We totally get the non-appeal of “ugly” chunky sandals. With thick straps and even thicker rubber soles, they’re odd-looking and oddly proportioned, while your friends might even mistake them to be (gasp!) orthopaedic footwear. Slip them on though, and you’ll realise how absolutely comfortable they can be; convenient, even, for all those times you’re rushing out the door. We’re not asking you to ignore their controversial reputation or to fall in love with the awkward way they’re wrapped around your feet — we’re imploring you to give them a chance.
After all, fashion’s best dressed did. Part of the 90s renaissance that also brought us baguette bags, and part a continuation of normcore dressing, this time, social media’s elite isn’t pairing them with dad slacks or basic denim shorts. This season’s chunky, funky footwear are even more chic alongside frilly summer dresses, midi skirts, and long flared trousers that go past the ankle. Basically, the more unexpected, the better. You’ve got velcro straps, fabric straps in the most psychedelic tones, embellished styles, or even ones with sky-high platform soles. Here are the ones we liked best.
Charles & Keith — DASH Chunky Sandals
Long known for their fashion-forward heels and mules, Charles & Keith is presenting quite a surprising number in their Summer catalogue — the DASH Chunky Sandal. It’s sleek and minimalist while still embracing the versatile, bold and sporty design that the style represents, and is available in black, military green, and white. The casual shoe is seen styled by Japanese DJ Mademoiselle Yulia and African-American DJ Quiana too for some much-needed inspiration, where we see them experiment with the sandals in both casual-chic and quirky-cool vibes alike.
dash chunky sandals, $59.90. available at Charles & Keith stores and online.
Teva — Hurricane XLT2
Long walks by the beach. Picnics in the park. Days hikes amidst green foliage. We’re not just listing potential date ideas here — these are actual places you can wear your Teva sandals too. The popular brand’s often credited for making sport sandals chic again, and we find ourselves considerably warming up to the idea of wearing their laidback styles everywhere. Essentially just two Velcro watchbands attached to flip-flops in order to hold them in place, they’ve continually reimagined a variety of patterns on their straps to make their sandals as exciting and varied as possible. Then, there’s the commitment to sustainability; all their straps are made from traceable, verifiable recycled plastic, while they’re also running a TevaForever recycling program so your shoes will never end up at a landfill.
Teva Hurricane XLT2, USD70. available at Teva’s website.
Onitsuka Tiger — OHBORI™ STRAP
Trust a sporting brand to come up with the most functional pair of chunky sandals. Love them or hate them, Onitsuka Tiger‘s OHBORI™ STRAP sandals are made with both comfort and style in mind; the hybrid model combines their classic two-strap sandal with the sole of their OHBORI™ sneakers, which makes for a wavy-looking sole and distinctive rolled-up ends. fuzeGEL™ technology in the heel and OrthoLite™ in the inner sole make for superior cushioning for your feet, while the style sees contrasting colours and the Onitsuka Tiger logo on the ankle, street-style accents that elevate the humble sandal to something undeniably chic.
Onitsuka Tiger OHBORI™ STRAP, $149. available at Onitsuka Tiger Ngee Ann City, Jewel Changi Airport, Suntec City and online.
Melissa — Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Ciao
The famed jelly shoe brand is rolling out another soon-to-be classic, this time a collaboration piece with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The thick cross-strap design of the Melissa Ciao Sandal is now refreshed with the designer’s punk rock influencers, and comes with metallic studs on what’s usually a safe choice. The vivid colour contrast of a chilli-red and light lavender makes for a bold choices, while you can always pick the white-and-olive pair if you’re looking for more versatility.
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Ciao Sandal, $175. available at melissa stores and online.
Dr. Martens — Voss Leather Strap Sandals
While we’re fans of the lace-up leather boots that were a regular sight at any and all outdoor music festivals, these days, we’d like to stomp around in styles that let our toes breathe a little. Enter the Voss sandal from Dr. Martens. The bold style is built from hydro leather with two adjustable straps and platform soles that live up to our chunky sandal dreams. The soles are held in place with a Goodyear welt that’s heat-sealed at 700°C and reinforced with a welt stitch for extra, extra durability, while that yellow signature stitch of theirs adds a fun pop of colour to the mostly monochrome styles.
dr. martens VOSS WOMEN’S LEATHER STRAP SANDALS, $142.90. available at dr. martens stores and online.
Roger Vivier — Slidy Viv’ Strass Buckle Mules
Chunky sandals, but make it fancy? Roger Vivier has heard us loud and clear, which is why they’re giving us the Slidy Viv’ Strass Buckle Mules, which they’re touting as a must-have for warm days ahead. The pair is handcrafted in leather, and this season’s shades range from white and yellow to peach and pink. Of course, you can’t overlook the very fancy double crystal buckles that give these chunky sandals a very distinct Vivier touch.
roger vivier Slidy Viv’ Strass Buckle Mules in Leather. available at roger vivier stores and online.