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“Whatever it is you wear,” Diana Vreeland said in the 1975 style guide Cheap Chic, “I think shoes are terribly important.” As we whittle down our wardrobes in response to summer’s sunnier climes, the late Vogue editor’s adage rings truer than ever. As for which footwear rises to this occasion? Enter the fisherman sandal, which is, again, making a bid as the silhouette of the season, thanks to everyone from downtown creatives to global influencers, such as Blanca Miró Scrimieri and Neelam Ahooja.
The Best Fisherman Sandals
“They add a level of nonchalance to any outfit,” says TyLynn Nguyen, who, for the past few years, has been partial to The Row’s chunky-and-buckled take. Plus, in a boon to our ever-changing climes, the Los Angeles-based tastemaker happily notes that the versatile caged sandal is well-suited to any time of year when partnered with Charvet’s ribbed silk socks. “Fisherman sandals have a trans-seasonal quality,” agrees Emme Parsons; her carefully considered collection of slides and sling-backs includes a smooth, chocolate-colored calfskin version, which she dubbed the Ernest, in a nod to Hemingway’s 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea—but, even if the name implies that the shoe is best worn near sandy shores, an enclosed toe and plentitude of straps ensure that it’s fit for the pavement, too.
Sophie Buhai, beloved for her timeless bijoux and barrettes, is quick to point out that though fisherman sandals are having a moment, they are, in fact, a classic. “You can’t place their era,” she muses, adding that she was introduced to the unisex style by her father, who picked up his first pair while traveling through Spain in the ’70s; now, the discerning designer counts a braided leather set—which she inherited from her grandmother in the early aughts and has kept in rotation to this day, thanks to her local cobbler—as one of her own sartorial signatures, along with vintage blazers, crisp button-ups, black trousers, and dark wash denim. “I like a sensible yet chic shoe. I also like a feminine shoe that flatters the foot,” Buhai explains. “These are both of those things.”
Below, the best fisherman sandals from Gabriela Hearst, Gucci, Prada, and more to wear now.