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BAREFOOT SUMMER SANDALS

A few weeks ago I panicked because we were having a heat wave in the UK and I hadn’t started my summer sandals post. Well, it’s now June – and in typical English style, it’s been bucketing it down while I’ve been drafting most of this – and here I am dreaming of hot weather and hoping that posting this will encourage summer to well and truly arrive.

So, here’s my round up of the best barefoot sandals on offer this season, whether you’re looking for a pair for the office, to wear around town or out for a drink I’m hoping I have you covered…

LUNA SANDALS – BRUJITA

luna-sandals-brujita-review

As far as I’m aware, the Brujita is Luna’s first truly lifestyle sandal that doesn’t have the look of a traditional running huarache.

One pair comes with seven coloured tassles that you can mix and match with your outfit (or your nail varnish) and the contrast of the tan leather with the turquoise tassle look particularly fab.

The Brujita have an 8mm sole on a leather foot bed, which means you should be guaranteed a good deal of ground feel but still have a little cushioning in case you’re doing a lot of pavement walking.

Luna Sandals have also made a rather gorgeous film on the production process, just in case you want a bit more of a close up…

Made from: leather

Fit: adjustable heel straps

Cost: $125

THE DRIFTER LEATHER – CUT HERE SANDALS

I love the very traditional look of these sandals, and they seem fitting to the small family business based in Cyprus that produces them.

All of The Drifter Leather’s shoes are made to order and are truly beautifully crafted. They also offer a custom fit service which is so important, both when you’re investing in a pair of good-quality shoes, and especially when it comes to sandals where there is so little material to them.

The soles are made from 4mm Vibram, so offer lots of flexibility and ground feel, and come as zero drop as standard.

Check back for a full review in a few weeks, in the meantime, if you’d like to read more about the brand see my review of their Chelsea Boots which I pretty much lived in last winter.

Made from: leather

Fit: custom fit, made-to-order

Cost: €86

 

CHALA SANDALS

chala-sandals-barefoot-review

Although originally modelled on a traditional laced running huarache, there’s two things that I think qualify Chala Sandals to cross over to a lifestyle sandal rather than performance one:

  1. Lacing style – in addition to the typical huarache lacing technique, Chala Sandals are also available in a criss-cross lacing style (see above), which I much prefer the look of if you’re wearing them around town.
  2. Funky colours – if you’re looking to inject a bit of colour into your summer wardrobe then look no further… choose between neon pink, red, grey, light blue, turquoise, olive green, yellow, brown and caramel laces (to name a few!). If you’re anything like me and find it impossible to decide, then I’d recommend spending an extra €2.95 for an extra pair of laces (or two).

And in case colour isn’t your thing, then check out the all-black Berlin edition or Antique Leather version which feel a bit more grown up.

 

To help with the correct fit, Chala offer a handy made-to-order service which means you can send them a scan of your feet (here’s instructions). I would highly recommend this as it’s easy to get the sizing slightly out when there’s so little material to them.

All Chala Sandals are handmade in Germany (using German materials) and 3% of sales are donated to the Tarahumara community to aid education for children.

Made from: leather

Fit: custom fit, made-to-order

Cost: €44.95 – €99.95 (depending on style)

 

SOLE RUNNER – ELARA SANDAL

sole-runner-elara-sandals-review

The Elara is Sole Runner’s newest sandal available in both a black and brown colourway and is designed especially for wide feet.

Sole Runner were kind enough to send me a pair to test, however, with having narrow feet I’ve found there’s much too much room in the front strap for me. As you can imagine, I’m rather gutted about this. However, it does mean that I now have a rather nice pair of sandals to take along to the minimal footwear swap with Katy Bowman in The Netherlands in a couple of weeks’ time 🙂

Other than having a wide fit. The Elara Sandals are made from a super-soft goatskin which makes them very light and breathable. I think these could make a great option for office wear but will post more info on the sizing, fit, style, etc. in a full post shortly.

In case you’ve read my recent Sole Runner Flash 2 Desert review, you’ll know that the soles of Sole Runners provide a huge amount of ground feel, so if you like a very thin (only 2.5mm) and flexible sole then you’ll certainly find it with these.

Made from: leather

Fit: partly adjustable with Velcro ankle strap

Cost: €119.90

 

HIGH FEELS

high-feels-barefoot-sandals-styling

Anyone who follows my Instagram account knows I’m a big fan of High Feels. These were my favourite barefoot shoe find of 2016 and I really think they nailed it in terms of producing a pair of cute sandals that are very minimal but certainly don’t have the look of a typical barefoot shoe.

high-feels-barefoot-sandal

Although they are currently only available in limited sizes, I felt like I still had to include them as they’re just so incredibly versatile and pretty much work with any outfit. There’s numerous ways of tying the laces – below is a demo of five variations suggested by the brand – my favourite is no. 3 as I find this is the best way to get the correct tightness of the laces.

There are certainly aspects of the design that means they don’t work for everyone – they’re pretty narrow for one as well as being non-adjustable over the arch of the foot (you can read more on this in my High Feels review). However, High Feels have a new unisex and adjustable style (designed to also fit wider feet) that are currently in the making… so watch this space for more news on that very soon!

Made from: microfibre fabric with PU coating (vegan friendly)

Fit: non-adjustable

Cost: €129

ZUZII – CLASSIC SANDALS

zuzii-classic-sandal-review

Although I’m gutted that Zuzii stopped producing their lace up sandals this season (and instead are doing heeled clogs – even in children’s sizes *sob*) their classic sandals are still a good minimal option that can easily pass in an office environment.

In terms of a barefoot experience, they are zero drop and flexible with a leather insole and natural rubber outsole. The adjustable back closure should also help with ensuring they hold on well to your feet.

As well as black, if you’re looking for something a bit more edgy then they’re also currently available in tan, copper and gold.

Made from: leather

Fit: adjustable heel strap

Cost: $110

In conclusion…

One thing I’m afraid I have failed on is to find a pair for under £50 and I appreciate that is a lot of money to spend on a pair of sandals – especially if you live in a country where you’re only guaranteed a couple of months wear a year.

Therefore, if you are going to invest in a pair I would recommend going for a classic style that you can see yourself in for more than one season.

And in the meantime I’m going to continue to keep my eyes peeled for some other options that might not be 100% barefoot but at least provide a more affordable minimal option.

All images included are from respective brand sites

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