss sandal? By nature, sandals expose your feet, rather than protecting and armoring them - so although I see many *cool* *edgy* and *unique* sandals, I never fall in love with them. It's hard to get that rugged, tough person feel in a sandal. Is it even possible?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    Sandal Boots!

  • DonnaF replied 7 years ago

    No gladiators with spikes?

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago

    I'm with Donna. I think they need laces/straps, buckles or spikes and raw edges to qualify for rugged, and I don't see that a lot, certainly not at major retailers. I think tough sandals are a hard sale because isn't it always tougher to wear clunky shoes/boots when you want that look? Something like the Frye shorties with shorts or short skirts always seems tougher than sandals.

  • replied 7 years ago

    My gladiators feel like summer boots to me. They just happen to have a LOT of ventilation. If you could find something with the toe enclosed, that would be key to making it feel *armored*.

  • ironkurtin replied 7 years ago

    1&2 - Coclico
    3 - a detacher
    4&5 -Vera Wang Lavender
    6&7- Fiorentini Baker

    I own a few of these.

  • ironkurtin replied 7 years ago

    Or this.

  • Chrizzle replied 7 years ago

    How about some Docs? (Photo 1)

    Or Earthies Cristianas? They're not technically sandals, but they're very ventilated. I just got the ones in photo 2 and they make me feel like a bad*ss. Though I usually cannot comfortably wear a heel higher than 2 inches, these are impossibly comfortable, so I can get my strut on. You can get a better look at them here:

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    I love the Docs ones that Chrizzle linked to, as well as the first two that IK linked to. These all have your rugged and boot-like elements to them Rae.

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    Rae, these are the love of my life, though I am a boot girl through and through! Not that I own these shoes:

  • christieanne replied 7 years ago

    Look back at Jonesy's summer casual pics from today - she has some edgy sandals on also. The Docs look promising!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    Una - those are flippin' COOL!

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    (IK that first pair you posted... I want 'em!!)

  • Kari replied 7 years ago

    Rae, this brings me back to Angie's long ago blog about the sandal bootie, which I've seen in stores a few times this season:

    Still not something I see myself wearing (especially as thong sandals, anything between my toes, is excruciatingly tickly!)

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Thank you for the pictures - they really are helping me to study the design elements and zero in on what feels too feminine versus what feels right.

    I do like those docs and had been watching them for a long time, but I saw the Zappos video, and they will definitely not work with my narrow feet. :T

    The studs idea is interesting, though none of my shoes have studs. I think they don't necessarily say tough to me because they remind me of the bedazzler, lol. Not a judgement against studs in general, just a thought.

    From looking at all the pics together like this, I see that the heel makes a big difference, too. The thinner the heel, the less I like it.

    Interesting also to note that I don't just want a ventilated boot. I don't think most men would be caught dead in a ventilated boot, so the sandal boots actually feel very feminine to me. I think I like 4 and 7 because they look almost monastic or gladiator-ish.

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    I also have peep-toe combat boots. But they're too warm if it gets into the 80's.

  • Mo replied 7 years ago

    I think we have similar taste, and I LOVE my Lucky Abeo sandals. I ditched 3 other pair in my closet once I got them, because I knew I would always go for the Lucky's first.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Oh, I do like those, Mo! I really am drawn to nude footwear for summer.

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    This weekend, I tried on a pair almost exactly like the last ones (#7) IK showed you --- except it was in the same yellow as Suz's famous bag and with a big fat brass zipper vertically down the middle of the instep. Not too obtrusive because of the colour, but definitely a little rough and edgy. They also had this in black like IK's, with an antique-finish (hence darker-toned) zipper.

    (They had the most freakish case of mismatched pairs so I couldn't bring them home myself. But just saying these things actually do exist...)

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    Did you look at my Ejects? They are down to $136 on Amazon, which is tempting!

  • Nadya replied 7 years ago

    Sorel, known for their cold weather boots, calls this their "Lake Boot"

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    I did check out the Ejects and ponder them, Una, but I think they are too dressy for hot weekend days for me. If my feet didn't freeze in the office, they would be super cute for that, though!

    Manidipa, zippers sound very cool! Too bad you didn't find a pair that worked. :T

    Mo, coming back to thank you again for mentioning Lucky brand. They actually have a few styles that I like - not too feminine. Simple, thick straps that wouldn't dig into my feet, rivets, wedge heels, and pretty darn good prices, too.

  • Mo replied 7 years ago

    those are both great! Happy hunting. :)

  • teeandcee replied 7 years ago

    <--wishes Una would stop with the Eject shoe porn otherwise I'm sending her a bill when I lose control and buy a pair. :D

    KorkEase makes a lot of substantial types of sandals. They look similar to the ones you posted above, although they may not be quite edgy enough.

    Not sure if these are substantial enough but I've been eyeballing them for a few weeks now as I like how tough-yet-cooling they look. They come in several colors.

  • Heather replied 7 years ago

    Rae, this pair makes my heart skip....

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    I keep an eye out for edgier sandals too, but I'm really picky about them -- some of them just start to look ridiculously clunky on my narrow feet.

    Personally, I can't get into the boot-sandal look for me -- I don't want all that material around my ankles when it's warm (we've already had several 80-degree-plus days here), and I prefer shapes that hug the ankle to help my legs look nicer.

    I like the ones Mo posted. I have a feeling I'll be leaning heavily on my nude wedge sandals this summer -- I have three different pairs of varying levels of casualness and comfort, and they're already getting a workout.

    I have a pair of Calleen Cordero sandals that are pretty darn kick-ass, and actually pretty comfortable considering their height. You may want to check them out. They're pricey, but there might be some good deals out there on ebay, etc.

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