| |

How to Style the New Sport Sandal Without Looking Clumsy

Happy Monday ladies. Let’s talk about feet and some shoe trends that are popular this spring. I’m seeing two sandal trends that I like, but only one that I’ll be able to wear.

Barely There

This sandal looks just like it sounds. It’s a delicate look with very few and narrow straps…just enough to keep them on your feet. They have a pretty, feminine vibe and often have a heel. I love the look but they offer very little support. My feet cry out for more comfort, cushioning and stability than this type of sandal, even if it were flat. I would love to wear them, my feet would not.

Sport Sandal

The “sport” sandal has been around for a few years and is more popular than ever this year. They have a sneaker or heavily cushion sole which is flat or a low platform that is almost flat. I bought my first pair of sports sandals from Eileen Fisher several years ago and adore them. They have a sneaker sole, attach securely to my feet and can be worn for hours of walking without foot fatigue.

Sporty sandals are available at all price points. They range from athletic looking and waterproof like Teva and Keen to dressier versions in the metallic colors, leather or suede for dressier occasions.

Their level of sportiness varies with the material, sole composition, and strap shape. They’re much more comfortable to walk in than most sandals so if you’re going on a holiday or do a lot of walking, these are a great option.

leopard top (similar) – polished resin earrings – rattan crossbody bag (similar) – linen pants (similar) – sports sandal

So how do we style these if we prefer a more delicate or feminine look?

Things to keep in mind-

  • Look for versions with refined soles and narrower straps.
  • Skip the velcro closures and choose ties or buckles.
  • Opt for flesh-toned, pale or soft metallic colors.
  • Wear with a straight or fuller pant leg and avoid crops with them.
  • The higher the straps wrap on your ankle, the bulkier they will appear.

Have you tried sport sandals?


Thanks for reading and have a great day.




  1. So glad to see there are others who dislike white soles . I almost won’t even look at shoes with white soles…not even sport / athletic shoes. Now there are even winter shoes and boots with white soles. How rediculous is that when you live in a country/city that has winter snow and slush ! Recently I purchased a pair of Skechers, mostly because they have a pale grey sole. The black upper with a white sole shoes have become a uniform.
    Enjoy reading all the replies and thank you Jennifer, for your informative posts.

  2. I am a HUGE fan. I got my first pair in Greece last spring before they seemed to hit big here in Texas. They are SO comfortable. I can even wear wedge/platform styles of them without foot fatigue. FABULOUS style trend that I hope NEVER goes away. 🙂

  3. Sheila-Merle Johnsons says:

    I have been wearing the Eileen Fisher sport sandals since they came out a few years ago. I now have 5 colors. I wear them all summer and for travel. I wish they had a little more arch support, but otherwise they are great! The thick straps come up a little high on the ankle so they look best if there is a bit of skin showing from the pant to the sandal, or if they are covered with full pants. I love the Sofft sandals you are showing. I just ordered some in that delicious mango color to try. @sheilamerle1

    1. That mango color is very pretty. I need some arch support as well but I do find some brands have too high an arch that fatigue my feet as much as no arch support. Shoes are a tricky business.

  4. I am in love with the round handbag trend. Want that rattan one!

  5. No more barely there scrappy sandals or heels for me. Since I have plantar fasciitis I also no longer wear flip flops. I need some support, but also hate the big clunky look of many sporty sandals. I have some black strappy (almost gladiator style) sandals with a very slight wedge heel that look very dressy. Also some metallic pewter Clark’s sandals that look dressy. My day to day sandals are semi sporty without the clunky soles. Many of my sandals are slides, but most have a heel strap. Support and comfort are now my priority, but they must be stylist too. Making bad shoe choices in my youth when style was the priority and cheap flip flops were my daily go to go except during work hours, has caused me to rethink my shoe choices.

    1. My poor feet are paying the price for wearing poorly fitting shoes in my youth too.

  6. At this point in life, 73 years, I’m looking for comfort. Price is a major consideration for me also. I have purchased a pair of Clarks. A nice casual style with a thick sole (comfortable) so they will do the trick. I have tailor’s bunions and other foot issues and these are comfortable so I will make them work. A neutral beige/grey so they will go with most all of my summer wardrobe.

  7. I wear sports sandals for sporty activities, but for everyday wear I like my Vionic and Rockport Cobb Hill sandals. The soles are cushy and supportive, while the leather uppers are pretty and feminine. Most importantly, they come in the D width I need.

    1. I’m a fan of Rockport too. I have a wide foot too which limits my options.

  8. Cindy Sue Carter says:

    I have to choose so carefully with my sandals or any shoe or boot, that is. As I grow older I’m developing some difficulties in wearing the comfort sandle, the feminine sandle, the strappy sandle and being able to keep them on without pain. I so agree with your post on this article. I have to first be able put them on and instantly feel their comfort…seeing if it doesnt cause so much pain on my foot (nerve damage from accident) I love the muted color’s this coming up spring/summer. There are alot of cute comfy sandles out there…with a new fresh look…i dont always have to wear my Birkenstocks lol☺

  9. Julie Anne says:

    The best sneakers I saw were red with a red sole. No distracting white. She may have purchased them in Europe, definitely not in our little town. We both agreed we dislike white soles. Perhaps non-white will become the next fashion trend.

  10. After two foot surgeries and a lot of pain, regular shoes just were no longer an option. Tevas were! I have been buying them for years. Do to the fact they never wear out I have over forty pair. They range from patent leather and pink glitter to athletic styles.
    The soles range from almost flat to thick athletic. I color coordinate Tevas with my outfit. I cannot tell you how often I am stopped by people to ask where I got those cute sandals.
    Best of all my feet don’t hurt!

    1. That’s the goal when we have painful get. I’m going to have closer look at Teva’s!

  11. I agree with Linda the one thing that continually holds me back are the white soles. My feet are kind of big and clunky anyway! I love the wedge version with the rope sole but doubt they are as comfy. I am tempted to try the Eileen Fisher or Soft

  12. I love sport sandals and own three pair! I wear them with dresses even!

  13. Love the EF sport sandals! Bought them the first time you posted them and they’re just wonderful, as you have said. I think I need to explore a metallic this year.

  14. I am SO tempted by a gorgeous pair of Arche sandals very similar to some in the second group, but a bit dressier, that I see in their shop window as I walk by here in Aix each day….but the 190€ price tag has held me back….so far…

  15. Beverly Glotzbach says:

    I love to take sport sandals on trips–especially those that are waterproof. I can wear them in a variety of travel situations—to the pool, on a rainy day, etc. If they get dirty or muddy, they can be cleaned with a little water. Because they can be worn in a variety of situations, less weight in the suitcase.

  16. Gail Schwartz says:

    I wear flimsy flip flops around the house only. Those sport sandals look great in silver. I ordered them immediately. I have a couple of pairs by Sofft. They look great in metallics too and I can wear them for hours. For dress, I wear the block heels you have recommended

    1. I’ve increasingly stopped wearing flip flops too because I have to grip my toes to keep them on, which tires my feet out. I just got a black pair of Soffts which are so comfy. I love that brand.

  17. I have a pair of the sporty ones that I love. I’m just not crazy about the big slab of white sole. It’s not too bad with lighter colors, but I much prefer the sole to be the same (or nearly the same) color as the top of the shoe. This is the same issue I have with the new sneaker styles.

    1. It took me awhile to get accustomed to that look. The white sole is closer to a sneaker look.

  18. Great article. Yes, to the sports Sandal! I wear them for casual days (Teva and Kern). My feet feel great after a few hours in them…..pretty? No.
    Yes, to the prettier metallic versions!

    On the delicate, scrappy sandal, I have a few of those to toss, but may hold onto one light metallic version for evening when I will be mainly walking into a restaurant, then back to my home or to the car.

    1. I have two pairs of strapless sandals like that which I’ll need to try on this year and see if I can wear them. My feet are getting less and less tolerant. But like you, for a short walk into a restaurant …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *