I Found the Best Spring Shoes on the Internet

As soon as my nostrils start to twitch with the first signs of post-winter allergies, I start thinking about my feet. I gaze at them incessantly like giant, feet-shaped question marks and feel a sense of bewilderment creep up the tips of my toes as the following, tell-tale query swirls around in my frontal cortex:

What the hell am I supposed to wear on my feet in the spring?!

This question has haunted me for as long as I can remember because the answer is more amorphous than a gust of pollen. Every other season besides spring has a very clear designated shoe option. In summer, you wear sandals. In fall, you wear loafers or boots. In winter, you wear boots. In spring, you can wear any of the above and everything in between. It’s chaos!

In the interest of lassoing the amorphous cloud of springtime shoe options and injecting it with some reason, I scoured the internet for 10 pairs of perfect-for-spring shoes, one for each logical “category” of transitional weather footwear I could think of. Enjoy them below and please let me know what shoes you’re wearing on your feet at this very moment in the comments.

1. The Wedge

I love a good wedge. They provide the rare combination of height + relative comfort, which I really appreciate when the weather is just starting to get nice and all I want to do is walk places. Of all the wedges on the internet, I’m especially keen on these because a) I haven’t seen much artfully rendered pink PVC out there and b) they’re $60!

2. The Birkenstock

I’m a firm believer that Birkenstocks are a spring/summer staple, weather or not normcore is trending. I’ve never owned a sturdier or more comfortable walking sandal, and stylistically-speaking I’ve come to enjoy their satisfying chunk. I’m kind of sick of the white version, though, which used to be my go-to. This season I have my heart set on a cherry popsicle-red pair with pink footbeds designed in collaboration with Kirna Zabête.

3. The Espadrille

Espadrilles have been a mainstay of sunny months ever since the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl With a Straw Basket” Instagram aesthetic (a millennial manifestation of Jane Birkin’s legacy) blossomed into a full-blown movement. They are frequently paired with midi-length Reformation dresses and canvas totes with warm baguettes inside them, and I’m all for it. If you’re in the market for a pair, why not opt for black in the name of go-with-everything practicality?

4. The Closed-Toe Sandal

Raise your right pinkie toe if you wore Jelly sandals when you were little and thinking about them fills you with a sense of nostalgia so acute it’s almost a physical ache. Raise your left pinkie toe if these Trademark sandals are the perfect adult iteration of that memory. Great! Glad our toes are in agreement.

5. The Open-Toe Sandal

Holy spring shoe. These lime green Martiniano sandals are a dream and a half, not only because they’re rendered in The Color of the Moment (in my humble, color-scouting opinion) but also because they feature a cute little nubbin of a heel that looks easy to maneuver in and their lace-up ankle strings appear to be extra long, which I enjoy aesthetically. The only hiccup is the price, which is rather hefty, but I’ve got them bookmarked in case they go on sale and I encourage you to join me.

6. The Ballet Flat

I haven’t worn ballet flats in years. I’m still recovering from their omnipresence at my high school in the mid-2000s (to which I thoroughly contributed). However, Imani’s recent story announcing that they might be sneaking their way back into the zeitgeist put me on high alert and now I think I’m ready to wear them again, especially if they’re the same color as a bouquet of lilacs.

7. The Loafer

A loafer, in theory, seems like a great shoe option for temperate spring days, but wearing them sans-socks (which would be understandable given the rampant sock fatigue that begins to set in around mid-February) can be problematic. I always end up with sweaty feet at best and blisters at worst. So what’s the solution? RAFFIA loafers!!! Breathability at its chicest. (You know who else makes a good raffia pair? Leandra.)

8. The Sneaker

It’s not always easy to find a good-looking non-athletic pair of sneakers that doesn’t make me feel like a little kid on a playdate whenever I put them on. When in doubt, I opt for a timeless classic like Adidas Gazelles. I have a navy pair that I wore a lot during the winter, but they aren’t very spring-y, if you know what I mean, so I did some internet digging and found this muted gold version. The perfect complement to a daytime nightgown, which just so happens to be my Spring 2018 look (proof here).

9. The Slide

A euphemism I privately use for spring is “Slide-and-Go Season,” by which I mean it’s the time of year when impromptu activities like ice cream meet-ups and neighborhood stroll opportunities are increasingly at your disposal, and when they arise, it’s nice to be able to slide into an easy-to-put-on pair of shoes and slide out the door. What better shoe to facilitate that than a pair of literal slides, hmm? These are $120. ENJOY.

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi. Art Direction by Emily Zirimis.

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  • eva

    spring in san francisco is tricky, yesterday i wore marigold satin slides to work and my toes were freezing in the wind propelled fog on the walk in. today i’m wearing black platform boots but tomorrow i think i’m going to wear some sandals because “high of 68!” my ~spring~ footwear lately has been black suede slides, the marigold ones, some dark green suede mary jane clog heels, and floral print saltwater sandals. but i also have some white braided leather strappy kitten heels on deck and i decided the best thing to pair floral dresses with this year is… some ox blood doc martens creepers because..why not

  • OMG! Yes, sock fatigue is so real!! I literally told myself a few weeks ago “I’m not putting on socks anymore, i don’t care how chilly it gets” Luckily, it’s already summer here in the South, we’re hitting 92 degress on Mother’s Day!!

  • mandilynne

    Mules! They’re on my feet with some light transparent pink socks as we speak…

  • These shoes are amazing!!!

  • A

    verrry cute shoes but the Birkenstocks section says “weather or not” when I think you mean “whether”?

    • Rosemary

      think it’s a pun 😉

  • Rosemary

    YES YES YES YES love you Harling this is exactly what I needed! All of these are marvelously on point! Also wow those are amazing sneakers and I don’t even like sneakers on myself but I may have to *spring* for them ha ha

  • Bethan Skuse

    spring in the UK is just a few seconds of sun closely followed by torrential rain, so open toes are fab but only for the brave. Brits don’t mind the occasional soggy toe and will practically strip naked at heat above 11 degrees

    • Ana

      You mean spring and “summer”. I have probably worn open toes about 5 times in the 12 years I’ve been living here….

  • Jillian K

    Louisiana these photos are to die for!!! The flowers! My heart!


  • Anonymous

    Zara fashion is so cute, but they have gross company ethics and use enslaved workers, please don’t shop there! https://www.fastcompany.com/40492215/the-real-story-behind-those-desperate-notes-that-zara-workers-left-in-clothes

  • Amelia

    Louisiana and Emily!!! Amazing photo direction!!!!

  • L Winfree

    Whoever was responsible for the flower / shoe pairings did an A+ bang up job. So dreamy!

    • Stephanie R

      I totally agree with you!

  • moxie

    Am I the only one who didn’t know that ballet flats were ever “out”… whoops

  • Ellie

    allllll I can think about is your Chloé rainbow sandals Harling! Do you still wear them?