If there was ever such a thing as an IT shoe this summer (and in our fashion-obsessed opinion, there absolutely should be) it would be the slide.
Easy to wear and a style that goes with everything, they’ve certainly been having a moment after years of being the somewhat daggy alternative to other more dressy sandals.
The reason? Our money is on the pandemic, which has seen many of us embrace comfort and practicality in our fashion over less forgiving styles.
Case in point: Crocs have never been more popular, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Available in more than 85 countries the company has sold over 850 million pairs of Crocs since 2002 netting $2.5 billion in annual sales.
Sales of the slide, dubbed by one newspaper as the “world’s ugliest footwear”, actually went up by 64 per cent when most of us were stuck at home in 2021.
That same year musician Questlove wore a gold pair on the Oscars red carpet and in February this year Crocs made their Vogue cover debut on the feet of influencer Rowi Singh for the fashion bible’s Indian title.
And it seems that while life has returned to normal for the most part, we’re not ready to trade in our beloved slides for stilettos just yet.
This summer we’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to slides with strappy, chunky and leather styles available everywhere.
Here we’ve rounded up our top picks, so get sliding (ahem, sorry, we mean shopping).
BEST SLIDES: EDITOR’S PICKS
Crocs Classic Clog, Crocs, $69.99
We couldn’t do a list of slides without including the original Crocs shoe. The Classic Clog is a bestseller and comes highly recommended by shoppers. On Crocs’ website it has an average 4.7 star rating from over 33,000 reviews. Five-star reviewers say they are “very good quality” and “very comfortable”.
Made from Croslite, a foam resin material exclusive to Crocs, these slides are light and breathable thanks to the ventilation holes. You can dress them up by buying Jibbitz Charms with over 200 to choose from.
On TikTok the hashtag #crocs has been viewed over 6.2 billion views with many video fan dedications to the once daggy shoe.
“Crocs are ICONIC,” one fan shared.
“Two years ago I didn’t own a single Croc now it’s the only shoe I can wear,” another TikTok user commented. “I even have fancy Crocs for a special occasions.”
Adidas Originals Adilette Lite – Women’s, THE ICONIC, $45
Not only do these Adidas slides come in at a great price point, they’re also one of the most popular pairs being sold on THE ICONIC right now. Featuring the brand’s signature Trefoil logo these slides are built for comfort thanks to their lightweight cushion construction and wide vamp strap.
Birkenstock Madrid Birko-Flor Regular Slides – Women’s, THE ICONIC, $125
These make a great investment as the natural cork and EVA sole will mould to your feet over time making for a seriously comfy shoe.
The Madrid have a leather look strap with a soft fleece lower layer that’s both tear resistant and gentle on skin.
BEST LEATHER SLIDES
Jo Mercer Valise Flat Slides Black Leather, The Dom, $149.95 (down from $199.95)
These chunky slides would make a great sandal for the office. Featuring a leather upper and lining, features include a moulded footbed with padding. The strap is designed to fit firmly around the foot and it’s recommended you size up if you’re normally in between sizes.
Sol Sana Eastwood Slide Patent Black/Silver, Sol Sana, $139
If a pair of cowboy boots and sandals had a baby, these slides would be it. Inspired by western buckles the Eastwood is one of Sol Sana’s best-selling styles. Made from patent black leather their silver buckles and embellishments add interest to even the most simple of outfits.
Dr Martens Blaire Flower Buckle Leather Slide Sandals – Women’s, THE ICONIC, $220
Dr Martens’ signature lace-up boots have got to be one of the most comfy shoes out there and if you’re looking for the sandal equivalent these are it.
Featuring a six centimetre flatform sole these slides have three straps with cute flower-shaped buckles. They’re also built to last thanks to Dr Martens’ air-cushioned honeycomb insulation technology that gives you an anti-shock feel as you walk. Its Goodyear welted sole design has also made it resistant to things like petrol, oil and acid.
BEST COMFORTABLE SANDAL SLIDES
Active Flex by Easy Steps Madon Black Stretch Sandals, Myer, $89.95
As the name suggests these slides were designed for comfort. Featuring a 2.5cm heel height the slides have a synthetic strap that hugs the foot comfortably while the slightly elevated back sole helps you move with ease.
Country Road Slide, $49.95
This has to be one of the most affordable Country Road items you can buy right now and would make a gorgeous addition to your summer wardrobe. Featuring the brand’s iconic heritage logo the shoes have a polyurethane moulded outsole for comfort.
“Absolutely love these slides so much, they are extremely comfortable,” one customer wrote in a five star review.
BEST PLATFORM SLIDES
Sandler Fiction Black Smooth Sandals, Myer, $99.95
These Sandler slides won us over with their chic gold hardware — they’re the perfect pair of smart casual sandals.
Featuring a 3cm flatform they’ve got a moulded footbed that’s comfortable enough for you to wear all day as well as a two strap construction to hug your feet.
“These sandals are so comfortable and look great. Will wear them to work and going out,” one five star review reads.
SPURR Silina Comfort Slides, THE ICONIC, $49.99
These slides are a great option if you’re after something that has the look of espadrille wedges but without the heel height — plus they come in at a seriously affordable price point.
Featuring a smooth faux leather upper and a broad vamp strap these sandals would look great paired with a breezy floral maxi.
Sandler Vandel Sandals in Black Smooth, Myer, $99.95
The 2000s are calling and they want their shoes back. Embrace the Y2K trend with these platform mule slides that will add a cool edge to even the simplest of outfits.
With a three centimetre high platform and five centimetre heel these slides scream cool.
BEST CHUNKY SLIDES
Billini Zonya, THE ICONIC, $89.95
These Billini slides caught our eye due to their likeness to Alias Mae’s popular Paris sandals, however, they come in at a much more wallet friendly price point.
The faux leather slides have twin wide padded straps as well as a moulded footbed for comfort.
BEST STRAPPY SLIDES
Steve Madden Skyler-J, THE ICONIC, $59.95
Add a much needed pop of colour into your wardrobe with these pastel blue strappy slides. Featuring a chic mini heel these jelly sandals are a much more stylish version of the pair you wore as children, plus we love the Valentino-inspired stud detailing on the straps.
Seed Heritage Liora Knot Sandal, Seed Heritage, $129.95
Possibly the chicest pair of thongs you will ever own these leather sandals will instantly elevate whatever they are paired with.
Featuring stylish knotted straps with a leather trim, pair these with your favourite summer dress and you’re good to go.
Novo Tenna Slides, Novo, $59.95
Another strappy slide that gets its inspiration from Valentino’s Rockstud shoes this Novo pair can be styled with literally anything. The soft leather-look material comes in three colours however our pick is the white for summer.
Wittner Britte Sand Leather With Diamante Flat Sandal, Wittner, $200
Need a pair of dressy shoes for an event but can’t wear heels? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
These Britte sandals from Wittner have on trend diamante straps (which we’re seeing everywhere on party heels at the moment) and come in a chic nude leather.
They have a classic almond-shaped toe as well as in-built padding in the sole to keep you comfortable all night long.
ARE SLIDE SANDALS COMFORTABLE?
Slides can be one of the most comfortable sandals because their soles are often designed with more padding or have a moulded footbed for comfort.
Most slide sandals also have little to no heel, making them ideal for all-day wear or when you’re going to do a bit of walking.
Of course, to make them comfortable you’ll need to make sure you get the right fit and key to this is making sure the sandal’s strap fits your foot correctly. You’ll want your slide straps to fit snugly, not tightly, around the foot to allow for the sandal to stay comfortably on so there’s no unnecessary gripping needed.
WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR SLIDES WITH?
When it comes to how you want to wear your slides it’s ultimately up to you — this versatile sandal goes with pretty much anything.
But if you wanted some ideas I would suggest pairing strappy slides with a cute sundress, while your chunky platform styles are probably more suited to tailored office wear or jeans. As for your Crocs and sports slides don’t be afraid to make a statement. Pair with socks and oversized trackpants for a cosy casual look or throw on your pair with your favourite shorts.
Want more shoe options? Check out our roundup of the best summer sandals you can buy right now.
If you’re always on the hunt for a bargain, check out the news.com.au Coupons page for savings at THE ICONIC, ASOS and more of your favourite fashion retailers.
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