Editors handpick every product that we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.

The Best Summer Shoes of 2021, From Sneakers to Sandals

Make room for these in your closet.

Footwear, Shoe, Plimsoll shoe, Brand, Outdoor shoe, Clog,
Design by Morgan McMullen

There's nothing like a beloved pair of shoes you can slip on the second your favorite season rolls around. Some people love a good fall boot selection and others, like myself, gravitate towards toe-baring summer sandals. (I like when I can feel the sun on my feet! I could do without those awkward tan lines, though.) Since warm weather is upon us, now is the time for us summertime-shoe-loving people. You'll probably want to replace a sandal or two from last season's collection, and maybe opt for new designs altogether after taking a look at this summer's trends. Before you start shopping, check out our favorite summer shoe picks. You'll find everything from the wearable sporty sneaker to fancy, event-approved heels.


For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter (subscribe here).

A Blue Sandal
Leather Straps Sandals
Mango mango.com

These asymmetrical blue strap sandals will draw the eyes downward and invite compliments from all your friends. Style them with your favorite summer dress or denim shorts.

1 of 25
A Pair of Birkenstocks
Gizeh Birko-Flor Flip Flop
Birkenstock nordstrom.com

The more you wear your Birkenstocks, the comfier they become. Once you've achieved that lived-in feel, it'll be hard to part with these shoes. Consider adding a new pair to your shoe closet, like this style with a pink Birko-Flor strap.

2 of 25
A Raffia Loafer
Japaille Derbies in Natural
Clergerie clergerieparis.com

It's easy to mentally transport yourself to the streets of France or some distant resort destination when you slip into this shoe. The handwoven raffia material carries that relaxed summertime feel and gives off that artisanal "I bought this from abroad" vibe.

3 of 25
A Basketball Sneaker
Air Force 1 Low Ess Sneaker
Nike nordstrom.com

We're fully on board with the watermelon tones in this Nike sneaker. This design is a reboot of Nike's first air-cushioned basketball shoe, which was first released in 1982. 

4 of 25
A Tortoise Strap Sandal
Vivian Sandals in Multi
Dolce Vita dolcevita.com

For a sandal that's not completely flat (your arches need support!), slip into this shoe from Dolce Vita. The tortoise print can be easily matched with whatever's in your closet, while the ankle straps ensure a secure fit.

5 of 25
A Pair of Blue Mules
Block Cowboy Mule
UGG + Eckhaus Latta ugg.com

UGG collaborated with Eckhaus Latta on a collection of distinctive footwear for those seeking something unique. This mule has a western-inspired silhouette, so now you have more options to channel that vibe instead of turning to cowboy boots 24/7. 

6 of 25
A Pair of Suede Loafers
Loafers in Suede

Everyone should have a pair of loafers in their shoe collection because they instantly lend your outfit, however casual, a polished feel. This flawless pair of suede loafers will become a staple in your footwear rotation for seasons to come.

7 of 25
A Fishnet Flat
Leather-Trimmed Fishnet Loafers
Porte & Paire net-a-porter.com

Your feet will stay cool in the heat, thanks to this shoe's breathable fishnet material. This flat is trimmed with leather that will soften with each wear and boast cushioned insoles. 

8 of 25
A Minimalist Sandal
Menage Sandal
Reformation thereformation.com

One of my favorite summer sandals is Reformation's "Menage" style. The shoe is lightweight, surprisingly comfortable despite the slender straps, and never, ever give your skin those dreaded sandal strap cuts or bruises.  

9 of 25
A Silver Slip-On Sneaker
Jade Metallic Slip-On Sneaker
Naturalizer naturalizer.com

The slip-on sneaker is for the lazy girl in us (tying shoe laces? No thanks!). Instead of choosing your usual plain white style, give this silver style a spin. The tone is still neutral enough to work with your bright summer prints.

10 of 25
A Pair of Black Sandals
Arizona Topstitched Glossed-Leather Sandals
Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock net-a-porter.com

Birkenstock teamed up with Proenza Schouler for a line of unisex footwear inspired by utilitarian workwear and athletic footwear. This calf leather sandal features elegant contrast topstitching for an elevated yet comfortable sandal you want for the warmer months. 

11 of 25
A Floral Sandal
Maisie Sport Sandals
Loeffler Randall shopbop.com

Slap a floral print on anything and I'll buy the item in a heartbeat. Case in point: These Velcro strap sandals from Loeffler Randall. Your denim cutoff shorts or white cotton maxi dress will benefit from the splash of sweetness this sandal has to offer.

12 of 25
A Blue Slip-On Sandal
Fooled Quilted Mule Sandals
ASOS Design us.asos.com

Quilted, pillow-like pieces will be on trend this season, so get yourself a pair of baby blue slip-on sandals like this one from ASOS. Don't be surprised if this shoe serves as a conversation starter with strangers at your favorite happy hour spot. 

13 of 25
A Sporty Sneaker
Kinetic Lace
Sorel zappos.com

There's no time like summer to revive your wardrobe with as much color as possible. This includes your sporty sneakers. Walk into that Pilates class or run errands in these minty-green kicks that'll add a pep to every step. 

14 of 25
A Neutral Sandal
Nigella Sandal
Andre Assous nordstrom.com

If you're looking for a simple summer sandal that has memory foam cushion for your feet and takes no effort to style, buy this pair. You won't have to ask yourself what to wear with this sandal because the answer is: anything

15 of 25
A Hot Pink Mule
Mural Pink Sandals
Jeffrey Campbell amazon.com

On the other hand, here's a hot pink mule if you're looking for a shoe that packs a punch. Whether you're attending a wedding or simply want to dress up your jeans for work, you'll find that this strappy shoe leaves a lasting impression everywhere you go. 

16 of 25
A White Mule
Lilith Mule
42 GOLD nordstrom.com

Last summer, I wore my white mules to the ground (literally, the heel broke off at one point), so this summer I'm looking for a replacement pair. I have my heart set on this comfy and lightweight pair from 42 Gold. I'll do my best to keep them clean. 

17 of 25
A Pair of Ballet Flats
Chain-Embellished Leather Flats
Stella McCartney net-a-porter.com

Ballet flats, but make it sustainable (this one from Stella McCartney is crafted from vegetarian leather) and on trend for 2020 (note the chain detail). Pirouettes and plié skills not required for those wearing these shoes. 

18 of 25
A Polka Dot Mule
Polka Dot Heeled Sandals
Zara zara.com

Yet to own a pair of black mules? I suggest giving the style a spin with these polka dot kitten heeled versions from Zara. They're not only an affordable way into the trend, but also have that dressy-casual vibe that works for all your important summertime activities.  

19 of 25
A Lace-Up Sandal
Lark Sandals
Maryam Nassir Zadeh shopbop.com

You know you're getting a one-of-a-kind piece when you invest in something from Maryam Nassir Zadeh, like these abstract patterned shoes. Your artistic soul is drawn to these, so make the splurge and style with your favorite summer dress.  

20 of 25
A Leather Sandal
Rony Mid-Heel Sandals
Chloé farfetch.com

The gold ring intertwined into this leather sandal gives it a sophisticated and luxe feel without disturbing the minimalist design. This shoe checks off the work and play categories. 

21 of 25
A Woven Loafer
Jordaan Horsebit-Detailed Loafers
Gucci net-a-porter.com

Closed-toe shoes like this breathable raffia loafer allows you to bring those summertime vibes to a more buttoned-up workplace. The neutral color and classic footwear silhouette pairs well with all types of bottoms, from tailored slacks to a-line skirts. 

22 of 25
A Pair of Beaded Flats
Paz Beaded Slides
Anthropologie anthropologie.com

If you're someone who appreciates more intricately patterned footwear, you'll want to wear this sandal for the rest of summer. The artfully embellished beads and embroidered strap serve as the best form of accessorizing.

23 of 25
A Platform Mule
Leather Heeled Platform Mules
& Other Stories stories.com

This platform mule is great for someone who walks everywhere and wants a shoe that's chunkier and more durable than those skinny heeled sandals. The shoe also has a very '90s feel for those of us who are nostalgic for that time.

24 of 25
A Cushiony Sandal
Knotted Sandals
Miu Miu farfetch.com

Hopefully no one ever steps on you when you're in open-toed sandals, but should someone accidentally take a step backwards, the cushion straps will give your feet some minor protection. Miu Miu's always here to help you put your best foot forward in style. 

25 of 25
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io